It won't be much longer. It's almost time for the slaughter.
Cormac to Howard Walker

Cormac Burton is a serial killer and abductor who appeared in Keeper.


Cormac and his older brother Todd were abused by their father Curtis. Their mother Amy was also a target of abuse, and she eventually drank herself to death as a result on October 31, 2011. Curtis would often force the brothers to wear dog muzzles and take them to a slaughterhouse belonging to his cousin Rance Kerley. There, Curtis would force them to spend the night living in the mud with the pigs and then watch him as he slaughtered pigs, all the while claiming they would be next. One day, Cormac found a dog and tried to keep it, but Curtis found out and forced Todd to help him abandon it. This incident warped Cormac's mind ever since. As an adult, Cormac seemed to move on with his life, relocating to another town and getting a job at a sporting goods store. When he learned that Curtis died of a heart attack on August 1, 2015, he moved back to his hometown of Dillon, Virginia, a week later; fell off the grid; and began killing men who reminded him of his father and were hiking along the nearby Appalachian Trail. As he continued his killings, Cormac remained unaware that Todd, who had become homeless and had been following him around the entire time, was helping him cover his tracks by dismembering his victims' bodies and scattering the body parts around the trail.


After claiming seven lives, Cormac kills an eighth victim after the man is found by Todd with a muzzle. During this time, the BAU is called in to investigate. While the team is investigating, Cormac targets his next victim, Howard Walker, who is not a hiker and is instead a random customer at a convenience store. Cormac ambushes Howard, incapacitates him with a shovel, and abducts him. Later that night, Cormac enters the slaughterhouse with a machete and tells Howard that he is about to be slaughtered. When Howard asks why he is doing this, Cormac tells him about what his father did to him and Todd when they were children. Just as Cormac is about to kill Howard, JJ and Alvez show up, having identified Cormac as the unsub earlier. As they both point their guns at Cormac, he says "You know what they say about a cornered animal", implying he is going to fight back. Seconds later, he instead answers that the animal gives up. He promptly drops the machete and surrenders, allowing them both to arrest Cormac and rescue Howard.

Modus Operandi

Cormac usually targeted Caucasian men in their 40s to 50s, who were hiking along the Appalachian Trail and reminded him of Curtis. The sole exception was Kylie Fleming, a woman in her early- to mid-20s who witnessed one of his crimes and had to be silenced. They were all forcibly taken to Rance Kerley's slaughterhouse, forced to wear dog muzzles, and stabbed and/or slashed to death with a machete. Afterwards, Cormac disposed of their bodies on the trail, where they would be dismembered by Todd, unbeknownst to him. Later on, when his victimology and method of finding his victims was discovered by the BAU and the local authorities, Cormac was forced to improvise. As a result, he targeted a random man who reminded him of Curtis in a parking lot and knocking him out with a shovel.


No profile of Cormac was made by the BAU, as they were more focused on his brother Todd as a suspect.

Known Victims

  • August 2015: Unnamed man
  • 2016:
    • February: Unnamed man
    • May: Unnamed man
    • August: Unnamed man
    • September: Unnamed man
    • October 20:
      • Unnamed man
      • Kylie Fleming (incidental)
    • October 26: Colin Maynard
    • October 26-27: Howard Walker (assaulted, abducted, and attempted to slash his throat; was rescued)


  • Cormac is based on a number of Season Ten unsubs:
    • John David Bidwell, a child killer, and abductor. Both were abused alongside their siblings by their fathers, who had favorite methods of tormenting them (Bidwell's father locked him inside a trunk, while Cormac's father forced him and Todd to wear dog muzzles and watch him slaughter pigs). Also, their fathers' eventual deaths triggered them to commit their crimes, as they started to identify more with their abusers, and these crimes were patterned around the abuse they once suffered.
    • Steven Parkett, a.k.a. "The Mad Butcher of Bakersfield", a serial killer. Both were organized serial killers who were abused by their fathers when they were young, abducted their victims, took them to locations formerly owned by one of their relatives where they would be held captive before being killed (with the locations being related to animals in some significant way, such as a farmhouse for Parkett and a slaughterhouse for Cormac), gagged their victims with items meant to be used on animals, and killed their victims with machetes. In both cases, someone else was initially suspected of committing their murders after the dismembered remains of the victims were found in their possession.
    • Justin Leu, a serial killer. Both were serial killers who were abused along with their brothers by their fathers, had mothers who died during their childhoods, targeted men who were surrogates for their fathers, and were triggered to commit their killings after their fathers died from heart-related conditions (coincidentally in the month of August).
  • Cormac's name was inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, playwright, and screenwriter Cormac McCarthy, best known for his bestselling books No Country for Old Men and The Road.[1]
  • According to his employment records, Cormac's Social Security number is 906-94-7326.



  2. At least some of the photos Lindsey Vaughan took of Reid appear to have been shot during Cormac's case