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He begged me not to hurt you. To let you go because you're a wonderful person, he said. So I tried to feel what he felt for you but to be honest...I didn't feel a thing.
DuFour to Sarah Miles

Jacob DuFour was a delusional, international, and prolific serial killer, abductor, and later cop killer who appeared in the Season Eleven episode of Criminal Minds, "Internal Affairs".

Background

Ever since he was a teenager, DuFour showed signs of severe mental illness. He would remove the heads and furs of animals, wear them, and express his wonder about what it would be like to live in someone else's skin. On October 6, 1992, DuFour was arrested for animal cruelty after a neighbor complained about him dancing around with a bloody animal pelt fastened to his head as a hat. He had been repeatedly institutionalized in psychiatric hospitals since then. Before the episode, he inherited the Diablo General Store, a general store in Esperanzo Valley that his family had owned for 60 years. In 2011, DuFour began killing, taking advantage of clashes between drug cartels along the U.S.-Mexico border to cover up the true nature of his murders.

An investigation into his serial killings was started in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, by a police detective named Santiago Morales. He sent a report of it to the El Paso Police Department in case there were any similar victims in the U.S. Morales later died on June 26, 2014, of a brain tumor, and no one followed up on the investigation, leaving it cold. On December 2, 2014, Morales's report was seen by Brian Cochran, who requisitioned it. He later decided to take advantage of it by sending potential victims to DuFour when he saw them as loose ends to the Libertad Cartel, a rising drug cartel he was affiliated with. This led to the death of DEA Agent Mark Bowers, who was working undercover to find the leader of the Libertad Cartel.

Internal Affairs

DuFour is first seen entering the shed holding a jug of water and iodized salt. In the shed are his latest captives, DEA Agents Sarah Miles and John Portman. Miles asks him who he is, what he wants with them, and why they are in the shed, but he doesn't respond. As she asks, DuFour pours the salt into the jug of water, mixes it, and forcibly pours it down into Portman's throat, then leaves. He later returns to the shed and Miles again asks him what he wants with them, but he still doesn't respond. When DuFour approaches her, he touches her cheeks. While he does, Portman tells him to leave her alone. In response, he approaches Portman, removes the chain, and drags him out of the shed. The following night, DuFour returns to the shed, disguising himself as Portman using his removed face. He taunts Miles and throws Portman's face to the ground, horrifying her. DuFour then tells her about how Portman begged him not to hurt her and to let her go. Then, he says that he tried to feel what he felt for her by putting on his face, but remarks that he didn't feel a thing.

The next day, as DuFour takes off his gloves, he sees through his smartphone that Morgan and Lewis have arrive at the general store. Deciding to abduct one of them, DuFour tells Miles that she is about to have some company, then takes the taser and leaves the shed as Miles cries. When Lewis approaches DuFour's house, he appears, lowers Lewis' guard by acting friendly, welcoming, and nonchalant, and asks her if he can help her. Lewis asks him if he lives in the house, and he replies that he does. DuFour then introduces himself, and when Lewis extends her hand to shake his, he instead stuns her with the taser. Then, Morgan appears, fires a warning shot at DuFour, and pursues him as he flees. After a short chase, Morgan pursues him to DuFour's car, where he takes out a shotgun and fires at him but misses. When DuFour empties the shotgun and tries reloading it, Morgan shoots at him and kills him. Afterward, Lewis, recovering from the stun, finds Miles in the shed as the latter begins sobbing hysterically.

Modus Operandi

"You're about to get some company."

DuFour targeted people during the violent clashes between drug cartels. Initially, he targeted random Hispanic people in Mexico but later started receiving his victims from Cochran, who would be brought to him after they took the local bus number 8 to the last stop at Diablo General Store in Esperanza Valley, thinking they were having another meeting with Jillian Carter. After they arrived, he would somehow abduct them (likely by using a ruse and then incapacitating them with a taser, as he did with Lewis), hold them captive by chaining them inside a shed on his property, torture them with dehydration and electroshock, and kill them by strangling them with his bare hands. His signatures were crudely removing their faces for his own use, and also placing the removed face of a previous victim over their own faces (done via surgically implanted attachments) post-mortem. Then, he would dump them near mass graves or dumping sites used by local drug cartels except for Agent John Portman, whose body was simply dumped in a desert in El Paso. When he attempted to kill Morgan, he did so by trying to shoot him with a shotgun.

Profile

The unsub is an American male serial killer who is trying to hide his crimes amid drug violence. His most recent victims were all undercover DEA agents who were investigating the Libertad Cartel. His post-mortem removal of his victims' faces requires patience and diligence, which suggests he is aged in his mid-thirties or possibly even older. He may have a history of mental illness as well as hunting skills, based on the dissection of his victims' faces. He likely had victims prior to the known killings and those victims were hidden among the numerous drug cartel targets. It is possible he is a member of the Libertad Cartel, since anyone can join it, or someone within the cartel is aware of the unsub's activities and has been sending him new victims as a forensic countermeasure.

Real-Life Comparisons

DuFour is similar to Ed Gein - Both were mentally-ill killers who removed their victim's faces and made masks out of them.

He is also similar to Richard Chase - Both were serial killers with a history of severe mental illness, killed animals as minors and mutilated their victims post-mortem to satisfy some sort of delusion.

His case may have been inspired by the Juárez Ripper murders in Mexico - Both cases involved serial killers who targeted mainly one gender (the Juárez Ripper targeted women, while DuFour mainly killed men, but also killed women), tortured then killed them by strangulation (though this was only one of the Juárez Ripper's methods), mutilated their victims, and both cases involved a law enforcement official investigating them filed a report about the possibility of a serial killer active in the area, but the report was never followed up on.

Known Victims

  • 2011, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico:
    • May 6 (found): R. Ricardo (full first name unrevealed; dumped his body by the Sinaloa Cartel's dumping ground)
    • July 19 (found): S. Garagos (full first name unrevealed; dumped his body by the Juárez Cartel's dumping ground)
    • September 17 (found): N. Degas (full first name unrevealed; dumped his body by one of the Gulf Cartel's dumping grounds)
  • January 8, 2012, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico (found): E. Vargas (full first name unrevealed; dumped his body by one of the Gulf Cartel's dumping grounds like the previous victim)
  • Unspecified dates from 2012 to 2015, the U.S. and/or Mexico: Numerous unnamed victims
  • 2015, El Paso, Texas, U.S.:
    • November 12: Agent Mark Bowers (abducted; later killed on November 27-28; attached Arvin Cole's face over his own face post-mortem and dumped his body by the Sinaloa Cartel's dumping ground)
    • November 26: Agent John Portman (abducted; later killed on December 3 and then removed his face post-mortem like the below victim)
    • November 28: Arvin Cole (abducted; later killed on an unspecified date and then removed his face post-mortem; his body was never found)
    • December 2: Agent Sarah Miles (abducted; was rescued two days later)
    • December 4: The general store shootout:
      • Tara Lewis (assaulted with a taser and attempted to abduct)
      • Derek Morgan (attempted; shot at twice with a shotgun, but missed)

Notes

  • DuFour appears to have been inspired by at least three unsubs from the show's past:
    • Season Three
      • Max Poole ("About Face") - Both were serial killers (budding at least) and abductors who operated in Texas (although DuFour also killed victims in Mexico), removed their victims' faces (although DuFour did it post-mortem, while Poole did it ante-mortem to kill them), and attempted to kill Morgan by shooting him before being shot and killed.
    • Season Five
      • Ronald Boyd ("A Rite of Passage") - Both were prolific serial killers and cop killers who operated near the U.S.-Mexico border, took advantage of the activities of local drug cartels to mask the true nature of their murders, killed two people working in law enforcement, and attempted to kill a member of the BAU by shooting at them with a long gun, before being killed themselves by Morgan.
    • Season Ten
      • Jerry Tidwell ("Beyond Borders") - Both were prolific and psychotic serial killers and abductors who were institutionalized as teenagers, had inherited businesses from family members after their deaths, operated in multiple countries (one of which was the U.S.), killed their victims by strangulation, and were shot and killed after attempting to shoot and kill at least one member of the BAU.
  • DuFour's habit of wearing the removed faces of his victims seems to be inspired from Leatherface, the iconic antagonist of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre slasher film franchise.

Appearances

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