|“||People don't understand. I can't explain why I do these things. All I know is that I can't help myself. I don't want to die in prison!||”|
Shunted from foster home to foster home ever since he was a toddler, Hugh wound up committing various petty crimes, which ultimately resulted in him getting a long rap sheet. Due to an incident on June 9, 2006, the specifics of which are not elaborated on, Hugh was placed on the Sex Offender Registry and, two years later, got a job as a TV installer in the town of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Unable to keep his urges in check anymore, Hugh abducted, raped, and killed an eleven-year-old boy on November 15, dumping the body in the forest two days later. Three months after the first murder, on February 21, Hugh abducted another boy, who was two years younger than the last, raped, killed, and dumped him in the woods as well.
A Shade of Gray
When another boy, Kyle Murphy, goes missing on April 21, with the scene of the abduction being consistent with the others, Hugh is tracked down by the BAU, who find child pornography and children's toys hidden in his home. Having been in the backyard when the agents and police stormed his house, Hugh is nearly shot and killed by an enraged Detective Bill Lancaster while running away and, in the middle of trying to climb a fence, is pulled down and arrested by Morgan, with whom he frantically pleads not to hurt him. While the evidence is sufficient enough to convict him for the murders of the first two boys, Hugh is kept in the interrogation room in the local police station as Kyle is still missing, with no evidence regarding his whereabouts. While being held, Hugh is questioned about Kyle's whereabouts by Rossi and refuses to say anything.
Eventually, Hugh becomes clearly disturbed when Rossi mentions he will be sent to Trenton State Penitentiary and will likely be killed there for what he has done. Claiming he will only tell them where Kyle is if they put him anywhere but the state prison, Hugh, when Hotch gives him the proper papers, claims he threw Kyle in the Delaware River. After scrutinizing him, Hotch realizes that Hugh has no idea where Kyle is and is lying in an attempt to get a deal. Taking the paperwork back, Hotch leaves Hugh, who is on the verge of tears, alone. Left to stew for some time, Hugh is talked to again by Rossi, who tells him they found Kyle's body in the woods. Rossi demands the truth from Hugh and tells him that if he cooperates he will talk to the district attorney on his behalf. Finally caving in, Hugh claims Kyle is not one of his victims, as he is too young for him. Hugh is presumably sent to a federal prison, and it is later discovered that Kyle was actually killed by his older brother Danny Murphy.
As abductions from a home are rare and are unusual, high-profile, and sophisticated crimes, the unsub is an unassuming, sociable, highly functioning white male in his late 30s to 40s and in possession of a steady job, likely one that requires a uniform and would give him access to his victims' homes. He wouldn't look out of place to anyone, including the parents of his victims, and no one would be alarmed if their children were talking to him. He is not new to the area, but he knows the neighborhood, which takes time. The unsub only cares about the age of the victims, not physical characteristics, and when he was done with them, he would dump the boys' bodies like trash. He is more organized than other sex offenders, so he may have been previously arrested for stalking, breaking and entering, and burglary. He will have lived in a thirty-mile radius of where his victims were taken and only targets boys between seven and eleven years old. The unsub needs to know where his victims are dumped because he craves absolute control and wants to relive his crimes over and over again; he is not the type of criminal to take credit for other crimes and is incapable of feeling any remorse or guilt.
Hugh targeted Caucasian boys who were nine to eleven years old. He would find his victims through his job as a TV installer and gain access to their homes by breaking a window and climbing through it in the middle of the night. Finding the boy's room, Hugh would beat them unconscious with a weapon (the exact nature of which is unrevealed) to stop their struggling and escape out a door, taking some toys from the bedroom with him as souvenirs. Keeping his victims captive in his home for two days, Hugh would rape them and, after strangling them to death, dump the body like trash in a secluded part of the Wharton State Forest.
Hugh has some slight similarities to Arthur Shawcross, a.k.a. The Genesee River Killer, a serial killer active in New York. Both were sex offenders who raped and killed two children by strangling them and then dumped their bodies in secluded areas of the woods.
Hugh is also similar to William Bonin, a.k.a. "The Freeway Killer". Both were hebephilic killers who were put in orphanages as children; were registered sex offenders; abducted, raped, and strangled their victims (though that was only one of Bonin's killing methods); and killed their victims to ensure that they would never be arrested again.
Hugh is also similar to Robert Black. Both were pedophilic, hebephilic killers who were put in foster homes; committed sexual offenses prior to their murders; and had the same M.O. of abducting, raping, and strangling their victims.
- June 9, 2006: Unspecified crime(s) which placed him in the Sex Offender Registry
- November 15, 2008: Andy Loeser
- February 21, 2009: Jimmy Seager