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I wasn't the same after. They just cut you off, you know, everyone. Your family, your Goodbye. "We used you." It's betrayal. So what did I do? I found a new home.
Matthew in "Run"

Matthew Downs was a symphorophilic spree killer and mass murderer, and later homegrown terrorist, serial bomber, hacker, and member of The Face Cards, an anarchistic terrorist group that appeared in the two-part finale of Season Seven on Criminal Minds.


A U.S. Marine, Matthew eventually suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving several unspecified tours. This caused him to develop anarchist ideals against the U.S. government. In 2004, he received a dishonorable discharge from the military. One day in 2008, he met Izzy Rogers and the two became lovers due to their similar goals. They came to construct a plan to bring down the government by bombing Union Station in Washington, D.C. On May 16 of that same year, they began test-running homemade bombs at N'Djamena, the capital city of Chad, killing a total of thirty people. As part of their next stage of the plan, Izzy recruited bank robbers and brothers Chris and Oliver Stratton as her accomplices, and the three began robbing banks all over the U.S., with Matthew watching through live feeds recorded through the security cameras. They then decided to initiate their plan on May 16, 2012, which was the fourth anniversary of the N'Djamena bombings.

Season Seven[]

Hit (Part 1)[]


Matthew's fake victim persona, with Chris Stratton in the background.

Matthew is first seen inside the Colonial Liberty Bank, acting as an average customer. The Face Cards arrive and hold up the bank, with Izzy killing a security guard. The three rob the bank and Matthew pretends to be a hostage, Izzy being the only one aware of his true identity. He fakes concern for Hannah Wakefield and her baby, the latter of which is continuously crying. Matthew then bears witness as Izzy coldly executes Zack Hansen in front of his daughter Reese, then when Chris kills a medical agent when his brother Oliver dies. When Chris begins shooting hostages in order to get William LaMontagne, Jr., the officer who fatally shot Oliver, to enter the bank, Matthew continues to comfort Hannah Wakefield, just before Chris chooses him to be the next victim. Before he can shoot him, though, Will walks into the bank, to which Chris shoots and injures him.

Along with another hostage, Matthew, feigning concern, attends to Will's wounds and convinces Will that turning Izzy and Chris against each other is the only ticket for escape. Will requests him to tell JJ that he is sorry before standing up and confronting Chris about Izzy setting him up. Unconvinced, Chris takes Will at gunpoint to the gas lines, where Izzy had gone to, while Matthew leads the hostages out of the bank. Seconds later, the bank explodes, having been destroyed by a bomb set near the gas lines by Izzy.

Run (Part 2)[]

Downs Gun

Matthew holding Will at gunpoint.

Matthew is picked up by Izzy and Will, the latter of which he greets. The trio then drive to Will's house, where his son Henry is being watched by a neighbor. Izzy "babysits" Henry while Matthew takes him to Union Station, warning Will that Izzy will kill Henry and then JJ if he gets out of line. During the trip, he rants about his disconnection from the world when Will asks him his motive. Later taking Will to a bathroom, he prepares to take out a bomb from a bag when Will tries to tackle him, only to be easily subdued. Matthew then straps the bomb onto Will and attempts to flee, only to be pursued and cornered by Morgan at an alleyway. However, in the resulting fight, Matthew gains the upper hand and nearly strangles Morgan, but is shot and killed by Hotch. Meanwhile, the attack on Union Station is thwarted when Prentiss defuses the complex bomb strapped on Will, saving him.

Modus Operandi[]

During his known crimes, including the attempted Union Station bombing, Matthew used bombs made from a combination of C4 and SEMTEX, which had wires colored in red, blue, and yellow, the signature colors of Chad's flag. While holding Will captive, he held him at gunpoint with a Glock 19 pistol. When he tried to kill Morgan, he tried to manually strangle him. During the Face Card robberies, he would hack into the bank's security cameras after Izzy, Chris, and Oliver entered so the police wouldn't be able to get a clear picture of them.


Matthew is never officially profiled by the BAU, as they did not expect there to be a fourth unsub in the Face Cards' ranks. However, they theorized that Izzy intentionally caused the Colonial Liberty Bank robbery to go south in order to create a difficult situation for her and Matthew to escape from, in order to experience an "adrenaline rush". They also fleetingly classified him and Izzy as "classic symphorophiliacs".

Known Victims[]

  • Presumably killed numerous unnamed enemy soldiers prior to his discharge
  • May 16, 2008, N'Djamena, Chad: Thirty unnamed people (all killed together with Izzy in a string of bombings)
  • May 16, 2012, Washington, D.C., U.S.:
    • The attempted Union Station bombing:
      • Numerous unnamed people (attempted to kill with a bomb strapped to Will; Prentiss defused it)
      • William LaMontagne, Jr. (attempted; assaulted, held at gunpoint, and strapped a bomb to him; it was defused)
      • Emily Prentiss (indirectly attempted)
    • Derek Morgan (attempted to manually strangle)


  • According to a USMC Service statement on Matthew, his Social Security number is 984-00-2767.