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I can't abide lies.

Marvin Caul, a.k.a. "The Doctor", is a killer and cult leader who orchestrated Cesar Jones' murders. He appears in the Season Nine episode of Criminal Minds, "Persuasion".


Caul was a low-level magician in Las Vegas who was hired for private shows and performances, in which he was renowned for his successful hypnotic abilities. However, he felt unappreciated from his job and went into hiding five years prior to the episode, causing the IRS to come after him when he was unable to pay his taxes. Caul eventually came across the homeless community and manipulated several of them into committing numerous pick-pocketing and con crimes for him. This was part of "his plan", which involved him saving up enough money to book a show at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, where he felt he would be finally recognized for his talent. He was initially assisted by a woman named Carrie Bailey, but when she decided to leave him in favor of a job with another magician named Romeo, Caul killed her in a fit of rage. He then buried her body at an abandoned construction site. Afterwards, he manipulated Cesar Jones, an ex-convict that he also took in, into cleaning up his hideout and committing his future murders for him. He did this by convincing Jones through hypnosis that he was a powerful being called "The Doctor", which served to both intimidate him and keep his involvement as secret as possible. Caul had Jones kill Renee Sheffield and Frida Bancroft, mainly because they had attempted to leave the tunnels, an act that insulted him and weakened his status as the leader of the organization.


In the episode, Caul is first seen eating at one of his favorite diners. There, he notices what appears to be a hitchhiker named Finn Bailey, apparently trying to pickpocket someone else. Caul goes out to meet him, introducing himself and offering to help him on improving his pick-pocketing skills. While on their way to the organization's compound in the sewage tunnels, Caul chats up Bailey and learns that he is in Las Vegas looking for his sister. He then becomes hostile after Bailey tells him a lie upon seeing a passing police car, then saying that he doesn't abide lies. Caul then shows Bailey the compound and gives him the sleeping quarters that were once used by Frida Bancroft. When Jones arrives to ask Caul why Bancroft's stuff hasn't been cleaned up, he vouches for Bailey, gaining as the latter enters into the organization. To help show Bailey how to improve his trade, Caul takes him to a private party and pickpockets a guest while hypnotizing him. During the party, Romeo takes the stage, much to Caul's irritation. When Bailey remarks that his sister wanted to work for him and considered him a genius, Caul bitterly remarks that "he isn't a genius, he just got lucky".

After the show ends, Caul casually chats with Bailey before using his Doctor persona to convince Jones to kill Elijah Hall. He then disappears for a short period of time. Later, when Bailey protests after Jones tries to kill a new member, a woman named Sarah Renfield (who turns out to be a reporter planning to write a story on the homeless community in Las Vegas), Caul arrives and convinces Jones to let Bailey handle her, all the while planning to convince him to kill her himself. When they get out of the tunnels alone, however, Bailey reveals that he suspected Caul of killing his sister (revealed to be Carrie) from the start, and holds him at gunpoint with a handgun he had on his person. Just then, the BAU arrive and convince Bailey to put the gun down. Caul feigns innocence, and Reid pretends to be a fan in order to get him to reveal what he plans to do with the money. Reid then reveals that he knows Caul is responsible for the murders and tells him he will only get any recognition if he reveals where Carrie is buried. Caul reluctantly reveals her location, and, after learning Reid was lying about being a fan, is taken into custody. It's safe to presume Caul and all others involved are incarcerated afterwards.

Modus Operandi[]

It hasn't been specified on how exactly Caul killed Carrie Bailey, though he buried her body at an abandoned construction site after doing so. During his known crimes, he had Cesar Jones kill his victims for him via psychological manipulation in the form of apparent hypnosis. Jones' first two victims were dumped at the same abandoned construction site where Carrie's body was buried, while his third victim was dumped at a different location.


The unsub is a sociopath who is taking revenge on people he believes stole from him. None of the victims had a documented address, so it is likely they were homeless, and subsequently, they may have also known each other from the street or a shelter. The disposal site of the first two victims served a dual purpose: to hide the bodies from law enforcement, but simultaneously put them on display as a message for other people. All of this suggests a group or organization at work, but it does not have the hallmarks of organized crime, and since victims seen on surveillance video weren't stealing large sums of money, this was likely to be a much smaller community. However, this group operates by a strict code, and any violation of that code can result in death. It operates robberies and cons together, and has a strong leader (the unsub) who does not tolerate dissent. This leader appears normal and comfortable in social situations, and may be even extroverted and charismatic like a cult leader. He will have grandiose delusions and be under the belief that he is special, even including the ability of communicating with God or some other higher powers. He will attempt to surround himself with people who are subservient, either sycophantic followers or people who are trapped by financial restraints.

It is likely that he attracts these followers by offering some sort of assistance, but as his power and influence on them grows, so will his narcissism, and he will begin to make increasingly extreme demands as that narcissism grows. He will also want more attention, which could be why his latest victim was found in a very public place, and with the choice of his latest disposal site, it indicates that he has grown bolder and more careless. He has lost three followers in his group, so he is going to need new recruits. Considering the nature of his victims' lifestyles, he is usually recruiting where the homeless population gather.

Known Victims[]

Personal Victims[]

  • Unspecified date in 2013: Carrie Bailey (killed by unknown causes)

Victims by Proxy[]

  • Unspecified date-February 23, 2014: Numerous unnamed people (all robbed by members of his cult)
  • 2014:
    • The following were killed by Cesar Jones:
      • February 8: Renee Sheffield (drowned)
      • February 21: Frida Bancroft (drowned like the previous victim)
      • February 22: Elijah Hall (strangled and his body dumped in a different location)
    • February 23: Sarah Renfield (attempted; ordered Finn to kill her)


  • Caul is similar to Raoul Whalen ("Alchemy") - Both are sociopathic killers, proxy killers, and accomplices who manipulated an accomplice into committing most of his murders for him and killed an individual victim (a woman whom he was acquainted to) alone.
  • According to a message sent to Caul by the Internal Revenue Service, his Social Security number is 974-00-1138.



  1. An anagram for James Braid, who was considered the "father of hypnosis"