|“||I never meant to hurt her, but make no mistake, I will shoot your boy right now.||”|
— Cory after he is confronted by Morgan
Cory Bridges is a teenage killer who appeared in The Popular Kids.
The son of John Bridges, the sheriff of McAllister, Virginia, Cory was a member of the high school football team, and unlike most of his classmates, had an interest in literature, particularly the works of Friedrich Nietzsche and books about criminal profiling. In 2004, the body of a hiker who had fallen and cracked his head was found in the woods of Massanutten Mountain by some students, who told others about it, including Cory. Deciding not to report the body, groups of students would periodically go into the woods to watch it decompose, referring to the corpse as "their thing" (something they had that their parents did not know about).
The Popular Kids
A year after the corpse of the hiker (which had since become a skeleton) was found, Cory (for reasons unknown) murders a fellow jock named Adam Lloyd, who had been out on a routine morning run around the mountain, by bashing his head in with a rock. A problem arises when Adam's girlfriend, Cherish Hanson, discovers her boyfriend's body, having been out jogging with Adam and fallen slightly behind. Forced to murder Cherish as well, Cory brought her body to an old building by the abandoned Jenson house, where an acquaintance named Mike Zizzo and his friends, who made themselves out to be Satanists to frighten and annoy the adults of the town, regularly partied. After moving Cherish's body, Cory painted a pentagram and the letters LOD (for Lords of Destruction, what Mike and his followers called themselves) on the tree near the hiker skeleton. He also left a blood-smeared note reading "Satan Commands The Virgin Must Be Sacrificed At The Next Full Moon" attached to another tree.
When Adam's body and the hiker's skeleton are discovered, the BAU is called into town by John. Cory later drops by the police station shortly after his father brings JJ and Reid there. He strikes up a conversation with the latter agent, who instantly notices Cory is carrying a copy of Friedrich Nietzsche's book Thus Spoke Zarathustra. After Reid introduces himself as an FBI profiler, Cory mentions his interest in the profession, then asks what brings him to town, and is told about the apparent murders and Cherish's disappearance. Cory is asked by his father to help form a search party, by rounding up some of his fellow students. During the search, Elle discovers the note Cory had left on a tree, prompting the team into giving their profile of the killers to the police, which Cory is present for. After the profile is given, Cory mentions Mike and his friends as possible suspects, saying he has been to their hideout and that they fit the profile. When Mike and his group are taken in as suspects, Cory steals a revolver from his father's gun safe and follows Reid and Morgan to the Jenson house, where the two had gone to look around.
Telling the agents about the other building, Cory leads them to the decaying structure, which Morgan finds Cherish's body in. Feigning distress over the discovery of Cherish's body, Cory stays with Morgan when he tells Reid to go back to the Jenson house, to see if any of the local officers had come back yet. While waiting for Reid's return, Morgan talks with Cory. He begins by implying that he knows Cory is the real killer, as he was always there to lend them a helping hand, leading them right to the Lords of Destruction and where Cherish's body was. Just as Reid returns, Cory grabs him and holds a gun to his head, saying he had only intended to kill Adam, and that Cherish was collateral damage. Cory grows distracted when Reid guesses he was inspired to kill Adam by Nietzsche's literature, while Morgan comments he was simply just a horny teenager who wanted to get rid of Adam so he could get laid by his cheerleader girlfriend. Angered, Cory denies Morgan's accusation and tries to shoot him, but is knocked off balance by Reid as the weapon goes off in the air. Cory gets tackled and punched in the face by Morgan during the ensuing struggle, causing him to have a bloody lip. An injured Cory is then led back to the Jenson house by Morgan, just as several officers arrive there. It's safe to assume he is incarcerated or institutionalized afterward.
As the BAU focused primarily on the apparent Satanic cult aspect of the murders, Cory was never properly profiled by the team, though it was mentioned that he was the type of unsub who would be unable to resist injecting himself into the investigation, in an attempt to control the investigators by making sure they found the bodies when and where he wanted them to. While Cory killed Cherish to eliminate her as a witness, his exact motivation for killing Adam is vague. Reid theorized that he committed the murders in an attempt to commit the perfect crime (similar to Leopold and Loeb), while Morgan stated that he simply did it to get rid of Adam as competition for Cherish's affections (though Cory vehemently denied this).
Cory bashed Adam and Cherish's heads with a rock he found at the scene, to make their injuries consistent with the ones the hiker skeleton showed. To throw the authorities off his trail, Cory made the murders look like Satanic cult killings committed by the Lords of Destruction, doing so by moving Cherish's body to a building by the group's party house, and by using blood to paint a pentagram and the letters LOD by the hiker skeleton.
- November 30, 2005:
- Cory's actor Will Rothhaar previously starred alongside Kyle Gallner as Neal Hanlon and Cameron Coulter, a team of school shooters based on Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold in the crime drama Cold Case.