Criminal Minds Wiki

No one sees True Night – what's really there in the dark. It's not that they can't see, they simply don't. They feel an elemental force that scares them into the deepest reaches of their minds, but they refuse to see the actual source. Something watching them just out of their reach. Something cold and frightening. Something inhuman.
Jonny's initial monologue

Jonny "Jon" McHale is a psychotic vigilante, one-time mass murderer, one-time abductor, and serial-turned-spree killer who appears in the Season Three episode of Criminal Minds, "True Night".


Born sometime in 1983, Jonny was an acclaimed comic book artist and writer, whose best work was a series entitled Blue (which involved a female android attending a futuristic high school). Jonny lived in Los Angeles with his girlfriend, Vickie Wright. One night, in May 2007, the couple went out to the store. While on their way home, Vickie revealed to Jonny that she was pregnant. After Vickie told him that if the baby was a boy, they should name it after him, Jonny, overjoyed, proposed to Vickie. While doing so, the two were ambushed by a gang called the 23rd Street Killers. Jonny offered Glen Hill, the gang's leader, all the money he had on hand, only to be taunted. After Glen mockingly told Vickie to accept Jonny's marriage proposal, the gang leader stated to Jonny "You're not gonna wanna miss this" before having some of his minions grab Vickie. After he was forced to watch Vickie being gang-raped and tortured to death, Jonny ended up being sliced across the stomach and left for dead by the gang.

Miraculously, Jonny was found in time and saved, but was left deeply traumatized by the attack. As a result, Jonny's mind quickly degraded and he began suffering from a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder. Six months after Vickie's death, as a result, Jonny suffered a psychotic break and began going out at night in search of members of the 23rd Street Killers, brutally slaughtering any members he came across using dual dao, eventually killing five in less than two weeks. After committing the murders, Jonny only had vague and warped memories, in which he viewed himself as a hooded vigilante named True Night and the gang members that he killed as werewolf-like beasts, which he detailed exactly in his drawings. He also ended up living in a lower-income transient apartment, most likely losing his old home following the attack and subsequent hospitalization.

True Night[]

A day after violently killing two more TSK members, Jonny is visited by his agent, Bobby Kim, who he has been out of touch with for two months. Bobby takes note of the True Night drawings (which he is both impressed and disturbed by). Much to Bobby's shock, Jonny tells him that he is quitting work on Blue in favor of True Night. With some difficulty, Bobby manages to convince Jonny to attend a comic book signing at a local store and, on the way, they get stuck in a traffic jam and pass the scene of Jonny's latest murders. However, Jonny is too bothered by headaches to notice the grisly scene nearby. Arriving at the store, Jonny undergoes a psychotic episode due to his fans' flashing cameras and runs outside to call Vickie's phone, only to get her voice-mail. He then runs out into the street, where he is hit by a car. Dazed and spiraling, Jonny attacks the car's driver when he and his wife got out to see if he is alright, nearly choking the man to death before taking off again when the driver's wife begins screaming at him.

Whilst running, he stumbles onto the scene of last night's double homicide and bumps into Rossi, who points out the leg injury Jonny sustained in the car accident, which Jonny has already forgotten about. Before Jonny and Rossi can talk further, Bobby appears and the two leave, with Bobby realizing there is something seriously wrong with his friend during the ride to Jonny's apartment; Jonny has begun talking about Vickie as if she was still alive, saying he has been calling her nonstop and can only get her voice-mail. Once back in his apartment, Jonny fires Bobby, calls Vickie's phone again (only to hear her voice-mail again) and trashes his apartment in a rage. The following night, Jonny goes out again and attacks the TSK lair, Glen Hill's suburban home. Killing two gang members outside, Jonny enters the house, kills another four and sustains a gunshot wound in the process, abducts Glen, and flees through the backdoor. Jonny takes him to a secluded location, ties Glen to a chair, tortures him by disemboweling him, shows the gang leader his face, and repeats his line "You're not gonna wanna miss this" before decapitating him, leaving Glen's dismembered corpse, as well as his hooded sweater and twin dao, at the scene.

Returning home, Jonny draws his recent kills before breaking into the apartment of his elderly neighbor Helen Trestle, believing that Vickie was on the fire escape and is now in Helen's place. Angrily lashing out at Helen when she claims to have no idea what he is talking about, Jonny goes back to his apartment and completely trashes it before the authorities barge in, having discovered that he is the killer they are looking for. On the way to an interrogation room, Jonny notices the comic store owner, his fans, the driver he attempted to kill, and Bobby all in the police station, having been the ones who reported his erratic and violent behavior. Jonny tries to tell Morgan that the arrest is a mistake and Bobby might just be angry. However, Morgan replies that he is not and asks if Jonny wants a lawyer, but he refuses. While being interviewed by Rossi, Hotch, Prentiss, and a police detective, Jonny, after being reminded of Vickie's death, his stay in the hospital, seeing Glen Hill's mugshot, and all the evidence they have against him caused him to fly into a rage before breaking down, remembering everything. Restrained by the police, after partially breaking the table he was handcuffed to, Jonny reveals where Glen's body is.

True Night's tragic end

Jonny tries to call Vickie while institutionalized.

Afterward, before Jonny is placed in a psychiatric hospital, the team left both cell phones with him. There, he spends his time drawing Vickie (his walls covered in sketches of her) and he calls her number over and over again, just to hear her voice-mail. The episode ends with him attempting to call her again.


The unsub is a 25-year-old white male who lives within a one-mile radius of the crime scenes, which he may be drawn to. The amount of overkill present in the murders suggests that he is experiencing a post-traumatic form of a psychotic break, which would cause them to stand out; be quick to anger; and possibly be induced with short-term memory loss, blackouts, and hallucinations. He would have difficulty with communicating and would also possibly come to the crime scene to passively investigate police presence.

Over the course of the episode, Jonny devolved into a spree killer, as he was growing more psychotic, had begun claiming multiple victims and his already fairly brief cooling off period was growing shorter (killing two gang members in one night, and seven the next, six of them at the same time). Like most rampage killers, Jonny also showed severe disenchantment with life, screaming "Miracle?! You think living was a miracle?!" when Rossi reminds him of his near-death at the hands of the 23rd Street Killers.

Modus Operandi[]

"You're not gonna want to miss this." — Jonny before murdering Glen Hill

Jonny targeted members of the 23rd Street Killers. He would wander back alleys aimlessly at night, waiting for them to present themselves. When they did, he would brutally and viciously slash and hack them to the point of dismemberment with a pair of Chinese broadswords called "dao". Over time, as his delusions began to worsen, Jonny started devolving, eventually actively hunting down gang members and claiming multiple victims at a time. While killing, Jonny saw himself as a cloaked vigilante named True Night and his victims as werewolf-like monsters. Despite having no memory of the murders after committing them, Jonny would sketch them perfectly in his drawings, likely in a subconscious manner.

His last victim, Glen Hill, was abducted from the 23rd Street Killer headquarters following Jonny's massacre there, taken to a secluded location, tied to a chair, and told "You're not gonna wanna miss this", the exact same thing Glen said to Johnny before attacking Vickie. He then disemboweled him, cut his arms off, and decapitated him with his dao. When he nearly murdered Jasper (the only person he attacked who wasn't a member of the 23rd Street Killers), Jonny manually strangled him with one arm.

Real-Life Comparisons[]

Jonny is similar to Joseph Christopher - Both were psychotic serial-turned-spree killers and one-time mass murderers who lost a relationship prior to their crimes (McHale's fiancé was brutally murdered, while Christopher broke up with a girlfriend), targeted men (though two of Christopher's victims were teenaged) of specific groups (McHale targeted gang members involved with the 23rd Street Killers, Christopher targeted people of color), committed attacks outdoors before progressing to attacks indoors, killed them with bladed weapons (though Christopher also shot some), argued with people they knew over slights and paranoia due to their psychosis, were profiled as motivated by rage and deteriorating in their stability, attempted to murder (and succeeded in McHale's case) six male victims in a matter of hours at the peak of their sprees, were arrested after an attack on someone they knew (McHale killed his girlfriend's killer, while Christopher attacked a soldier he was stationed with), and were identified by evidence found from searching their homes (McHale made illustrations based on his crimes, while Christopher kept the murder weapons he used at his house).

Jonny is also similar to Pedro Rodrigues Filho - Both were serial killers, one-time mass murderers, and vigilantes whose pregnant fiancés were murdered by gangs, they violently killed the gang members in retaliation (including the gang's leader), both killed their victims with bladed weapons (though Rodrigues's M.O. was various), were both shot by criminals (though McHale survived), in one instance they murdered seven victims in a single day, at least one of their victims was captured and tortured before their deaths, and their crimes garnered great media attention. Also, McHale being a famous comic book writer could be a slight nod to Rodrigues starting a YouTube channel of his own and his crimes being a basis for the Dexter series.

Known Victims[]

Gang dead

Some of Jonny's victims.

  • 2007:
    • November 13-26: Five unnamed 23rd Street Killers members
    • November 27: Two unnamed 23rd Street Killers members
    • November 28:
      • Jasper (attempted, but survived; was non-fatally strangled with his bare hands while undergoing a psychotic episode)
      • Six unnamed 23rd Street Killers members (two killed outside the TSK headquarters, the other four killed inside)
      • Glen Hill (leader of the 23rd Street Killers; abducted from the headquarters, disemboweled, severed his arms, and decapitated)


  • Presumably due to his psychosis, Jonny had a high tolerance to pain, only noticing wounds he sustained to the leg and torso after they were pointed out to him, as well as surprising strength as he was able to break the interrogation table that he was handcuffed to (which is designed to specifically hold potentially violent suspects) without even seeming to notice, and requiring a number of strong and experienced agents to restrain him. He was also violent enough to be capable of viciously hacking six strong men (at least one of whom was armed) to pieces at the same time, as well as abducting the seventh man, and emerge without a scratch except for a grazing gunshot wound, which didn't slow him down. This makes Jonny McHale the first of only seven unsubs in the show's history that displayed a high tolerance for pain. The next six are:
    • Season Four
      • Vincent Rowlings ("The Big Wheel") - A prolific serial killer who was shot at point-blank range by a gangbanger, yet still managed to stab him unhindered by the gunshot (but still died hours later).
    • Season Six
    • Season Seven
      • Robert Adams ("Painless") - An "injustice collector"-type serial-turned-spree killer, serial bomber, and copycat of Randy Slade who smashed his hand through the glass sheet of a trophy case with no visible damage, and took multiple gunshots before finally dying. Robert is also the first of these killers to have a proper medical explanation.
    • Season Twelve
      • Kevin Decker ("Scarecrow") - A prolific serial killer and abductor who was stabbed in the back with shears by his last would-be victim, but still managed to remove the shears; he was also able to go after the girl, catch her and try to drown her in a trough.
      • Trey Gordon ("In the Dark") - A serial-turned-spree killer and sniper who was able to walk barefoot on broken glass and still managed to slaughter a couple while sleepwalking. When he woke up, he only seemed mildly irritated by the glass cuts. He also has a medical explanation for his pain tolerance.
    • Season Thirteen
  • Jonny McHale is the third of only nine unsubs in the show's history to have successfully completed their goal. The others are:
  • Jonny McHale is the fourth of only twelve serial killers in the show's history to have killed at least a dozen victims, yet not be a prolific killer because the span of their crimes was less than three years. The others are:
  • Garcia still is a big fan of Jonny's comics.
  • On the way back to Washington D.C. after Jonny's arrest, Emily Prentiss expressed her discomfort over what happened to him, being Jonny the first unsub she worked on who wasn't a bad guy, but just a regular man turned into a brutal killer by a tragedy.
  • The fact that he’s played by Frankie Muniz and the fact that Johnny dates a girl named Vicki is a direct reference to the TV series Malcom in the Middle, in which Muniz previously starred as a teen.