|“||It was all for you. I did everything you said.||”|
Because of a history of violent behavior, Barlow was put in therapy. His therapist was Antonia Slade, who he soon developed a fixation towards, and saw her twice a week for three years. When Slade moved to Virginia, he (under an alias) followed her and visited her workplace, the Center for Social Services, multiple times in hopes of speaking to her. The Center eventually filed a restraining order against him due to his threatening and erratic behavior. When Slade was outed as a serial killer and arrested, he became even more unstable and attempted to visit her in prison a month after she was sentenced, but she refused to see him. He eventually managed to establish written communication with her, and they exchanged coded letters under the guise of letters sent by groupies. In 2014, Slade, seizing a possible opportunity at freedom, manipulated Barlow into abducting boys and holding them captive. He did so, abducting Adam Morrissey and Jimmy Bennett and holding them captive in a shed at his property.
Two years later, Barlow receives new instructions to kill his two captives. One day, he goes back to the shed, wakes up the boys, and tells them to get up. Bennett wakes up, but Morrissey doesn't, prompting Barlow to kick him. Bennett initially tells Barlow that Morrissey is sick, but when Barlow threatens to leave him to die in the shed, Bennett volunteers to carry him. Then, Barlow forcibly drags the boys out of the shed and yells at them to start moving as they are leaving. The following night, Barlow drives the boys from Virginia to Kentucky while they sit in the back of the van. Upon arriving at a forest where he and Slade used to have walks, he forces the boys out of his van, telling them that they are about to meet "their master." Barlow leaves Bennett in a shed and takes Morrissey to a lake along the Devil's Backbone trail in order to kill him.
Moments later, the BAU arrive at the woods and rescue Bennett. With Slade's help, they are able to find Barlow holding Morrissey hostage at the lake. Reid orders him to drop his gun and let Morrissey go, but Barlow demands to know where Slade is and asks if they brought her. Reid tells him that Slade did lead the team to him in order to stop him. When Barlow threatens to kill Morrissey if he doesn't see Slade, she steps out and tells him to release Morrissey so she can tell him something. After Barlow does so, he tells her that he did everything she told him to do, and she replies that she knows. Slade then leans in and whispers something indiscernible into his ear; though the team is unable to hear it, it visibly shocks Barlow and brings him to tears. Slade then walks away, and Barlow points his gun under his chin and pulls the trigger. Then, his body falls backward into the lake and is left floating on the surface.
Little is known about Barlow's M.O., including how he managed to find his victims. What is known is that he targeted runaways just like Slade did, abducted them, and held them captive in a shed located on his property. He kept them alive long enough until Slade gave him his next orders, which were to transport the boys to Kentucky and kill them by shooting them with a revolver. Though he took his victims to Kentucky as instructed, he ultimately failed to kill them.
No official profile of Barlow was made by the BAU.
- Unspecified date(s): An unspecified history of violent behavior
- 2014, Virginia:
- Franklin: Adam Morrissey (abducted, held at gunpoint, and attempted to kill in Lexington, Kentucky; was released on September 27, 2016)
- Richmond: Jimmy Bennett (abducted and intended to kill in Lexington, Kentucky; was rescued on September 27, 2016)
- Barlow seems to have been inspired by at least two unsubs from the show's past:
- Season One
- Season Five