|“||Did you see what I did? Did you see it?||”|
— Milworth's recording of him as a child
Milworth was born on August 14, 1976, in Memphis, Tennessee, to an American man named Charles and a Romanian mail-order bride named Olga. Olga would be forced by a heavily abusive Charles to perform S&M with him and a prostitute named Luíza Gomes. When he was eight, Milworth had to watch his mother and Gomes be tortured by his father, who would also force him to videotape the acts. Eventually, in 1994, Olga couldn't take it anymore and tried to kill herself and Milworth by driving their car into a lake, but he escaped while she drowned. His father died of cancer two years later. As an adult, he was haunted by his childhood experiences, and he also became extremely religious, being particularly interested in mother figures like the Virgin Mary. While Milworth was a college student, he volunteered as a teaching assistant at an elementary school in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1998, he targeted one of the students in his class, Frankie Clayvin, who also had a Romanian mother named Nadia who committed suicide. As a result, he developed feelings of mercy for Frankie and also rage against his father Richard (who reminded him of Charles).
Eventually, Milworth began sending phone calls to the latter (starting around the one-year anniversary of Nadia's death), using recordings of a videotape of him as a child that his mother recorded prior to her suicide. After sending a few, Milworth then abducted Frankie on September 15 and killed him a couple of hours later. Richard was considered a suspect in Frankie's murder but was let go, although he suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of his second wife leaving him and had to be sent to a psychiatric facility, where Milworth called him one last time. Then, in 2000, he went to Arizona, where he abducted and tortured a prostitute on May 5, but was caught in the act and institutionalized for eleven years. During that time, Daniel was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and pathological embitterment. When he was released in October 2011, Milworth fled and relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, to resume his teaching career under the alias of Burt Solomon before setting his sights on another student of his, Andrew "Andy" Taffert, in 2013, who also had an American father named Malcolm and a Polish mother named Lida, who did not commit suicide.
After calling the Taffert family five times in a two-week span, Milworth abducted Andy in the middle of the night of November 25 and killed him before Lida even realized that he was missing. He then splashed pig blood all over the front door of the family home. Initially, Malcolm is named a suspect in Andy's disappearance due to his overprotective nature towards his son, the fact that he was never present when Lida received the phone calls and the fact that Malcolm's cellphone number was used to call the house. However, he is let go after Andy is found dead, and Malcolm experiences anguish over his son's death. The following night, Milworth follows Malcolm and Lida to a motel room when they try to escape the press, and he abducts the latter when she goes outside, intending to kill her as well to spare her the pain of being married to Malcolm. He leads one-half of the team to a forest where he left a decoy cell phone, while he remained at his house, where the other half of the team are. When Blake is separated from the rest of the group, Milworth walks out of a secret passage in the house and points a handgun at her while she is viewing his videotapes, but is shot in the back and killed by Reid before he could pull the trigger. Lida is later found tied up but alive in the same secret passageway.
"I'm gonna get you!"
Milworth targeted young Caucasian boys who both physically resembled himself as a child and had fathers who were American while their mothers were Eastern European; Frankie Clayvin was specifically targeted since his own mother committed suicide just like Milworth's did. His signature was calling the parent(s) using a phone number that was cloned from the fathers' cellphones for about two weeks. During the calls, Milworth would play recordings of a homemade video of himself and his mother, in which the dialogue would be played as a taunt; these recordings also had excerpts of videos he made of his parents performing S&M embedded in them.
Then, after making a few calls, he would lure out the boys (whom he already knew beforehand since they were students of his) by pretending to have a new video game for them. Frankie Clayvin was lured in while on his way home from school, while Andrew Taffert was lured from his home at night while his parents were asleep. He would take them into the woods, and kill them by strangling them with a nylon cord. In the case of Andrew Taffert, he left behind pig blood splattered all over the front door of his house as a reference to Exodus 12:13, which contains the quote: "I shall see the blood and pass you by." Afterwards, he would contact the fathers again with another taunt. Because Andy Taffert's mother did not commit suicide, Milworth abducted her outside the motel she was staying at using a ruse as well, brought her to his home, tied her up, gagged her with duct tape, kept her in a secret compartment in the home, and intended to kill her, possibly by drowning (the same way his own mother died). He also abducted and tortured a prostitute, though the nature of this torture wasn't further elaborated on.
"I got you, didn't I?! I told you I would get you!"
Based on his victim choice, the unsub is likely a Caucasian male aged at least in his late 30s. The taunting phone calls reveal that the unsub is sadistic to the parents. The use of the young boy's voice means that he identifies in some way with the child. He could be seeking revenge for an injustice he suffered in his youth. In his mind, killing the children are mercy killings likely committed out of remorse, as evidenced by the fact that he is not torturing or sexually abusing them, and then posing their bodies post-mortem as if they are sleeping. He is technically skilled, so he may have a computer or engineering background. Based on the blood that was left on the Tafferts' door, he also may be an extremely religious killer. He was able to lure Andy Taffert in the middle of the night, which suggests he is socially skilled or he may know the victim's family. Both abductions occurred in a fifteen-year period, so he may have been overseas, incarcerated, or incapacitated during this time.
Milworth's signature of calling his victims' families to taunt them was inspired by Daniel Camargo, Tsutomu Miyazaki, and Moses Sithole, who all did the same thing. More elements taken from Miyazaki, in particular, were that both were child killers who strangled their victims to death, were technically skilled individuals, and made phone calls to the parents of their victims as a way to taunt them.
Milworth also has some similarities to the prolific serial killer and rapist Moses Sithole, a.k.a. "The South African Strangler". Both had stressors that involved the deaths of one of their parents, had occupations that gave them access to a pool of victims, took their victims to isolated locations and killed them by ligature strangulation, and even made taunting calls to the victims' families.
- Memphis, Tennessee:
- Unspecified dates: Richard Clayvin (stalked for an unspecified amount of time)
- September 15, 1998: Frankie Clayvin (Richard's son; strangled with a nylon cord; previously stalked for an unspecified amount of time)
- May 5, 2000, unspecified location in Arizona: Unnamed prostitute (abducted and tortured; survived)
- St. Louis, Missouri:
- Unspecified dates: Malcolm Taffert (stalked for an unspecified amount of time)
- November 25-26: Andrew Taffert (Malcolm's son; strangled with a nylon cord; previously stalked for an unspecified amount of time)
- November 27:
- Lida Taffert (Malcolm's wife; abducted and intended to kill; was rescued; previously stalked for an unspecified amount of time)
- Alex Blake (attempted to shoot with a handgun)
- Milworth seems to be similar to a few unsubs in the show's history:
- Season Two criminal Carl Buford. Both were killers who targeted young boys, killed their victims by strangulation, and had occupations that gave them access to potential victims.
- Season Two criminal Tobias Hankel. Both were Angels of Death and were shot and killed by Reid.
- Season Four criminal Claire Bates. Both were budding serial killers who abducted young boys, killed them by some form of asphyxiation, taunted the victims' parents by calling them, and were previously institutionalized for crimes they committed (Claire beat a women and bit her ear off, while Milworth abducted and tortured a prostitute).
- Season Four criminal Hugh Rollins. Both were budding serial killers who targeted young boys, abducted a victim from his home at night, killed them by strangulation, and left their victims' bodies in the forests.
- Season Five serial killer Wade Hatchett. Both had stressors that involved the death of a female relative (for Daniel, it was his mother; for Wade, it was his wife); and M.O.'s that involved abducting victims in different states, killing them by strangulation, and then posing them post-mortem to appear as if they are sleeping.
- Season Six serial killer Robert Bremmer, whose back-story involved his wife and his stepdaughter dying after the former drove their car into a lake as a suicide effort. Both events would serve as the trigger for their respective killings.
- According to his Department of Corrections file, Daniel's Social Security Number is 128-00-1701.