|“||Gosh, all of a sudden, all these random, violent murders. Something weird is going on here...||”|
— Zoe to Eric
Zoe was a criminology student in Cleveland, Ohio, something that her mother Sheila disapproved of, but she otherwise allowed her daughter to pursue her career. When Eric Olson initiated his copycat killings, she noticed the sudden spike of murders in the area and started analyzing it.
Eventually, when David Rossi, of whom she is a fan, comes to the town for a book tour, she makes contact with him to discuss the cases as he is leaving. She asks if the BAU have been notified of the murders, but since there isn't any solid victimology, M.O., or signature, Rossi replies they aren't. Being desperate to leave, he dismisses her theory, but gives her his business card and tells her not to give up until she finds all the answers. Inspired by this, she visits the crime scene of the latest victim, where she comes across Eric, who pretends to be a pasersby. When he realizes that she is investigating his murders, he strangles her to death with her own scarf. When local police investigate Zoe's murder, they find Rossi's business card on her and call him. Feeling guilty, Rossi calls in the rest of the BAU, who notices the connection between the murders: they were copycat murders based on famous serial killers of the past.
When Eric kills two more people by garroting them, having found his own M.O. through Zoe's incidental murder, the BAU find that he is also kissing their foreheads, an act that they presume he had done with Zoe as well. Since all of the copycat victims had been buried or cremated, Zoe's body was the only source of DNA evidence against Eric. As a result, Rossi must convince a distraught Sheila to extract DNA evidence from Zoe's body, an act that is eventually successful. Because Eric had a criminal record and was therefore in the system, he is quickly found, arrested, and confessed to all of the murders, as well as four other murders the BAU and local police are unaware of, during questioning. Zoe is later buried in a local cemetery, and Rossi and Sheila visit her grave, with Sheila learning from Rossi that Eric had been captured. The episode ends with Sheila remarking that Zoe would've been pleased to know Rossi caught Eric, with Rossi replying, "I hope so."