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Karl Elgin was a prolific serial killer, poisoner, one-time family annihilator, and one-time abductor along with his wife, Dorothy, who appeared in the Season Fourteen episode of Criminal Minds, "Starter Home".


Karl was a recluse who lived in rural Varnville, South Carolina with his wife Dorothy. They had a daughter named LeeAnne, who they were very protective of and would not let interact with others her age. As LeeAnne got older, she started to rebel against her parents by sneaking out of her house to visit Steve Milburn, a boy who lived nearby. Eventually, LeeAnne got pregnant with Steve's child.

After becoming pregnant, Karl and Dorothy became even more protective of LeeAnne, forcing her to give birth in their home. Eventually, LeeAnne ran away, this time permanently. However, the Milburns made her leave her son with them.

After this, Karl tracks down the Milburns, shooting Steve along with his parents and staging it to look like a murder-suicide. He then abducts his grandson, taking him back to his home to raise him.

Since Dorothy was extremely distraught over the loss of their daughter, Karl began to abduct high-risk victims that physically resembled LeeAnne. They would each become surrogate mothers for his grandson, and the Elgins would force them to write letters to their family that stated that the couple treated them like their own daughter and that they were happy. Eventually, though, all seven of the girls they abducted were poisoned, and their bodies were then mummified and kept behind the walls or in the floorboards of their home.

Starter Home

Karl appears in the episode via flashbacks.

Known Victims

  • 1988: The Milburn family
    • Roger Milburn (father; shot along with the next two victims)
    • Mrs. Milburn (mother)
    • Steve Milburn (son)
    • His unnamed grandson (Steve's son; abducted)
  • Unspecified dates from 1988 to 2008 (all poisoned)
    • Laura Burgess
    • Delta Coughlan
    • Penny Cumbre
    • Daria Underwood
    • Three unnamed women