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Lee Mullens, a.k.a. "The Butcher", is a prolific serial killer, abductor, and later the dominant member of a father-son killing team. He appeared in the Season Six episode of Criminal Minds, "Remembrance of Things Past".


See the Lee Mullens and Colby Bachner article

Modus Operandi

"When she saw the Lexwell, her eyes went so wide, she scared me half to death."

Mullens targeted Caucasian blondes in their 20s. He would abduct them from public places using some kind of ruse and take them to Oakton Center. There, he would strap them to a table, on which he would torture them with sharp instruments and electrocute and sodomize them with an unknown electroshock therapy machine. He would kill them by stabbing them with a knife, usually doing it in areas which were not immediately fatal, but inflicted maximum pain. At one point during the torture, which went on for several hours, Mullens would leave his signature, making the victims call a loved one to say goodbye and end it with them saying they were "enjoy[ing] it". This was done in order for him to extend the suffering to them. However, he didn't do this to his first victim as he hadn't fully found his style yet, or his wife since her loved one, Colby, was in the room with her. He would then dump their bodies outdoors, sometimes posing them in some way that exposed their bodies.

During his later span of killings, he would have Colby stalk several potential victims, pick the best ones and learn their daily schedules, and take photographs of them so he could later show them to Mullens. Once he picked a victim out of the list, he and Colby would work together during the abductions, one of them luring the victim to their van, pushing her in, and knocking her out with a blow to the head and the other driving. During the killings, they would often make the victim read from a script in order to recreate the old ones as accurately as possible and have them speak on disposable cellphones when they were forced to call their loved ones.


Mullens in 1987.

"I like trophies. Proves you won something."

Rossi had an original profile of the Butcher, assembled during the original string of murders. It stated that the unsub would be a white sexual sadist and narcissist aged in his late 40s, who would work alone.

Real-Life Comparisons

Mullens is similar to the unidentified Freeway Phantom - Both are serial killers and abductors who targeted young females, abducted them from public places, stabbed them (once in the Phantom's case), forced victims (only once in the Phantom's case) to call their families before their deaths, and were given nicknames for their crimes.

Mullens seems to have been inspired by Roy Norris, one of the Toolbox Killers - Both are serial killers and abductors who were sexual sadists, worked as electricians, abducted, tortured, and killed women, and were named by the media for their crimes.

Though the case didn't become infamous until a few months after the episode aired, Mullens may have been inspired by the unidentified Gilgo Beach Killer - Both are serial killers who targeted women and made phone calls to their victims' families (though the Gilgo Beach Killer did so to taunt them and did so after killing the victim, Mullens made his victims call their loved ones to say goodbye), and were given nicknames for their crimes.

Mullens is also very similar to Dean Corll - Both were serial killers who were considered good and respected people, had medical conditions (Corll had rheumatic fever, while Mullens later developed Alzheimer's), had jobs as electricians, targeted a specific young gender (males 13-20 in Corll's case, females in their 20s in Mullens'), had at least one younger accomplice who they dominated, abducted their victims in vans using ruses, took them to their homes where they would be tied to a flat surface (a 'torture board' in Corll's case, a table in Mullens'), then be tortured through sodomy and with sharp implements, had their victims contact their loved ones before their deaths (though for different purposes; Corll sometimes had his victims write to or call their loved ones in order to have them be reported as runaways, while Mullens had his victims call their families in order to tell them goodbye and that they "enjoyed it"), disposed of their bodies outdoors in mass graves near their house, killed over (at least in Mullens' case) two dozen victims, and were given nicknames. Also the way Bachner was stopped while attempting to kill Anna and Mullens ultimately giving away his whereabouts is somewhat similar to how Corll and Henley ultimately turned on each other after the latter brought Rhonda Williams to the former (a victim he disapproved of).

He may have also been based on Jerry Brudos - Both were serial killers who had jobs as electricians, targeted young women in their 20s (though some of Brudos' victims were in their late teens), lured them with ruses, incapacitated them with blunt force trauma (though Mullens had his son do this instead), dumped their bodies outdoors, and were given nicknames by the media for their crimes. Additionally, the last scene of Mullens in what looks like an institution could be a slight nod to Brudos being institutionalized several times prior to his murders.

Known Victims

  • Unspecified dates from 1984 to 1993:
    • 1984: Sylvia Marks (first victim; no call was made; was burned beyond recognition)
    • 1984-1987:
      • Chloe Moore
      • Riley Gould
      • Four unnamed victims
    • 1987: Karen Bachner (his wife; incidental; subdued by an unknowing Colby, then killed by him; no call was made)
    • 1987-1993: Eleven unnamed victims
    • 1993: Susan Cole (last victim during this span of killings)
  • 2010:
    • September 27-28: Kara Kirkland
    • October 3-4: Jenny DeLilly (phone message was partially copied from Susan Cole's)
    • October 5-6: Heather Langley (phone message was copied from Susan Cole's; body was dumped and posed in the same location and way as Susan Cole's body was)
    • October 6-7: Shelly (was stabbed repeatedly by him alone when she wouldn't cooperate; left her body in his backyard)


  • Lee Mullens is the third of only nine serial killers in the show's history to have successfully kill all of the victims they targeted. This is a very rare occurrence, as almost all serial killers depicted on the show have at least one survivor. The others are:
  • Mullens seems to have been inspired by at least two unsubs in the show's past:
    • Season Three
      • Jeremy Andrus ("Limelight") - Both are prolific serial killers, abductors, and sexual sadists who worked as electricians, targeted and abducted women, and took them to secluded locations where they would torture them with electroshock and then kill them.
    • Season Four
      • George Foyet ("Omnivore", "To Hell and Back, part 2", and "100") - Both were prolific serial killers who stabbed women several times, evaded suspicion by murdering their girlfriend or wife before "retiring" in the 1990s, resumed their crimes in the modern day due to some new stressor, and were apprehended by the BAU member who had investigated and profiled them years before (Hotch in Foyet's case, Rossi in Mullens'). Foyet also appeared in Season Five.