|“||Are you scared? You should be.||”|
— Foyet as "The Reaper" in "Omnivore"
George Foyet, a.k.a. "The Boston Reaper" or simply "The Reaper", was a psychopathic and prolific serial killer, hebephile, brief spree killer, one-time mass murderer, and one-time cop killer who first appeared in Season Four of Criminal Minds.
Foyet was born around 1968, likely in the Boston area. He was frequently beaten by his father during his early years, and although his mother tried to protect him, she wasn't strong enough. He subsequently hated her for this and came to think of all women as weak. He eventually snapped and killed both of them when he was nine years old and made it look like a car accident, after which he was adopted by the wealthy Foyets. His first murders as the Boston Reaper occurred between 1995 and 1998; at the time, he was working as a teacher's assistant at a high school. Tom Shaunessy, then the lead detective on the case, called in the BAU, with the case being Hotch's first case he received as a BAU senior. At the time, Foyet had killed 20 people and become unable to get as much satisfaction from it as earlier. Since he was motivated by a need for power, he wrote a contract stating that he would stop killing if Tom shut down the investigation.
Since the authorities didn't have any leads in the case besides a fake description by Foyet, who in 1996 had killed his girlfriend and severely injured himself, pretending to be a victim of the Reaper in order to manipulate the police, he accepted. As a result of the injuries, Foyet became addicted to a number of medications, including Oxycontin and Tapazole. After shutting down the investigation and waiting six weeks to see if the Reaper kept his word, Shaunessy sent Hotchner away, believing that the murders were over. Cutting off all ties to his old life, Foyet adopted several different identities in order to maintain his lie and became a freelancing computer specialist for the city of Boston and simply waited to start killing again. During this time, he would stalk Shaunessy, taking delight in watching his life fall apart as the guilt consumed him.
In 2009, Shaunessy calls Hotch to himself on his dying night, reveals the deal to him, and expresses his awareness of the Reaper actually spying on him in anticipation of his death.
The following morning, he dies and the Reaper gets back on the hunt, starting with Evan Harvey and Nina Hale, who are stranded on the roadside with two flat tires. He innocently approaches them, pretending to be accompanied by his wife in the car and offering his help; Evan accepts. The Reaper left, puts on his killing mask, and knocks Evan out with a tire iron. The Reaper then sneaks up on Nina, who is in the car calling AAA. He holds his .44 Magnum revolver at point-blank range to her forehead and takes her watch, but then promises not to shoot her after she pleads for her life. Instead, he reveals a knife, slashes her throat, and proceeds to stab her several times. Evan regains consciousness, asking for Nina. The Reaper tells him that she is dead and says, "Are you scared? You should be." He then shoots him in the forehead before placing the glasses he made the authorities believe had been taken from him earlier on Evan. When Evan and Nina's case file arrives on Hotch's desk, he summons the rest of the BAU to accompany him to Boston to re-investigate the Reaper's case, despite initial assumptions that the attack could've been committed by a Reaper copycat.
Hours after, posing as a police officer, he stops Arthur and Diane Lanessa, an older couple, stabs Arthur in the chest, shoots Diane, leaves Nina Hale's watch on her wrist, and takes Arthur's wedding ring. He later speaks with Hotch and Rossi, who are unaware that he is the Reaper, and tells them how he survived the attack ten years earlier, claiming Amanda Bertram to have been the love of his life. They offer him protection, but he turns it down. Later that evening, the Reaper calls Hotch to offer the same deal he offered Shaunessy. Hotch refuses, which angers the Reaper, who then boards a bus (the same one he would always take home as part of his fake persona) and kills all six passengers and the driver, leaving Arthur Lanessa's wedding ring behind. The team then deciphers a cryptic message left on the windows and realizes the numbers that were left correspond with three addresses Foyet lived at. They decide to split up and cover all three houses. Morgan and Sergeant Michael O'Mara head to their assigned house, where O'Mara is ambushed and killed while Morgan is tackled through a window and knocked out, spotting the Reaper just seconds before. The Reaper then stands above the agent, ready to finish him off, even saying, "Wake up Derek, it's time to die." But, as Morgan is unconscious, the Reaper is unable to take the opportunity and instead flees, leaving a .44 Magnum bullet behind and taking Morgan's credentials. The BAU find a massive amount of Foyet's blood in drag marks.
Later, the BAU wonder why the Reaper would kill Foyet, as he already has control over him, the sole survivor of his attacks. When they looked into Amanda Bertram's past, they found that she had only known Foyet for four weeks. Garcia looked up his known aliases, all of which were registered as computer science substitute teachers, and they find that one of them was suspended due to allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior and realize that Foyet is the Reaper, having spent some time draining enough of his own blood to stage his own murder.
The team traces the cellphone of Roy Colson, a journalist who wrote a book about the Reaper, to an address Foyet didn't reveal having. While the BAU hurry over, Foyet reveals himself to be the Reaper to Roy and holds him at gunpoint, forcing him to correct a theory he made in his book about the Reaper having been incarcerated for an unrelated crime or simply dying. The BAU then burst in, and Hotch talks Foyet down, telling him if he is killed, he will not live to see the recognition that will ensue from the Reaper's ultimate identification. A satisfied Foyet is arrested by Morgan, claiming that he'll be "more famous than [they] even realize".
Having spent the past decade studying the blueprints of every legal building in Massachusetts, Foyet cuts his right wrist on a sharp edge, sucks out some of his own blood, and pretends to vomit blood and have convulsions in order to escape. When the BAU hear about his escape on the news, Garcia asks, "They're gonna find him, right?" Hotch replies, "No, they're not."
To Hell and Back, part 2 (Part 1)
Foyet returns in the season finale. He had been waiting in Hotch's apartment, having somehow broken in, and sneaks up behind him while Hotch is making a drink. Wearing his signature mask and attire, he points his revolver at Hotch and says, "You should have made the deal." A gunshot is heard as the screen goes black.
Nameless, Faceless (Part 2)
Foyet returns in the season premiere, picking up where the Season Four finale left off. He holds Hotch captive after a brief struggle. After subduing Hotch, he tells him that it is necessary to study anatomy in order to stab one's self-multiple times without dying. Foyet then slowly stabs him nine times in various non-lethal locations, all the while telling Hotch not to struggle, as relaxing helps the blade go in easier. He also points out the BAU's incorrect assumption that "stabbers" are impotent and use knives as a sexual surrogate, to which he then subtly explains that he has no need for a surrogate; he just likes to mutilate. After several hours of torturing the agent, he drives Hotch to a local hospital and drops him off along with Morgan's stolen credentials after posing as Morgan. In addition, Foyet had taken the B section from Hotch's address book and left a photo of Haley Brooks and Jack Hotchner, Hotch's ex-wife, and son. He also signs the initials LC while signing Hotch into the hospital.
The rest of the BAU is unaware of the attack on Hotch, due to their investigation of an increasingly unstable unsub. After Hotch fails to return their calls, Prentiss decides to go to Hotch's apartment to check on him. When she finds the door unlocked, she realizes that Hotch is missing and informs Reid and Garcia. The latter of them eventually finds him after calling several D.C. hospitals to see if Hotch had admitted himself; Prentiss goes to the hospital to oversee Hotch's progress. After the BAU concludes the case, they rush to the hospital as Hotch regains consciousness, and they help him find the photo of Haley and Jack. Hotch realizes that Foyet is now targeting Haley and Jack, so the team locates the two of them to put them in protective custody. The BAU theorizes that Foyet has now targeted Hotch as his new nemesis, replacing Shaunessy, having felt that, with Shaunessy's death, he had lost his power, thus he had to begin killing again. This would further explain why he let Hotch live; as long as he has a nemesis, his continuing power is assured.
When Miranda Jakar killed the second time, Foyet sent Karl Arnold, a family killer from the BAU's past, two envelopes containing newspaper clippings, the second of which contained a note claiming responsibility for the murders. At the end of the episode, Karl revealed that one of the envelopes contained an article about Foyet's attack on Hotch with his signature Eye of Providence painted on it, a message to Hotch that he was returning.
The BAU manage to track down Foyet to an apartment in Arlington, Virginia, by listing the medications he used which couldn't be replaced with over-the-counter medicine. The FBI stormed the apartment, only to find Foyet knew they were coming and had already escaped. He had Internet alarm software installed on his laptop that warned him as soon as the BAU searched the name Peter Rhea (an anagram for The Reaper and Foyet's current alias).
Foyet calls Haley and posing as an employee of the U.S. Marshal service, claims that her safety has been compromised and her ex-husband and Sam were both dead. Foyet instructs Haley to throw her cell phone away and return to her old home. He meets her there, still posing as a U.S. Marshal. During a lengthy phone conversation with Hotch, Haley is informed that Foyet is in fact The Reaper rather than a U.S. Marshal. She puts the phone on speaker and Hotch instructs Jack to help him "work the case", and Jack runs off to an unknown location inside the house.
Haley tells Hotch she loves him and several shots are heard. Meanwhile, the team is racing to Hotch's home, with Hotch getting there first. He finds a trail of blood leading up to the master bedroom, where he finds Haley dead and Foyet hiding behind a curtain. He fires several shots and Foyet goes down. He is, however, wearing a Kevlar vest and is uninjured.
The two engage in a brutal hand-to-hand fight, Foyet taunting Hotch the entire time. The fight takes them downstairs and into the dining room, where Hotch gains the advantage, managing to overpower Foyet and get on top of him. Foyet says, "You got me, I surrender." Hotch ignores him and in a blind rage, beats Foyet to death with his fists before the team arrives. The team then arrives and Morgan pulls Hotch off of Foyet, exclaiming, "He's dead!" Hotch then goes into the room which was previously his home office and finds Jack hiding inside a piece of furniture next to his old work space. It is then revealed that "working the case" was an expression Jack used before the divorce, whenever Hotch was working in his office, and Jack would hide in the same piece of furniture. He would then come out and reveal himself, claiming he was "working the case." Hotch had taken advantage of this so that Foyet would not find him before he could arrive.
Foyet reappears in the episode as a hallucination when Hotch begins having severe complications brought by his stabbing at Foyet's hands. Wearing his signature attire (sans the mask), he first appears in a theater as Hotch and Haley are watching a movie about the former's life. He sits beside them; though Hotch protests against this, Haley assuages him and tells him she "invited him". Foyet watches a montage of Beth Clemmons, Hotch's love interest at the time, calling her "hot". He then gives Haley some of his popcorn before pulling out his revolver and shooting her in the stomach; although Hotch tends to her wound, Haley isn't visibly affected. Foyet goes on to watch the entire movie with Hotch and Haley before leaving for the bathroom, telling them that he will meet them in the lobby. When the two go inside, he catches up with them, wearing regular clothing and holding a red balloon. Foyet hugs Hotch, now seemingly on good terms with the latter, and tells him to loosen up. He then walks across the street and disappears into thin air.
"I'll be more famous than you'll even realize..."
An obvious sociopath, Foyet is a cunning narcissist who was actually able to manipulate the authorities into surrendering. He feels the need for power and control, and that was lost with the death of Tom Shaunessy, prompting him to kill again. He is described as a predator and an omnivore, the latter being a serial killer who doesn't target a specific type of victim. He is disciplined and focused, making it difficult for him to maintain order in his daily life. It also makes him so inflexible that he cannot keep close relationships or work closely with others. He is attracted to teenage girls, and the BAU reasons that he may be working as an authority figure in a field involving teenagers, such as a high school teacher, counselor, or coach. He may have also been charged with sexual offenses against teenage girls.
When Foyet kills, he does so mercilessly and without an ounce of pity. He also wants his victims to know they are going to die by his hand. For this reason, Morgan survives an attack later in the episode, as he was unconscious at the time. To make up for it, the Reaper leaves behind a .44 Magnum round to let him know that he could have killed him.
Foyet is a strange mix of serial and spree killer. He goes on multiple killing sprees with very short cooling-off periods in-between, then may go into hiding for months or years only to begin again. Unlike a typical spree killer, Foyet has no desire to die himself. But unlike a serial killer, Foyet has demonstrated himself as being able to kill multiple victims at once, as evidenced in the passenger bus massacre in which seven people, including the driver, were shot and stabbed to death. For this reason, it is difficult to classify him in either category. He could be a new "breed" of killer that may be classified later. It can be argued that Foyet came close to being a spree killer in 100, as he killed two people in a short time-interval using a handgun.
As the Reaper, Foyet would dress in a black trench coat (if he was outdoors), with a black hooded sweatshirt, a black resin paintball mask, and black leather gloves. He would also speak with a low, guttural growl, adding to his already fearsome appearance. During his initial killings, Foyet usually attacked stranded couples in cars on non-populated highways at night (except for his seventh victim, who was the sole lone victim for unspecified reasons). He would approach them with some kind of ruse, like pretending to be a lost traveler. When he killed the Lanessas, he posed as a highway patrol officer, even wearing a full uniform and driving a motorcycle with sirens and red-blue light flashers. While carrying out the murders, Foyet would taunt them and tell them that he was going to kill them, using their first names whenever possible. Every time, he would take pleasure from their fear of knowing they were going to die at his hands.
Foyet's M.O. would always vary, as would his victimology. His victims were of both sexes and all ages and races. He would either stab them with a small sickle-like knife; shoot them with a .44 Magnum S&W Model 629 Stealth Hunter revolver; or bludgeon them with some incidental object, like a tire iron. The only solid victimology he had was that he would always stab his younger female victims repeatedly; the younger they were, the more time he would take since the stabbing was a substitute for sexual penetration (although he denied having such tendencies or motivations in Nameless, Faceless). During the bus massacre, he used a pair of his usual revolvers to "put down" most of the passengers (except for the driver, who was shot in the head), then finished them off by stabbing and/or slashing them with his knife.
After the murders, Foyet would take some item from his victims, like a watch, a pair of glasses, or a piece of jewelry, and put that item on his next victim, in order to make sure the police would know that he was the killer. He would also paint the Eye of Providence and/or the word "FATE" in his victims' blood. Judging from some photos of the bodies, he may also have had a habit of carving the Eye of Providence into the bodies of some victims. Also, until he killed Amanda Bertram and injured himself, he would call 911 so emergency workers would find his victims, but stopped doing this after they saved him, in order to further reinforce his strategy of posing as a surviving victim.
Following his escape from prison, Foyet departed from his traditional M.O. as the Reaper in favor of stalking and antagonizing Hotch. He switched from a small sickle-like knife to a switchblade, and no longer bludgeoned victims with an incidental object, instead of beating them whenever necessary. Also, in 100, he switched from a revolver to a .45-caliber M1911A1 semiautomatic pistol. When he attacked U.S. Marshal Sam Kassmeyer, Foyet tortured him by shooting both of his legs and one foot with the M1911A1 and cutting off two of his fingers. He then left him alive long enough for Sam to tell Hotch that he failed in protecting Haley and Jack. In Route 66, one of Hotch's hallucinations of Foyet depicted him returning to some of his roots set in Omnivore: he wore a black hooded sweatshirt and used a revolver, though it was a .357 Magnum Colt Python rather than a .44 Magnum S&W Model 629 Stealth Hunter.
Like the Reaper, David Berkowitz and the Zodiac killed (or attempted to kill) at least one couple while they were seated in a car. Foyet almost always targeted people on uninhabited highways and killed them in different ways, while Son of Sam usually attacked people in their cars on streets and the Zodiac killed Darlene Ferrin and attempted to kill Michael Mageau, his third and fourth victims when they were on a golf course at night. Also, like Zodiac, BTK, and Son of Sam, Foyet enjoyed taunting the police. In one of his letters, Zodiac claimed that he would "hit a school bus"; in Omnivore, Foyet hijacked a night bus and killed everyone inside, undoubtedly a reference to the Zodiac's threat. He also called 911 to report his first few murders, just like the Zodiac did in two of his attacks. Like in the case of BTK, a book was written about Foyet suggesting that he had been arrested on an unrelated charge or died in some way, an attribute that (according to Reid) would later lead to the captures of the respective killers after they made some sort of contact with the press to correct it.
The Monster of Florence, an Italian-based serial killer, would also target couples in cars, shot and stabbed them (one 18-year-old female victim was stabbed 97 times) and wasn't caught, not unlike Foyet.
To some indirect extent, Foyet was inspired by the Phantom Killer, the unidentified perpetrator of the Texarkana Moonlight Murders of 1946, who can easily be compared to the Zodiac. Both were masked killers who targeted couples, attacked them at the sides of secluded roads during the night, and shot some victims.
Also, like Ted Bundy, Foyet, on at least one occasion, pretended to be a cop in order to gain his victims' trust, even dressing up in a full uniform and driving a patrol bike with red-and-blue lights and a siren.
Foyet's habit of taking items from his victims and leaving them behind at the crime scenes of his next victims might have been partially inspired by Alton Coleman, an interstate spree killer who robbed most of his victims and left some of the stolen items behind at the crime scenes of his next victims, acts that were most likely unintentional. Foyet killing his girlfriend by stabbing her and then stabbing himself to appear as a victim is based on Jesse Anderson, who killed his wife, in the same manner, then stabbed himself and told authorities he and his wife were attacked by two African-American men.
(The Reaper approaches Evan Harvey with a tire iron in his hand)
Evan Harvey: (not noticing the tire iron or The Reaper's mask) I really appreciate this.
The Reaper: My pleasure.
(hits Evan Harvey with the tire iron)
The Reaper: (holding Nina Hale at gunpoint) I'm not gonna shoot you. (puts away his gun) Shhhhh.
Nina Hale: (relieved) Thank you.
The Reaper: You're welcome.
(pulls out a knife and cuts Nine Hale's throat)
The Reaper: (to Evan Harvey) Are you scared? You should be.
The Reaper: (pretending to be a cop) I'm gonna let you off with a warning.
Arthur Lanessa: A warning? For what?
The Reaper: You were at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Arthur Lanessa: Excuse me?
(the Reaper stabs him in the chest)
George Foyet: Do you have any idea how long it takes to stab someone 67 times?
The Reaper: If you stop hunting me, I'll stop hunting them.
Hotch: (silent) You think it'll take that?
The Reaper: It's a good deal.
Hotch: I don't make deals, I'm the guy who hunts guys like you.
The Reaper: There are no guys like me.
Hotch: You all think that.
The Reaper: (silent) You'll regret this.
Bus Driver: Just take the money. Nobody needs to get hurt.
The Reaper: Actually, they do.
(shoots him in the head)
The Reaper: (holding a gun to Morgan's head) Wake up, Derek. It's time to die.
Hotch: (to Foyet as he holds Roy Colson at gunpoint) It's over.
George Foyet: Stop. I'll kill him.
Hotch: You need him to write your story.
George Foyet: I'm taking him with me. I'll let him go as soon as I'm safe.
Hotch: No, you're not.
George Foyet: I said I'll kill him!
Hotch: You kill him, I kill you.
George Foyet: You think I'm afraid to die?
Hotch: You're not afraid. You're greedy and narcissistic. You want the recognition that's gonna come from the book that's he gonna write, you want the fame that's gonna come from the media. It's gonna be like Bundy.
George Foyet: I wanna be bigger than Bundy.
(The rest of the BAU arrive)
Hotch: Well, you can't enjoy it if you're dead.
George Foyet: If you know me so well then how come so many had to die to bring you here?
Hotch: That's your choice, not mine. You're the serial killer.
George Foyet: That's right. (looks at Morgan) Hello, Derek.
George Foyet: (to Hotch) I'll be more famous than you'll even realize.
The Reaper: (to Hotch) You should have made the deal.
George Foyet: (from Nameless, Faceless promo, to Hotch) How's my friend, Agent Morgan?
George Foyet: (to Hotch) Do you want to see my scars?
(removes his shirt and turns on a light, putting his scars in great relief)
George Foyet: (displays his scars to Hotch) Well? Do you like 'em? Yours are gonna look just the same.
George Foyet: Try to relax, the blade goes in so much easier.
George Foyet: This little piggy... (cuts off one of Sam Kassmeyer's fingers) Well, look at that. He's not going anywhere, is he?
George Foyet: (ranting to Hotch, taking out his knife) After I finish you, I'm gonna find that little bastard son of yours, and I'm gonna show him both of his dead parents, and I'm gonna tell him it was all your fault. And then I'm gonna-
(Hotch hits his leg with a wooden pole)
- Foyet is similar to Vincent Perotta - Both were prolific serial killers and cop killers who would were abused by their fathers (whom they would later kill out of revenge and then stage their deaths as accidents), operated in multiple U.S. cities, targeted random victims, killed at least two members of law enforcement, had a wildly varying M.O., and attempted to kill Hotch, only to fail.
- The revolvers used in the show are actually Airsoft BB guns modeled after the S&W 629 .44 Magnum.
- While searching through a medication database to track Foyet, Garcia incorrectly states that Tramadol (one of the drugs to which Foyet became addicted) has an over-the-counter equivalent. Tramadol is a synthetic opiate, therefore has no OTC equivalent in the U.S. and most other countries, and is classified as a controlled substance.
- C. Thomas Howell has also previously portrayed another serial killer: Kenneth Bianchi, one of the Hillside Stranglers, in the 2004 movie The Hillside Strangler.
- Foyet's habit of taking items from his crime scenes and leaving them at the next ones would later be repeated, most likely unintentionally, by Caleb Rossmore, who was copycatting the Zodiac Killer, the inspiration for Foyet.
- Thomas Gibson, the actor who portrays Hotch, stated while promoting Route 66 that Foyet's purpose in the visions was to serve as Hotch's super-ego.
- Season Four
- Season Five
- "Nameless, Faceless" (via flashbacks)
- "Haunted" (mentioned; mugshot shown)
- "Reckoner" (mentioned)
- "Hopeless" (referenced)
- "Cradle to Grave" (mentioned)
- "The Eyes Have It" (mentioned; mugshot shown)
- "The Performer" (referenced)
- "Outfoxed" (flashbacks)
- "The Slave of Duty" (mentioned)
- "Retaliation" (indirectly referenced)
- "Risky Business" (referenced)
- Season Six
- Season Seven
- Season Eight
- Season Nine
- Season Ten
- Season Eleven
- Season Twelve
- "Elliott's Pond" (indirectly referenced)
- Season Thirteen
- "Wheels Up" (referenced)
- ↑ Considering that he had four residences featured in Omnivore and only three alias revealed, he would need another alias so he could own the fourth residence
- ↑ The official CBS website lists George as a spree killer, but his overall M.O. suggests that he is instead a serial killer
- ↑ The term hebephilia, which means an attraction to teenagers ages 13 to 17, was erroneously referred to as ephebophilia, which means an attraction to teenagers ages 15 to 19
- ↑ Rossi specifically uses the term "put down" during the investigation of the bus incident.
- ↑ Thomas Gibson interview
- ↑ Reid states how long it has been since Haley was murdered