Pack Mentality refers to the tendency of a group of individuals to act together without planned direction. The instance can be motivated by lust, fear, anxiety, or any other emotion. In the criminal sense, a "pack" can be prone to extreme violence, which is perpetrated for the sheer thrill of it. Rioting, violent protests, and gang wars are examples of the negative aspects of pack mentality.

On Criminal Minds

Turner's Group acted with a pack mentality in their murders, going into a frenzy during their crimes. There are other examples of this behavior during riot scenes in various episodes, demonstrating both the negative and positive aspects of pack mentality. For example, when a group of Mexican women captured and castrated Pablo Vargas, their actions, while technically negative, were motivated by a protective and vengeful pack mentality.

The BAU places the individual members of "killing packs" (teams consisting of three or more members) into three distinct categories - the alpha male leader, the loyal lieutenant(s), and the possibly reluctant follower(s). ("Middle Man")

Killing Packs

  • Cally's Tribe ("The Tribe") - A group of eight people led by Jackson Cally. Six of the members killed a number of people under Cally's orders to start a war in their resident community between whites and Native Americans.
  • The Mulford Family ("Open Season") - A family, consisting of a man and his two nephews, that abducted randomly selected motorists in secluded roads and dumped them into the forest where they hunt them, not unlike average game. The uncle passed away several years prior to the episode.
  • Romani Family ("Bloodline") - Numerous families that originated from the country of Romania, all of which consist of at least three members each. Whenever the offspring or eldest offspring in a family reached the age of ten, the respective family would break into the home of a family, where the father and (eldest) offspring would kill the parents while the mother would abduct the family's daughter or son, whom they would brainwash and induct into the family.
  • Turner's Group ("Hopeless") - A group of three construction workers that brutally slaughtered a number of people for the sheer thrill of it. They killed their victims either by severely bludgeoning or beating them to the point where they were nearly unrecognizable.
  • The Johnson County Brotherhood ("Middle Man") - A group of three Indiana residents that abducted and raped several exotic dancers. They would then take their victims to cornfields, give them several minutes to make a run for it, and pursue them in the cornfields for the fun of it. After catching them, the group's leader, Michael Kosina, would then murder them, without the knowledge of his other accomplices.

Real World

  • The Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs (Victor Sayenko, Igor Suprunyunk, and Alexander Hanzha)
  • The Ripper Crew (Robin Gecht, Edward Spreitzer, Andrew Kokoraleis, and Thomas Kokoraleis)
  • The Briley Brothers (Anthony Ray Briley, James Briley, Jr., Linwood Briley, and Duncan Meekins)
  • The Snowtown Murderers (John Bunting, Robert Wagner, Mark Haydon, James Vlassakis, Elizabeth Harvey, Thomas Trevilyan, and Jodie Elliott)
  • The Death Angels (Larry Green, J.C.X. Simon, Manuel Moore, Jessie Lee Cooks, and Anthony Harris)