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Allen Archer is a narcissistic mass murderer, bomber, and copycat of James Burke who appears in the Season Ten episode of Criminal Minds, "Hero Worship".


Archer was depressed to the point of suicidal feelings and had low self-esteem. As a result, he was forced to attend numerous support groups. He became jealous of his good friend Grant Ford when he married a woman named Brenda and had a child with her, a girl named Hannah. Grant, a U.S. Navy SEAL, was later deployed to Afghanistan, where he was later killed in action. Allen saw an opportunity to live out the happiness he wanted and took advantage of Brenda's grief, eventually getting her to have feelings for him. The two married and Allen raised Hannah together with Brenda, although he continued to feel as if he was living under Grant's shadow. He gradually developed a desire to become a hero in Brenda's eyes, like Grant was. One day, he learned of a bombing at Delancy Elementary School that killed a school custodian working the graveyard shift. This inspired him to emulate the incident so he could save innocent lives and be branded a hero in the community. Allen recovered explosive-making manuals that belonged to Grant, who was an explosive ordnance specialist and used them as guidelines to construct a bomb modeled after the one that destroyed the elementary school.

Hero Worship

Archer placed the bomb he constructed in the bathroom of a crowded coffee shop called Indy's Best Brew. He planned to save the life of a pregnant woman who was using the bathroom at the time and was the most sympathetic victim he could find. The toilet bowl Allen put the bomb in contained most of the initial explosion. However, to Archer's shock, the first explosion ruptured a natural gas line, which triggered a second, more violent explosion, killing seven people, wounding fourteen others (including the pregnant woman), and giving him a broken arm. The BAU began investigating and believed the bombing was connected to the one at Delancy Elementary. Kate and JJ first visit Archer at his home to talk to him as a witness. While interviewing him, he tries to convince them the bombing was a terrorist attack while Brenda tells them about her first husband, Grant, and how Archer introduced them. He then learns that the pregnant woman survived and delivered her baby safely, to his relief. After the interview, a mob of reporters gather outside Archer's house to interview him. As Archer and Brenda don't want to be interviewed anymore, Kate and JJ distract the reporters long enough for them to sneak out through the backdoor and get to his truck in the driveway.

Later that night, Brenda tells Hannah about how brave and heroic he was for saving the woman and her baby at Indy's Best Brew, giving Archer the admiration he desired. Archer then leaves, claiming to go to the store, but when he gets in his truck, he begins crying after reading a news article about the people he killed. When he tries to drive away, he feels something click and looks down to see wires connected to the truck's gas pedal, realizing there is a bomb inside the truck. Archer tells Brenda and Hannah to leave so they aren't killed, just as Reid, Morgan, and several police officers arrive on the scene. Realizing the bomb squad won't get there in time, Morgan attempts to defuse the bomb himself using a knife from Archer's glove box. Despite difficulties in choosing which wire to cut, Morgan successfully defuses the bomb. Later, after Garcia looks into his history, the BAU discovers that Archer was the person who bombed Indy's Best Brew, while the person behind the Delancy Elementary bombing planted the bomb under Archer's truck, with the intention of killing him out of jealousy for diverting the media's attention away from him. During interrogation, Archer confesses to his crimes to the BAU and was arrested, but not before the team had him stage a fake award ceremony to lure the other bomber out. It is safe to presume Archer is incarcerated for his crime afterwards.

Modus Operandi

During the coffee shop bombing, Archer used a bomb made of TNT, exactly like the one used in the elementary school bombing. He set it inside a unisex bathroom and allowed a pregnant woman to use it first. Then, once the bomb detonated harmlessly and injured the woman, he would spring into action and save her. However, he unknowingly set the bomb near the gas main, which triggered a second, more devastating explosion.


No official profile of Archer was made by the BAU, who were more focused on Burke.

Real-Life Comparison

Archer may also have been inspired in part by Richard Jewell, a man who helped to minimize the damage caused by the Centennial Olympic Park bombing committed by Eric Rudolph - Both acted to save lives during the respective bombings and were initially lauded as heroes by the media as a result. However, they were then treated as suspects in the resulting FBI investigations, and theories arose that both planted the bombs to engineer situations in which they emerged as heroes (although Archer actually did).

Known Victims

All of the following were attacked in the February 3, 2015 Indy's Best Brew coffee shop bombing


  • Pat Aguilar (survived the explosion, but died of his wounds at a hospital)
  • Grace Calvern
  • Joe Gardez
  • Scott Legford
  • Jackson Novert
  • Ryan Spatman
  • Bree Wanfield


  • Jordan Aguilar (Pat Aguilar's son)
  • An unnamed woman (was pregnant at the time of the bombing; her baby was delivered safely)
  • Twelve other unnamed people


  • According to his employment record, Archer's Social Security number is 973-00-0128.