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Billy Flynn

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Name Billy Flynn
Alias The Prince of Darkness
Gender Male
Birth Date 1955
Family Nora Flynn (mother; deceased)
Pathology Robber (originally)
Serial Killer (originally)
Spree Killer (later)
Serial Rapist (later)
Modus Operandi Shooting
Beating (later)
No. of Victims 200+ killed
1+ attempted
3+ assaulted
4 hostages
Status Deceased
Portrayed By Tim Curry
Stone Eisenmann (child)
First Appearance "Our Darkest Hour"
Last Appearance "The Longest Night"

"You think they'll remember me now?"

Billy Flynn, a.k.a. "The Prince of Darkness", was a prolific serial killer-turned-spree killer and rapist (and later an abductor) who first appeared in Season Five of Criminal Minds.

Background Edit

Billy and his mother Nora, a prostitute and drug addict, lived in the suburbs of southern California in his early years. Nora would force him inside the bedroom closet whenever she had a client over, which left him able to watch every encounter. She would also allow them to sexually assault him for money. In spite of this, Billy and his mother would sometimes dance together. In 1968, when Billy was thirteen, he used a gun that he somehow acquired to kill Nora and a client, (ironically named) John, making the latter beg for his life before killing him. He was arrested and incarcerated for the murders, but, since he was a juvenile offender, was released in 1973 when he turned 18, and never explained why he killed them. When he was 29, in 1984, he began performing burglaries in California, coinciding with the first known murders of real-life serial killer Richard Ramirez. Billy then quickly escalated to assaulting, raping, and then murdering the residents of the houses, usually intentionally leaving behind a psychologically-scarred survivor. In one of the attacks, where he murdered a Santa Monica couple on July 28, Billy left behind the children, Matt Spicer and his younger sister Kristin, as survivors. After a few more attacks, he somehow obtained an RV, left the state, and began travelling around the continental U.S., killing victims and leaving survivors all the way. At some point, he also started smoking cigarettes and methamphetamine, which enabled him to stay awake all night, habits that stuck with him for decades. Likely due to his constant travelling, he became an avid radio listener. In 2010, after 26 years of killing, he read a newspaper about Matt, who had become a Los Angeles detective and had a daughter named Ellie; this prompted him to return to California.

Our Darkest Hour (Part 1) Edit

The episode begins with a montage of Billy's RV in several U.S. locations over the years, including New York City, Nashville, Reno, St. Louis, and San Francisco. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, California, on May 20, 2010, he lights a cigarette and turns on the radio. He is then seen standing outside a suburban house, lighting yet another cigarette before putting it out when the power goes out everywhere. Inside one of the houses, Gregory and Coleen Everson, who are lighting candles and preparing to go to bed, hear a noise outside. Gregory grabs a fire poker and they go to the ground floor. They figure the noise was the wind blowing down a trash can and go back into the bed room. Coleen notices that the window is closed, even though it was left open earlier due to the heat. Behind her, Billy knocks Gregory out with the fire poker and proceeds to rape Coleen and kill Gregory in front of her eyes. The attack, in combination with one of Billy's previous home invasions during which he raped and killed two women (not leaving any witnesses to catch Matt's attention, since these murders occurred in his precinct), leads to the BAU being called in by the local police to assist. Over the course of the following two days, Billy attacks two more houses; during the first attack, he forced a young boy to watch him rape his mother (as a reference to Matt watching his parents being killed), and during the second, he left a baby alive (as a reference to Kristin, who was an infant at the time of her parents' deaths). Since he uses the city's rolling blackouts as windows of opportunity to attack, it eventually becomes decided that the whole city gets power until he is caught.

When Garcia produces a list of his previous murders, they learn that Billy was repeating his first set of killings as a way to taunt Matt, who had been seen a lot in the media and was assisting them in the investigation. Realizing that Matt's daughter, Ellie, and sister, Kristin, would be Billy's next targets, he and Morgan went to her house. Meanwhile, the city's electrical grid breaks down as a result of the overuse of electricity, sending all of L.A. into darkness. When Morgan and Spicer got to his sister's house, Billy had already abducted them both and taken them to the Spicers' old home. They arrived at the house and sneak inside. Morgan finds the house's current resident dead before he is knocked out by Billy and tied up with duct tape by Ellie, presumably being ordered to do so by Billy. Matt makes his way to the bedroom, where Billy's attack had taken place years earlier, and found Billy, who held Ellie in front of him and told him to drop his gun. Morgan advised against it, but Matt eventually obliged when Billy began choking Ellie. He then forced Matt to his knees and made him admit that Billy was responsible for making him who he was. Matt asked Morgan to promise him that Kristin and Ellie would be safe. Billy, clearly enjoying the situation, made Morgan promise Matt before shooting Matt in the chest execution-style and grabbing Ellie, saying as he sniffs her hair, "I usually don't take much to kids, but this one's just...special". Morgan angrily tells Billy they will find him, to which he replied as he departed with Ellie, "Is that another promise?"

The Longest Night (Part 2) Edit

After abducting Ellie, Billy attempts to make her an accomplice to his crimes, using her to as bait for a couple in their home, unbeknownst to her. In the RV, he explains his motivations for killing people and makes her choose if he should kill a motorist who stumbles upon the RV's location. Although she tells him not to, he is forced to kill him anyway when the man overhears a radio announcement regarding the appearance of the RV. He then cuts Ellie's hair to change her appearance. They first stop by a house, at which Billy gives her a few pointers about choosing houses to attack. Once they are at the doorway, he shoots the father when he gets them to answer the door, sends Ellie to get his son, and goes up to subdue the mother. However, before he could rape and kill the woman, he spots a family photo showing that the family has two sons and hurries down to their room to get the other boy. Once there, he learns that Ellie used the other boy to alarm the neighborhood. Billy grabs Ellie, takes her to the house's attached garage, steals the car, and drives away with her just as the neighbors are about to subdue him.

The BAU later finds out that Matt didn't prompt Billy to return to California; it had been Ellie all along, as Billy felt responsible for her existence: had he killed Matt, she wouldn't have been born. Back at Quantico, Garcia is able to figure out Billy's identity through his first murders. The BAU made contact with him through the city's emergency alert system, broadcasting over every single local radio channel. When JJ, using the system, reminded Billy that he was doing the same thing to Ellie that his mother did to him, he released her, broke into a couple's home, and took them hostage. Once police had gathered around the house, he made a phone call requesting that Morgan come in alone. Inside, Billy had tied up and gagged the couple, and then sat on their bed with his gun ready for Morgan's arrival. Upon arriving, Morgan declares that he is not afraid of Billy, who chuckles and asks if he really thinks that is so important to him. However, when Morgan gives him the chance to shoot him, Billy doesn't take it.

Billy then recounts how he killed his mother (opening up, probably for the first time in his life) and thought she looked relieved at having been set free, shedding a tear while doing so. He then asks Morgan whether he believes in heaven. Realizing what he is planning, Morgan raises his gun as Billy asks if he will see his mother there and maybe get another chance. He then stands up and tells Morgan that he'd like that before aiming his gun at the wife; Billy is then viciously gunned down by Morgan seconds later. Billy looks relieved as his dead body collapses onto the bed. Morgan then goes outside to inform Ellie that Kristin died in the hospital a few hours ago from collapsed lungs inflicted by Billy's attack. As he does so, Ellie, after being courageous against Billy for the entire episode, sheds a tear.

Profile Edit

"The question isn't why do I kill people. The question is why I don't kill everybody. I decide who dies, but mostly, I decide who lives."

The unsub is a Caucasian male and an evident sadist who has been killing people for an extensive period of time. He is a highly opportunistic offender, as he travels around the country and kills at random, making him very difficult to predict. His way of making a child watch him rape and killing its mother, therefore taking away its childhood and innocence, suggests that he may have experienced something similar himself. His flawed spelling ("HELLO THER") suggests that he is not well-educated. He is, however, smart enough to successfully plan his home invasions, avoid leaving behind DNA evidence, disable alarm systems, and get away with the murders. Just because his recent attacks are located in Los Angeles, it doesn't mean he is a local. Killing in the dark is what appeals to him the most, and because of the rolling blackouts occurring at the time, it is believed that is his motivation to come to Los Angeles. His willingness to kill random people says he is an opportunistic offender, who is incredibly difficult to predict.

He appears to have intimacy issues, as he cannot even have personal photos facing him, meaning that he probably never has been in any kind of relationship. He may also have some sort of shortcoming, perceived or real, of which he is obviously self-conscious about it, such as a physical deformity; something that seems small to someone, but means everything to him. Having one thing that sets him apart from the rest of the norm has led him to a life of solitude and also caused him to develop an aggressive schizoid personality. He takes his victims' power away, both literally and figuratively; he feeds off from making them powerless. Darkness is his signature; it is a habit for him and he has always killed that way.

Modus Operandi Edit

"See, Ellie? Bicycles mean kids. And kids... mean parents who are easy to control."

Billy randomly targeted families during electricity blackouts when they occurred or he would cut off the electricity of the house. He would enter the houses either by burglarizing the house or using some kind of ruse, torture his victims by beating them, rape the women repeatedly, and kill every member of the family except one (unless more children are involved, as he never kills children). It was mentioned that he would avoid leaving behind any DNA evidence by "covering up". The purpose of leaving one person left was so they would develop emotional scarring due to being the only survivor of the murders and so that he wouldn't be forgotten. He typically used a .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver to kill his victim(s) (though he was seen to kill them through other means) and used duct tape to tie them up. He is also seen licking the bullets he loads into his gun for unspecified reasons, possibly as a lucky charm.

Real-Life Comparison Edit

Billy is very similar to Richard Ramirez, being compared to him by both the BAU and the media. They were both serial killers and rapists who both committed their first murders in California in 1984 (except Ramirez stayed put while Billy traveled around the U.S.) in evenings and nights. They both did home invasions and usually killed their victims with revolvers (Billy used a .44, Ramirez used a .22). Also, they both had severely discolored teeth; Billy primarily due to smoking crack, Ramirez due to poor hygiene and a junk food diet. Most importantly, they both killed their victims in the middle of robberies and both would lock the children in closets while they committed their crimes. Billy is also similar to Carl Panzram in the sense that both were serial killers and rapists who killed while traveling, used a handgun against their victims, and committed several robberies. Additionally, Billy's habit of killing people during blackouts is similar to that of Gordon Frederick Cummins, a.k.a. The Blackout Ripper, a British spree killer active during World War II. He would take advantage of the regular blackouts done during the German Blitz, strangling lone women in the night and mutilating them post-mortem.

Known Victims Edit

  • Unspecified date in 1968, southern California:
    • Nora Flynn (his mother; killed along with John)
    • John (a client of Nora's; survived his gunshot wounds, but later died in a hospital)
  • Attacked over 200 families over the course of 26 years, with the exact number of victims killed unknown. The surnames (with the exception of the Spicer family) seen in Garcia's list are:
    • 1984:
      • July 7, San Diego, California: M. Ryan (full first name unrevealed; robbed only)
      • July 19, Orange County, California: Harrison (robbed and assaulted only)
      • July 22, Long Beach, California: Rogers (husband was killed; wife was raped and left alive)
      • July 28, Santa Monica, California: Joe and Sylvia Spicer (left their children, Matt and Kristin, alive):
        • Joe Spicer
        • Sylvia Spicer (was apparently raped before being killed)
      • August 4, Santa Barbara, California: Campbell
    • 1985:
      • August 13, Oakland, California: Allen
      • August 22, Modesto, California: DeMarco
    • 1986:
      • March 17, Las Vegas, Nevada: Finn
      • September 3, Albuquerque, New Mexico: Ramos
      • September 13, Tempe, Arizona: Wegener
    • 1987:
      • July 15, Des Moines, Iowa: Stiller
      • July 30, Chicago, Illinois: Sparks
    • 1988:
      • July 7, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Tyree
      • December 3, Sioux City, South Dakota: Barrow
      • December 28, Fargo, North Dakota: Weiss
    • 1989:
      • February 17, Hartford, Connecticut: DeMaio
      • August 15, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Beaird
    • 1990:
      • October 11, Jackson, Mississippi: Carroll
      • October 28, Montgomery, Alabama: Taylor
    • 1991:
      • July 5, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Joy
      • July 19, Kalamazoo, Michigan: Sampair
    • 1992:
      • July 13, Memphis, Tennessee: Matulic
      • August 22, Charlotte, North Carolina: Powers
      • October 20, Lexington, Kentucky: Roberts
    • 1993:
      • December 3, Salt Lake City, Utah: Raymond
      • December 17, Cheyenne, Wyoming: Worthington
    • 1994:
      • February 1, Albany, New York: Otepka
      • February 10, Burlington, Vermont: Walsh
      • February 16, Manchester, New Hampshire: St. Johns
      • February 28, Bangor, Maine: Spires
    • 1995:
      • October 14, Atlanta, Georgia: Beveridge
      • October 17, Savannah, Georgia: Griffith
    • 1996:
      • November 5, Seattle, Washington: Gaffney
      • November 19, Portland, Oregon: Meredith
      • November 24, Bozeman, Montana: McGreevey
      • November 30, Boise, Idaho: Merker
    • 1997:
      • August 6, Baltimore, Maryland: Ehlers
      • August 20, Virginia Beach, Virginia: Carden
      • August 27, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Manchan
    • 1998:
      • January 10, Cleveland, Ohio: Woolf
      • January 28, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Coughlin
    • 1999:
      • August 5, Brooklyn, New York: Forrest
      • August 16, Boston, Massachusetts: Hatchitt
      • August 29, Providence, Rhode Island: Barfield
    • 2000:
      • March 29, Sacramento, California: Peters
      • April 28, Modesto, California: Judd
      • June 11, Visalia, California: Parks
      • July 28, Bakersfield, California: Characky
    • 2001:
      • October 4, Pensacola, Florida: Maddux
      • October 18, Boca Raton, Florida: Bolton
      • October 24, Tampa, Florida: Hardt
    • 2002:
      • August 14, Panama City, Florida: Fowers
      • August 19, Tallahassee, Florida: Dangcil
      • September 24, Destin, Florida: Senteno
    • 2003:
      • July 18, Queens, New York: Young
      • July 28, Westchester, New York: Macedone
      • October 12, New Orleans, Louisiana: Bayonne
    • 2004:
      • October 4, Naples, Florida: Beck
      • October 19, Fort Myers, Florida: Appel
    • 2005:
      • September 11, Galveston, Texas: Nava
      • September 21, Texarkana, Arkansas: Jackson
      • September 30, Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Wilson
    • 2006:
      • July 2, Camden, New Jersey: Shotland
      • July 12, Trenton, Delaware: Gelsinger
      • July 26, Wilmington, Delaware: Bassman
      • December 10, St. Louis, Missouri: Jackson
    • 2007:
      • January 11, Houston, Texas: Cahill
      • January 19, Dallas, Texas: Pittman
      • January 27, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Graham
    • 2008:
      • January 20, Indianapolis, Indiana: Roloff
      • September 9, Wichita Falls, Kansas: Hirthe
      • December 24, Exeter, New Hampshire: Skubal
    • 2009:
      • January 7, Denver, Colorado: O'Sullivan
      • January 13, Omaha, Nebraska: Leonte
      • January 22, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Proctor
  • 2010, California:
    • Los Angeles:
      • May 13[1]: Gomez and Kohl (first names unrevealed; both raped and shot in the head with apparently no survivors; killed in a well-lit area before the rolling blackouts began)
      • May 20: Gregory and Colleen Everson (deaths were based on his murders of the Rogers couple):
        • Gregory Everson (bludgeoned with a fire poker, beaten, and shot in the head at point-blank range)
        • Colleen Everson (was raped repeatedly, beaten, and left alive)
      • May 26:
        • Annie Danzi and her son Carter:
          • Annie Danzi (raped and killed)
          • Carter Danzi (forced inside a closet at gunpoint; was left alive)
        • An unnamed couple (their baby was left alive)
    • May 26-27:
      • Santa Monica:
        • The attack at the former Spicer residence:
          • Unnamed man (the current resident of the home; killed, apparently by blunt-force trauma to the head from behind)
          • Kristin Spicer (Matt's sister; abducted, raped, and beaten; later died in the hospital)
          • Derek Morgan (assaulted)
          • Detective Matt Spicer (shot in the chest at point-blank range)
          • Ellie Spicer (Matt's daughter; abducted; was eventually released)
        • Larry and Annette Simmons (both killed with apparently no survivors)
      • Los Angeles:
        • Unnamed male motorist (incidental; was shot four times in the torso)
        • Paul Farraday and his unnamed wife (intended to leave their sons alive):
          • Paul Farraday (fatally shot in the heart)
          • The unnamed wife (attempted to rape and kill her)
        • Several unnamed neighbors of the Farradays (intended to shoot while escaping)
    • May 27, Los Angeles: An unnamed couple (briefly held them hostage)

Quotes Edit

Billy: (to Matt Spicer) Your sister grew up real pretty. Last I saw her, she was just an itty-bitty thing. Not as good as your mom, though. She squirms too much.

Matt Spicer: You destroyed me, is that what you want to hear?

Billy: (shrugs): Well, it's... better...

Billy: (to Ellie, about a motorist outside his RV): Should we kill him?

Ellie: (shocked) What? No!

Billy: See, Ellie? We are a team. You just decided to let that man live. See, the question isn't why do I kill people. The question is why I don't kill everybody. I decide who dies, but mostly, I decide who lives. I'm like... God. And now you are too.

(radio announcer speaks from motorist's car's radio)

Radio Announcer: -They're now saying that the Prince of Darkness may be in an older white RV making its way around Los Angeles tonight.

(Billy frowns as the motorist stiffens and looks at the RV, then stands up and gets out a cell phone)

Billy: Uh-oh... (his gun clicks)

Ellie: What are you doing?

Billy: Even a god finds that sometimes... people just have bad luck.

(Billy steps out of the RV and walks toward the motorist, who notices him)

Billy: (to the motorist, smiling) Calling someone?

Motorist: (starts to back away) Just calling Triple A. I got a flat. Just, um, trying to get it... fixed.

(Billy nods, still smiling, then raises his gun)

Motorist: No-!

(Billy shoots him four times)

Billy: (from The Longest Night promo, wiping a blood drop from Ellie's cheek) We're gonna make a great team.

Billy: Go get the boy. Bring him to the parent's room.

Ellie: What are you going to do?

Billy: I have a widow to comfort... Go.

Ellie: (about the son of a victim) He had a brother. I told him to tell the neighbors to call the police and then tell the next house, and the next house, and the next house. You know, he's probably told the whole block by now. You can't kill them all, can you?

Billy: I can try...

Billy: (knocking on the Farradays' front door, to Paul) Is this your son's bicycle?

Paul: (sees the trashed bicycle in his hands) What the hell... (opens the door)

Billy: I may have run it over.

Paul: What did you do, back over it again?

Billy: Actually... twice. (pulls out his gun and shoots Paul)

Billy: (to Morgan) My mother used to dance with me. Do you know who Cyd Charisse was? She kinda looked like her.

Morgan: Put the gun down, and get up.

Billy: When I... shot her, she looked at me with such... She was... I think relieved. I think I helped her escape. Was that really true, or did I just imagine it, to make killing her easier to live with? Did I help her escape? Did I... set her free?

Morgan: Is that what you think you've been doing all these years? Helping people?

Billy: (shrugs, a bit awkwardly) Well, no, I suppose not.

Billy: Do you believe in heaven?

Morgan: (raises his gun towards him, knowing what he is planning) This is your last chance.

Billy: Do you think I might see her there? Maybe get a second chance? (stands up) I'd really like that.

(he begins pointing his gun at a hostage and is shot and killed by Morgan)

Notes Edit

  • With his final body count at over 200 people, Billy is the third of five unsubs in the show's history who are confirmed to have claimed hundreds of lives. The first two killers are Vincent Perotta (a serial killer who killed hundreds of people, with an exact number unspecified) and Frank Breitkopf (a serial killer who had killed at least 178 people), while the next two are Thomas Yates, a.k.a. "The Womb Raider" (a serial killer who killed at least 101 people), and Hayman Vasher (a mass murderer who killed 151 people). He is also currently the most prolific serial killer (and the most prolific unsub) in the show's history.
  • Billy shows several similarities to certain criminals, both in the show and on other crime dramas:
    • George Marks, a serial killer who appeared in Cold Case. Both were prolific serial killers who had extremely similar back-stories (which involved an abusive and emotionally-disturbed mother who became their first victims after allowing a man to rape them), killed their later victims over a long period of time starting in the mid-1980s, claimed numerous victims (although George killed only eleven people while Billy was responsible for the murders of hundreds), had an M.O. that involved darkness in some way (Billy killed his victims in their houses during the nighttime, while George hunted his victims through local woods during the nighttime before finishing them off at dawn), were motivated by fear, killed at least one victim who survived their first attacks on them, and were particularly antagonistic towards one of the show's main characters (who would kill them after tense standoffs).
    • Frank Breitkopf, a criminal who appeared in Season Two. Both were prolific serial killers whose final body counts totaled in the hundreds, killed all over the U.S., had mothers who worked as prostitutes and motivated them to kill in the first place, watched their mothers having sex with their customers, claimed their mothers as their first victims (though with Frank this was only implied), refrained from ever killing children despite their psychopathic tendencies, abducted at least one child, and were the arch-nemeses of certain members of the BAU.
    • George Foyet, a criminal who appeared in Seasons Four and Five. Both were prolific serial killers who were active in at least two different cities, had multiple victims, committed a double homicide as their first crimes while they were underage (Foyet killed his parents when he was nine years old, Billy killed his mother and one of her clients when he was thirteen), had various M.O.'s (one of which involved shooting victims execution-style using .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson revolvers), were motivated by fear and control over their victims, killed a police officer, appeared in two seasons of the show, and, in the same manner as Frank, were the arch-nemeses of certain members of the BAU.
    • Terry Lee Wicker, a criminal who appeared in a crossover between the procedural dramas CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Without a Trace. Both were prolific serial-turned-spree killers and rapists, appeared in two-part episodes, killed a family member as a child (Terry killed his brother, Billy killed his mother), killed victims across the U.S., abducted a child, killed a police officer, and committed suicide (although Billy's suicide was by cop).
    • Walter Resden, a recurring criminal who appeared in CSI: Miami. Both were prolific serial killers who were abused by a parental figure (Walter was abused by his foster father, while Billy was abused by his mother), killed victims across the U.S., and would leave the children of their victims, if they had any, behind as witnesses.
  • Though Billy is credited by his actual name in "Our Darkest Hour", his name is never actually revealed until "The Longest Night". He is the first of five unsubs attributed to this fact; the next three criminals are SteveJohn NicholsOwen McGregor, and Don Black.
  • Billy's alias is The Prince of Darkness. Tim Curry, who is well known for playing villainous roles, was famous for playing an antagonist in the film Legend, named The Lord of Darkness. The similarity seems to either be a coincidence or a reference.

Appearances Edit

References Edit

  1. On Garcia's list, it says that Gomez was killed on May 3, while Kohl was killed six days later, although Matt Spicer mentions that the Gomez-Kohl and Everson homicides occurred a week apart. This was likely an error.
  2. While being briefed on the current case, Morgan and Rossi bitterly state that this was the second case in Los Angeles they've been called to in less than a year

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