Without right or wrong, how would we recognize perfection?

Henry Grace was a narcissistic serial killer, stalker, abductor, and one-time mass abductor who appears in the Season Four episode of Criminal Minds, "Masterpiece".


"Do you know I was born with an extra Y chromosome? It means that I was born to be a killer."

Claiming to be born with an extra Y-chromosome, Grace believed the debunked theory that being born with that condition meant he was "born a killer". A narcissist and also a prodigy, his life fell into shambles when his brother William, a serial killer, was caught by David Rossi. Essentially becoming a pariah due to his relationship with William, Grace's beloved fiancée wound up leaving him, sending her ring to him in the mail as she was too scared to meet him face to face. Over time, Grace's mind became overwhelmed by thoughts (consisting of the Fibonacci sequence 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 and phi) he was unable to banish and came to believe he was becoming like William, as they shared the same genetics. Inspired by a quote he found in one of Rossi's books ("Vengeance keeps us sane"), Grace began planning his revenge on Rossi, whom he blamed for ruining his life. Over five years, Grace worked on his plan, creating a vast underground chamber in his yard in Chester, Virginia, where he brought women he abducted (who fit the golden ratio) during that period of time and killed them.


"Imagine what the world would have missed if da Vinci never showed his work."

Grace is met by the BAU team at Stayer University in Fredericksburg, Virginia, posing as a college professor named Paul Rothschild. He is the only person in the lecture hall who is able to understand Reid's joke about existentialists. Outside the campus, Grace confronts Reid and Rossi, showing them photographs of seven missing women he claimed to have killed. He explains there are five others, Kaylee Robinson, her daughter Chelsea, and three other children, named Jessica, Samantha, and Ricky, are currently missing and that the BAU will have to find them. He appears to assist them in their investigation; his underlying motive, however, is to exact revenge on Rossi, who he views as responsible for destroying his family. While in custody, he is undaunted by Morgan's intimidation tactics. He does, however, appear to be nervous around Prentiss. The team theorizes that they can break him by finding out the names of his original seven victims. Having no luck, Rossi interviews him. Grace tries to leave but is blocked by Prentiss, who appears to intimidate him. Grace explains "the rules" to him, stating that one of the captives would die every two hours. Each time, a life--saving apparatus would be denied to one person (for example, every captive but one would receive an oxygen mask as poison gas is pumped into their prison).

In the meeting room, the team analyzes the locations of the previous victims, and Reid discovers a pattern that can lead the team to the five captives. The pattern 11235 (the first five numerals in the Fibonacci sequence) and The Golden Ratio (both considered examples of perfect beauty) is repeated throughout the scenes of the murders. By figuring out the pattern, the team can find the five missing people. As the team closes in, Grace states that they will not make it out of the house alive and his knowledge that Rossi will send the team over to find the missing people and will himself stay behind. This will be Grace's revenge for his brother, whom Rossi had called "The Face of Pure Evil". His plan is foiled though, as the trap is discovered beforehand by Reid and the team has rescued the missing victims. Rossi decides to taunt Grace, feigning despair during the interview, leading Grace to believe that his plan is successful. Before Rossi reveals the truth, Grace confesses to the original murders. Unbeknownst to him, however, Garcia is on the other side of the one-way glass, recording the entire conversation. Enraged at being outsmarted, Grace attempts to attack Rossi as he turns to leave the interview room. Rossi overpowers him and asks, "Is that how you do it? You wait till they turn their back?" He goes on to state that at Grace's execution, "just before they hit the plunger, I'm going to lean in real close and tell you to say hello to your scumbag brother." Rossi then exits the room, leaving Grace in disbelief. It's likely Grace was later executed for his crimes.


Grace is an extreme narcissist, bordering on having a God complex, and a psychopath who craves attention. He is highly intelligent and was able to manipulate the system to gain professional credentials. He was also born with an extra Y chromosome and believes the old theory that the extra chromosome makes him a killer. This theory was debunked a decade ago, yet Grace still believes it. Rossi explains the reality to Grace, and tells him the double-Y theories are just "junk science". Grace showed signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, his fixation on the Fibonacci sequence causing him to unintentionally repeat the sequence in hand gestures and the like. Grace believes that humanity is, itself, narcissistic; as we are called Homo sapiens sapiens: Man, twice wise. He believes we should be eradicated.

As stated before, Grace is a narcissist who believes he is intellectually superior to everyone else. His killings are a means by which he taunts and challenges the authorities. He gets the BAU involved because he believes the case will prove too much of a challenge for Rossi to solve; thus proving that he is "better" and justifying his actions (to him). It is his way of forcing Rossi to pay for killing his brother William Grace years earlier.

Modus Operandi

"7 women. The bodies have never been found. Not a fingernail, not a hair fiber. Acid is a very tidy way of disposing of something."

Grace targeted brunette Caucasian women in their thirties as surrogates for his ex-fiancé. He stalked and abducted them while they were out performing one of their daily routines. During the actual abductions, he would blitz-attack them due to his general discomfort around women and to being, as Rossi put it, a complete coward; the victims were possibly kept in the same underground chamber as Kaylee Robinson and the abducted children. The cities where he abducted his victims connected together to form part of an upside-down logarithmic spiral (the geometric form of the Fibonacci sequence) on a map. The number of victims abducted from towns corresponded with the numbers found in the Fibonacci sequence (for example, the first two victims were both abducted in separate towns to represent the two 1's, the next two victims were abducted in Gloucester Point to represent the 2, the next three victims were abducted in Saluda to represent the 3, and Kaylee Robinson and the four children were abducted in Loretto to represent the 5).

Grace would take photos of his victims before killing them, which he would alter to obscure their facial features to prevent them from being easily identified, and then disposed of the bodies with hydrofluoric acid, which completely dissolves most organic compounds. Exactly how Grace killed his victims is never specified. He would later try to kill the BAU team by rigging the house he hid Kaylee Robinson and the children in with acid barrels.

After abducting Kaylee and the children, he put them in the underground chamber in his yard and kept them separated with a poison gas dispenser and oxygen masks connected to the chamber ceiling, both being activated at the same preset time. He also tortured them with hydrofluoric acid that would drip from metal drippers on the ceiling. He would also use a camera that was set to take pictures of them every three seconds. A website created by him would then send an email to Garcia's computer that would show a live stream of the pictures of the captive victims. While the victims were held captive, one would be separated every two hours from the others by a wall set to shut itself from inside the chamber.

Real-Life Comparisons

Grace appears to have been based on H.H. Holmes - Both were serial killers who placed victims in gas chambers. The way he placed Kaylee Robinson and the children inside a gas chamber with gas lines to suffocate them to death in a similar way Holmes killed some of his victims.

He may have also been based on Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb - All three were killers who were prodigies, believed in some near-delusional concept (Grace believed he was born to be a killer due to having an extra Y chromosome, while Leopold and Loeb believed they were "supermen" due to their intellect), were inspired by a bookened quote, believed themselves to be intellectually superior to others, both spent months planning their crimes, abducted a young boy (though Grace did so in the process of kidnapping a family), and used acid to dispose of forensic evidence.

Known Victims

  • Virginia:
    • Unspecified date in 2003, Richmond: Ann Ender
    • Unspecified date in 2004, Dinwiddie: Marcie Cole
    • Unspecified date in 2005, Gloucester Point: Grace Oldman
    • Unspecified date in 2006, Gloucester Point: Margaret Peters
    • Unspecified dates in 2007, Saluda:
      • Heather Roundtree
      • Nancy Tremont
    • Unspecified date in early 2008, Saluda: Lisa McDaniels
    • November 19, 2008:
      • Loretto: Mass abduction (held captive and tortured; all were rescued in Chester):
        • Kaylee Robinson
        • Chelsea Robinson (Kaylee's daughter)
        • Jessica
        • Samantha
        • Ricky
      • Chester: Attempted to kill the following with a house rigged with acid barrels:
      • Quantico: David Rossi (attempted to assault him in the interrogation room, but was subdued)




  1. While unconfirmed, Rossi implied Grace would face the death penalty following his arrest by the BAU
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