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Carl Buford

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Name Carl Buford
Alias Mohammed Alam
Gender Male
Occupation Community center owner (at the time of arrest)
Pathology Pedophile
Serial Killer (later)
Modus Operandi Molestation
Manual strangulation
No. of Victims 3 killed
55+ molested
Status Deceased
Portrayed By Julius Tennon
First Appearance "Profiler, Profiled"
Last Appearance "Restoration"

"You were always special, Derek."

Carl Buford was a pedophile (and later a serial killer) who first appeared in Profiler Profiled.

Background Edit

Carl managed the Upward Youth Center in Chicago, Illinois, earning several awards for his work with local children. However, he was in fact a pedophile who would molest some regular visitors (it was mentioned in Restoration that he molested over fifty boys in total), among them Derek Morgan, who became close to him after his father had died. He was also responsible for getting Morgan's small criminal record expunged. For his entire life up to the point of investigation, Morgan kept the abuse a secret.

Profiler, Profiled Edit

"Look, Derek, I never hurt you. You could have said no."

In 2006, Carl killed his third known murder victim, Damien Walters. Before that, he had killed a boy in December 1991 and another in 2002, both remaining unidentified to this day. After Damien Walters's murder, then-Chicago Detective Stan Gordinski, who had been antagonizing Morgan for years after arresting him during a brawl, arrested him again, this time on suspicion of all three murders, using a profile submitted to him by Gideon a few months earlier as evidence. Upon hearing of Morgan's arrest, the BAU went to Chicago to try and exonerate him. As the questioning of Morgan went on, the team questioned Carl. Upon the discovery that Morgan didn't like talking about him, despite having been helped by him so much in the past, Hotch connected the dots and went to the Youth Center, which Morgan had gone to after escaping his cell.

Morgan confronted Carl, who at first claimed Morgan was relying on false memories and denied any guilt. After eventually admitting, since the statute of limitations meant that he couldn't be charged with molesting Morgan, he argued that Morgan could just have said "no". Gordinski, who had overheard the conversation, arrested Carl. When Carl asked Morgan for help, he simply replied "You go to hell" and watched him as he is hauled off. Years later, Morgan brought up Carl while comforting a teenage boy in Arizona who escaped from his abductor. Later, Morgan tells JJ that without Carl and what he did to him, he wouldn't have joined the BAU.

Restoration Edit

"Of all my boys, I thought you'd [Morgan] be the last to come back to me."

When four middle-aged men are murdered with the phrase "Look up to the sky" left behind in at least two of the crime scenes, Morgan traces the connection and decides to visit Carl in jail to learn more information about the unsub. It is revealed that sometime following his arrest, Carl converted to Islam, presumably as a way to gain the trust of other inmates since a significant portion of them seemed to be Muslims; he went as far as changing his name to Mohammed Alam. Morgan requests a list of all of the boys Carl molested; he declines, but changes his mind when Morgan threatens to disclose unrevealed information about his arrest (molestation), therefore making him a target of the other inmates. He writes down the names of about fifty of his molestation victims, intentionally leaving out certain names for reasons unknown. To finalize the deal, Carl has Morgan shake his hand. When he does, Carl tells him that he had been "always special" before the agent breaks off and leaves.

Eventually, the unsub, identified as one of Carl's molestation victims, Rodney Harris, whose name had been left out of the list, is apprehended. Gordinski holds a live press conference regarding Rodney's motivations, and when a reporter asks if all victims of sexual assault turn out to become criminals and murderers, Morgan quickly intervenes and states that not all such victims turn out that way. Carl and several other inmates watch the press conference, and one inmate asks Carl about his pre-conversion name. He responds that he is indeed the person being mentioned in the news conference, adding that he "loved" Morgan. Sometime later, Carl is ambushed by several inmates, who kill him. Morgan learns of Carl's death while returning home to Quantico, news that shocks him. The episode ends with Morgan standing in his new apartment and looking up at the sky.

Modus Operandi Edit

Using his influence as a community hero to do favors for them, Carl would make sure that the boys he molested would have a lot to lose if they ever told anyone. He would take some of them, including Morgan and a local kid named James Barfield, up to his private cabin and go skinny-dipping with them, eventually rubbing up against them and then finally molesting them. He molested some of the boys, including Morgan and Rodney Harris, more than the others. Carl apparently only killed three children and did so by strangling them with his bare hands, later placing their bodies in some secluded area. His exact reason for killing them is not specified, with the exception of Damien's murder, which was intended to frame Morgan for all three murders. One possibility is that he molested them and killed them in order to silence them since he couldn't coerce them like the others.

Profile Edit

Based on the first two murders, the unsub is a black male aged 25-35 years old with knowledge of the area and likely a criminal record. He is considered non-threatening to children, either because they know him well or he is normal enough not to scare them. The way the first victim's body was placed gently on a mattress instead of just being thrown on the ground suggests feelings of guilt within the killer, meaning he will probably revisit the scene of the crime or even the grave of the victim himself. The killer would probably try to inject himself into the investigation and keep tabs on it.

Carl was able to inject himself into the investigation thanks to his friendly relationship with Detective Stan Gordinski, who had known him since he was a beat cop. Carl's status as a local hero and youth mentor, in addition to his friendship with Detective Gordinski, also allowed him to evade suspicion and even manipulate the investigation.

First and foremost, Carl is considered a pedophile over a serial killer. The motivation for his crimes was to molest vulnerable and at-risk boys. His reasoning for killing, as aforementioned, is unknown, though it could be as means to silence them.

Real-Life Comparison Edit

Carl's murders may have been to some extent inspired by the Atlanta Child Murders, for two of which one Wayne Williams was found guilty; in both cases, the killer targeted African-American young boys and killed them by asphyxiating them.

Known Victims Edit

  • Molested an unknown number of children prior to "Profiler, Profiled", including:
    • 1980s:
      • Rodney Harris
      • Kevin Rickhill
      • Malik Madison
      • Jackson Blackwood
      • William Natarus
      • Devon Comand
      • Steedman Ivy
      • Derek Morgan
      • Darius Faine
      • David Larcrest
      • Booker Daniels
      • Barry Pager
      • Delroy Gordon
      • Marcus Quintus
      • James Claycroft
      • Spike Harrison
      • Cassius Dameron
      • Chad Salter
      • Brian Wangler
      • George Pummer
      • Cletus Kennedy
      • Rydell Franklin
      • Jermaine Walters
      • Zachary Greyman
      • Maurice Jurich
      • Quincy Garfield
      • Bruce Melroy
      • Stanley Summers
      • Slancy Summers
      • John Tifford[1]
      • Lucius Blachum
      • Edward Smyd
      • Lemar Herdez
      • Calvin Adler
      • Tyrone Gratton
      • Jamir Smithson
      • Wayne Jobran
      • George Vetterman
      • Michael Therlin
      • Andy Lexford
      • Demetrius Richards
      • Xavier Roberts
      • Billy Wilkins
      • Clayton Harmel
      • Keron Bendor
      • Odell Jefferson
      • Paul Novin
      • Travon Gapp
      • John Tifford[2]
      • Colt Overly
      • DeShawn Ford
      • Kyle Olling
      • Kaven Earnest
      • Robert Kudcliff
    • 1990s:
      • An unidentified child (was later killed in December 1991)
    • 2000-2006:
      • An unidentified child (was later killed in 2002)
      • James Barfield
      • Damien Walters (was later killed on November 30, 2006)


  • In The Popular Kids, it is possible that there was some foreshadowing related to Carl being offered: when Reid mentions to Morgan that he has been having nightmares, he tells him that he isn't the right guy to talk to about nightmares.

Appearances Edit

References Edit

  1. His name is identical to that of another victim. This could be meant to be a coincidence, since there are so many victims on Carl's list.
  2. The "second" John Tifford.

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