|“||He will not hurt you again.||”|
— Owen to Jordan
Born on 1991, Owen was a student in West Bune, Texas. His mother, Hope, a known alcoholic, died in a drunk driving accident in 2002. When Hope died, Owen was left to be raised by his father, Lou Savage, who was a U.S. Marine serving in Afghanistan at the time. Because of this, he was forced to leave Afghanistan early, causing him to resent both Owen and Hope. Owen had learning difficulties and frequently suffered mental abuse from his father, who believed his son was simply stupid. Owen did, in fact, have A's in Math and Science, but had D's in English and History due to reading difficulties, an F in Geometry, and a barely legible handwriting due to problems with spatial relations. In an attempt to please his father, he joined the school wrestling team in his first year but left when it turned out that the other members had filmed him when he masturbated in the shower room as initiation and posted it on the school's social network, from which it presumably reached the Internet. The school didn't want to complicate the situation and didn't report the incident on the grounds that it probably wouldn't lead to anything besides a lot of embarrassment for the school and Owen. Owen's father then blamed him for the whole incident. During his time in school, he became romantically involved with Jordan Norris, a fellow student who also had learning difficulties, was abused by her father, Rod Norris, and had lost her mother when she left her husband. The two made a plan to leave West Bune together and never return. When her father took away her cell phone, Owen bought her a PDA and paid the bill.
"No, I'm already dead."
At some point in his life, Owen finally snapped. His father's position as a Deputy Sheriff and tactical trainer with the local police gave him access to a lot of automatic rifles and handguns. He eventually starts a revenge plan. First, he made a temporary home for him and Jordan at a ranch whose owner is away. He planted explosives at the entrance of the Norris' residence. When Rod Norris walks in while smoking a cigarette, the explosives go off, killing him. Prior to the explosion, Owen had arranged for Jordan's staged death by stuffing three hams and a dozen bone-in ribeyes in a pair of her jeans and placing them in the area of the explosion. When Lou Savage and Officer Byron Letts from the local police come to investigate, Owen shoots them with automatic fire from a vantage point, killing them both, and walks up to his father and shoots him at point-blank range in the face. After the incident, the BAU is called in. Owen then kills Kyle Borden, a nineteen-year-old former student who slept with Jordan when she was a freshman and told everyone about it. Owen then kills the three students who videotaped him years earlier, Danny Panzer, Chad Heyman and Gavin Pressman, near a lake. He also videotapes it using Jordan's PDA and places it on the school's social network. Later, he also kills Ike Stratman, the owner of the ranch when he returns unexpectedly. He keeps all of his murders a secret from Jordan.
All the while, Reid relates to Owen strongly, having also suffered a lot of bullying during his time in school. Eventually, the BAU decide to save Jordan's life by convincing her to leave Owen, taking away his only reason to live and causing him to kill himself. They are helped by Eileen, a friend of Jordan, and tell her about what Owen had done, even showing her his video recording of the execution of the three students, but, since she only trusts Owen, she doesn't believe them. When she sees him burying Stratman, however, she runs away. Owen, heartbroken by the whole incident, dresses up in black, arms himself with an assault rifle, and heads to the local police station where Jordan is hiding, planning on giving her his mother's old necklace before presumably killing an untold number of others and himself. Reid, caring for Owen and understanding what he went through in school, approaches him and even blocks his colleagues' line of sight in order to talk him into surrendering, telling him that if he dies, he will be abandoning Jordan, like his mother abandoned him. Reid also lets Owen know that he knows what it is like to be bullied and convinces him to surrender. While being led into the police station, Owen is allowed to see Jordan, who is given Hope's necklace by Reid.
The unsub's behavior indicates that he is a type of school shooter known as an injustice collector who tries to avenge perceived wrongs. The reason why he hasn't simply attacked the school and then kill himself like typical school shooters is that something is giving him a reason to live. He is smart and competent with technology. He identifies with Johnny Cash since he was a "misunderstood loner".
Almost all of Owen's murders were committed with a M4A1 assault rifle and, aside from his father and Officer Letts (whose death was incidental), Owen made sure the victims he shot knew they were going to die. He also killed Rod Norris with an explosion (which Owen also used to fake Jordan's death), which was caused by a combination of him blowing out the pilot light of the stove-top (making the gas coming out of it appear unnoticeable), the canisters of gunpowder Rod kept in his kitchen, and Rod lighting a cigarette (which ignited the explosion). In addition, he killed Kyle Borden by shooting with a (presumed) handgun, and Ike Stratman by stabbing him with a knife. However, the latter murder was more out of necessity instead of choice, with Owen being noticeably remorseful while killing him. After killing his father, he shot him in the face post-mortem with the M4A1 assault rifle.
In the case of Danny Panzer, Chad Heyman, and Gavin Pressman, he abducted them, likely at gunpoint, from an unspecified location (possibly multiple locations if they lived in different neighborhoods). Afterwards, he took all of them to a lake, played Johnny Cash's song "The Man Comes Around" on an unspecified device, made them undress themselves down to their boxers, and recorded their murders (as a reference to how they videotaped him masturbating in front of them) using Jordan's PDA (obtained by hacking the SIM card in it to avoid it being electronically traced). Afterwards, he uploaded the video onto the school's social network.
Owen has a number of elements in common with Charles Starkweather. Both were spree killers who committed their killings while they were in their late teens, were bullied in school, had troubled relationships with their fathers, killed the fathers of their teenage girlfriends, and shot and stabbed their victims. Owen keeping a photo of James Dean's crashed car on his wall is an allusion to Starkweather possessing posters of Dean himself.
- The 2008 killing spree:
- February 12: Three killed in the attack at the Norris residence. They are:
- Rod Norris (Jordan's father; killed by a gas explosion triggered inside his house; targeted for abusing Jordan)
- Deputy Lou Savage (his father; shot repeatedly in the torso alongside Deputy Byron Letts, then shot in the face post-mortem; killed for abusing him)
- Deputy Byron Letts (incidental)
- February 13:
- Kyle Borden (shot in the face, presumably with a handgun; also stole his car; killed for taking advantage of Jordan)
- Abducted the three students who videotaped him and shot them repeatedly. They are:
- Danny Panzer
- Chad Heyman
- Gavin Pressman
- February 13-14: Ike Stratman (incidental; reluctantly stabbed once in the chest)
- February 14: The intended massacre at the local police station:
- February 12: Three killed in the attack at the Norris residence. They are: