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Every great movie star has a walk... Something you'll never have.
~ Walden mocking a victim after cutting off her toes

Rhett Walden is the main antagonist of the Criminal Minds episode "Reflection of Desire". He is a mentally ill serial killer who mutilates and murders women to recreate scenes from the film Reflection of Desire, which starred his late mother.

He is portrayed by Robert Knepper, who also portrayed Theodore Bagwell in Prison Break, King Chichak in Turok: Son of Stone, Keith in Hoodwinked!, William Tockman in Arrow, General James Harkness in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Jonas Johnson in Transporter 3, and Jonah Aldrich in Hard Target 2.


Walden was raised by his mother, May, a failed actress who was impregnated by her costar in her one and only film, Reflection of Desire, before he walked out on her. May blamed Rhett for her career disappointments, and subjected to years of emotional and verbal abuse. He had complicated, love-hate feelings for his mother that bordered on incest. After her death - which is implied to have been at his hands - he began hallucinating that she was still alive, and kept her corpse preserved in his house, having regular conversations with her in his mind.

"Reflection of Desire"

Walden is first seen showing a clip of Reflection of Desire to Kelly Landis, a woman he managed to abduct. He then tries to get her to act the scene along with him, all the while hallucinating about May. The following night, he kills Kelly, takes out his razor blade, and cuts off Kelly's lips. Kelly's body is later found by a vagrant in an alleyway and the BAU is called in.

They find out that another vagrant lives in the alleyway and he tells that no other vagrants were present in the alleyway when Kelly's body was found. The BAU realized that the killer was posing as a vagrant. Meanwhile, the day following Kelly's murder, Walden and May sit at a train station, looking for potential victims. May excuses herself, and Rhett spots a little girl and tells her that she has the confidence and grace of an actress. He kindly has her enact a walking-down of a red carpet before he spots Penny Hadley. He cruelly tells the girl she is ugly, with nothing to give to the world and leaves, later abducting Penny.

Taking her to his residence, he attempts to get her into his mother's shoes, but Penny's large toes prevent the shoes from being worn. Playing along, she says she can do the scene barefoot. When she is untied, she hits him and effectively breaks his nose. She tries to escape, but the door is locked. Walden grabs the sedative used to knock her out and approaches her. He grabs her by the throat and roughly kisses her, but she bites back and continues to resist. Walden knocks her out and greets her when she awakes, telling her that she was right about her big toes. Penny looks at her feet and screams when she realizes that they are now fitting perfectly in the shoes, with her abductor having cut them off with his razor blade. When Walden leaves, Penny attempts to escape once more, but finds a room full of Reflection of Desire posters and screams, stumbling across May's corpse. Walden appears behind her and takes her to a secluded alleyway in his car. He then attempts to kill her, but he is spotted by Behavioral Analysis Unit agents Aaron Hotchner and David Rossi. Hotchner shoots at Walden to incapacitate him; he manages to hit Walden, but Walden keeps running, merely yelping out when he is shot. Hotchner is then able to rescue Penny.

IT specialist Penelope Garcia manages to track down Walden's address with his car's license plate as well as the handicap permit, which is registered to May, and the authorities surround his house. Inside, Walden straightens out his suit and, still hallucinating, asks May if she is ready. Walden calmly walks out with his mother's corpse in his arms and surrenders to the police, laughing hysterically as he hallucinates walking down a red carpet with his mother. It is implied that he is institutionalized.



  • Walden may have been inspired by Norman Bates, the villain of the novel and film Psycho. Like Bates, Walden is a mentally ill serial killer whose mind was warped by an abusive mother, and who keeps his mother's corpse in her house to maintain the illusion that she is still alive.


           Criminal Minds Logo.png'Mary MeadowsCategory:Criminal Minds Villains

Season 1
Adrian Bale | Bruno Hawks | Clara Hayes | Cory Bridges | David Walker | Donald Curtis | Eddie Mays | Edward Hill | Hassan Nadir | Jackson Cally & His Tribe | Jacob Dawes | L.D.S.K. | Maggie Lowe | Mark Gregory | Mary Mays | Pablo Vargas | Richard Slessman | Ted Bryar | The Fisher King | The Footpath Killer | The Fox | The Keystone Killer | The Seattle Strangler | The Tommy Killer | The Vigilante | Vincent Perotta | Vincent Shyer | Will Sykes

Season 2
Amber Canardo | Carl Buford | Charles Holcombe | Frank Breitkopf | Hayden Rawlings | Jamal Abaza | Jeffrey Charles | Kenneth Roberts | Lyov Lysowksy | Marcus Younger | Michael Earlson | Mulford Brothers | Nathan Harris | Ronald Weems | Roy Woodridge | Sarah Danlin | Terrance Wakeland | The Fisher King | The Hollow Man | The Mill Creek Killer | The Stripping Bandit | Tobias Hankel | Tony Canardo | Vincent Stiles | William Lee

Season 3
23rd Street Killers | Anna Begley | Brian Matloff | Charlie Wilkinson | Chester Hardwick | Francis Goehring | Gary and Ervin Robles | Glen Hill | Henry Frost | Jason Clark Battle | Jeremy Andrus | Joe Smith | Lucky | Mike Hicks | Owen Savage | Peter Redding | Richard Jacobs | Ryan Phillips | Stanley Howard | Steven Fitzgerald | Susan Jacobs | The Campus Killer | The Have-You-Seen-Me Murderer | True Night

Season 4
Adam Jackson | Animal | Armando Ruis Salinas | Ben Abner | Benjamin Cyrus | Chad Brown | Chloe Kelcher | Claire Bates | Danny Murphy | "Diablo" | Eric Ryan Olson | Floyd Hansen | Gary Michaels | Henry Grace | Hugh Rollins | Ian Coakley | Leo Kane | Lucas Turner | Mason Turner | Megan Kane | New York Terrorist Cell | Paul Silvano | Robert Parker | Roderick Gless | Romani Family | Sam | Separatarian Sect | Shara Carlino | Sid Rutledge | Steven Baleman | The Angel Maker | The Reaper | The Road Warrior | Tommy Wheeler | Vincent Rowlings | William Harris

Season 5
Anita Roycewood | Arthur Malcolm | Bill Hodges | Boyd Schuller | Connor O'Brien | Dale Schrader | Darrin Call | Earl Bulford | Gina King | Joe Belser | John Vincent Bell | Miranda Dracar | Omar Morales | Owen Porter | Patrick Meyers | Prince of Darkness | Ray Campion | Robert Burke | Robert Johnson | Ronald Boyd | Samantha Malcolm | The Fox | The Hollow Creek Killer | The Reaper | The Reimanns | Tony Mecacci | Turner's Group | Wade Hatchett | William O'Brien | Will Summers

Season 6
Ben Foster | Bill Thomas | Blake Wells | Brandon Stiles | Colby Bachner | 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 | Lewis Ramsey | 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 | Mark Jackson | Matt and Josh Moore | Paul Westin | Peter Harper | Phillip Connor | Raoul Whalen | Rodney Harris | Sera Morrison | Darlene Beckett | Tess Mynock | The Replicator | The Silencer | Toby Whitewood | Tory Chapman | Willie Kestler

Season 9
Alan and Judith Anderson | Anton Harris | Carla Hines | Cesar Jones | 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 | Marvin Caul | Michael Hastings | Nicole Jones | Owen McGregor | Ronald Underwood | Sam Russell | Sheila Harrison | Sue Walsh | Tanner Johnson | Tivon Askari | Wallace Hines | Wayne Gulino | William Harding | Woodsman Killer

Season 10
Alex Zorgen | Allen Archer | Benton Farland | Brian Stiller | 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 | Cat Adams | 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 | Cat Adams | Sebastian Hurst | Shelby Mattson | The Chameleon