Wikia

Criminal Minds Wiki

John Vincent Bell

2,197pages on
this wiki
Talk2
CRIMINAL
John Vincent Bell
Name John Vincent Bell
Gender Male
Birth Date February 6, 1967
Family Unnamed ex-wife (deceased)
Mandy Bell (daughter; deceased)
Pathology Serial Killer
Family Annihilator
Stalker
Abductor
Proxy Killer (once)
Signature Forcing fathers to fight homeless men
Modus Operandi Varied (usually shooting)
No. of Victims 17 killed
1 killed by proxy
2 abducted
2 attempted
Status Deceased
Portrayed By Jason Brooks
First Appearance "The Fight"

"To the death, or Jane dies."

John Vincent Bell was a prolific serial killer, family annihilator, stalker, and abductor who appeared in Season Five of Criminal Minds.

Background Edit

Not much is revealed about John's early days, other than that he was born on February 6, 1967, in San Mateo, California. He had a wife and a daughter, Mandy. They eventually divorced, leaving the custody of Mandy, or at least some of it, with the ex-wife. When she died, John was declared an unfit parent due to his numerous mental problems. On May 5, 2002, when Social Services arrived to take Mandy away, he went into a frenzy and attacked two social workers, beating one of them to death, with a metal baseball bat. After that, he was sentenced to seven years for manslaughter and evading arrest. At some point in April of a following year, while he was serving his time at San Quentin State Prison, Mandy was involved in a serious car accident and died after being on life support for three days. As a result of the incident, John began working out and took up boxing, challenging other inmates at the yard and saying he would fight them to the death. One day, his obsession overcame him and he ended up picking a fight with the guards. After that, he was placed in solitary confinement for the rest of his sentence. When he was released, John began serial killing the following year, murdering a father-daughter duo and four homeless men (having the father fight the transients prior to doing so) around the anniversary of Mandy's death. He then repeated this process the next year.

The Fight Edit

In the beginning of the episode, John has already killed a homeless man as the start of his cycle. Next, Ben and Jane McBride are seen walking up a hill in a heated discussion. They are approached by John, who forces them to come along quietly at gunpoint. He is then seen with them, having chained them to a pillar in his family's abandoned gym, and offers to take Jane with him in exchange for letting them both live. Ben tells him to go to hell and John leaves, saying "If that's your answer..." Meanwhile, the homeless man's murder, as well as John's prior murders, has led to the summoning of the BAU and the private investigating of Sam Cooper's team. John then removes Ben's shackles and places him in an empty pool along with a transient, makes him release him and tells him to fight the man, on the condition that he and Jane will both live if he wins. Ben is able to win and John kills the transient, chains Ben to the pillar again, and dumps the body in Presidio Park. Prentiss and Rawson investigate the scene and figure out how John operates. Rossi and Simms then visit San Quentin and give the profile to an old friend of Simms. Back at the gym, John takes photos of himself and Jane using a polaroid camera in order to taunt Ben, who is then forced by John to fight another vagrant and this time beat him to death or Jane will die. Ben reluctantly beats his opponent to death, apologizing after each strike.

Simms and Rossi go back to San Quentin, where Simms's friend tells them about John and what he had done during his imprisonment. At the McBride residence, LaSalle and Morgan find a private diary kept by Jane. Even though the thoughts are private in nature, it is placed where anyone can read it. They then learn the family was seeing a family counselor, who had instructed her to keep some kind of journal; that same office also counseled John and his family, leading to the two BAU teams to deduce him as the killer. Back at the gym, Jane tricks John into taking her with him in order to keep Ben safe. John does so, leaving Ben behind. Outside, both BAU teams and SWAT arrive at the scene and find Ben, rescuing him. As John tries to leave with Jane, he spots the police cars and flees. He drags Jane with him through a parking building to the roof, being quickly followed by Prentiss, Morgan, and LaSalle. He holds Jane hostage at gunpoint, but is talked into letting her go and gets up on a wall. He jumps down from it, pretending to kill himself, but lands on a construction platform. When Prentiss goes to see if he died, he raises his gun in an attempt to kill her, but is shot twice and killed by Rawson, who was using a sniper rifle from another rooftop. Ben and Jane later reunite happily while the former is being taken on a medical stretcher.

Profile Edit

"Why keep this up? She's better off with me. We both know it. Soon, this will be all she knows. You let her walk home from school every day on her own. She'll be safe with me, Ben. She won't even miss you."

The unsub is a white male who is most likely in his 30s and has served some time in prison. Judging from his choice of dump sites, he is either imposing or physically fit. He also has access to some kind of space that is private enough for the neighbors not to hear what is occurring. His ability to control his prisoners suggests that he is an organized control freak and would have been obsessed with the prison guards and their tactics to control the inmates. He kills his victims the same time every year. He probably had a daughter of his own, a brunette about fifteen years of age, whom he would often talk about. The dates in which he abducts and kills his victims likely correspond to a traumatic event involving his own daughter, whom he most likely lost in some way, and it is symbolic in the sense that he did not fight for her in the first place. Serial killers usually choose victims that are surrogates for someone, like a wife or a mother. In this unsub's case, his own guilt is making him choose surrogates that represent himself. As a result, he abducts father-daughter duos that remind him of himself and his own daughter, and he would then force the fathers to engage other prisoners (male vagrants) in fights as a way to turn them into surrogates for himself.

Modus Operandi Edit

Around the anniversary of his daughter's death, John would abduct two homeless men by luring them with some kind of ruse and take them to his family's old gym, where he would make them fight each other. He would then videotape himself shooting the loser execution style with a .45-caliber M1911A1 pistol. Next, John would abduct a father and his brunette teenage daughter (who were surrogates for himself and his daughter) at gunpoint, take them to the gym, and restrain them with chains. He would find the fathers and daughters at a therapy center they went to in the Tenderloin district and stalk them. To stop the wife of the abducted father from filing missing persons reports, John would send her the video of the first homeless man's murder, and a note telling her he is watching and that if she contacts the police, he will kill her husband and daughter. Since he is stated to never keep anyone alive, it is likely John kept the winning vagrant for the father to fight, and that after he murdered the fathers and daughters, he then killed the mothers to tie up loose ends.

After the winning vagrant would lose to the father and subsequently get murdered, John would then go around searching for more homeless men and then take them to the gym, where he would force the father and the vagrants to fight, with the loser being shot in the head. While holding Ben and Jane McBride captive, he forced Ben to kill the second homeless man he fought, by beating him to death, under the threat that he would kill Jane. Usually, the fathers won a few fights, but when they inevitably lost, John would place blindfolds on their eyes and also those of their daughter (presumably out of remorse) before killing them, leaving their bodies in father's car. The bodies of the homeless men, including the one killed for the videotape sent to the wives and apparently the one who defeated the father, would be dumped in isolated areas at Presidio Park. While his victims were in captivity, John would take pictures of himself and the abducted daughters and use them as intimidation against the fathers. Also, he would sometimes use rubber bullets to keep the vagrants under control.

When he attacked the Social Service agents, he bludgeoned them with a metal baseball bat. He attacked them savagely enough that he unintentionally killed one of them.

Known Victims Edit

  • May 5, 2002: Social Service Agents Knight and Sauls (both bludgeoned with a metal baseball bat):
    • Agent Knight (first name unrevealed; survived)
    • Agent Sauls (first name unrevealed; was unintentionally bludgeoned to death)
  • The 2008 killing cycle:
    • April 4: Unnamed homeless man (forced to fight the second homeless man but lost; executed on camera)
    • April 4-7: An unnamed father and daughter (stalked for an unspecified amount of time; later abducted, held captive, and eventually killed)
    • April 5: Unnamed homeless man (forced to fight the first homeless man and won, then forced to fight the father but lost)
    • April 6: Unnamed homeless man (forced to fight the father but lost)
    • April 7: Unnamed homeless man (forced to fight the father and apparently won, but was still killed)
    • c. April 7: An unnamed mother (stalked and later killed sometime after her husband and daughter's murders)
  • The 2009 killing cycle:
    • April 4: Unnamed homeless man (forced to fight the second homeless man but lost; executed on camera)
    • April 4-7: An unnamed father and daughter (stalked for an unspecified amount of time; later abducted both, held captive, and eventually killed)
    • April 5: Unnamed homeless man (forced to fight the first homeless man and won, then forced to fight the father but lost)
    • April 6: Unnamed homeless man (forced to fight the father but lost)
    • April 7: Unnamed homeless man (forced to fight the father and apparently won, but was still killed)
    • c. April 7: An unnamed mother (stalked and later killed sometime after her husband and daughter's murders)
  • The 2010 killing cycle:
    • April 4: Unnamed homeless man (forced to fight the second homeless man but lost; executed on camera)
    • April 4-7: Ben McBride and his daughter Jane (stalked for an unspecified amount of time; later abducted both):
      • Ben McBride (later left for dead; was rescued)
      • Jane McBride (later held at gunpoint; was released)
    • April 5: Unnamed homeless man (forced to fight the first homeless man and won, then forced to fight Ben but lost)
    • April 6: Unnamed homeless man (forced to fight Ben but lost; was then beaten to death by a reluctant Ben when he threatened to kill Jane)
    • April 7: Emily Prentiss (attempted to shoot in an ambush)

Notes Edit

  • John is the first of two unsubs in the show's history to have two distinctly separate victimologies that were practiced simultaneously in their killings. The second was Trevor Mills, a Season Seven serial killer and family annihilator who targeted both Caucasian families and ethnic minorities.
  • A serial killer who has two distinctly separate victimologies practiced simultaneously during their killings is actually not impossible in real life. From 1996 to 1997, Cedric Maake committed a series of rapes and murders in South Africa. He targeted couples, killing the men and raping the women; and tailors, of which he moved on to taxi drivers. He also committed home invasions and attacked single women. Like John, these two separate victimologies led authorities to believe two serial killers were at large, instead of one (they named the perpetrator of the couple attacks "The Wemmer Pan Killer" and the perpetrator of the tailor and taxi driver murders "The Hammer Killer").

Appearances Edit

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki