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Stop it! Don't do that! Grandma's asleep, she's gonna wake up, so you have to stop it! I need to...get to the yard...
Gina

Gina King is a schizophrenic "vampirist"-type serial killer who appears in the Season Five episode of Criminal Minds, "The Performer".

Background

Gina was a huge fan of Paul Davies, a.k.a. Dante, a Gothic singer, worshiping the vampire persona that he takes as a god. Not much is revealed about her life prior to the episode, other than she is a severe schizophrenic and wrote disturbing entries on various Dante forums, promising to kill for him. She was also taking care of her sickly grandmother, although the latter apparently died prior to the events of the episode. Dante's manager, Ray Campion, saw her obsession with Dante as an opportunity to gain some publicity for the singer's upcoming album, The Liar. He manipulated Gina into killing other fans of Dante, draining their blood, writing "The Liar" in their blood on their bodies, and dumping them near highways to be seen. Her first victim was Melody Gladford, who was killed on Halloween, followed by Brooke Dorison a week later.

The Performer

The BAU is called in when the third victim, Tara Ferris, is killed three days afterward. When they look through her apartment, they find posters of Dante. After looking into him, they find out about his vampire style and his popularity among the L.A. vampire community. Dante is brought in and questioned on suspicion of the killings. Due to the publicity from the investigation, the sales records of The Liar goes straight to the top. Shortly after the interview, the DNA taken from the victims' throats is revealed to come from a woman. JJ goes to talk with Gina, who is Tara's best friend. Meanwhile, Reid deduces, based on a comparison of the victims and Gina's entries on Dante forums, that she is in fact the unsub. By then, Ray has gone to her house while JJ follows Gina through it. He knocks her out with a shovel from behind and tries to convince Gina to kill her. JJ wakes up while the authorities are driving towards the house. Finally, Ray manages to persuade Gina to kill JJ. However, JJ holds the two at gunpoint. Ray attempts to attack her but is hit on the head, causing a small wound to open up, attracting Gina's attention. Both of them are then arrested. Gina's current status is uncertain, but, given her mental illness, it is likely that she was institutionalized.

Modus Operandi

Gina targeted Caucasian Goth women in their early 20s who were interested in vampires, apparently for convenience. She would kill her victims at night by grabbing their throats, fatally asphyxiating them, and afterwards, she would take the bodies to her house. Her signature was puncturing their throats twice to make it appear as if the victims were bitten by a vampire using an industrial scratch awl and then lick the blood that came out the victims' throats. Afterwards, she preserved the blood that ran out of the wounds by putting it in jars. After killing Tara, she drew "The Liar" in her blood on her arm, a reference to Dante's latest album. She also did this with Erin Hickman, drawing "The Liar" on her chest. The bodies were then dumped near various freeways.

Profile

The unsub was initially believed to be a male. He is not a vampire in the supernatural sense; instead, he simply has a large desire for human blood, like Renfield's syndrome. Like other vampirists, he will have cut himself repeatedly in order to taste his own blood. Most vampirists are ashamed of this and carry long-sleeved shirts to conceal the cuts. He will also have a long history of animal abuse, starting with smaller creatures (such as insects and rodents) before moving up to larger creatures (like dogs and cats). He most likely lives in a poorly-kept, older home for the sake of privacy, likely sharing his home with some older woman, like a grandmother, mother, or aunt. This type of mental disorder is quite difficult to hide from people, so someone probably knows the unsub.

Gina's main motivation for killing (other than blood) was Ray Campion's promise that "Dante" would make her one of the undead if she killed for him (Paul Davies was unaware of Gina's unhealthy obsession with his alter-ego, "Dante", nor his manager's manipulation of Gina for the sake of publicity). Gina herself was too mentally ill to realize that Ray was just using her, though she was somewhat reluctant to keep on killing (Ray had originally promised her that Tara Ferris, her own friend, would be the last victim, but later persuaded her to kill Erin Hickman due Dante's unplanned private party with her). Before she and Ray were captured, Ray tried to have Gina kill JJ to cover up his involvement with the murders.

Based on her M.O., mental illness, and the motivation for her crimes, King can be considered a disorganized visionary-type serial killer.

Real-Life Comparisons

Gina appears to be based on John Hinckley, Jr. - Both are violent, schizophrenic stalkers and murderers, targeting a celebrity as an object of obsession, sending them countless messages to get their attention, dressing up based on the productions the celebrities they stalked had produced, attacked and killed several people by means that emulated the works of their stalking victims, and had victims including government officials.

Gina has many elements in common with Richard Chase - Both were "vampirist"-type serial killers from California who were mentally-ill with schizophrenia, lived in dilapidated homes under the care of a female relative (Chase's mother and King's grandmother, respectively), and collected buckets of their victims' blood and drank from them because they believed that it was necessary for their own survival (as an undead companion of Paul Davies's stage character "Dante", in King's case).

She is also similar to Marcelo Costa de Andrade - Both are mentally-ill serial killers who killed their victims by strangulation and drank their blood. Also, both preserved their victims' blood by putting them in jars.

Gina may have also been based on Dionathan Celestrino - Both were young schizophrenic serial killers who had goth life styles, primarily targeted young women (though Celestrino's first victim was a man), took them to a secluded location, strangled their victims to death for delusional purposes, and wrote messages in blood on their victims post-mortem. Also, King licking the blood coming out of her victims seems to be an allusion to Celestrino licking his own blood.

Known Victims

  • 2009:
    • October 31: Melody Gladford
    • November 7: Brooke Dorison
    • November 10: Tara Ferris (The Liar was written in blood on her arm post-mortem)
    • November 11:
      • Erin Hickman (The Liar was written in blood on her chest post-mortem)
      • Jennifer Jareau (attempted; was ordered by Ray to kill her)

Notes

  • Gina has a number of similarities to Maggie Lowe ("Somebody's Watching") - Both are serial killers who operated in Los Angeles, California, were both obsessed with a star celebrity (Lila Archer for Maggie and Paul Davies for Gina) and committed their killings as a direct result, and were finally arrested after getting into standoffs with a BAU agent (J.J. in Gina's case and Reid in Maggie's).

Appearances

References

  1. Though Gina mentions her grandmother as if she is alive, it is unknown of that really is true, considering her mental illness and the fact that her grandmother was never seen
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