|“||I never laid a hand on my children!||”|
Eric's mother was a severe alcoholic who did nothing to protect him from his father, who regularly abused Eric. At the age of six, Eric's parents died and he was placed into a foster home, which was even more abusive than his old home. His new guardians continued to abuse him, only now the abuse was sexual. Later in life, Eric married a woman named Reese, with whom he had a daughter and son. Like his mother, Eric descended into alcoholism, which caused him to physically abuse Reese. While Eric was always remorseful when he sobered up, Reese, unable to stand him anymore, got a divorce and restraining order against him, remarrying in 2005. A week after Reese's marriage, Eric visited his old home and discovered that Reese, their children, and Reese's new husband had been slaughtered by a serial killer. Panicking, Eric fled the scene, accidentally getting some of his family's blood on his jacket in his haste to get away. Thinking the police would blame him for the murders, Eric laid low, but was tracked down and arrested a month after the murders when he got into a drunken brawl.
Brought in as a suspect for the murder of his family and another family, the Crawfords, Eric is questioned by Reid. At first relatively calm, Eric grows increasingly agitated over the course of the interrogation, needing to be restrained by a pair of officers when he nearly attacks Reid. Regaining his composure, Reid manages to surprise Eric and pierce his defenses by mentioning his troubled childhood, asking if he molested his children like how his foster family sexually abused him. At first angered, Eric tells Reid he never touched his children before nearly breaking down, telling the agent about how he discovered the bodies of his family, explaining how the blood got on his jacket. Convinced of Eric's innocence after talking to him, Reid goes to leave and, on his way to the door, Eric mentions he remembers seeing his dead son clutching a painting and, as a favor, asks Reid if he can tell him what the picture showed. Eric is soon let off the hook when Reid tells the team after the interrogation that Eric was still in love with his wife, which he concluded from seeing that Eric is still wearing his wedding ring. The BAU later conclusively prove Eric's innocence. Afterwards, they managed to successfully track down and arrest the serial killer, revealed to be a family psychiatrist named Karl Arnold who had begun murdering his patients.