Admit it, Darlene, this gave you a reason to live.

That's what I was hoping. It just made me feel more... more nothing.

Ellen and Darlene

Ellen Russell and Darlene Beckett are a pair of revenge killers who appeared on Season Eight of Criminal Minds.


See sections on the Ellen Russell and Darlene Beckett pages

The Pact

Ellen and Darlene carry out their scheme, with Ellen murdering Mark Logan and Darlene murdering Brenda Wipley. Later, she meets up with Darlene at a restaurant and learns that Brenda wasn't killed by being dragged to death as planned. Darlene then confesses that she cannot kill again after Ellen informs her that Mark confessed to having two accomplices in the crime; Ellen then persuades her to continue. The following night, the two ambush Paul Montgomery, one of the alleged accomplices, outside his workplace and kill him. The next morning, Ellen comforts Darlene when she starts throwing up into a toilet. At night, they break into Jason Nelson's home with a baseball bat and threaten to kill him. He feigns innocence and convinces them to let him live because he knows where Kelly is buried. On the car ride, Darlene demands to know why they hurt her daughter and as he describes that day, it becomes clear he isn't repentant at all. Enraged, Ellen pulls over and tries to kill him, but Darlene convinces her to let him show them where Kelly is buried, so she can have closure.

Nelson leads them to a field, presumably the original dig site. Taunting them, he reveals that Kelly isn't here and tells them that if they want to find her, Darlene has to kill someone. Ellen tries to encourage her, especially when a motorist conveniently goes by, but Darlene refuses. Impatient, Ellen takes the gun and shoots the driver, causing him to crash. He survives, but Ellen doesn't know that. On the way to where Nelson had moved the body, he tells her that she enjoyed it and offers to join her and become a serial killer team. While Ellen is troubled by his implications and offer, she threatens to kill him if they don't arrive at the body soon. They arrive at the second field, and Nelson digs up Kelly's skull. When he reveals that he cut up the body, Darlene loses control and kills him with the shovel. The two women then escape to Mexico and discuss their future at a beach. Darlene leaves to get a drink after Ellen tells her that she should look out for herself now. While waiting for her drink, Darlene sees Rossi and the cops and leaves the scene discreetly. While Ellen is waiting for Darlene to come back, she is confronted by Rossi and two Mexican police officers. Realizing that she is cornered, Ellen cooperates and is put into a police vehicle. She glimpses Darlene escaping on a bus, and the two women, in tears, smile and nod goodbye to each other as the bus leaves. Darlene currently remains at large.


The unsubs are two female vigilantes who are targeting and killing people suspected of heinous crimes. Unlike solo vigilantes, they are working in concert, planning and executing coordinated attacks. Their mentality is like a lynch mob, and they believe the justice system has gone wrong and it is up to them to set it right. Due to the amount of pre-planning and the level of commitment that went into the murders, their ages are estimated to be somewhere over 30. They probably learned about the crimes they are avenging through the media, and it is possible that they were even involved in these losses personally and now feel that they need to act. The more recent attacks seemed more improvised and personal, as they did not lure their victim in, instead blitz-attacking him outside of his workplace.

During a killing spree, the present threat is that the unsub will either strike again or disappear, and if they have completed their vendetta, the latter is the most likely scenario to occur. The unsubs may not have prior criminal histories, as they see themselves as do-gooders. Based on the fact that one victim was dragged post-mortem and the others were dragged alive, one of the unsubs is not overly confident in the mission while the other is domineering. They are probably mothers, relatives, or friends who have lost children. Looking at the collateral damage of the crimes the victims committed years ago, as this is the only thing the unsubs have in common, it reveals that, as time goes on, their friendship will become strained and ultimately fall apart.

Mutual Victims

  • 2012:
    • October 8:
      • San Diego, California: Brenda Wipley (killed by Darlene; bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat before being dragged by a car)
      • Los Angeles, California: Mark Logan (dragged by a car driven by Ellen)
    • Los Angeles, California:
      • October 9: Paul Montgomery (dragged by a car driven by Ellen like the previous victim)
      • October 10: Jason Nelson (abducted, held at gunpoint, and killed by Darlene via bludgeoning with a shovel)