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Billy Flynn

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Criminal
Flynn
Name Billy Flynn
Alias The Prince of Darkness
Gender Male
Birth Date 1955
Family Nora Flynn (mother; deceased)
Pathology Serial Killer (originally)
Spree Killer (later)
Serial Rapist
Abductor
Modus Operandi Varied (usually shooting)
No. of Victims See below
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. He can be seen as the arch-nemesis of Derek Morgan.

Background Edit

Billy's mother, Nora, was a prostitute and drug addict in the suburbs of southern California who would put him in the bedroom closet whenever she had a client over, leaving 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 13, 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 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, including New York City, Nashville, Reno, St. Louis, and San Francisco. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, California, 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 for unknown reasons), leads to the BAU being called in by the local police to assist. Over the course of the following days, Billy attacks two more houses; one in which he forced a young boy to watch him rape his mother and one in which he left a baby alive. 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 snuck inside. Morgan finds the house's current resident dead before being 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, "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 before killing a motorist who stumbles upon the RV's location. 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 enter, he shoots the father, sends Ellie to get his son, and goes up to rape and kill the mother. Upstairs, 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 a clear sadist who has been killing for a long time. He is a highly opportunistic offender, as he travels 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 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 too 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 caused him to develop an aggressive schizoid personality. He takes his victims' power away, 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 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 handguns; Billy uses a .44, Ramirez used a .22. Also, they both had severely discolored teeth; Billy primarily due to smoking, 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 seen in Garcia's list are:
    • 1984:
      • July 7, San Diego, California: Ryan (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)
      • 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:
      • Unspecified date[1]: Gomez and Kohl (first names unrevealed; both killed with apparently no survivors)
      • May 20: Gregory and Colleen Everson:
        • Gregory Everson (bludgeoned with a fire poker, then shot in the head)
        • Colleen Everson (was raped, beaten, and left alive)
      • May 26: Annie Danzi (raped and killed; her son was left alive)
    • The May 26-27 killing spree:
      • Los Angeles: An unnamed couple (their baby was left alive)
      • Santa Monica:
        • The attack at the former Spicer residence:
          • The unnamed current resident (killed, apparently by blunt-force trauma to the head)
          • Kristin Spicer (Ellie's aunt; 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)
        • 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

  • Billy is similar to George Marks, a serial killer who appeared in Cold Case. Both were prolific serial killers who had 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).
  • 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 four unsubs that are attributed to this fact; the next three are SteveJohn Nichols, and Owen McGregor.
  • Considering that he killed most of the members of 200 families across the U.S., Billy can be classified as one of the most prolific serial killers the BAU ever encountered, and possibly one of the world's most prolific murderers, if not the most.
  • 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 was either 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. Whether this means Gomez and Kohl were abducted and/or killed separately and then left together, or if this was just a simple error, is unknown
  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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