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Gary Brendan Michaels was a pedophilic killer, budding serial rapist, and stalker who targeted Spencer Reid when he was a child. He appeared in the Season Four episode of Criminal Minds, "Memoriam".


Born in 1957 and living in a suburban area in Las Vegas, Michaels was arrested in his youth for lewd behavior and trespassing on a nursery school grounds. Later in life, he was detained again when he exposed himself to a child. In 1984, Michaels spotted a six-year-old boy named Riley Jenkins walking home alone from a T-ball game due to his parents working late and either offered him a lift to Riley's house or merely followed him to the residence. After somehow managing to get inside in the Jenkins house, Michaels coaxed Jenkins into the basement, where he raped and killed him, leaving the body stuffed behind a washing machine. After murdering Jenkins, Michaels began focusing on Spencer Reid, then another boy living in the neighborhood, ever since he watched his chess games in the park (even playing a round of the game with him at one point). Sensing something was wrong, Reid's mother Diana told Jenkins's father, Lou, about her suspicions.

Two days after getting Diana's call, Lou, after looking into Michaels' history and discovering his prior crimes, called Diana and had her lead him to Michaels' house. Following Michaels inside after spotting him taking out the trash, Lou confronted and beat him to death with an aluminum baseball bat. Discovering what Lou had done moments later, Diana slipped in and became soaked in Michaels' blood, prompting her husband William (who had been told what had transpired and decided to help in covering it up, fearing Diana could be charged as an accessory to the murder) into burning them, an act which Reid witnessed. Lou disposed of Michaels' body across state lines, burying it in the middle of the desert, where construction workers discovered it in 2001. Due to the body being in close proximity to the Barker Ranch, it was believed that it could belong to an unknown victim of the Manson Family, so DNA was taken and entered into the national database.


In 2008, while investigating child abductions in his hometown, Reid begins having nightmares about Riley Jenkins, which leads him to believe his father may have been the one who murdered him. Eventually, after reopening the case and investigating with help from Morgan and Rossi, Reid discovers Michaels was the one who murdered Riley, with his mother and father (who he had managed to track down) telling him the rest.


Jenkins' killer was profiled as a white male aged in his late twenties to early thirties who likely knew him, meaning he may have been a neighbor. The crime was need-based and sexual in nature, so the perpetrator was a pedophile, while Jenkins' mouth being taped shut was symbolic; the unsub feared the boy would talk, panicked, weighed his options and killed him, thus making sure he'd never say another word.

Modus Operandi

Since Michaels only killed one victim, the term "M.O." is misused. After following Jenkins home or after finding some way to enter the house, he somehow coaxed the boy into the basement, where he raped him, taping his mouth shut either before or after doing so. The knife Michaels stabbed Jenkins with was taken from the scene, being found by him among some fishing gear under the basement steps. As Michaels watched Reid for some time, it is reasonable to assume he stalked Jenkins as well, to know when the perfect time to strike would be.

Real-Life Comparisons

Michaels appears to have been based off of Jeff Doucet - Both were pedophilic serial rapists (budding in Michaels' case) who were approximately the same age, committed prior sex offenses, victimized a young boy in 1984 (Michaels raped and killed Riley Jenkins, while Doucet abducted and molested Jody Plauché), and were subsequently murdered by the fathers of their victims.

He may have also been based on Jeffrey Dahmer - Both were sexually devious and murderous rapists who were arrested for exposing themselves to children, targeted young boys (a child in Michaels' case, young men and teens in Dahmer's), killed one victim with a knife (though Dahmer usually bludgeoned or strangled his victims), killed at least one victim in a basement, were active in the 1980s (though Dahmer was active for much longer), and were bludgeoned to death by another man in retaliation for their crimes. Their appearances are also similar.

Known Victims

  • Unspecified date: Unnamed child (flashed only)
  • 1984:
    • Riley Jenkins (stalked for an unspecified amount of time; later raped, then stabbed nine times in the chest)
    • Spencer Reid (intended to rape and presumably kill)