|“||I never even found out his real name...||”|
— Goldman to Prentiss
Agent Russell Goldman is an incidental character who appeared in Parasite.
Very little is known about Goldman, other than he became an agent for the FBI's White Collar Crime Division in San Diego, California, and met Hotch at least once before. He also had a tendency to pick at his fingernails whenever he was nervous. In 2005, he learned of a con artist who operated in the area from 2001 to 2004, having scammed two couples and two additional sets of people. Goldman soon became obsessed with catching him, and devoted his expertise into the investigation, even though the case was never flagged as a top priority. In 2010, a scam victim, real estate agent Carla Marshall of Miami, Florida, notified a fraud website about the con man and the file ended up on Goldman's desk. The two discussed about the con man over the phone, and while Carla wanted to confront him, Goldman advised her to stay put while he flew over to Miami to coordinate a sting operation. Carla did not listen and was consequently murdered by the con man. There was no physical evidence that can confirm the con man's involvement with Carla's death, but a suspicious Goldman went to the BAU for assistance.
After filling the BAU in on the details of the case and successfully recruiting them, Goldman flies to Miami with them on their private jet. They set up a headquarters at the FBI's Miami field office, where all of Goldman's files are gathered in a room. Throughout most of the episode, he is partnered with Prentiss. They first visit Carla's home, which was where she was killed, and Goldman informs Prentiss that he calls the con man "William" because the first few aliases that he used were variations of the name. Morgan then finds a website under the con man's latest alias on Carla's computer, which went under the radar because it was new and locals wouldn't know where to find it; this leads to the discovery of nine other websites that are identical except for the aliases displayed on them. This causes the BAU to assume that the con man's psyche is fracturing because of the multiple aliases he is juggling, which led to Carla's murder. They also deduce that the con man is sleeping with his female victims, such as Carla, which Goldman never learned of.
Later, the con man murders another victim. Goldman and JJ interrogate the victim's wife, and JJ abruptly asks if she slept with the con man, which surprises Goldman. His discomfort at the BAU's interrogation tactics is seen when he talks to Prentiss and Rossi later on. Later, Goldman is among the agents who listen to the BAU's profile on the con man. During the profile, he pitches in, advising the other agents to notify banks since the con man tends to open and close bank accounts at a fast frequency. Afterwards, he learns from the BAU that they suspect the con man may have started a family in San Diego, because of his abrupt change of lifestyle and vehicle preference. They suspect he may have done so in order to create an image of normalcy for himself, and also because it feeds his narcissistic views of having a wife as a caretaker and homemaker and a child who would be an extension of himself. However, because the con man works alone, this makes finding the wife important, as she is oblivious to her husband's criminal activities.
The con man murders a third victim and dumps the body in a different location. When the body is found, Goldman expresses his shock at this, but is advised by Prentiss that the con man is now capable of anything. He then watches as medical examiners start to pick up the victim's body, all the while unnerved and disgusted. Later, Goldman and the BAU realize the con man is finding his latest scam victims through Carla, whose client list he stole. In addition to finding the list and sending it to the team, Garcia finds the con man's wife, Rebecca Hodges, whose husband's name is William. After retrieving the list, they start alerting everyone named on it and sending police units over to their homes for protection. However, JJ is unable to reach one of the homes listed, which belongs to a couple named Hector and Brooke Sanchez. Meanwhile, Goldman accompanies Prentiss as they head to the Hodges residence. During the ride, Prentiss comments on Goldman's habit of picking his fingernails whenever he was nervous, and he tells her that he had never been in a car chase with a killer before. However, he assures her that he is ready to meet the con man in person.
The two are then redirected to the Sanchez residence, where they find the con man arguing with Rebecca and Brooke while the con man's son is in tow. Prentiss, Rossi, and Hotch hold him at gunpoint and convince him to release his son. After the boy reunites with Rebecca, the con man disregards Hotch's order to put his hands up, and instead reaches into his pocket for something. Just before he could take it out, Goldman, who had discreetly taken another position, shoots the con man once in the chest, instantly killing him, surprising the BAU, and horrifying Rebecca and Brooke. Moments later, it is revealed the con man had been reaching for his phone. Rossi approaches a shocked Goldman, who still has his gun raised, and lowers it for him. Later on, at the FBI field office, Goldman watches as Rebecca leaves a room after she is informed of her husband's criminal activities by JJ. Rebecca sees him and gives an ambiguous stare before reuniting with her son. Goldman then tells Prentiss that he thought the con man had a weapon, but she assures him that it was a justified shot, and that the con man decided his own fate. Goldman remarks, "I never even found out his real name..." Prentiss replies, "Does it matter?"
- Goldman's habit of picking at his fingernails is interestingly similar to Prentiss's tendency to bite her fingernails when nervous.