"What good? I'm an abomination."
Paul's mother was a sergeant during the 2003 invasion of Iraq by U.S. troops during his pre-teenage years. A week after the invasion ended, she was killed in the line of combat. When Paul became a teenager, he began to develop homosexual urges and started a relationship with Craig Pickett, which his father John disapproved of. John eventually sent his son to a conversion camp called Camp Willing, where he was frequently abused and also molested by a prostitute named Isabella Grant. John would frequently be in the room with him when Isabella was "teaching" him, but never bothered to stop her, feeling that the sexual abuse would help mature Paul as a man; he sometimes even had sex with Isabella himself, which further traumatized Paul. In addition, the camp subjected him to electroshock therapy. After leaving Camp Willing, Paul bonded with several other campers, including Pickett and another man named Mitchell Ruiz, a fellow schoolmate who had also received similar abuse from Isabella and the camp. Prior to "Broken", he had intercourse with Craig. Beset with depression immediately afterward, he killed him and dumped the body, dressing it up as a sign of remorse. He then encountered Heather Wilson and attempted to have sex with her, but failed; enraged at his impotence, he murdered her as well, put his broken watch on her wrist, and set it to 6:22.
In "Broken", Paul is first seen outside a bar, and is approached by Michelle Bradley as she exits a bachelorette party. He seduces her, and they go into his truck to have sex, but he is unable to perform. When she tries to leave, he forces her back into his truck. Hours later, he kills her in a fit of rage and dumps the body, again after putting another broken watch on her wrist, which shows 6:22. He later meets up with several of his friends, who introduce him to Doug Warn. The two bond and go to Paul's house, again to have sex. Afterwards, Doug notices that Paul is angry about what they have done and tries to comfort him, but unintentionally induces a flashback of what Isabella Grant and his father did to him, which drives Paul to kill Doug. He then desperately tries to clean up the bloodstains, but fails to get rid of the blood. As with the last two victims, he leaves a broken watch reading 6:22 on Doug's wrist.
He is later visited by Mitchell, who has become concerned about Paul after hearing about Doug's death. Mitchell then discovers the bloodstains and realizes that Paul killed him. Unsure of what to do, Paul grabs a handgun from his shelf. Paul confesses his crimes to Mitchell, and while talking with him, he gets the idea to punish his father. Paul takes Mitchell to his father's house and forces him at gunpoint to the basement. He unfurls the bed and tells Mitchell to undress and rape John. When Mitchell resists, John gets into a struggle with him over the gun, and a stray bullet fatally hits Mitchell. Paul then shoots and kills John, and takes Mitchell into his arms. The BAU arrive, and Paul points the gun at himself, intending to commit suicide. Morgan and Rossi convince him to put it down, saying that he can help shut down Camp Willing. He surrenders and is arrested; by the end of the episode, the staff of Camp Willing are arrested.
"Save me? Ha. You mean fix me, don't you? Fix me. All those years trying to prove to me that I was broken. Well, it worked, Dad. It worked. I'm pretty damn broken now."
The unsub is a white homosexual male aged in his mid-to-late 20s who is suffering from an identity crisis. This man cannot accept his same-sex desires, but he cannot fight them either. He most likely has been repressing all of his sexual urges for quite some time. His first victim, Craig Pickett, represents a "fall from the wagon", and intercourse between the two men was most likely his trigger. Immediately after copulation, a man's serotonin levels drop, creating a high, and that rapid change can manifest itself into extreme depression and low self-esteem. Combined with the apparent belief that acting out on his attraction towards other men is wrong, this state causes the unsub to lash out violently at those he is with. As his levels normalize, he begins to feel remorse for what he has done and attempts to correct his course, and this is where his female victims became involved. After killing Craig Pickett, the unsub sought out women that he was desperate to become attracted to. However, since he is trapped in a scenario with an impossible outcome and he cannot force himself to like women, he becomes depressed again when being unable to get aroused and lashes out in anger to the people he blames for his impotence.
The circular logic dictating his unending cycle was not formed overnight; it most likely came about due to years of serious abuse, either emotional, physical, or both. The most popular motive for trying to overcome same-sex attraction is the need to be accepted by a parent or loved one who has rejected the individual because of their homosexuality. That said, he most likely grew up in a broken home and suffered under the guardianship of a domineering parent, as well as those who fell victim to bigotry or bullying. The bottom line is that this unsub will not stop killing, and with each failed attempt to get aroused by women or to avoid giving in to same-sex urges, he becomes more desperate and more dangerous.
Paul targeted Caucasian males and females, initially finding them at social gatherings at night in different districts in Austin. He would lure them away from whomever they were with without being noticed, force them into his truck, and hold them captive for twelve hours. Afterwards, he would kill them and dump their bodies in the same districts he abducted them in. However, he stopped doing so with Doug Warn (who was killed in his apartment instead of his truck) and afterwards.
He killed his male victims by bludgeoning them with some sort of incidental instrument after having sex with them, while he killed his female victims by stabbing them repeatedly with a knife (usually aiming for the genitals) after he could not get aroused by them. However, Doug Warn was also stabbed in the face ante-mortem, then the genitals post-mortem, presumably with the same knife. His female victims, selected because they resembled Isabella Grant, were also stripped of all their clothes and jewelry post-mortem, while his male victims were redressed post-mortem out of remorse. He later shot Mitchell Ruiz and his father John with a handgun, though the former's death was an accident. Before killing his father, he pushed him down a basement staircase and attempted to have Mitchell undress and rape him, as a reference to the sexual abuse he suffered in Camp Willing.
His usual signature was setting the victims' watches to 6:22 before dumping their bodies (although in the case of Michelle Bradley, he put his own watch on her before killing her), as a reference to Leviticus 18:22, which contains the quote, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." It is the same Bible quote that Camp Willing had chosen as their motto.
Paul is similar to spree killer Andrew Cunanan. Both were homosexual, had a strained relationship with one of their parents as a result of it (Cunanan with his mother, Paul with his father), killed their first victim (who was also their lover) by bludgeoning, at least one victim by stabbing, and two victims by shooting. The aspect of Paul luring his female victims away, attempting to have sex with them only not to be aroused by them, and then performing overkill by stabbing them to death out of rage is also similar to Andrei Chikatilo. In addition, the scenario of Paul and Mitchell fleeing after Mitchell found out about Paul's murders seems to be reminiscent of how homosexual serial killer Patrick Kearney, a.k.a. "The Trash Bag Killer", fled with his lover David Hill after he murdered a man scheduled to meet up with Hill.
Finally, Paul also has some loose similarities to Juan Corona. Both were homosexual serial killers who tried to project an outward appearance of heterosexuality; killed their victims by bludgeoning, stabbing, and/or shooting them; had a first, unplanned victim who was the most like them (Paul killed a young homosexual man first, and later killed women or older men; Corona first attempted to kill a Mexican man, and his fatal victims were non-Hispanic Caucasians, two African-Americans, and one Native American); their first victims discovered were dressed and the following undressed; and both were institutionalized by their family prior to their killings (in Paul's case, it was at a conversion camp rather than a mental hospital).
- February 11: Craig Pickett (his lover; fatally bludgeoned and redressed post-mortem; didn't set his watch)
- February 15: Heather Wilson (stabbed repeatedly)
- February 17: Michelle Bradley (stabbed 40 times)
- February 18: Doug Warn (bludgeoned and stabbed in the face; also stabbed in the genitals and redressed post-mortem)
- February 19: The Westin house shooting:
- Mitchell Ruiz (accidentally killed; shot in the torso while wrestling with John for a handgun)
- John Westin (his father; pushed him down a staircase and attempted to force Mitchell to rape him, then shot him twice in the torso with the same handgun)
- Paul is one of few serial killers on the show to successfully kill all of the victims he targeted. The others are Steven Fitzgerald, Megan Kane, Vincent Rowlings, Lee Mullens, Larry Feretich, and Charles Johnson. This is a very rare occurrence, as the serial killers depicted on the show typically have at least one survivor.
- Paul is based on a few other unsubs on the show:
- Season Three serial killer Steven Fitzgerald. Both were homosexuals who had strained relationships with their fathers who didn't accept their lifestyles, killed out of hatred of their own homosexuality, and killed men who were also homosexual (although Paul also killed other victims). Also, Paul being abused as a teenager by is an allusion to the allegation that Steven was also abused.
- Season Five spree killer Darrin Call. Both were traumatized spree killers who were abused as children and killed their abusive fathers (who were also their last victims) by shooting them in their homes.
- Season Seven serial killer Jeffrey Collins. Both attempted to have sex with their female victims and would then stab them repeatedly in a state of rage due to their impotence.
- ↑ The military time for 6:22 p.m. is 18:22