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|“||Thirteen… are you impressed?||„|
|~ The Footpath Killer bragging about his murders|
The Footpath Killer is a minor antagonist of the crime-drama tv series Criminal Minds. He is a serial killer who appears in the season one episodes "Extreme Aggressor" and "Compulsion".
He was portrayed by Lukas Haas.
Not much is known about the Footpath Killer or his motives, but it is very likely that he began killing due to his anger over being bullied because of his severe stutter. He owns a gas station in Dumfries, Virginia, where he commits his crimes. He snatches his victims, from an isolated footpath near his store (hence his nickname). He then shoots them in the head and takes pictures of their bodies before dumping them in isolated areas. By the time of "Extreme Aggressor", he has murdered 13 people, although the police have found only six.
Behavioral Analysis Unit Chief Jason Gideon teaches a seminar on offender profiling in which he uses the Footpath Killer as a case study. He says that, based on the case evidence, the killer is likely in his 20s, works at a menial job in an isolated area, and speaks with a severe stutter.
When a serial killer dubbed the "The Seattle Strangler" kidnaps his latest victim, Gideon comes out of semi-retirement to help the BAU track him down, in part by using his profile of the Footpath Killer. After Gideon leads the BAU unit in finding and killing the Seattle Strangler, Tim Vogel, and arresting his partner Richard Slessman, Gideon coincidentally stops at the Footpath Killer's gas station. Gideon and the killer have a brief conversation, in which the killer begins stuttering. That, combined with his age, menial job, and isolated location, makes Gideon suspicious, and he realizes he is talking to the killer he is seeking.
The killer realizes that Gideon is on to him, and takes him hostage. He takes Gideon to his basement and forces him to hold a camera, intent on killing him and taking his picture. Thinking quickly, Gideon distracts the Foothpath Killer by offering to tell him why he stutters. The Footpath Killer hesitates, and then asks why; Gideon replies it is because he is too stupid to speak properly, and begins mocking his stutter. As Gideon intended, the Footpath Killer gets so angry that he becomes distracted, giving Gideon the chance to take his weapon, knock him down, and arrest him.