Suzanne Silvan (née Hamilton) is an Angel of Death-type serial killer and a member of a two-person abductor and killer team who appeared in the Criminal Minds novel "Finishing School".


Suzanne was born sometime in the 1960s and raised on a small, secluded farm in Ames, Iowa. As a child, Suzanne was abused verbally and physically by her father Jacob Hamilton and, when she reached adolescence and began menstruation, the abuse became sexual. At some point, Suzanne's father impregnated her, forcing her mother Tess into bringing her to a back-alley abortionist, whom she also had render Suzanne completely infertile. Shortly after Suzanne's abortion, Tess, unable to deal with life anymore, committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills, with Jacob dying soon afterward when a gun he was cleaning went off and shot him. Surviving on her own for several years, Suzanne met Lawrence Silvan in Atlanta, Georgia, and the two instantly fell in love, marrying after Lawrence graduated from college and got a job working for a high-end logging company. Suzanne was obsessed with having children, but her childhood abortion left her unable to conceive, so, in 1988, she managed to convince Lawrence to abduct three children, all of them little girls, who Suzanne renamed and raised as her own. For a few years, the Silvans lived happily, until the girls reached puberty, which prompted Suzanne into killing them in 1998 by overdosing them on her prescription medication while Larry was at work. While Lawrence was greatly unnerved by this, he remained faithful to Suzanne, abducting three more girls for her after burying the original trio in the woods.

Finishing School

Sometime later, the Silvans moved from Georgia to Bemidji, Minnesota. After another decade or so of normalcy, Suzanne killed off her current batch of children when they grew too old for her liking, having Lawrence bury them as well. In 2008, a trio of hunters stumbled on the bodies of the last three girls, prompting the local police to call in the BAU to help investigate the murders. When Lawrence is captured by them, he calls Suzanne and warns her. She fled to her childhood home, but the BAU, realizing her destination, got there first. Suzanne feigns innocence, putting the blame squarely on Lawrence, who she claims had told her he had adopted all their children, also stating she had no idea he was killing them. Rossi manages to break Suzanne down when he tells her that Lawrence had confessed to molesting the girls, causing the completely horrified Suzanne to blurt out a confession, all the while bemoaning the fact that she had failed to protect her girls. While a state trooper takes Suzanne away, Rossi tells her he had lied, as Lawrence never said he had sex with the girls, but he had admitted to everything else and would have gone to death row for her. The tabloids would come to call the abductions and murders Suzanne and Lawrence committed "The Mommy and Daddy Murders".

Modus Operandi

Suzanne would raise the girls whom Lawrence had abducted as her own, renaming them, schooling them, and, presumably, barring them from leaving the house. When the girls reached adolescence and began their period, Suzanne, to protect them from any men, including her husband, who would want them sexually, poisoned them with hydrocodone, a barbiturate she was prescribed for her chronic pain and nightmares. After killing the girls, Suzanne would dress them in homemade clothing and wrap them in layers, the first layer being blankets, the second winter clothing and the last plastic tarps; the girls would then be buried in graves Lawrence dug in the forest he was currently working in. Suzanne referred to poisoning the girls as sending them to finishing school for reasons never explained; even Lawrence remained in the dark as to the expression's origin.

Known Victims

  • Unspecified date, Ames, Iowa: Jacob Hamilton (her father; presumably shot; his death was deemed suspicious)
  • Atlanta, Georgia:
    • 1988-1998: The first set of victims (abducted and all eventually killed):
      • Ellen
      • Two other unnamed girls
    • 1998-2008: The second set of victims (abducted and all eventually killed in Bemidji, Minnesota):
      • Abigail Mathis
      • Heather Davison
      • Lee Ann Clark
  • 2008, Bemidji, Minnesota: The third set of victims (abducted; both were rescued):
    • Sophie Scheckel
    • Unnamed girl