Criminal Minds Wiki

John Nichols and Sam Russell are a pair of serial killers who appear in the Season Nine episode "The Black Queen".


See the John Nichols and Sam Russell articles

Modus Operandi

Nichols and Russell targeted prostitutes, whom they would call over before incapacitating them by drugging them with a drink. Then, they would kill them by alternating between a pattern of stabbing them and strangling them, depending on who killed them (Nichols stabbed his victims, while Russell strangled his). Judging by the crime scene photos, they would specifically target Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic prostitutes (it is unknown if the racial types were exclusive to one each or both) and then dispose of their bodies after killing them by dumping them in alleyways or other locations holding trash.

Real-Life Comparisons

Nichols and Russell are very similar to Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi - Both teams consisted of serial killers (yet one member also killed victims alone), operated in California, targeted high-risk prostitutes (the Hillside Stranglers initially, though they later targeted middle-class women), and strangled them (though Nichols stabbed them).

They are also similar to Moses Sithole and David Selepe - All are serial killers who were both accused of committing a string of killings of women, while they were responsible for some of the murders, they weren't responsible for all of them, with Nichols and Sithole being responsible for the rest. Their cases were later revisited and their innocence questioned when Nichols and Sithole continued the killings. While Sithole and Selepe weren't outright confirmed to be partners, the fact that Nichols and Russell worked together as a killing team may be a reference to the assumption that they were.

Mutual Victims

  • 2004: Eight unnamed prostitutes (four killed by Nichols, the other four by Russell)