Lee Mullens and Colby Bachner were a killer family that appeared in Season Six of Criminal Minds.


Lee was an electrician moonlighting as a brutal and sadistic serial killer in Bristol, Virginia known as the "The Butcher". From 1984 to 1993, he killed a total of twenty women. During the mid-1970s, he was in a relationship with one Karen Bachner and had a child, Colby, with her, on January 10, 1977. Lee later killed her the same way he killed his prior victims when she found out who he was. As she tried to escape, she was knocked down by Colby, who didn't realize who she was since she had a burlap sack around her head. Lee was questioned by the authorities, including David Rossi, but was let go and gained custody of Colby. He was told by Lee that Karen had left them and moved to her sister in Boston and believed him, even though he had witnessed the murder. In the spring of 1993, the public had become hyper-vigilant as a result of Lee's killings, forcing him to stop as it had become too risky. Throughout his life, Colby continued being domineered by and caring for Lee, who started watching soap operas. Colby eventually became an electrician just like Lee. Sometime prior to Remembrance of Things Past, Lee began suffering from Alzheimer's Syndrome. Afraid of losing him as well, Colby began aiding him in a new string of murders recreating his earlier ones (particularly those of Lee's last victims) in order to help him keep his memories.

Remembrance of Things Past

In Colby's first appearance, his neighbor, Anna, unsuccessfully tries to chat him up, telling him about her new job at a diner. Lee promptly steps outside and tells Colby that he is hungry. When Anna leaves, Lee complains to Colby about him being late and says angrily that he should have gotten rid of him when he had the chance. Inside, Colby shows him slides of locations to make sure he remembers where they are. It goes well until Lee is shown a picture of a gas station and is unable to remember where it is. He decides "a better way to practice": abducting and killing someone new. In a park, Lee walks up to Heather Langley, feigning concern and claiming that his caretaker has had a heart attack, asking for her help. When she comes with him, Lee and Colby force her into their van and the latter knocks her out. She is then taken to their kill room and told, when she regains consciousness, that they are going to tell her exactly what to say.

When the BAU investigate Heather's body, which is found in exactly the same location as that of Susan Cole, Lee's final victim during the first span of killings, Rossi feels that the details of the murders are far too identical to the old murders to be the work of a copycat and believes that the original Butcher is somehow involved. He suggests that they wait with delivering the profile a little longer. Since it is just based on a hunch and the Butcher's signature, having the victims say they "enjoyed it" in a phone message, the BAU deliver the profile, claiming it to be the work of two "fans". Back at the house, Lee expresses satisfaction with Heather Langley's murder. He tells Colby that he had never been so helpful before. Colby tries to remind him of "the woman in the hallway", whom Lee doesn't remember. Lee then tells Colby he wants to go after another victim the same day. Colby hands him some photos of potential victims. Lee asks why Anna isn't on any of them and Colby argues that she can be connected to them and therefore shouldn't be attacked.

Lee and Colby then observe Lee's next victim, Shelley, from the other side of a display window as she promotes kitchenware inside the store. Lee tells Colby she has beautiful hands. They abduct her from the parking lot soon after. Inside the kill room, Shelley refuses to comply with Lee, despite the torture. He snaps at Colby, telling him he can’t do anything right. He then grabs a knife and begins stabbing Shelley furiously. Later, Colby digs a grave for her in their backyard. Lee walks outside and asks for food. He then demands that they go after a victim again, not remembering the murder he just committed, believing they haven't killed in three weeks. Colby shows him Shelley's body. Seeing it, Lee doesn't remember killing her as it is sloppier than his previous ones. When Colby insists that he did it and says that it's okay if he doesn't remember, Lee hits him and tells him that, if that is the way he kills now, that he should kill him to put him out of his misery. He then goes to sulk in his room until Colby comes down and promises to bring him Anna. He goes to her workplace and steps up to the register.

The BAU, having figured out the Butcher's identity and that the unsubs were a father-son team, raid Lee's home. Lee, looking through Colby's personal things, finds a photo of Anna hidden inside a book. Held by them at gunpoint in the staircase, Lee, as a result of his Alzheimer's, is fairly indifferent to their presence and Rossi arresting him. As he is about to cuff him, Lee suddenly wets himself without even realizing it. Outside, Colby comes back in the van, having successfully abducted Anna, and, spotting the police cars, drives away. Searching through Lee's home, the BAU notice that everything in the house has been labeled and realize that Lee has Alzheimer's. They also find the slide collection, which turns out to be photos of the prior abduction sites. Rossi talks to Lee in the living room, recounting how they met decades earlier when Lee had killed his wife and then played the grieving husband to throw authorities off his trail. Back at the kill room, Colby is strapping Anna to the chair, growing increasingly frustrated at her cries for mercy.

When reminded by Rossi of how he killed his wife, Lee (apparently unconsciously) recounts how something called a Lexwell frightened her. Using that name, which turns out to be an old manufacturer of ECT equipment, Garcia narrows down the location of the kill room to an old mental hospital where Lee once did electrical work. The BAU arrive there and engage in a brief standoff with Colby, which ends when Rossi manages to talk him down and revives his memories of his mother's death. Devastated upon realizing the part he played in his mother's death, Colby sits down in a corner while Anna is rescued. After being placed in custody, Lee tells Rossi he remembers him, and that he was the reason he originally stopped killing. Sometime after, Lee tries to kill himself by slashing his wrist while imprisoned, but is rescued in time. He is last seen being placed in what appears to be an institution, likely being placed there due to his Alzheimer's. Colby's current status is unknown, but he was most likely arrested for his participation in the crimes.

Lee and Colby are later mentioned in the Season Eight episode "The Fallen", when their case turned out to have become a chapter in Rossi's latest book, Evil Never Rests. Their chapter is apparently titled "The Butcher Returns". Some sentences in the page seen in the episode opening that describe Lee and Colby's crimes appear to have been taken from this very wiki and slightly altered for the sake of cohesion.

Modus Operandi

Lee and Colby targeted Caucasian blondes in their 20s, just like Lee's original choice of victims. They would work together during the abductions, one of them luring the victim to their van, pushing her in and knocking her out with a blow to the head and the other driving. During the murders, they would copy Lee's original M.O. of torture by electrocution and sodomizing, and then murder by fatal stabbing. They would often make the victim read from a script in order to recreate the old killings as accurately as possible.


The unsubs are a team of Caucasian men who are considerably organized and most likely have access to some secondary location where they torture and kill their victims. Their skill level is evidence by the high-risk, public nature of their abductions. They are able to lure intended victims with some kind of ruse, then blitz-attack them with overwhelming force in order to incapacitate and control them before transporting them to another location, where they take their time with their sadistic ritual. It is extremely likely that they will kill again. It was initially believed that they are fans of the infamous serial killer the Butcher, although that element of the profile was later disproved when it turned out that the original Butcher was a member of the killing team.

Mutual Victims

  • Unspecified date in 1987: Karen Bachner (Lee's wife and Colby's mother; subdued by an unknowing Colby and then killed by Lee; no call was made)
  • The 2010 killings committed by both:
    • September 27-28: Kara Kirkland
    • October 3-4: Jenny DeLilly
    • October 5-6: Heather Langley
    • October 6-7: Shelly (abducted by both and was stabbed repeatedly by Lee when she wouldn't cooperate)