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|“||Beautiful, ain't it?! Wrath of God himself!||„|
|~ Travis while murdering a victim during a tornado.|
Travis James is the main antagonist of the Criminal Minds episode "There's No Place Like Home". He is a serial killer who murders and mutilates teenage male prostitutes, motivated by the delusion that he can "rebuild" his deceased brother and bring him back to life.
He was portrayed by Alex Weed.
Travis grew up in a trailer park in Enid, Oklahoma, with his mother, Jan, and older brother, Tucker. He was sexually abused as a child by a neighbor, Roscoe Gulch, who was eventually arrested for molesting several young boys. Travis testified against Gulch, who was nevertheless acquitted. Travis and Tucker confronted Gulch in his trailer, but Tucker sent his brother away to hide in a drainage canal when a tornado suddenly struck the trailer park. Travis watched helplessly as Gulch's trailer was blown away, killing both Gulch and Tucker. Jan was also killed in the storm, leaving Travis completely alone.
Travis spent the rest of his childhood in the foster care system, and was arrested several times for offenses including shoplifting and prostitution. At fourteen, he ran away from his latest foster home and lived in an abandoned RV.
A few years later, another tornado ripped through the graveyard in which Tucker was buried, destroying his body. This sent Travis over the edge, and he became obsessed with the delusion that he could "rebuild" Tucker with the limbs of boys the same age his brother had been at the time of his death, and reanimate his creation with the electricity discharged during a storm, a la Frankenstein's Monster. He made his first attempt by breaking into a mortuary and severing the left leg of a man who had recently died of leukemia, taking it with him as he fled. Afterwards, he began picking up teenage male prostitutes and killing them, and traveling with his "rebuilt" brother, adding parts with each new victim.
"There's No Place Like Home"
Travis picks up a teenage hustler named Gary Dysen, incapacitates him with drugged beer, and kills him during a storm. He then dismembers Gary and takes his torso.
He later parks at a truck stop, where he sees brothers Shaun and Billy Rutledge, who are caught in a rainstorm. They remind Travis of himself and Tucker as boys, so he offers them a ride. When they refuse, Travis knocks Shaun unconscious with a crowbar and kidnaps him, intending to sever his head and complete his "creation". He lets Billy go, unharmed, seeing in the boy the innocence that was taken from him.
Meanwhile, the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) begins investigating Travis' murders, initially believing them to be the work of a sexual predator. As the investigation deepens, however, they realize that the killer is trying to rebuild a lost loved one, most likely an older brother. Technical analyst Penelope Garcia cross-references adolescent male tornado victims with surviving younger brothers with teenage males with criminal records, and finds Travis, who resembles the description Billy gave to police. After learning of Travis' abuse history and the loss of his brother, they realize that he is trying to literally recreate his brother.
Now completely disconnected from reality, Travis starts talking to Shaun as if he is Tucker, reminiscing about happier times as they head toward a tornado. Travis drags Shaun out into the storm and tries to behead him with an axe, but is interrupted by the arrival of the BAU, who have tracked him by the movements of the storm. They try to reason with him, saying that Tucker would not want him to hurt anybody, which strikes a chord in him. He lets Shaun go and takes off running into the storm. As the BAU agents are forced to take cover in a storm cellar, Travis takes his creation and holds it up to the sky, as he and it are sucked into the twister.