You wouldn't let a hostage die.

David Walker, a.k.a. "The Palm Beach Bomber", was a con artist-turned-copycat serial bomber and budding serial killer who appeared in the Season One episode "Won't Get Fooled Again".


Born sometime in 1959, Walker was an antiquities dealer. In his early twenties, he spent four years in prison for a series of forged checks. After being released, he established a business and opened a store which sold maps, coins, and historical documents with most of the inventory being fake. When he started promising his customers antiquities he didn't have time to forge, Walker got into debt. One of his clients, Barbara Keller, found out about the fake coins that Walker had sold her. If she had outed him, all his forgeries would have been discovered.

Won't Get Fooled Again

Not wishing to be exposed, Walker plants a bomb to kill Barbara Keller. He then sets off other bombs in order to throw the police off his tracks. Walker's bombs are exact duplicates of those made by Adrian Bale, a.k.a. "The Boston Shrapnel Bomber", who was responsible for the deaths of six FBI agents from Gideon's former unit; Walker came to admire Bale after following news reports of him and eventually getting into online contact with him. When Walker sends an innocent man with a necklace bomb to the police station, Hotch and Elle confront Walker, who blows himself up. Gideon then tries to make a deal with Adrian Bale. Bale leads the bomb squad through disabling the bomb until there is just one move to make: cutting the red wire or the blue wire. Bale tells him to cut the red wire, but Gideon hesitates and then tells the bomb squad to cut the blue. The timer stops and Bale goes back to jail. When Elle asks Gideon how he knew, Gideon answers that Bale had said, given the opportunity of pressing that button, he'd have no choice.

Modus Operandi

Walker perfectly copied the M.O. of Adrian Bale, right down to the delivery system and the color of the ink written on the packages the bombs were delivered in. His first victim, Barbara Keller, was specifically targeted in order to prevent her from exposing his frauds, while the victims after her were all randomly targeted to ensure that the bombings looked random, and therefore the police would stay off the trail of his frauds. During the standoff at the police station, Walker held a randomly-selected man at gunpoint, strapped a necklace bomb of elaborate design onto him, and sent him to the police station to inform investigators of specific instructions for his escape. When he tried to kill Elle and his wife, he smashed through the garage of his car and ran them over, but only struck his wife.


The unsub is a male, who (like other bombers) is typically non-confrontational: if they, for example, bump into someone, they will apologize, even if it was not their fault. Based on the meticulous design of the bombs used, he is highly organized with above average intelligence. He probably has a job that requires skill and allows him to have his own work-space, like a furniture maker or a jeweler, which is how he is able to make a sophisticated device without raising suspicion. However, this does not necessarily mean that he has a background with explosives. Also, he is not like a typical bomber who gains an emotional or sexual release from the explosions, but simply a murderer who uses bombs as his weapons. The attacks are not committed at random since he made bombs that are designed to kill and he chose his victims specifically by placing these bombs outside their homes. This means that he has a direct motive, either profit or to conceal another crime and that tells authorities how they will find him: through his victims. Somewhere among his victims is a direct motive, which is how he will be found.

Real-Life Comparisons

Walker seems to have been inspired by Mark Hofmann - Both were serial bombers who resorted to using bombs concealed in packages to murder two people when suspicion was being placed on their activities. These bombs also detonated through a mercury switch when people picked them up, just like Hofmann's and Bale's. In an unrelated note, a scene where the BAU initially suspected Walker's second victim of being the unsub seems to be extremely reminiscent of the circumstances behind Walker's apprehension, in which he severely injured himself with one of his own bombs as he apparently attempted to deliver it.

The bomb collar he placed on Chicu Reddy was apparently inspired by the Brian Douglas Wells case.

Known Victims

  • 2005:
    • October 4:
      • Barbara Keller (target victim; also previously scammed)
      • Two injured in the second bombing:
        • Gil Clurman (attempted, but barely survived; his leg had to be amputated)
        • Joe Reese (one of Clurman's investors; indirectly attempted, but survived; superficially injured when he was thrown back by the explosion)
      • Jill Swenson (killed near the scene of the second bombing)
    • October 5:
      • Emily and her unnamed mother (attempted; sent them a bomb, but it was safely disabled by police)
      • The escape from his house:
        • His unnamed wife (attempted, but survived; was hit with his car when he escaped)
        • Elle Greenaway (attempted to run over with his car)
      • Chicu Reddy (attempted; strapped a bomb to him, but it was disabled)
      • Attempted to take the following with him when he blew himself up with a bomb, but failed:
        • Aaron Hotchner
        • Elle Greenaway
        • Officer Worthy (first name unrevealed)
        • Three unnamed policemen



  1. The photo that Randall Garner took of Elle appears to have been shot during Walker's case
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