|“||But you have to admit, what I've done is extraordinary. My father will never forget it. Certainly, Dana won't... Well, maybe she will. Will you?||”|
Anton Harris is an abductor and killer from Germany, who traveled to the U.S. to commit his crimes in To Bear Witness.
"My father named me Anton because it means 'invaluable'. Do you think he ever believed that?"
Born on January 18, 1984, in Germany, Anton grew up being disapproved of by his father Aldor, a real estate businessman who owned companies in several countries. Anton also had a history of violent outbursts and was repeatedly changing boarding schools all across Europe. He claimed that his father sent him away because he was a complete embarrassment who brought shame to their family, although Hotch would later counter that Aldor sent him away because he knew how mentally ill he was and wanted to protect Anton's younger sister Dana from him. On November 3, 2009, his mother, Nicolette, a doctor, died of unspecified causes. Anton became jealous of Dana when she received more attention than he did.
Apparently, in an attempt to impress his father, he began studying to be a veterinarian, but Dana took the spotlight when she became a medical student. In frustration, Anton formulated a revenge scheme in order to get himself noticed by not only Aldor but by the rest of the world. On April 16, 2013, he murdered a man named Klaus Dietrich after experimenting with lobotomy on him. Prior to that, he implanted cameras in his own eyes so he could record his future crimes and show the world what it was like to be him. When Dana went to Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., to attend Johns Hopkins University as a grad student, Anton followed, entering the country on June 12.
To Bear Witness
Biding his time, Anton carries out his plan on October 15, abducting Dana and her boyfriend Sam Carter, performing eye surgery as well as lobotomy on the latter, implanting a recording device into his pupil. He then allows Sam to escape the next day, and waits until he is taken to a hospital. When Sam arrives at the hospital, he was unable to communicate with authorities due to the lobotomy scrambling his brain, Anton establishes an online connection with the BAU, who is investigating the strange circumstances of Sam's attack. He then performs eye surgery on Dana, implanting another recording device into her pupil, and then sets up a live feed with the BAU and computers worldwide, recording himself as he tortures Dana with lobotomy.
Using other communication methods with Sam, Morgan, and Garcia are able to identify Sam and Dana as the missing victims. Garcia then traces the connection between Dana and Anton as siblings and is able to track them down at an abandoned warehouse near where Sam was found. The BAU and local authorities arrive at the warehouse and rescue Dana. They then find and arrest Anton after Hotch tricks him by saying that Garcia canceled his live feed, meaning that people worldwide aren't seeing what he is recording. He is last seen being driven to the BAU headquarters in Quantico, where he meets up with Aldor, who silently looks at him in complete disapproval. Cruz later mentions to Morgan that Aldor, in a last attempt to protect his son, tried to get Anton extradited back to Germany, but was unsuccessful and is now being tried and incarcerated in the states insteaf.
Since Anton only killed one person, the term "M.O." may be misused. When he killed Klaus Dietrich, Anton abducted him, took him to an abandoned warehouse, and performed lobotomy on him, apparently to experiment and hone his skills, before fatally shooting him in the head.
When he abducted and tortured Dana and Sam, Anton took them to an abandoned warehouse, restrained them, and performed eye surgery on them in order to implant miniature recording devices into their pupils. He would then activate these devices and post the live recordings on the Internet, so that people would be able to view what Dana and Sam saw from their perspectives. He also tortured both of them with lobotomy, which left Sam unable to speak. After releasing Sam, he took Dana to a warehouse owned by their parents and kept her restrained to a chair while wearing a straightjacket. He also covered her mouth with duct tape (and her eyes so she would not be able to see before removing it later on so he could put the mini-cameras in her eyes) and later forced a dental gag into her mouth so she would not be able to speak.
"Glaubst du wirklich, dass sie jetzt kommen werden?"
["Do you think they'll come now...?"]
The unsub is a lone male in his mid-to-late 20s. His escalation by placing cameras in the eyes of his victims could be part of his message that the eyes are windows to the soul. The same genes that develop the iris are also the same ones that develop the frontal lobe, which influences personality. The fact that his first murder took place in Berlin means that he has a significant connection there, and he is likely visiting the U.S. He feels out of place, which is how he connected with the victims. He definitely has medical training, meaning he could be an enrolled medical student or a recent dropout, which can be further evidenced by the fact that his first victim was a student and the unsub may have belonged in those circles. He is clearly bright and capable, and the experimental nature of his attacks could suggest that he is bored, and with his intelligence comes a dark side, which is where his psychology and genetics come into play.
If his victims represent him, he is telling the world that he feels essentially lobotomized and therefore powerless. He may have been raised in a strict home where he didn't have a voice of his own, and probably also medicated or institutionalized in the past. The usage of a camera means he wants his victims to suffer greatly, and being left without a voice is a kind of overkill. The emotional torture of being paralyzed is a type of overkill, which suggests that there is a personal connection between him and the victim. He also wants to see what it is like to be the victims, giving him a front-row seat to his sadism. Now that he knows of the investigation, that kind of attention could cause him to escalate; he may want the authorities to see what he sees.
Anton is partially similar to serial killer Jack Unterweger, a.k.a. "The Vienna Strangler". Both claimed victims in Germany and also committed crimes in the U.S. while visiting the country as tourists (Unterweger killed at least three women in Los Angeles, California; while Anton abducted and tortured two people in Baltimore, Maryland).
- April 16, Berlin, Germany: Klaus Dietrich (lobotomized, then fatally shot in the head with a handgun)
- October 15, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.: Sam Carter and Dana Harris (both abducted, had mini-cameras planted into their eyes, and tortured with lobotomy):
- Sam Carter (was released the next day)
- Dana Harris (his sister; was rescued the next day)
- Anton shares similarities with Season Five serial killer Robert Johnson in the sense that both were killers who recorded their crimes live and shared them with people worldwide on the Internet.
- Anton is the eighth unsub to successfully complete his goal. The others are:
- Marcus Younger ("North Mammon") - An abductor and proxy killer who successfully abducted three teenage girls and forced them to kill one of them.
- Frank Breitkopf in Season Two - A prolific serial killer and abductor who successfully killed at least 176 people, reunited with Jane Hanratty, and escaped arrest by taking a group of children hostage.
- Jonny McHale ("True Night") - A vigilante and serial-turned-spree killer who successfully killed Glen Hill (and possibly his entire gang), the leader of the 23rd Street Killers, the street gang that murdered his pregnant fiancé Vickie Wright.
- Boyd Schuller ("Reckoner") - A proxy killer who hired Tony Mecacci to successfully kill all the targets he wanted dead (including himself).
- Dylan Kohler ("Divining Rod") - A serial killer and abductor who successfully killed four women in order to make "the perfect wig" for Helen Garrett.
- Darlene Beckett ("The Pact") - A killer and proxy killer who along with Ellen Russell killed the men responsible for the rape and murder of Darlene’s daughter, and killed the woman responsible for the death of Ellen’s nephew. Darlene also evaded capture while Ellen was caught and incarcerated.
- Diane Turner ("Zugzwang") - A murderous stalker and abductor who successfully killed both her intended targets and herself.
- Peter Lewis in Seasons Ten, Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen - A "wound collector" and proxy killer who successfully killed Regan and the others responsible for a scandal that resulted in the death of his father.