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Sit down, Mom. We have something to celebrate.
Marc confronts his mother Cora

Marc Clifford (born Marc Powers) is a delusional spree killer, family annihilator, and one-time abductor who appears in the Season Ten episode of Criminal Minds, "A Place at the Table".

Background

Marc was born on May 3, 1991, as Marc Powers, resulting from an affair between Frank Kingman and Cora Gilliam. Frank had already just gotten off his honeymoon with his wife Donna when the affair started, and Cora was struggling financially. Not wanting the affair to be revealed to Donna, Frank promised Cora that he would provide all of her money in exchange for her silence and patience between their meetings. Wanting to be on top of her finances, Cora agreed, although her meetings with him occurred with lessening frequency. Without Frank's knowledge, she later gave birth to Marc, who was his son. To maintain her silence, she told Marc his father was Captain Frank Powers, a soldier with the U.S. military who was lost in action during the Gulf War. Cora even set out the dinner table for three every night. Marc believed her story and spent most of his life believing his father was a hero.

Ten months prior to the episode, Marc began dating Jenna Kingman, Frank's daughter with Donna, not knowing she was actually his own half-sister, coincidentally. However, his relationship with her was an unfaithful one, as he cheated on her with several other women. His half-brother and Jenna's brother, Lance, later found out about it and convinced him to stop. Realizing who Marc was, Frank ended his affair with Cora and cut off his secret payments to the Gilliams. Realizing the holes in his mother's story when their finances began to drop and she made plans to sell the house, Marc deduced Frank was his actual father due to all of the support he had been giving to his family. As a result, he became vengeful towards the entire Kingman family, as well as Cora, who he felt insulted by due to her lies.

A Place at the Table

On April 14, 2015, Marc was invited to a dinner gathering with the entire Kingman family, consisting of Frank, Donna, Jenna, Lance, the other son Dillon, Donna's mother Clara Stancroft, and Lance's homosexual boyfriend Ezra Warren. As the gathering began, the family relations already became tense, with Frank chastising Lance for his relationship with Ezra. Frank then locked eyes with Marc, who recognized his disgusted expression. As a result, he slipped into a psychotic break. Retrieving a handgun, he waited until Frank went into another room alone, then pistol-whipped him and knocked him unconscious. Then, he held the other guests at gunpoint and had them all tied up at the dinner table. Once they were all restrained, Marc shot and killed Jenna, Lance, and Clara. Then, he tried to shoot Donna, but his rage drove him to strangle her instead. He then set up the entire murder scene like a proper family gathering, with him and Frank's unconscious body at each head of the table. When Frank regained consciousness, Marc gave him a few moments to absorb his surroundings, then abducted him and killed him. Only Dillon and Ezra survived the massacre; Dillon was out of town at the time, while Ezra got drunk and passed out upstairs as the killings unfolded.

An hour later, the police respond to the murders after the neighbor notices the front door was left open. This causes the police to call the BAU to investigate. As the BAU converses with a police sergeant on a live video conference at the crime scene, officers catch Ezra in the house. They subdue him and take him to the police station. At first, Ezra is thought to be the unsub, but the BAU realizes that he didn't do it due to his relationship with Lance. Marc is then brought in for questioning. During interrogation, Marc feigns his innocence as they talk to him about his relationship with Jenna and his whereabouts during the murders, to which he replies that he was working. The next day, after Cora was questioned by the BAU as another suspect, she returns home to find Marc waiting. Marc tells his mother that they have something to celebrate, that he knows everything about Cora selling the house, and that she lied about who his father was. Cora tries to explain that she did all of it to protect him. Then, Marc shows Frank's dead body to Cora, forces her to sit down at the table, and explains to her everything about the murders that he committed. When Marc is about to kill Cora, the BAU show up and hold him at gunpoint. Claiming that he can wait, he surrenders and is arrested without resistance.

Modus Operandi

During the Kingman home massacre, Marc pistol-whipped Frank Kingman, knocking him unconscious. Then, he held Jenna Kingman at gunpoint and forced Lance Kingman to tie up the entire family and himself to the dinner table chairs using zip-ties and rope. Once they were restrained, he shot them execution-style with a handgun, with the exception of Donna Kingman, who was instead strangled to death with his bare hands in a fit of rage; pretending she was his own mother. Afterward, Marc set the dinner table and turned on a music recording to appear as if the family was eating a peaceful dinner. He also tied up Frank to a chair situated at the head of the table and allowed him to regain consciousness so then he could see his handiwork with Marc sitting in his "rightful" spot at the head of the table. Then, Marc took Frank to the Gilliam home, tied him to a chair at the dinner table, and shot him execution-style like the other victims. He later attempts to kill his mother Cora by strangling her in the same way he did with Donna.

Profile

No official profile of Marc was given by the BAU.

Real-Life Comparison

Clifford may have been based partially on Ronald DeFeo, Jr. - Both were family annihilators who were in their 20s who were prompted by a strong hatred towards their respective fathers, shot most of their victims (though Clifford strangled one), and were caught the very next day after the murders. Also Clifford's psychosis could be a slight nod to DeFeo's claims of insanity and psychosis.

Known Victims

  • 2015:
    • April 14: The massacre at the Kingman home:
      • Donna Kingman (the Kingman mother; manually strangled instead of being shot)
      • Lance Kingman (his half-brother)
      • Jenna Kingman (his half-sister and girlfriend)
      • Clara Stancroft (Donna's mother)
      • Dillon Kingman (his other half-brother; intended to kill, but abandoned the plan when he did not show up)
    • April 14-15: Frank Kingman (his father; pistol-whipped, abducted from the Kingman home, and later shot in the side of the head)
    • April 15: Cora Gilliam (his mother; attempted to manually strangle)

Appearances

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