Murder by proxy (simplified as proxy murder) is a type of murder in which the murderer commits the act under the orders of another, acting as his or her proxy (hence the name).
There are two common scenarios for proxy murders, though there are several others possible:
- A person takes a contract out on another person. A hitman murders the target in exchange for a sum of money as a reward.
- A person manipulates a lover into murdering someone for him or her. The classic example of this would be Charles Manson, who sent his "family" to commit a string of murders.
There has been a legal vagueness concerning whether a person instigating a proxy murder is guilty of the crime of murder. This distinction varies greatly by nation (and within the United States, by state). However, all jurisdictions worldwide recognize the criminal nature of the actions taken by the instigator. If they are not charged with the murder itself, they may be charged under at least one out of a variety of other statutes, including conspiracy to commit murder and/or accessory to murder.
Proxy murders may skew crime statistics, since the use of a proxy may conceal the true motives of the person.
On Criminal Minds
- Season One
- Michael Russo ("Natural Born Killer") hired part-time hitman Vincent Perotta to kill small-time mobster Freddy Condore and undercover police officer Jimmy Baker.
- Jackson Cally ("The Tribe") sent a cult of followers to commit a string of mass killings and frame Native American tribes for the acts, with the hopes of sparking a race war between Caucasians and Native Americans.
- Randall Garner ("The Fisher King, Part 1" and "The Fisher King, Part 2") convinced career criminal Frank Giles to kill another career criminal, Marty Harris, as part of his scheme to force the BAU into participating in his "quest".
- Season Two
- Marcus Younger ("North Mammon") abducted three female friends and instructed them that only two of them will be released after they killed the third. Under psychological stress and torture, two of the girls turned on the third and killed her with hammers provided by Marcus.
- Jamal Abaza ("Lessons Learned") once manipulated a fellow Guantanamo Bay detainee to commit suicide for unknown reasons.
- Arseny Lysowsky ("Honor Among Thieves") ordered mobsters working for him to kill his son Lyov and Lyov's girlfriend Natalya Chernus. They did so by shooting both of them to death, dismembering their corpses, and dumping the pieces off a bridge in bags.
- Season Three
- Season Four
- Season Five
- Judge Boyd Schuller ("Reckoner") hired hitman Tony Mecacci to commit a string of pseudo-vigilante killings targeting people acquitted in cases he presided on.
- Ray Campion ("The Performer") manipulated a schizophrenic woman named Gina King into killing women as part of an ad campaign promoting his client Paul Davies' new album.
- Will Summers ("Risky Business"), using a website created and maintained by his son Chris, convinced four teenagers to hang themselves in order to achieve auto-erotic asphyxiation, but they accidentally died in the process.
- John Vincent Bell ("The Fight") forced Ben McBride, a father he abducted, into beating a homeless man to death. He successfully did so by threatening to kill Ben's daughter Jane, who he also abducted.
- Season Six
- Michael Kosina ("Middle Man") forced one of his accomplices, Chris Salters, to bludgeon another accomplice, Scott Kagan, to death with a baseball bat.
- Ian Doyle ("The Thirteenth Step", "Sense Memory", "Today I Do", "Coda", "Valhalla", "Lauren", and "It Takes a Village") committed a number of murders through his group of loyal followers from a breakaway faction of the IRA.
- Lucy ("Supply and Demand") usually had members and clients of her human trafficking ring kill victims, who were mostly distressed college students that were the ring's victimology.
- Season Seven
- Season Eight
- John Curtis ("The Silencer", "The Apprenticeship", "Magnificent Light", "Zugzwang", "Broken", "Carbon Copy", "Brothers Hotchner", and "The Replicator") convinced Donnie Bidwell to commit a series of copycat killings based on the M.O.s of Bryan Hughes and Jack Lee Kemper as a ploy to lure the BAU out.
- Ellen Russell ("The Pact") instructed Darlene Beckett to kill Brenda Wipley, the woman who killed her nephew during a car accident caused by Brenda's drinking. In return, Darlene instructed Ellen to kill Mark Logan, the prime suspect in her daughter's disappearance.
- Joshua Moore ("The Wheels on the Bus") forced Addyson Jones, one of his captives, to shoot and kill another captive named Trent Walker, threatening to abduct her brother if she did not do so.
- Raoul Whalen ("Alchemy") manipulated his wife Tess Mynock into killing two men after having them try to impregnate her.
- Phillip Connor ("#6") abducted a couple and forced them to stab each other to death, a process he repeated with another couple, all as part of his strategy to satisfy his severe piquerism.
- Season Nine
- Wayne Gulino ("The Return") sent a group of abducted teenagers to commit a series of terrorist attacks targeting the Chicago Police Department, his former workplace.
- Marvin Caul ("Persuasion") manipulated Cesar Jones into killing members of his cult-like group who were planning on leaving, seeing their departures as a threat to his superiority. He then tried to manipulate Finn Bailey into killing an undercover journalist who was about to expose the group.
- Owen McGregor ("Angels" and "Demons") had his colleagues kill their Sheriff and presumably an untold number of others as part of their criminal activities. He later manipulated Justin Mills into committing a shootout as a cover-up for the death of Sheriff Peter Coleman. Then, he instructed his colleagues to try and kill the entire BAU team when they were closing in on him.
- Season Ten
- Alex Zorgen ("X" and "The Hunt") abducted dozens of people all over the U.S. with the help of Donna Mangold and their son Kyle, then sold the captives to serial killers who then murdered them.
- Benton Farland ("Amelia Porter") manipulated Amelia Porter, who was under the influence of drugs, into stabbing his sister Miriam to death. Twelve years after the fact, he tried to have her kill his niece, Rebecca, though she wasn't high on drugs this time and therefore refused to do it.
- Peter Lewis ("Mr. Scratch", "The Storm", "The Crimson King", "Mirror Image", "True North", "Red Light" and "Wheels Up") drugged people who were responsible for his father's incarceration and subsequent murder and manipulated them into killing their loved ones (or themselves) as revenge. He later drugged people suffering from dissociative identity disorder and manipulated them into completely assuming other identities and committing crimes under them.
- Season Eleven
- Ted Osborn ("The Job") hired Giuseppe Montolo to murder someone for unknown reasons.
- William Forrest ("The Job") hired Montolo to murder someone for unknown reasons.
- Brian Taylor ("The Job") hired Montolo to murder his father for unknown reasons.
- Al Eisenmund ("The Job") hired Montolo to murder his fiancée for unknown reasons.
- Betty Wilson ("The Job") hired Montolo to murder her drug dealer when he wanted to her to do unspecified activities in exchange for drugs.
- Brian Cochran ("Internal Affairs") would either have members of his cartel or a network of hitmen kill people who were loose ends or send people to Jacob DuFour to be killed by him.
- Zac Rubenis ("Entropy") bribed a prison guard to poison and kill Montolo to prevent him from giving any information about a hitman network to the BAU.
- Flora Martin ("The Bond") manipulated her son Randy into killing the people responsible for him being taken away from her.
- Chazz Montolo ("A Beautiful Disaster"), in his capacity as a crime lord, arranged for the murders of several people through contract killings.
- Season Twelve