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I see a guy walking down the street with a stupid look on his face and I want to bash him over the head with a bottle. To me that's normal. It's weird to me that no one else feels that way. It's all I think about. I can't stop.
~ Eric Ryan Olson explaining his pathology.

Eric Christian Olson is the main antagonist of the Criminal Minds episode "Zoe's Reprise". He is a serial killer who emulates other, famous serial killers by copying their murders.

He was portrayed by the late Johnny Lewis.

Biography

Early Life

Olson is a violent sociopath; for as long as he can remember, he has had urges to harm and kill people, more or less indiscriminately.

At the age of twenty, he is arrested for attempted rape and spends three years in prison. During his incarceration, he takes correspondence courses in forensic science and criminology, both to better understand his own pathology and to learn how to kill without leaving evidence. His favorite author on the subject of serial killers is criminal profiler David Rossi.

Upon his release from prison, Olson begins committing a series of murders based on the "style" of famous serial killers such as Jack the Ripper, David Berkowitz, and Jeffrey Dahmer. Because he preys on multiple different types of victims and uses different M.O.s, the police do not connect his murders to each other. Olson takes pictures of the crime scenes to relive the experience of committing the murders, and even decorates his apartment with them.

He also has sex with his girlfriend, Linda Jones, at the crime scenes after the police leave, as part of a sexual fantasy in which he rapes and chokes her to death. She permits him to choke her during sex because he repeatedly kisses her on the forehead while he does it, which she believes means that he loves her, but it is in fact part of his violent sexual fantasy.

"Zoe's Reprise"

One night, Olson walks by the home of one of his victims to relive the experience of killing her, only to find criminology student Zoe Hawkes snooping around the building. They strike up a conversation, in which Zoe mentions that she believes that the rash of murders committed in the area recently are the work of one killer. Thinking she is on to him, he advances on her, hits her on the head with a bottle, and strangles her to death with her own scarf. He kisses her on the forehead after she is dead. The FBI's Behavioral Analysis unit (BAU), led by Rossi, is called in to investigate after Rossi's business card is found in Zoe's pocket, her having met him at one of his book signings the very night of her death.

Olson, meanwhile, believes that he has finally "found his style" as a serial killer. He strangles his next victim, a female jogger, with a piece of wire, a detail he found in one of Rossi's books. He then dumps her body in a nearby river. Feeling unstoppable, he kills a homeless woman the following morning. He spends the rest of the day drinking in the bar where Linda works, and they have sex in the bushes outside after she finishes her shift. The BAU interrupts them, however, having found Olson's DNA on Zoe's body and deduced that he is the killer. They believe he is in the act of killing another victim, but are surprised to learn that Linda is his girlfriend.

While in custody, Olson asks to speak to Rossi, saying he is "a big fan". He suggests that he has committed more than the eight murders the BAU has connected to him, and asks Rossi to profile him in return for the location of the other bodies. To keep him talking while the other BAU agents search his apartment, Rossi claims to know why Olson kisses his victims on the forehead while killing them, because he wants to feel the heat leave their bodies as they die. Rossi also theorizes that Olson was sickly as a child, and that his parents would kiss his forehead whenever he was ill to check his temperature; Rossi says that the sensation of being kissed on the forehead is likely Olson's only experience of feeling loved.

Rossi's team then messages him that they have enough physical evidence to convict Olson of four additional murders, leaving him nothing to bargain with. Knowing that he is now facing the death penalty, Olson lets his guard down and tells Rossi that he has always had homicidal urges, and has no idea why. He then asks Rossi to interview him while he is on death row so he can be part of Rossi's next book.

Trivia

  • Olson is similar to Peter Foley, the villain of the 1995 thriller film Copycat; both are serial killers who copy the murders of other serial killers.

External Links

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Season 1
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Season 6
Ben Foster | Bill Thomas | Blake Wells | Brandon Stiles | Drew Jacobs | Greg Phinney | Hollis Walker Jr. | Ian Doyle | James Barrett | James Stanworth | James Thomas | Jane Gould | Jeremy Sayer | Kaman Scott | Lucy (Criminal Minds) | Michael Kosina | Prince of Darkness | Ray Donovan | Rhett Walden | Robert Bremmer | Shane Wyland | Shelley Chamberlain | Steve | Sydney Manning | The Butcher


Season 7
Bill Rogers | Caleb Rossmore | Chase Whitaker | Chloe Donaghy | Chris Shelton | Clark Preston | Colonel Ron Massey | Curtis Banks | Ben Bradstone | Donald and Linda Collins | Dylan Kohler | George Kelling | Harvey Morell | Herman Scobie | Ian Doyle | Izzy Rogers | James Heathridge | J.B. Allen | Jeffrey Collins | Jimmy Hall | Lachlan McDermott | Lieutenant Tawes | Luke Dolan | Malcolm Ford | Margaret Hallman | Matthew Downs | Mike Janeczko | Randy Slade | Robert Adams | Rodney Garrett | The Face Cards | The Piano Man | The Womb Raider | Travis James | Trevor Mills


Season 8
Adam Rain | Arthur Rykov | Bryan Hughes | Carl Buford | Carl Finster | Chad Mills | David Roy Turner | Diane Turner | Donnie Bidwell | Ellen Russell | Emma Kerrigan | Jason Nelson | John Nelson | Jonathan Ray Covey | Larry Feretich | Mark Jackson | Matt and Josh Moore | Paul Westin | Peter Harper | Phillip Connor | Raoul Whalen | Rodney Harris | Sera Morrison | Tess Mynock | The Replicator | The Silencer | Toby Whitewood | Tory Chapman | Willie Kestler


Season 9
Alan and Judith Anderson | Anton Harris | Carla Hines | Charles Johnson | Clifford Walsh | Colin Bramwell Daniel Milworth | Daria Samsen | David Wade Cunningham | Eddie Lee Wilcox | Eric Carcani | Ian Little | Jesse Gentry | Joe Bachner | John Nichols | Justin Mills | Leland Duncan | Mecklinburg Rapists | Nicole Jones | Owen McGregor | Owen McGregor's Partners | Ronald Underwood | Sheila Harrison | Sue Walsh | Tanner Johnson | The Doctor | Wallace Hines | Wayne Gulino | William Harding | Woodsman Killer


Season 10
Alex Zorgen | Allen Archer | Andrew Ford | Benton Farland | Brian Stiller | Chad Griffith | Claire Dunbar | Colin Dupley | Dale Shavers | Danny Stokes | Dinah Troy | Don Black | Donna Mangold | Donnie Mallick | Ellen Connell | Frank Cosgrove | Hayman Vasher | Jack Westbrook | James Burke | Jerry Tidwell | John David Bidwell | Jon Kanak | Justin Leu | Kyle Zorgen | Leo Jenkins | Marc Clifford | Miles Hendrick | Mr. Scratch | Patrick Butler | Patrick Jon Murphy | Peter Folkmore | Randall Jefferson Jones | Steven Parkett | The Mirror Man | Weeks


Season 11
Al Eisenmund | Andrew Meeks | Antonia Slade | Betty Wilson | Brian Cochran | Chazz Montolo | Claude Barlow | Dana Seavers | Eric Rawdon | Flora Martin | Giuseppe Montolo | Jacob DuFour | John Bradley | Johnson | Joseph Berzon | Lester Turner | Matthew Franks | Michael Thompson | Michael Peterson | Cat Adams | Mitchell Crossford | Mr. Scratch | Patrick Sorenson | Randy Jacobs | Robert Boles | Sam Burnett | Skull Tattoo Man | The Beantown Beheader | The Bomber | The Chemist | The Sniper | Tommy Larson | William Cochran | William Duke Mason | William Taylor


Season 12
Alan Crawford | Ben Davis | Bryce Jarvis | Cormac Burton | John David Bates | John Malone | Jonathan Rhodes | Kevin Decker | Kyle Ecklund | Lindsey Vaughn | Lionel Wilkins | Mark Tolson | Miss .45 | Mr. Scratch | Sara McLean | Stuart Barker | The Bone Crusher | The Crimson King | The Day/Night Killer | The Henson Twins | The Womb Raider | Zeke's Gang


Season 13
Asclepius | Caleb Sands | Cheryl Kaline | Desi Gutierrez | Gabriel Merza | Irene Jacobs | Jake Logan | Jess Carney | Josh Martin | Josh's Partners | Justin Franco | Kevin Peck | Kevon Winters | Lawrence Coleman | Lucky | Marcus Manning | Mark Henshaw | Mary Meadows | Melissa Miller | Michelle Gorman | Mr. Scratch | Mr. X | Sal Capilano | The Believers | The Central Park Ripper | The Messiah | The Neon Terror | Tony Capilano | William Lynch


Season 14
Arthur Brodie | Casey Allen Pinkner | Douglas Knight | Dustin Eisworth | Edward Addison | Eduardo Ramos | Elgin Family | Emmanuel Rask | Grace Lynch | Jacob Wallace | James and Marcus Wells | Jeremy Grant | Jordan Halloran | Mary Meadows | Roberta Lynch | Stephanie Carter | The Believers | The Chameleon | The Messiah | The Tall Man | Varnville Unsub | Wayne Hollis


Season 15
Beaumont Unsub | George Kyle Peters | Grace Lynch | Hayes Cullinan | Juliette Weaver | Louie's Gang | Louis Chaycon | Miss .45 | Sebastian Hurst | Shelby Mattson | The Chameleon


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