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They need to feel my pain!

Alan "Al" Crawford is a misogynistic budding spree killer, stalker, and one-time poisoner who appears in the Season Twelve episode of Criminal Minds, "Alpha Male".


Alan was born on February 14, 1990. When he was ten years old, his parents went through a very nasty divorce, with his mother giving up custody of him. Days after the divorce, Alan's father remarried to his nanny. According to Alan, his new stepmother neglected him, and he was sent away to boarding school, where he was bullied and left friendless. He grew up antisocial and without any friends or girlfriends, causing him to hate women. As an adult, Alan became a supply clerk at Tyrell Chemical, a chemical company. At some point, he became a member of a website called "No Means Yes," which fell into the Manosphere, online communities of men that have been commonly associated with misogyny and anti-feminism. Alan befriended some of the site's other members, including George Cunningham, and the group shared misogynistic and other hateful messages between each other.

Later, when George announced that he got a girlfriend, Melinda Carroll, this caused Alan to realize that even his online friends were finding love while he wasn't. As a result, he began planning on a crime spree as a means to express his rage to the rest of the world. He stole nitric acid from his workplace and started constructing a homemade weapon that would allow him to fire lethal, concentrated sprays of it into people's faces. He also started writing a 118-page manifesto that explained his personal ideologies and laid out his plans for a final rampage, which he called "The Day of Reckoning". While still in the process of building his weapon, Alan chose to attack attractive people with splashes of the acid, apparently as precursor events to "The Day of Reckoning."

Alpha Male[]

After four attacks in two weeks, one of which was fatal, the BAU is called in to investigate under concerns that the unsub is a homegrown terrorist using a new M.O. and preparing for a larger attack in Philadelphia. After spying on a number of couples at a park, Alan attacks a random one, David Turner, and Brandi Moore, as the two are sharing an intimate moment together. He then tracks down Melinda Carroll and burns her face as revenge for wooing George, choosing to ignore another potential victim in favor of her. Afterward, Alan decides to begin "The Day of Reckoning" at the Federal Bar during a singles' night event. At the same time, the BAU is able to identify Alan as the unsub after interrogating George as a suspect, and they deduce where his next attack is most likely to take place at after reading through his manifesto. They arrive at the bar in time; before Alan can take out his weapon, Stephen sits down beside him, pretending to be a customer and hopelessly single. Stephen tries to build a rapport with Alan by appealing to his loneliness, then buys drinks for the both of them.

At that point, an unsettled Alan tries again to produce his weapon, but Stephen manages to calm him down while still pretending to be oblivious. Stephen then bemoans about the unfairness of some people being easily able to experience the joys of sex and love while others don't, and Alan snarls to him that they don't deserve it. Stephen then muses about the horrible feeling of having to love a woman who will not reciprocate their feelings, without seeing him who he really is. In the process, he refers to him by name. Shocked, Alan tries to produce his weapon again, but Stephen stops him and identifies himself as an FBI agent. He then convinces him to stand down by saying that Rossi, JJ, and Alvez have their guns trained on him. When Alan protests that other people need to feel his pain, Stephen promises that his manifesto will be distributed throughout the world if he comes with them peacefully. Alan surrenders, and Rossi and Alvez handcuff him and escort him out of the bar while everyone else watches on.

Modus Operandi[]

Alan initially targeted attractive people of both sexes and multiple races, modeling his selection criteria from a series of categories on "No Means Yes," which all denoted to types of attractive people. Once he had a victim or victims selected and their schedules memorized, he would run up to them during a vulnerable moment, shout "Et disperdam illud!" ("I will destroy it" in Latin), and throw nitric acid in their faces, disfiguring them. Initially, he attacked his victims at night, but following his attack on Colton Davis, began to attack his victims during the day. However, his sixth such attack was off-script; instead of choosing a victim based on another category, Alan went after Melinda Carroll, the new girlfriend of his online friend George Cunningham, and burned her instead without shouting "Et disperdam illud!" at her. Then, for his "Day of Reckoning", he planned to attack people at the Federal Bar and presumably other locations with a modified power-sprayer that could fire concentrated sprays of acid, which could seriously maim or even kill them, but he was stopped by the BAU before he could even begin.


"Et disperdam illud!"
["I will destroy it!"]

The unsub is a narcissistic white male aged 20 to 30 years old, who seems to be a follower of the manosphere. He has feelings of entitlement but is socially awkward and unsuccessful with women in reality. He sees himself as an idealized "alpha male" who has been overlooked by women and is superior to the men that they choose over him. His rage may stem from incidents of unrequited love that occurred early in his life. Rebuffed by beautiful women and feeling threatened by the competition, he is throwing acid on his victims to inflict maximum pain, both physically and emotionally, and as a means, for them to feel as ugly, unwanted, and self-loathing as he does inside. He is specifically targeting attractive men and women who resemble photos posted on "No Means Yes". This could turn into a killing spree, with more attacks coming anytime and anywhere.

Real-Life Comparison[]

Episode writer Karen Maser confirmed that Alan was directly inspired by Elliot Rodger, the perpetrator of an hours-long killing spree in Isla Vista, California, on May 23, 2014.[1] In the episode itself, Alan was compared to him by the BAU. These similarities include - Both were misogynistic and anti-feminist spree killers (budding at least) who targeted people they were jealous of (couples and attractive people), were members of the manosphere, committed lesser petty crimes out of rage before their sprees (which involved the use of liquid), wrote lengthy manifestos expressing their hatred and planned rampages, had parents that divorced and one that later remarried, and even shared some of the same language.

Known Victims[]

  • 2017:
    • February 21:
      • Harley MacAfee (represented the "Gold Digger" category; burned in the face; survived, but later died from the acid's toxic fumes)
      • Simon Wells (represented the "Tough Guy" category; assaulted; burned in the face and neck)
    • February 28:
      • Neela Travers (represented the "Exotic Delight" category; assaulted; burned in the face, neck, and chest)
      • Colton Davis (represented the "Mr. Perfect Hair" category; assaulted; burned in the face and partially blinded)
    • March 1:
      • David Turner and Brandi Moore (represented the "Athletic Supporter" and "High Maintenance" categories, respectively; assaulted; both burned in the face)
      • Melinda Carroll (George Cunningham's girlfriend; assaulted; burned in the face and put on a ventilator as a result; did not shout "Et disperdam illud!" at her)
    • March 2: Attempted to spray the following with acid at the Federal Bar:
    • Note: In addition to the seven burn victims, who were selected based on categories found at "No Means Yes", there were at least two other categories that Alan had yet to base attacks on, "Surfer Dude" and "Ginger Snap". He ultimately never followed through with these attacks, despite having an opportunity to do so.


  • Crawford is somewhat similar to Jonathan Rhodes ("Collision Course") - Both are spree killers (budding at least) who were motivated to begin their crimes following rejection from women, primarily targeted women but also attacked men, killed people they were jealous of, and would later be incarcerated for their crimes. Interestingly, Alan's episode aired a week after Jonathan's episode.
  • The aspect of Alan's background of his father remarrying his nanny seems to be based on that of serial killer Greg Phinney ("The Stranger"), whose father remarried Greg's nanny following the death of his mother.