|“||I just need to dump my client list and start over.||”|
— Hodges to his son
Not much is revealed about Hodges (William Hodges might not even be his real name), other than he seemed to be a con artist for his whole life. His first known criminal activity was in Seattle, where he scammed an unspecified amount of people involved in church. He then proceeded to scam numerous people around the country, especially the West Coast, until he, during another scam in San Diego, met Rebecca, presumably one of his clients. The two later married and had a son named John Davison, or "J.D." Because of Hodges's status as a con man, the family had to constantly keep moving around the country; his family was unaware of what he did for a living. This eventually displeased J.D., who despised going through another process of adapting to his new hometown and making friends.
Sometime prior to Parasite, Hodges, going as Grant Dale in Miami was threatened by one of his clients, Carla Marshall, who found out his true identity. In an effort to keep his secret from being exposed, Hodges murdered Carla. He then found a spreadsheet from her laptop, which contained a list of names of people who received money from selling their properties and decided to use it to find potential victims. However, he became haunted by Carla's death, presumably forcing him to move his family and operations to Fort Lauderdale. Also, Hodges began finding it harder to maintain all of his fake identities.
Right after settling into the town, Hodges, going by Henry Moffet, goes to con another woman, Lorraine Horton, out of money, and she gets suspicious when she sees cuts from Marshall. Hodges later meets up with another man, going by Randy Summerland. However, when he accidentally asks him to write the check out to Henry Moffet, he tries to excuse himself before grabbing a bottle and bludgeoning the man to death. Hodges flees back to his home, where he has a cheerful reunion with his wife and J.D. His reunion is short-lived, after he decides they have to move away. He then goes to meet client Brooke Sanchez, going by the alias Hunter Portland, and she reveals she is pregnant with Hodges' child. As soon as he is informed, Horton calls, asking for her money back. He promptly leaves Sanchez and goes to Horton, apologizing for his behavior and luring her out into a parking lot, putting her in the trunk of his car.
Hodges then picks up J.D., promising him that they won't move again like they did numerous times before. When Horton begins banging in the trunk, Hodges distracts J.D. with a movie, and bludgeons her to death. He later dumps her body near a body of water. He later goes back to Sanchez, and then leaves after a while. Hodges's wife follows him and talks to Sanchez about what is happening, and they both realize that Hodges is living two separate lives. Meanwhile, Hodges, posing as Henry Moffet, picks up J.D. and goes to find Rebecca so they can leave for Boston, much to J.D.'s distress. Hodges then goes to Brooke Sanchez's house, again as Hunter Portland, where he finds Rebecca. They both begin questioning him, and J.D. runs into the room. Hodges grabs J.D. and runs out the front door, but is surrounded by the BAU, and he tells J.D. to go to his mother. He then reaches for his phone, fooling Agent Russell Goldman, who shoots and kills him.
"I'm Randy. Randy. Randy. I'm Randy Summerland. I'm Randy Summerland."
Hodges spent an average of fourteen to eighteen months in a city (with the exception of San Diego, California, where he spent about three years due to him meeting his future wife Rebecca), conning his victims with a Ponzi hedge fund scheme, setting up a basic website to make himself look more credible and usually seducing his female victims. To avoid detection by the authorities, Hodges took a variety of forensic countermeasures, such as using fake IDs and multiple foreign bank accounts. Naturally, he also used aliases. During his early cons, he used simple variations of "William", such as "Will", "Bill" or "Billy", but later began using full names. At first, he targeted people within certain affinity groups, people with shared interests, such as church and entertainment. After meeting Carla Marshall, a successful real estate agent, Hodges began using her client list to help make tracking down new victims easier.
Almost all of Hodges's murder victims were bludgeoned repeatedly with an incidental object, with the exception of Carla, who was manually strangled and had her head bashed into a mirror due to the spontaneous nature of Bill's attack on her. Bill initially left the victims' bodies in their homes, but evolved to dumping his final victim's body on the side of a road.
"It'll be the best decision of your life."
The unsub is a male white-collar con artist whose pathology involves the so-called "dark triad": narcissism, Machiavellianism, and aberrant self-promotion. Everything revolves around him. He uses dishonest tactics to manipulate and exploit those around him and has become a menace to society. He is also a Casanova-type con man, meaning that he charms women to get to their money. As part of this behavior, he engages in casual sex with a number of his female con victims and then uses that as leverage in order to accomplish his goals. He frequently visits wealthy communities, like hotel bars, country clubs, and membership-only establishments. He constantly moves money, opening and closing bank accounts. He is active in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, but he could also be in other wealthy communities such as Boca Raton or Coral Gables. He has created too many aliases and identities for himself to keep track of and this is causing him to fracture mentally. It is this loss of control that, in turn, drives him to violence and makes him a danger to everyone around him. Any additional stress will make him more likely to attack.
Hodges seems to have been loosely based on Ted Bundy, despite Bundy not primarily being a con artist. Both were charismatic killers who tended to charm women; they also devolved, used multiple aliases, committed their crimes in multiple states (including Florida, the same where their last crimes occurred and where they died), and killed their victims by strangulation or bludgeoning.
He could have been also inspired by Bernard Madoff (also named in the episode), a former stockbroker, investment consultant, financier and fraudster whom orchestrated the largest Ponzi Scheme in history, defrauding thousands of investors of billions of dollars. Hodges suicide by cop at the end of the episode could be a reference to the suicide of Madoff's own son, Mark.
Hodges habit of continuously changing his identity and address due to his double life as a con artist, along with agent Goldman's personal grudge against him, are based off of the life of Frank Abagnale, which also inspired the film Catch Me If You Can.
His life made up of lies and impostures could have been inspired by those of:
- Andrew Cunanan, a spree killer whom exploited various fake identities for his own ends and reportedly acted in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and also San Diego.
- Jean-Claude Romand a french man who lied to his family for over 18 years by pretending to be a doctor employed at the World Health Organization, while he wasn't even graduated and spent the majority of his daytime wandering and frauding people. Eventually the weight of his lies became too heavy and he ended up becoming a spree killer and Family Annihilator.
- ↑ William Hodges may have simply been another alias, as suggested by dialogue between Prentiss and Agent Russell Goldman at the end of the episode, in which the latter states, "I never even found out his real name..."
- ↑ A term that is defined as "the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct". In its classification in the dark triad, it is characterized by the manipulation and exploitation of others, a cynical disregard of morality, self-interest, and deception.