M.E. Cranston (first name unrevealed) is a minor recurring character on Criminal Minds.
Very little is known about Cranston's personal life. According to him, he was from New York and spent four years in medical school. He was later stationed in Wichita, Kansas, as a local medical examiner. Cranston has shown members of the BAU the bodies of victims whenever they investigate cases that are conveniently located near Wichita.
There's No Place Like Home
Cranston escorts Rossi and Reid into the morgue, which is packed with the bodies of people killed in a recent tornado outbreak. He shows them the bodies of Jason Meredith and Eric Genelle, victims of the delusional, storm-chasing serial killer Travis James. He tells them that he became convinced they weren't killed by the tornadoes because of their identical head wounds, which could have been caused by bludgeoning. He also confirms Reid's remark that alcohol and dextromethorphan, a type of cough medicine, was found in their systems. Then, Cranston informs them that most of their injuries were caused by the tornadoes, but that their missing limbs were chopped off by a bladed weapon. All the while, he idly eats a sandwich, clearly unfazed by the gruesome sight of the bodies.
Years later, Cranston reunites with Reid and is introduced to Lewis while showing them the bodies of Jim and Lyla Brewer, a couple killed by Patrick Sorenson. When Lewis asks about Reid's familiarity with Cranston, they tell her about the Travis James case, with Cranston remarking it was "one for the books". He explains Jim and Lyla's respective causes of death and points out the higher amount of macrophages found on Lyla's glued eyes compared to that of Jim's. This indicated that Jim's eyes were glued shut after he was killed.
- Cranston is the eighth of nine characters in a medical profession to appear more than once in the show's history. The others are:
- Doctor Sherman, who appeared in the Season Six episodes Valhalla and Supply and Demand.
- Doctor Ray Mathis, who appeared in the Season Six episode The Stranger, then reappeared in the Season Eight episode The Pact.
- Doctor Stacey Carroll, who appeared in the Season Seven episode Epilogue, then reappeared in the Season Eight episode The Fallen.
- Doctor Tony Wilson, who appeared in the Season Two episode The Big Game, then reappeared in the Season Ten episode The Itch.
- Doctor Weiss, who appeared in the Season Eight episode The Replicator, then reappeared in the Season Ten episodes Fate, Nelson's Sparrow, and The Hunt.
- Doctor Pat Lewis, who appeared in the Season Nine episode The Inspiration, then reappeared in the Season Eleven episode Awake.
- Doctor Samuel Bayo, who appeared in the Season Six episode Sense Memory, then reappeared in the Season Eleven episode A Badge and a Gun.
- Doctor Taylor, who appeared in the Season Nine episode The Return, then reappeared in the Season Thirteen episode The Dance of Love.