|“||There's a storm coming, Agent Hotchner. And you're about to be swept away.||”|
— Antonia in "Devil's Backbone"
Antonia was an only child born in 1959 at a farm in Kentucky. In 1972 or 1973, when she was fourteen years old, she was impregnated by her boyfriend, the son of a neighboring family who was a year older than her. Her father, a strict minister from Germany, severely disciplined her for breaking the rules, withdrew her from school for almost a year under the pretense of an illness, and forced her to give birth to the baby during that time at home. During that same time, he killed her boyfriend and covered it up as a hunting accident. After giving birth to a boy, she put him up for adoption afterward due to the shame he brought to her family. As an adult, she became a therapist and oversaw several patients, but later moved to Virginia and began working with the Center for Social Services. Developing a desire to project a fantasy in which she would kill herself over and over again, she began serial killing in Virginia, targeting runaways who were lured over to her house after they contacted a hotline she set up. In her crimes, Antonia was assisted by a submissive accountant named Phil Garmon, who cut off all of his social ties after becoming affiliated with her.
At some point, a would-be victim, a teenage boy named Hector Ramon, escaped her clutches, though she managed to kill Hector's companion, who was her ninth and last victim. Afterward, Antonia was identified and tracked down by the BAU, which was led by Jason Gideon at the time, and arrested, while Phil committed suicide. Antonia was convicted of the murders and sentenced to life imprisonment, and as a result, she was forced to terminate her therapy. In order to gain respect, Antonia put up a facade, portraying herself as a narcissist who craved constant control over a situation. She never once talked about the murders, which had bothered Gideon. During her incarceration at Fletcham Correctional Facility, she never accepted any visitors but earned the trust and respect of her fellow inmates and even some corrections officers. She attempted to escape once with the help of two other inmates and a new prison guard but failed. At some point, she wrote a letter to a newspaper editor accusing them of libel after they falsely claimed she confessed to the murders.
Thirteen years after being incarcerated, Antonia got into contact with Claude Barlow, one of her old patients in therapy, who developed a severe fixation on her. Taking advantage of his instability, Antonia manipulated him into abducting boys and holding them captive for her. In 2015, Antonia, who was diabetic, contracted an ulcer on her leg, which complicated her walking ability. Four weeks prior to "Devil's Backbone", the prison found a road map of the state in her cell and sentenced her to solitary confinement. It is currently unknown if Claude mailed it to her. Prior to "Devil's Backbone", she gave Claude new instructions to send to the prison a package containing the boys' clothes stained with dogs' blood.
"And by the way, in case you were wondering, those boys are still alive. For how long? ...Off you go, little Spencer..."
Antonia is first seen sleeping in her cell when she is approached by Warden Bart Shulman, who wakes her up and tells her that the BAU is coming to question her. After a short conversation, Antonia tells Shulman about her fourth victim Helen McGill but refrains from giving details about her murder and pretends to be innocent. Bart easily sees through the lie and gives her an extra month in solitary confinement. Antonia replies that she knows about the package with the bloodied clothes, which had just been received by the prison, and tells Bart that she has certain requirements for the interrogation. Later, Hotch interrogates Antonia about the boys, asking if she knows anything about it or who sent the package. She doesn't respond and instead throws a paper at Hotch, which contains mocking comments she wrote about him. Next, JJ goes to Antonia's cell and asks the same questions. Antonia goes off-topic, telling her about her leg ulcer and asking JJ if she is respected as Hotch. She then informs JJ that since she isn't going to be released, she wants to be transferred to a prison in Kentucky instead so she can smell the bluegrass hills, but JJ replies that this condition isn't possible. Antonia responds that she has nothing more to say to her.
Later, Reid approaches Antonia while she is eating her lunch. He shows her a copy of a coded letter she wrote earlier that the BAU manage to find, and asks her about the original. Antonia mockingly replies that she threw the letter away and it is being incinerated. She then deduces that Reid lost someone in his life and asks who it is; he tells her about former team member Derek Morgan, who recently retired. Antonia then says that she can decipher the letter, and when Reid gives the copy to her, she grabs his arm, spits out her chewed-up food onto his hand, and writes what appears to be "CH" in the mush. She then tells Reid that the boys are still alive at the moment and sees him off. Later, Rossi and Lewis meet Antonia to interrogate her. When she refuses to answer their questions, Rossi and Lewis start talking about Gideon and what he said about Antonia. When they are about to leave, Antonia (unaware it was just a ploy by the two agents) tells them that if they transfer her to Kentucky, she will reveal everything to them. Rossi tells her that they will consider a prison transfer if she reveals where the boys are.
Antonia abruptly asks to be alone with Lewis. Once they are, she asks her about her background. Lewis tells her about an incident that occurred when she stayed in Germany as a child due to her father's military service, in which she was beaten by a neo-Nazi classmate and his two accomplices. However, Antonia realizes parts of the story are fake, citing that the neo-Nazi logically didn't need help in beating up a girl, and deduces that the beating happened to someone close to Lewis. When Lewis demands information, an impressed Antonia instead tells her that she is giving her a chance to redeem herself, and asks who the person close to her was. Lewis refuses to talk about it and leaves. Later, Reid determines that the cipher Antonia gave him isn't the initials of CH, but C++. After reading Antonia's deciphered letter, the team realizes that they have five hours to find the boys or they will die, giving the BAU no choice but to fulfill Antonia's request. Reid, Rossi, and Lewis bring Antonia to their private jet, and before she boards it, she smugly surveys her surroundings one last time.
During the ride, Antonia asks Lewis if she is single; though Lewis doesn't answer, she seems to deduce that she is, and proceeds to say that the two of them are alike in the sense that nobody really knows them. She then abruptly speaks German to Lewis "Ich helfe Ihnen, wenn Sie die Wahrheit sagen" ("I will help you if you are telling the truth"), still taunting her about the incident in Germany, and Lewis replies, "Sicher. Wenn das alles vorbei ist." ("Sure. When this is over.") Later, the team figures out Claude's identity and where he can possibly be going with the boys. Antonia makes one more request before she can tell them where Claude is holding the boys captive: remove her shackles, as she want to have one last official taste of freedom before going to the new prison. Since Garcia is unable to find a current address for Claude in Kentucky, Reid does so while Lewis holds her at gunpoint. When the BAU arrive at Kentucky, Antonia leads them to a forest where she and Claude used to have walks during the latter's sessions. After one boy is found tied up in a shed, Reid takes Antonia out of the SUV, instructing her to show them where she would take Claude; she leads them to a trail called Devil's Backbone.
They arrive at a lake and find Claude holding another boy hostage. When Claude threatens to kill the boy unless he sees Antonia, she steps out and convinces Claude to release him. Afterward, she whispers something indiscernible into his ear and walks away. Claude then commits suicide. Hours later, Antonia is brought back to Virginia, where she realizes that the BAU lied to her about transferring her to Kentucky, but Rossi deduces that she knew all along. Reid talks to Lewis, saying he translated her conversation with Antonia and asks her if she was going to tell her about what really happened to her in Germany; Lewis declines. As Antonia is being taken back to Fletcham Correctional Center, Hotch meets her again and says that she could have set everything in motion much earlier. He then deduces Antonia's past, including her baby. When Hotch asks Antonia about what happened to the baby, she refuses to answer the question but as 'a reward' for 'being so clever,' she tells him that a storm is coming and he is about to be swept away.
"Promise me he won't get hurt."
Antonia briefly reappears in the episode, where she is interrogated by JJ after Hotch's arrest. JJ tells Antonia about her deductions on the latter's son, then explains that Antonia warned Hotch about the "storm" because her son had something to do with it. When JJ tells her that SWAT won't be happy about being tricked into arresting Hotch and will not hesitate to kill her son, Antonia is unnerved and states that she wants him to be taken into custody alive. JJ replies that she can't make any promises on what will happen when he gets caught. Trying to regain control of the situation, Antonia taunts that JJ will not let an innocent man get killed. JJ implies that she is willing to make an exception, as Antonia's son manipulated SWAT into pointing guns in the same room as her son, which further unnerves Antonia. When JJ promises her that she will ensure that her son will be arrested unharmed, Antonia gives in and gives her his present name, Asher Douglas.
During her original crimes with Phil Garmon, Antonia targeted runaways of both genders, presumably as surrogates for herself and her boyfriend, who she would lure in using a hotline she set up for potential victims. Once they were brought to her house at her request, she would provide them with shelter and initially treat them with kindness. However, as time passed, she would become abusive towards them. Eventually, Antonia would kill them with single gunshots to the back of the head. The bodies of the victims would be wrapped in plastic and encased behind the drywall of her house's basement.
At first, Antonia was profiled by the BAU as an extreme narcissist who craved control over a situation, but Hotch would later reveal that it is just a cover. In reality, she is full of self-loathing, and every time she killed a victim, she was just killing herself or her boyfriend for lacking discipline.
Antonia seems to be based on the unidentified Babysitter Killer - Both were serial killers who targeted minors of both genders, took care of them at a secondary location for days, killed them with a gunshot to the head (though this was just one of the Babysitter's methods), and were given nicknames for their crimes.
- Unspecified dates from 1999 to 2001, Virginia:
- Sarah Young
- Elizabeth Green
- Daniel Walker
- Helen McGill
- Brian Jones
- Mary Wilson
- David Brooks
- Jessica Johnson
- Sam Meckler
- Hector Ramon (held captive; he escaped)
- September 27, 2016, Lexington, Kentucky: Adam Morrissey and Jimmy Bennett (attempted; forced Claude Barlow to kill them, but he failed)
- Antonia seems to have been inspired by at least four unsubs from the show's past:
- Season One
- Adrian Bale ("Won't Get Fooled Again") - Both are killers who were given names by the media for their crimes, were caught and imprisoned by Gideon prior to the events of the show, and convinced someone who communicated with them outside of prison to commit crimes. Once that was done, both used said crimes to barter deals with the BAU after they went to their prisons to see what they knew about the other unsubs (Antonia wanted to be taken to Kentucky in exchange for information on Claude; Bale wanted to be institutionalized in exchange for information on Walker). Though the BAU initially accepted to their deals, they eventually reneged for different reasons (they used Antonia as a means to an end, while Bale ultimately did not fulfill his end of the deal).
- Karl Arnold ("The Fox" and "Outfoxed") - Both were organized serial killers who were abused by their fathers, worked as therapists, had a sense of self-loathing, operated in Virginia (though Karl also operated in Maryland and presumably other states as well), abused their underage victims before killing them, and killed at least some of their victims by shooting them in the head. Both were also interrogated by the BAU to see what they knew about another unsub's crimes and had messages for Hotch regarding the future crimes of yet another unsub. Karl also appears in Season Five.
- Season Five
- Season Eight
- Season One
- Antonia is the first of only two unsubs in the show's history to have been inside the BAU's jet. The second one being Everett Lynch ("Under the Skin", "Awakenings", "Family Tree", "Face Off" and "And in the End...").
- The BAU said she wrote the letter during her incarceration, but also said it was written in 2000, which would be incorrect, as it would still be in the middle of her killings