|“||I will kill her, I swear to God!||”|
Meeks was born in 1977. Until the age of six, Meeks would often soil his underwear, a common occurrence for children. However, his abusive stepfather would force him to wear it over his face while in public every time he soiled it. He developed antisocial tendencies, likely as a result of this abuse. While in high school, he was subject to a prank where a group of girls pretended to like him and lured him into the school gym while it was unsupervised, while a boy wrapped him inside a gym mattress that nearly suffocated him and left him there for hours. This incident triggered a strong, murderous form of claustrophilia, an extreme form of sexual arousal from being confined in small or tight places, within him. Meeks later attempted to kill the boy but was somehow caught in the act and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. His time in prison forced him to develop his verbal skills and sophistication so he could survive inside. Sometime during his sentence, he got a spiderweb tattoo on the left side of his neck. A prison psychologist who interviewed Meeks went on to describe him as having an alarming amount of latent rage in his report and recommended that he be placed in a psychiatric facility. However, a judge ignored this report and paroled him in an effort to lessen prison overcrowding.
Immediately following his release, Meeks was placed in a police program called "New Start", which specialized in reintegrating recent parolees back into society. There, he met former FBI agent Ed Sulzbach, a volunteer who took Meeks under his wing and helped him find a job as a janitor. The two became acquainted, and Sulzbach shared with Meeks stories of his time as an FBI agent, fascinating Meeks. One night, when Sulzbach came across Meeks's prison file and saw the mental evaluation on him, he called a psychiatric facility in an attempt to get Meeks committed. Realizing this, Meeks, not wanting to be locked up again, stole Sulzbach's gun, killed him with it, and then stole his old FBI gear and credentials. He then decided to start a killing spree targeting women as a form of payback against the girls who helped prank him, using the paraphernalia he stole from Sulzbach to let his victims' guards down. Setting up residence in Sulzbach's home, Meeks replaced his photo on Sulzbach's credentials with his own, and used Sulzbach's police radio to find crime scenes as a way to further reinforce his facade.
A Badge and a Gun
After killing Gertrude Smiles and Isabella Jayne in a matter of hours, Meeks goes to the home of his next target, Patricia Brannon. After getting her to answer the front door, he introduces himself as an FBI agent and tells Patricia about a home invasion that occurred a block over in which a woman was killed. Shocked, she allows Meeks into the house so he can interrogate her. He asks Patricia if she saw anyone suspicious or a suspicious-looking vehicle. She says that there was a van nearby that read 'All City Cable'. Afterwards, Meeks starts to sweat and begins fiddling with his tie; a confused Patricia asks if he wants something to drink, and he tells her that he wants water. When Patricia goes to the kitchen, he unbuttons his shirt, goes to the kitchen, and knocks Patricia out. After killing her, he goes to Mary Lenahan's apartment. He charms his way into her home, after which he subdues her and then kills her with a shower curtain. Meeks then goes to his residence, eats his lunch, and goes out again.
The following night, while Meeks is driving, he listens to police communications of violent and high-profile crimes on Sulzbach's radio. He decides to respond to a home invasion and double homicide, unaware that it is a trap orchestrated by the BAU, the FBI's Los Angeles field office, and local police to lure him in. As Meeks continues driving, he observes the neighbors (all undercover law enforcement officers) and decides to target one of them, a lone woman, who he observes getting the mail and going to her bedroom to sleep. When he tries to approach her doorstep, he is stopped by Detective Bob Oliver, who asks Meeks if he lives in the neighborhood. Meeks introduces himself as Agent Miller, and Oliver asks him to take out his credentials and show them to him. Realizing that he is cornered, Meeks pulls out Sulzbach's handgun and shoots Oliver twice in the chest, but Oliver is protected by a bulletproof vest. As he falls to the ground, Oliver shoots Meeks in the stomach as the latter flees into his car. After escaping the scene, Meeks puts on another pair of clothes, switches cars, and tries treating his wound, but to no avail.
He inadvertently drives to a DUI checkpoint, where Officer Jim Gray notices him. They both look at each other, and Gray recognizes Meeks from his computer, which is displaying his image in an all-points bulletin alert. This causes Meeks to get out of the car, catching the attention of the other officers. He stumbles to a car in front of him, forces the female driver out, and holds her at gunpoint. As Gray and the other officers point their guns at him, Meeks tells them to back off or he will kill the woman. JJ and Reid arrive, and Reid tells him that they know he wants revenge, but that everything he worked for will end here and now. Then, JJ tells Meeks that the woman is terrified and asks him if he remembers feeling scared when he was being smothered in the gym mattress. This causes him to have a flashback about his experience inside the mattress. Meeks hesitates, then flies into a rage. He pushes the woman out of the way and shoots at JJ and Gray, but they take cover. Reid shoots Meeks twice, instantly killing him. Afterwards, JJ and Reid take the credentials from Meeks' corpse and they both realize that he put his picture on top of Sulzbach's picture.
"Morning, ma'am. FBI."
Meeks targeted random women living low-risk lifestyles who were surrogates for the girls who participated in the high school prank. They also usually lived alone, though Mary Lenahan was married and her husband happened to be away at the time of her attack. He selected them after scouting transitional neighborhoods in Los Angeles where crimes that involved rape and/or murder took place, the details of which he obtained via a police radio stolen from Sulzbach. While his first two female victims lived in private houses, his last two female victims lived in apartment complexes that he was allowed into after pressing on every button on the buzz panel until one of the female residents let him in. All of the victims would live a couple of blocks away from the crime scenes.
He would charm the victims at the doorsteps of their homes by posing as an FBI agent investigating the crimes. Once invited into the victim's home, he kept up the facade by asking questions pertaining to the investigation and letting them give their answers. When the victims were in a vulnerable position, Meeks blitz-attacked them from behind and put them in a chokehold, forcing them to lose consciousness. Afterwards, he would wrap their bodies in some sort of incidental item, such as a curtain or carpet, and asphyxiate them to death by pressing his hand against the area of item that covered their mouths once they regained consciousness. Once the victim was dead, Meeks left the body wrapped in the item, his signature. When he incidentally killed Ed Sulzbach, he stole his handgun and shot him in the chest with it. He would later use Sulzbach's gun on his would-be victims.
The unsub is a white male in his early 40s who is posing as an FBI agent, using fake or stolen credentials as a ruse to gain entry into his victims' homes. He appears articulate, socially adept, and non-threatening. The spiderweb tattoo on his neck symbolizes a very long prison term, most likely for violent crimes. It was in prison that he picked up his criminal sophistication and he was likely forced to develop his verbal skills in order to survive. From this, he most likely has antisocial personality disorder. He may also suffer from an extreme form of bondage known as claustrophilia, in which sexual arousal is connected to the anxiety of being confined; although this is typically practiced by consenting partners, the unsub's antisocial nature has allowed him to turn it into his own method of killing. It is possible that he developed claustrophilia during his prison sentence and is projecting his trauma onto his victims, or he suffered from it before his time in prison, perhaps during an event in his teenage years that antagonized his already latent deviance.
The unsub is motivated by affirmation-seeking behavior. From this, he gets off on the power of impersonating a member of law enforcement, as well as the respect and access that come with the credentials. He targets vulnerable and readily available victims who would let their guard down, allow him to enter their homes, and cooperate with him, all of which are guaranteed by his disguise as an FBI agent. He is a highly organized thinker and planner, and he performs his ruse with confidence, but he is on a killing spree and he will devolve.
Meeks seems to have been inspired by Rodney Alcala - Both were killers with antisocial personalities, targeted random women and killed them via asphyxiation with an incidental object, were active in Los Angeles (though Alcala also operated in parts of California and New York), and both attempted to kill someone before their serial killings and were convicted for other criminal offenses.
Meeks is similar and was even compared by the BAU to serial killer Ted Bundy - Both were killers who targeted women, usually killed their victims by asphyxiation, were antisocial but managed to develop skills to charm their victims, had claustrophobia, and posed as a law enforcement officer to gain the trust of victims.
He may have been somewhat based on Andrei Chikatilo - Both were spree killers (Chikatilo briefly) with similar first names, frequently wetted themselves as children, were abused by a parental figure as a result (Meeks' stepfather and Chikatilo's mother, respectively), committed an assault in their adolescence, primarily targeted women (though Chikatilo also killed boys while Meeks killed one man and attempted to kill several more), strangled them (though Chikatilo mostly stabbed his victims), and were driven by sexual deviance they experienced in their adolescence (Chikatlo could only be aroused by causing pain, while Meeks developed a fetish for confined spaces).
- Unspecified date: Unnamed high-school classmate (one of the students who pranked him; attempted)
- February 22-23: Ed Sulzbach (incidental; stole his handgun and shot in the chest)
- February 23: Gertrude Smiles (asphyxiated with a large rug)
- February 24:
- Isabella Jayne (asphyxiated with her sheets)
- Patricia Brannon (asphyxiated with a bedsheet)
- Mary Lenahan (asphyxiated with a shower curtain)
- The shootout during the attempted setup:
- Unnamed undercover female police officer (intended)
- Detective Bob Oliver (attempted; was shot twice in the chest, but was protected by a bulletproof vest)
- The DUI checkpoint standoff:
- Unnamed female motorist (held at gunpoint)
- Jennifer Jareau (attempted; shot at, but missed)
- Officer Jim Gray (attempted; shot at, but missed)
- Meeks is similar to Adam Jackson ("Conflicted) - Both were killers who were abused by their stepfathers, used a ruse on their victims in which they disguised themselves (Meeks made himself appear to be an FBI agent; Adam dressed up as a woman while under the control of his alternate personaility), committed offenses prior to their murders, and killed their victims by asphixyation.
- Meeks may have been foreshadowed to in the Season Ten episode "Lockdown". In a montage of prisoners taking their mugshots in that episode, one of the inmates' tattoos (a spiderweb) was emphasized in one scene. Meeks' spiderweb tattoo would be a vital factor in the BAU identifying him.