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The only person that knew where my family was and now he's dead. I had every chance to kill him. But I couldn't because he had my family.

Joe Muller is a notable character who was forced by Dale Schrader to assist in his killing spree in the Season Five episode of Criminal Minds, "Retaliation".


Muller worked as an undercover police officer in New York. In his personal life, he was married to a woman named Molly and had two sons with her. He went undercover in the bank robbery world in a stint to capture Dale Schrader, who robbed fourteen banks from 1994 to 1997. Little details were revealed about the case, but Muller somehow became associated with Schrader. He was eventually able to provide evidence that helped put Schrader away after he was sold out by fellow bank robber Dan Otey. Afterwards, Muller moved on with his life, unaware that Schrader deduced he was a cop and that he was plotting a revenge scheme against him. Things came to a head-on December 14, 2009, when Schrader suddenly approached him at a hardware store parking lot, showing him a photo of his family being held captive and claiming to know where they are. He forced him to drive over to a poor neighborhood, where Muller witnessed him murdering a crack addict named Stacy Ryan. He then reluctantly drove Schrader to an empty field, where he disposed of Ryan's body. Next, the two engineered a scheme to break Schrader out of police custody in case he was captured while abducting his daughter Jenny.


Muller was on standby during the transportation of Schrader on the route the cruiser was driving. Muller sped his car into the cruiser's bumper and smashed it hard enough for it to careen into a ditch. After Schrader strangled the detective in the driver's seat next to Prentiss with the cuffs still on Schrader's wrists, Schrader got into the SUV Muller was in and sped off. Prentiss shot the vehicle, but it didn't stop the escape. After Schrader's cuffs were removed, he forced Muller to drive to Otey's family house, where Muller was right behind Schrader when he broke through the front door and angrily shot Otey dead in front of his family, out of revenge for turning him in. Schrader was then ready for his final plan of going to the local evidence vault, where a stash of money Schrader stole was still there and he wanted Muller to get so Schrader would make a break for it with the illicit funds. Muller warmly spoke with composure with the woman behind the desk, Betts, whom he knew for years during his service, and after a brief discussion about Muller's family, he was aloud to access the vault. He took the money and went back to the car, where Schrader was waiting. By this point, the BAU arrived and started a standoff with Schrader, the fugitive having taken Muller at gunpoint. Muller shouted his family was in danger and pleaded for the cops to just arrest Schrader. When Schrader got more aggressive and Muller was out of the line of fire, the team had no better choice but to shoot Schrader dead. Muller was furious, lunging and screaming at the agents because he feared he would never see his family again. The agents swiftly deduced Schrader intentionally left Ryan away from where she was killed, the building where Muller's family was being held captive. Once it was raided, the drug addicts holding the family captive were all arrested. His wife and oldest son were found, but his youngest son was wandering around the building. He was found obviously stumbling around with a smile, but stripped down to his hosiery, implying he may have been sexually assaluted. Muller, despite his horror, was relieved to be with his family again and accompanied then while they were checked out by paramedics and gave their statements.