Look at me. After Nathan was born, I completely let myself go. I'm fat, I'm a terrible housekeeper, I'm a terrible cook. No, believe me, I needed a husband with a lot of patience.

Audrey Henson (née Sawyer) is a killer who appeared in Season Three of Criminal Minds.


Audrey married Philip Henson in 1987 and the two lived together in a small house in Boston, Massachusetts. Audrey gave birth to their daughter, Sarah, a few months after being married, and their son, Nathan, was born two years later. Philip was extremely controlling and psychologically abusive towards Audrey, constantly criticizing and belittling everything she did. Philip also made Audrey cut off all contact with the outside world (leaving barely any documentation of her existence). Over time, he caused their children to believe she was as worthless as he thought she was. After years of being abused by her husband and children, Audrey finally snapped on May 5, 2008. While putting away clothes, she saw Philip sleeping in their bedroom. In a spur-of-the-moment decision, she grabbed a shotgun he had on display and shot him in the back, killing him instantly. Afterwards, Audrey meticulously cleaned up his blood, not to destroy evidence but out of her belief that Philip would have been extremely mad at her if she let the police in and they saw what a mess their room was. Eventually, Sarah returned home and, after finding her mother calmly sitting next to her father's body, called 911.

The Crossing

In the episode, Audrey is going to be charged with murder and likely get life in prison when her lawyer claims she killed Philip due to suffering from battered woman syndrome, despite there being no evidence she was ever physically harmed by Philip. As a favor to the district attorney, Rossi and Hotch are asked to interview Audrey to see if the claim of BWS had any basis. Talking to Audrey, the agents realize that, while Philip may not have hurt her physically, he essentially destroyed her emotionally. Becoming somewhat sympathetic towards Audrey after Rossi and Hotch have her attend a second interview with her, the district attorney reduces Audrey's charge to Criminally Negligent Homicide, meaning she will get time served and be eligible for parole.


Being constantly battered psychologically by her husband and children, Audrey began to develop a severe inferiority complex. She also showed signs of Stockholm syndrome and was overly neat, to the point of being obsessive, which is shown when she used a ruler to make sure clothes and shoes that she put away were exactly an equal distance apart from each other.

Modus Operandi

Since Audrey only killed one person, the term "M.O." is misused. Philip's murder was completely a spur-of-the-moment decision. Audrey went from putting laundry away to shooting Philip in the back with a shotgun (which he had on display in the bedroom) in a matter of seconds. Afterwards, she cleaned up his blood, not as a forensic countermeasure, but out of necessity.

Real-Life Comparison

Audrey is nearly identical to Mary Winkler, a Tennessee housewife who also shot her husband with a 12-gauge shotgun in the back while he was reclining in their bed, and left him there to be discovered by other people. Like Audrey, Winkler also received a reduced sentence for voluntary manslaughter after it was determined that she had been emotionally abused by her husband during the years they were married.

Known Victims

  • May 5, 2008: Philip Henson