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Peter Lewis

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CRIMINAL
Peter Lewis
Name Peter Lewis
Alias Mr. Scratch
Scratch
Doctor Spencer Reid
Carl Brubaker[1]
Gender Male
Birth Date January 28, 1980
Family Neil Lewis (father; deceased)
Denise Lewis (mother; status unknown)
Occupation NSA employee (at the time of arrest)
Pathology Proxy Killer
Hacker
Stalker
Attempted Murderer
Abductor (later)
Signature Two distinct signatures:
  • Adding burning sage to drugs used on victims (originally)
  • Forcing victims to assume new identities (later)
Modus Operandi Drugging
Varied proxy murder
No. of Victims See below
Status At large
Portrayed By Bodhi Elfman
First Appearance Mr. Scratch

"You do what I say."

Peter Lewis, a.k.a. "Mr. Scratch", is a serial killer by proxy, hacker, and stalker who first appeared in Season Ten of Criminal Minds. He later escaped with twelve other serial killers in Season Eleven and currently remains at large as of Season Twelve.

BackgroundEdit

Peter was born with extremely high intelligence and was a math genius. His parents ran a group home that took in several children who were waiting for adoption. During the day-care sex-abuse hysteria of the 1980s and early 1990s, some of the children made claims that Peter's father Neil would dress himself and the other children as the Devil, causing people to believe there was child abuse and Satanic rituals occurring inside the home. At first, the claims were met with skepticism from police, but a core member of the Believe the Children movement, a psychologist named Doctor Susannah Regan, convinced them to believe them. As a result, the group home was shut down and Neil was sent to jail, where other inmates killed him for being a pedophile while the investigation was still pending.

Peter eventually moved on with his life and attended Harvard University, taking the top classes for mathematics. Upon graduating, he was immediately hired by the National Security Agency, which would always hire math geniuses because it was too dangerous for them to work anywhere else. In 1992, the FBI's Lanning Report helped the BAU and other federal agencies evaluate Regan's work and debunk it. This left her credibility in ruin and forced her to go into witness protection after she began receiving numerous death threats. Realizing the closure of the group home and his father's death were all for nothing, Peter began seeking revenge against Regan and the children who were responsible for the scandal.

Season TenEdit

Mr. ScratchEdit

"Do you see Mr. Scratch?"

After forcing Daniel Karras, Christine McNeil, and Larry Merrin to hallucinate Mr. Scratch and kill their loved ones, the BAU notice a pattern in the interrogations and investigate the occurrences. Peter then targets Bill Kinderman and attempts to make him kill his son, but Bill's paternal instinct overrides his hypnosis and he commits suicide instead. Reaching his endgame, Peter hacks into the witness protection database in the BAU headquarters in Quantico to find Regan, causing a widespread blackout in the process. Reid deduces from the code used to hack into the Quantico database that the unsub works for the NSA. Appealing to Tony Axelrod, an NSA employee, Hotch identifies the unsub and who he is targeting next. He goes to Regan's house, but finds that Peter is already there. Peter forces Regan to kill herself in front of Hotch, then drugs him and talks to him in an attempt to make him see Mr. Scratch.

As they talk, Hotch deduces that Peter was in Susannah's interviews as well, giving testimony against his father. At first, he is enraged by this, but Peter then takes it as a challenge to get into Hotch's head. He makes him hallucinate Peter killing Reid, Rossi, and Morgan; and then tries to goad him into shooting the real Reid and Rossi as they try to enter the house. However, Hotch overrides the suggestion and tries to shoot Peter. Dodging the bullet, Peter retreats into an attic and waits for Morgan and JJ to arrive. When they do, he surrenders immediately, satisfied that he had gotten into Hotch's head. As he is put into a police car, he smiles at a watching Hotch, taps his temple, and smiles tauntingly at him. As the car drives away, Peter looks over his shoulder to take one last look at Hotch.

Season ElevenEdit

The StormEdit

"The world needs to know what kind of man Aaron Hotchner really is."

Peter briefly reappears in the episode when Hotch is arrested under the suspicion of conspiracy. During Hotch's interrogation, he is shown a video recording of Peter explaining to a federal interrogator Hotch's experience while being drugged. According to Peter, Hotch started to laugh while hallucinating his entire team getting killed, and he goes on to claim that he became scared of what Hotch could do to his team and even his own son. According to federal interrogator Timothy Ritchie, this interrogation prompted the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation into Hotch's recent leadership abilities. After the team closes the case and proves Hotch's innocence, they receive word that prison breaks occurred in three different states: thirteen serial killers managed to escape and Peter is one of them. It turns out that he had been involved with the people who framed Hotch, and that his testimony against Hotch was part of his escape plan.

Season TwelveEdit

The Crimson KingEdit

After Peter escapes from prison, he decided to continue his experiments, changing his victimology to people who suffered from dissociative identity disorder (DID). At some point, Peter managed to abduct Daniel Cullen, a.k.a. "The Crimson King", another escapee. He relocated to Tempe, Arizona, where he attended a support group in Arizona State University under Reid's name, and found a patient named Brian Phillips, who became his first target. He abducts and drugs Brian, makes him believe that he is the Crimson King and forces him to copy Cullen's M.O. Peter has a drugged Brian carve "BAU" into his stomach, making it appear that Brian was a victim of Cullen's who had escaped, which prompts the local police to summon the BAU team.

Brian commits several crimes while in that induced state and then escapes from a hospital with a list of DID patients across the country that the BAU acquired. He returns to Peter, who invites him inside the house he purchased, has him lay down on a surgery table, and drugs him again. Afterwards, Peter tells Brian that he has to go, but not before he shows him Cullen, whom Peter abducted recently. Peter tells Brian that Cullen thinks he is the Crimson King and asks him what he will do about it, then leaves Brian to torture Cullen, taking the patient list with him. At the end of the episode, Peter is seen in another hideout looking through files relating to the list. He finds the name of his next victim, Desmond Holt, who lives in Franklin, Tennessee. Peter says "There you are", draws a circle around Desmond's full name and address, and smiles.

Elliott's PondEdit

Immediately following the events in Arizona, Peter began stalking Hotch's son Jack. He first appeared at one of Jack's soccer games, prompting the FBI to put Hotch and Jack on 24-hour surveillance. Peter then attempted to visit Jack at his school while the BAU closed a child abduction case in California. As a result, Hotch and Jack went into witness protection, while Hotch resigned from his position as BAU Unit Chief due to his desire to prevent himself from endangering Jack any further.

Mirror ImageEdit

At some point, Peter managed to abduct both Desmond and Gabriel Lewis, the younger brother of Doctor Tara Lewis. Peter brainwashes Desmond into believing that he is Gabriel while he is holding the real Gabriel captive in a warehouse, which is booby-trapped with a device that fires nails from the ceiling. While investigating Gabriel's whereabouts, Lewis and Alvez find a TV screen depicting a videotape of Gabriel yelling out "Luke" repeatedly. They find the tape, just in time to see Peter putting a gas mask on Gabriel and saying tauntingly, "Luke can't help you now." It is later revealed that Gabriel wasn't yelling out Alvez's name, but instead the Gospel of Luke, which turns out to be an important clue in the case. By the time the BAU rescue Gabriel from the warehouse and avoid the trap, Peter has escaped again.

Modus OperandiEdit

Peter targeted people who lived at his father's group home as children during the scandal, specifically those who testified against his father and were responsible for putting him away. After finding the victims, presumably by using his job to access the country's adoption records, he would drug them with a mixture of two powerful dissociative agents (sevoflurane and scopolamine) he planted into the air-ventilation systems of their homes, presumably while no one was home. These drugs caused them to hallucinate about Mr. Scratch and lash out violently at the person next to them, which would always be a loved one living in the same house.

These people would be stabbed to death with knives by the drugged victims, who would then slip out of their psychotic episodes with barely any memory of what they were actually doing. He would later force his true target, Susannah Regan, to commit suicide, and later held Hotch hostage with a knife and the latter's FBI-issued sidearms. He would later have Hotch use one of these sidearms in an attempt to kill Rossi and Reid. Part of his signature was also mixing the drugs with the scent of burning sage, a reference to the burning sage Regan would have in her office when she interviewed Peter and the other children who testified against Peter's father, telling them that the aroma made it safe to talk about Mr. Scratch.

Following his escape from prison, Peter changed his victimology, focusing on people who suffered from dissociative identity disorder and attended a support group at Arizona State University. He first identified Brian Phillips as a DID patient, drugged him, and had him believe he was Daniel Cullen, a.k.a. "The Crimson King", who Peter abducted and tortured for specific details about his crimes prior to his incarceration, such as the arm-spreaders Cullen used. Peter then had Brian commit several crimes under this induced state until the BAU's attention was caught. After Brian attacked another DID patient, Peter placed him in one of two arm-spreaders he purchased, using Reid's name, so Brian would appear to be a survivor of Cullen's, making the BAU believe that Cullen had restarted his crime spree. He later manipulated the BAU into compiling a list of DID patients, which Brian delivered to Peter, therefore giving him the personal information of a large pool of potential victims. He later used this information to target Desmond Holt and use him as a taunt against Tara Lewis.

ProfileEdit

No official profile of Lewis was made by the BAU. However, Hotch briefly described the unsub as being too psychologically unstable for the NSA to hire, but it did so anyway due to his expertise with computers. He would have broken into adoption records before in search of a particular person.

Known VictimsEdit

Personal Victims

  • 2015:
    • April 14, Derry, Maine: Daniel Karras (drugged and forced him to kill his adoptive mother)
    • April 17, Roswell, Georgia: Christine McNeil (drugged and forced her to kill her boyfriend)
    • April 19, Topeka, Kansas: Larry Merrin (drugged and forced him to kill his wife)
    • April 21, unspecified location in Virginia: Bill Kinderman (drugged and attempted to force him to kill his son, but he committed suicide instead)
    • April 22, Columbia, Maryland: The standoff at the Regan home:
      • Doctor Susannah Regan (drugged and forced her to fatally stab herself in the throat)
      • Aaron Hotchner (assaulted, drugged, held captive, and attempted to force him to kill Rossi and Reid, but failed; was rescued)
  • 2016:
    • Late September-Early October, Tempe, Arizona:
    • October, Washington, D.C.: Jack Hotchner (stalked only)
    • November:
      • Franklin, Tennessee: Desmond Holt (drugged and later forced him to pose as Gabriel Lewis)
      • Washington, D.C.: Gabriel Lewis (abducted, presumably drugged, and attempted to kill with a remote-controlled booby-trap; was rescued)
    • November 30, Washington, D.C.: Attempted to kill the following with a remote-controlled booby-trap:

Victims by Proxy

The following were attacked by his drugged victims

  • 2015:
    • April 14, Derry, Maine: Daniel Karras' unnamed adoptive mother
    • April 17, Roswell, Georgia: Christine McNeil's unnamed boyfriend
    • April 19, Topeka, Kansas: Tabitha Merrin (Larry Merrin's wife)
    • April 21, unspecified location in Virginia: Jimmy Kinderman (Bill Kinderman's son; attempted)
    • April 22, Columbia, Maryland: David Rossi and Spencer Reid (attempted)
  • 2016:
    • Late September-Early October, Tempe, Arizona: The attacks committed by Brian Phillips (based on Daniel Cullen):
      • Chelsea Carter (tortured and carved "Hotch" into her forehead, but left alive)
      • Officer Chet Dewey (strangled; carved "Bye" into his forehead post-mortem)
      • Daniel Cullen (tortured and attempted to carve "Impostor" into his stomach)

QuotesEdit

(Peter is holding a drugged Hotch hostage in Doctor Susannah Regan's home)

Peter: You can't move. Because I say you can't move. Do you see how this works? You do what I say.

Hotch: Peter...

Peter: I didn't say you could talk.


Hotch: (referring to Regan's interview with a young Peter) I know, Peter. I know how those interviews worked, how coercive they were... with children who were innocent and helpless.

Peter: Shut up.

Hotch: She questioned you about your father. And she wouldn't stop until she got the answers she wanted. So you gave them to her.

(A teary-eyed Peter holds Hotch at gunpoint)

Peter: Shut up.

(Peter's expression changes to one of awe a moment later)

Peter: Oh, that was good. Oh, that was so good. That was so impressive. The way you got into my head. It makes me want to know how I get into yours.


(Peter shoots an imaginary Morgan in the neck, then approaches the hallucinating Hotch)

Peter: Now I know what scares you.

Hotch: No! No!

(Peter proceeds to kill Morgan)


Peter: (instructing a suggestible Hotch, referring to Rossi and Reid) I'm about to come through that front door. Kill me. Before I kill you.


Peter: (cornered by Morgan and JJ) I win.

Morgan: I don't think so.

Peter: (referring to Hotch) You have no idea what I did to him. I win.


(Peter is speaking during a pre-recorded interrogation)

Peter: It was March of last year. I dosed Agent Hotchner with a dissociative drug.

Interrogator: What did this drug do?

Peter: It put you in a state where you experienced a waking dream. Now, I try to get my victims to see their worst nightmares. But Agent Hotchner, well... He went in his own direction.

Interrogator: What do you mean by that?

Peter: He started rambling about how I killed his team, which I expected. But then...he started to laugh... Like he was delighted. And I'll be honest with you, in that moment, I was scared...of him. Of what he could do to his own team. Or his own son for that matter. I was scared...


Peter: (while drugging Brian Phillips) Are you ready? Breathe it in. There you go. Now you're ready. Tell me, what is your name?

Brian: Brian. Brian.

Peter: No, you're not Brian.


Peter: (showing a drugged Daniel Cullen to a drugged Brian) I have to go. But I'm leaving you with a gift.

Brian: Who is he?

Peter: His name is Daniel Cullen. He thinks he's the Crimson King. What will you do about that?


Peter: (finds Desmond Holt's name) There you are.

(Peter circles the name and grins)


(Gabriel is shouting in a videotape)

Gabriel: Luke! Luke!

(Peter forces a gas mask onto Gabriel Lewis's face, then shows his face to the camera)

Peter: Luke can't help you now.

Gabriel: LUKE!

(Peter chuckles, while Gabriel screams)


Peter: (speaking to Desmond, referring to his plan to use Albert Lewis's shotgun) Maybe this is for killing and for fun.

(Peter chuckles)

NotesEdit

  • Peter is similar to serial killer Blake Wells in the sense that both had M.O.'s involving the drugging of their victims in order to control their minds and that their crimes involved their fathers in some way (Peter's father was killed in prison, while Blake's father abandoned him and later abused him).
  • Peter is also similar to poisoner Edward Hill, as both created sophisticated drug cocktails that triggered psychotic breaks in otherwise mentally healthy people. In one case, a victim attacked his son while in the midst of a psychotic break, nearly killing him.
  • Peter is the first recurring unsub to appear in three seasons. He first appeared in the Season Ten episode Mr. Scratch as the unsub-of-the-week. He then has a cameo reappearance in the Season Eleven episode The Storm before having a full-fledged, multi-episode story arc dedicated to him in Season Twelve.
  • Peter is the third unsub who was able to successfully hack in Garcia's system, the first two being Randall Garner and John Curtis. He is also the first unsub to stage a direct attack against the BAU headquarters' computer and electrical systems in Quantico.
  • Mr. Scratch appears to be similar to The Mirror Man, a fictional entity of creepypasta lore featured early on in Season Ten. Both were supernatural beings who were characterized as having clawed hands.
  • The two drugs used by Lewis to control his victims' minds would not have worked in the same capacity as they were portrayed in the episode. Sevoflurane is a common dental anesthetic, and has to be inhaled directly via breathing apparatus, such as a mask or a nose tube, for it to achieve a noticeable effect. Scopolamine only exists in a liquid or powder form, making administration via air vents implausible, and it takes at least ten minutes to start taking effect when it is injected directly, or up to four hours if absorbed through the skin. These discrepancies may have been intentionally implemented by the writing staff to avoid real-life copycat incidents.
  • In The Storm, Peter stated that his drugging attacks and proxy murders occurred in March 2015. However, that is an error, as the crimes occurred in April in accordance with Mr. Scratch's airing.

AppearancesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. An onset reference to both comic book writer Ed Brubaker and 1980 prison drama film Brubaker

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