An Angel of Death (also called an Angel of Mercy) is a type of serial killer who is employed as a caregiver and kills the people they care for.


Angels of Death can be motivated by a belief (delusional or not) that their victims are suffering and/or beyond help. This motive has become a main attribute to Angels of Death thanks to popular culture. However, in reality, the motive for these types of killers is highly variable: some can be motivated by Hero Syndrome, while others have a need to exert power and control over their helpless victims.


Angels of Death may share the following characteristics:

  • Usually in the medical profession
  • Most often female, but males are fairly common
  • Most often use passive means (poison, etc.)

On Criminal Minds

In the show, the term "Angel of Death" denotes to the popular notion that these types of killers are sympathetically putting at least one victim out of their misery. Known Angels of Death in Criminal Minds are:

Real World

External Links

Wikipedia article

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