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You must bear witness. You will be the one after the reckoning who tells them all the truth. Iqiniso.
Miller

Curtis Miller was a serial killer, poisoner, and abductor who appeared in the Season One episode of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, "Iqiniso".

Background[]

Miller's sister Sara was a constable working in the Johannesburg Metro Police Department during the apartheid era. However, in the winter of 1989, she was killed by three of her colleagues while she was on patrol in Azaria, as part of a false-flag operation to dismantle the anti-apartheid operation. Noah Coetzee wanted to shoot her, but Armand Smit stabbed her when Rowan Bosch suggested to make it appear Zulu in nature, while Coetzee knew an anti-apartheid activist named David Lubbe, who served as their patsy. Sara's murder launched the formation of a specialized unit code-named "Pretorius" that tortured and killed fourteen other activists in the span of eleven months. In 1995, apartheid was abolished and the actions of the unit were exposed to the public. Miller himself was later discharged South African National Defence Force due to concerns regarding his mental health. Five years after apartheid's abolishing, his parents died and he inherited the family home. When Bosch, one of the constables who killed Sara, contracted terminal cancer, he went to Miller and told him the truth of his sister's murder (having documents with him as proof) and asked for his forgiveness. This left Miller enraged and he decided to go after the children of his sister's murderers, killing and mutilating their bodies in the same manner as she was.

Iqiniso[]

A month after killing Bosch's daughter Lara, Miller goes after Smit's brothers Timothy and Brandon. When Timothy steps out of the bar they are working at, Miller incapacitates him. When Brandon hears the noise, he arms himself and goes out into the alley to find Timothy. Once he finds him knocked unconscious, Miller ambushes him and kills Timothy. Brandon regains consciousness the next morning, finds himself in Miller's hideout at a local mining plant, and sees him sharpening a rake while wearing a goat skull as a mask. Brandon demands to know his brother's location, but Miller begins a ritual, chanting in African and threatening to stab Brandon's face with the rake. Afterwards, he gives Brandon a plate of food, but he throws it aside and tries to escape. However, Miller gains the upper hand and subdues him. He promptly slashes Brandon's throat while chanting, shallowly enough to ensure that Brandon doesn't die from the wound, and then leaves to kill Kurt Adams (Bosch's illegitimate son).

He goes back to his hideout, where he has Brandon tied to a chair. After Miller electrocutes him, Brandon yells at him to kill him, but Miller tells him that he must bear witness and assures that he will be dead after the reckoning. He then electrocutes Brandon again while he chants. Later, he abducts and lobotomizes Lara and Bosch. As the International Response Team identifies Miller as the unsub and rescues Brandon and Bosch, Miller goes to the residence of Coetzee and his pregnant daughter Lydia. He ambushes the former, confronts him about what happened to Sara, and tells him about what Bosch told him. He then waits for Lydia to come home; when she does, Miller holds her hostage and threatens to stab her in the stomach, killing her unborn baby. Coetzee pleads with Miller to let her go and admits that he did murder Sarah. The IRT then shows up, and Garrett tells him that they know the truth about Sara's murder and are here to punish the men responsible. However, Miller refuses to listen. While he is distracted, Simmons appears from behind and tackles him. They both get into a struggle, during which Miller accidentally stabs himself in the stomach and dies.

Modus Operandi[]

Curtis Miller Disguise

The disguise worn by Miller during most of his crimes.

Miller targeted the constables who were responsible for killing his sister (with the exception of Armand Smit, since he was now living in the U.S.), as well as their children. He would then stalk them, blitz-attack them, knock them unconscious, and abduct them. The victims he killed were murdered in the same manner as his sister: by injecting a fatal mixture of heroin and another unnamed drug. His signature was performing the same post-mortem rituals that were performed on his sister's body (driving a spike into the forehead, stabbing the body with a rake multiple times, covering the body in white clay, and vertically splitting the tongue in half). The bodies of his victims were always left in the Azaria district, presumably because it was the same area of Johannesburg where his sister was killed.

In the case of Brandon Smit, he kept him restrained in a mining plant, tortured him by slashing him with a rake and electrocuting him, and intentionally left him alive so he could be found by law enforcement. After abducting Rowan Bosch and also taking him to the mining plant, he dressed him up in the same costume he wore while torturing Brandon, restrained him to a chair, lobotomized him, and placed a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson Model 10 HB revolver (which Brandon had on him when he was abducted) in one of his hands. This was to make law enforcement believe Bosch was Miller wearing the costume and shoot him when they saw the gun in his hand.

Profile[]

The unsub is a male offender who executes his crimes with military-style precision. He was initially profiled as a former child soldier from the Congo, Sierra Leone, or the Sudan, which would be in step with his need to send this message of fear. Based on the explicit precision of mutilations, it seems to be a physical manifestation of the unsub's internal fantasy psychosis. He is existing in a psychic borderland, in which he is standing on the line between reality and the fantasy world he created for himself. With that kind of dysfunction, he will probably need to hide behind someone else's identity or possibly even masquerade in another creature's persona.

Real-Life Comparison[]

Miller appears to be primarily based on Christopher Dorner - Both were killers who served in some military force (the South African National Defence Force in Miller's case, the U.S. Navy Reserve and Los Angeles Police Department in Dorner's), had stressors involving crimes committed during their service (Miller's sister was murdered, while Dorner was discharged for alleged police brutality), were discharged from their positions afterwards, both targeted the people involved and their families (Miller attacked and murdered the group that killed his sister and their children, while Dorner attacked the people who got him fired from the police and their families when he tried to report police brutality), used symbolic references in their crimes to evoke their lives and motives (Miller copied his sister's murder with almost exact details on the children of her killers, while Dorner sent a bullet-riddled challenge coin in a letter to evoke his military experience), both left behind living victims they briefly took hostage, restrained, and left for the police to find, and both their sprees ended in stand-offs at houses that resulted in their deaths (Miller was killed in a fatal fight by accident, while Dorner committed suicide when the house was set on fire).

Known Victims[]

  • 2015:
    • Unspecified date, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa: Rowan Bosch (abducted, non-fatally lobotomized, and attempted to trick law enforcement into killing him; was rescued)
    • Early October, Pretoria, South Africa: Lara Bosch (Bosch's daughter)
    • November 3, Johannesburg, South Africa: Timothy Smit and his brother Brandon (Armand Smit's sons):
      • Timothy Smit (killed)
      • Brandon Smit (abducted and tortured by slashing and electrocution; was rescued three days later)
    • November 5, Johannesburg, South Africa: Kurt Adams (Bosch's illegitimate son)
    • November 6, Bloemfontein, South Africa: The Coetzee home standoff:
      • Noah Coetzee (assaulted; stabbed twice in the stomach and right leg with a rake)
      • Lydia Coetzee (Coetzee's daughter; attempted; was pregnant at the time)
      • Matthew Simmons (assaulted)

Appearances[]

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