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In feudal times, the lord lived on high ground to spot the invader. He had serfs to serve his kingdom. The lord never had to leave his castle. The serfs would bring him everything. They were the appendages of his will. First, I will build a compound, a kingdom. Second, I will arm, protect, and fortify my kingdom. Third, I will keep women as serfs to serve my every need. This is my right. As a man with free will in America, I will make my kingdom a reality.
Goehring

Francis Goehring, dubbed "The Master" by himself, was a serial killer, rapist, abductor, and the dominant partner of a two-person killing team, who appeared in Identity.

Background

Goehring was born and likely raised in Great Falls, Montana. In 1988, he joined the U.S. Army but was dishonorably discharged on January 23, 1989, because of a bar brawl that left three others hospitalized and a long scar on his face. The same year, he joined the Great Falls local militia. He also got married to a woman named Diane Marie on March 23, 1996. Being a sexual sadist, he would regularly torture, rape, and degrade her, until the militia found out sometime before the events of "Identity" and threw him out of the community. At this point, he moved to a cottage positioned on a piece of land previously owned by Diane's parents (which she had inherited and had been forced to sign over to him) along with a local, highly submissive man named Henry Frost. He treated him very much like a common slave and, over time, developed a kind of messianic delusion, making up a set of rules for the compound in which he was referred to as "The Master" and studying medieval hierarchy structures. He abducted three local women, tortured them for some time before killing them and had Frost bury them and plant rosebushes on their graves.

Identity

In the beginning of the episode, local police catch Goehring driving the car of a fourth woman he had abducted. He tries to drive off but isn't able to, so he waits until one of them comes close and detonates a hand grenade, killing himself and the officer. Frost later kills the woman Goehring abducted then and attempted to copy his crimes, but is tracked down by the BAU and killed.

Modus Operandi

Goehring targeted Caucasian brunette women (why he chose that exact victim type is unknown, although it could be because they resembled his ex-wife). He would abduct his victims from public places and have Henry bring them to his compound, while Goehring drove off and dumped his victims' vehicles, afterwards being presumably picked up from wherever he got rid of them by Frost. At the compound, he would rape and torture them sadistically using homemade, medieval-style tools, such as the pear of anguish or heretic's fork. He would have Frost record him torturing and likely killing his victims with a handheld camera and keep the tapes, presumably as trophies. After a few days, Goehring would kill the victim (who was kept in a coffin-like enclosure) in an unspecified way. When he saw himself trapped and about to be arrested, he committed suicide by detonating an M26 hand grenade while still inside his car, intending to injure and/or kill the police officers surrounding him by letting them get close to his car before he released the grenade's safety pin.

Real-Life Comparison

Goehring is based on real-life serial killer Leonard Lake, a survivalist who abducted women, took them to his secluded ranch, and videotaped himself and his partner Charles Ng raping and torturing them. Also, Goehring and Lake were both in the U.S. Armed Forces (Goehrig joined the Army, while Lake joined the Marines), were later discharged, and viewed their victims as something akin to slaves and buried their bodies on the grounds of their hideouts, which they obtained through identical means (coercing an ex-wife into giving the property to them). When cornered, Lake also committed suicide.

Known Victims

  • c. January 1989: A maximum of three unnamed people (attempted, but survived; all injured in the bar fight Goehring was in)
  • Post-1996-September 2006(?): Diane Marie Goehring (his then-wife; tortured and raped only)
  • September 2006: Michelle Lawford
  • 2007:
    • May: Jennifer Hillbridge
    • September: Darcy Cranwell
    • November 5:
      • Angela Miller (abducted; was killed by Frost the next day; apparently wasn't raped and tortured)
      • The suicide bombing:
        • An unnamed police officer (critically injured by the explosion and later died at a hospital)
        • Two other unnamed police officers (attempted; neither were injured by the explosion)

Appearances

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