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I mean, it gets to the point whe-where you can't even look at yourself in the mirror; you think it's your fault. Sometimes you have to move on, but sometimes you can't move on! And that's no way to live. Of course there's always the easy way out. But... who wants to take that? I mean, you have responsibilities! What I'm trying to say, Gus, is I understand. I do. You will no longer have to suffer.
Janeczko to Gus Harrington before killing him

Michael "Mike" Janeczko is an Angel of Death-type serial-turned-spree killer who appeared in the Season Seven episode of Criminal Minds, "Closing Time".

Background[]

Not much about Janeczko's personal life is revealed, other than that he was once married to a woman named Andrea Wright. Their relationship was apparently not a happy one, since she cheated on him with his best friend, Doug Summers, with whom he worked together at a scrap yard. The affair resulted in a son, Hunter, who grew up not knowing that Summers was his biological father. On December 15, 2011, Janeczko learned the truth about Hunter and was also served divorce papers when Wright officially left him for Summers, who moved into the house she and Janeczko had once shared. Janeczko eventually became a bartender and moved into the loft of the bar he worked at. Heavily resentful at both Wright and Summers, Janeczko started serial killing shortly after the New Year, murdering and castrating (post-mortem) bar patrons he befriended after listening in on stories about their recently-rough lives, all of which involved relationships that ended as a result of infidelity. Afterwards, he would hide the bodies in a closed-down lifeguard tower and dispose of their cars using the scrap yard. By the time the events of the episode began, he claimed three lives. The bodies were later discovered by a teenage couple.

Closing Time[]

Just as the BAU is briefed on Janeczko's case, he is first seen standing before the body of Joseph Kraus, having finished castrating him. Learning that his dump site has been discovered, Janeczko abandons the corpse at a different lifeguard tower before visiting Hunter and asking him to stay at his house, to which he agrees. The following night, Janeczko goes to the scrap yard, having destroyed Kraus' car, and encounters Summers, who attempts to apologize to him, but Janeczko rebuffs him, coldly replying, "You can kill yourself." Janeczko later ties up another bar patron, Gus Harrington, and tells him that he will end his suffering. Harrington tries calling out for help, but Janeczko replies that no one can hear him before killing him. To avoid detection, he leaves the body under a pier instead of a lifeguard tower. He then visits Wright and has an argument with her over visiting Hunter before Summers arrives on the scene, forcing Janeczko to leave. He attends to his job as a bartender and chats up with a male patron before spotting Kelsey Ashwood and listens in on her story in which she cheated on her husband. Janeczko gives Ashwood another drink and tells her that "it's on the house." He then gets her drunk and, instead of shooting her execution-style, he stabs and dismembers her to death, leaving her in a dumpster.

As he disposes of Ashwood's car at the scrap yard, Janeczko is confronted by Summers, who reminds him that he doesn't work at the yard anymore. When Summers tells Janeczko to get over what has happened to him and to "do the right thing", they get into an argument which results in Janeczko pushing Summers over a railing and into a car compactor, breaking his back. Janeczko seizes his chance to place Ashwood's car over Summers to prevent escape before crushing both with the compactor, killing him. Knowing that he will be suspected for Summers' murder and desperate to not get caught, Janeczko picks up Hunter from school and drives him to the bar he works at, where he holds him at gunpoint. When Hunter finds out that Janeczko killed Summers (whom he recently learned was his biological father), he yells at him, only to be incapacitated and taken to the basement where Janeczko killed most of his victims. JJ arrives just as Janeczko is finished tying Hunter up and tells Hunter to tell Janeczko he is his real dad. Janeczko orders JJ to put down her gun; she complies, then attacks Janeczko in hand-to-hand combat to allow Hunter to escape. After initially having the upper hand, JJ attempts to grab her weapon. Janeczko recovers and is able to pin her briefly before she kicks him in the genitals, incapacitating him. Hunter grabs Janeczko's fallen gun and is about to shoot him for killing Summers, but is talked down by JJ, who takes the weapon from him. Janeczko is arrested and Hunter reunites with Wright.

Modus Operandi[]

"Rough day?"
"Rough life."
"...Wanna talk about it?"

Janeczko targeted businessmen of various races and sexual orientations. They all visited the South Bay, came to his bar, and had suffered some sort of bad luck, such as a divorce or loss of money. Another thing that they had in common was that their relationships had ended due to infidelity. After approaching and befriending them (using the story of how his marriage ended to get close to them), he would get them drunk with alcohol from his bar (without charging them to stop them from being electronically traced), take them to the bar's basement, bind them to a chair, and kill them with a single gunshot to the forehead. His signature was cutting off their genitals post-mortem with a large, sharp blade of some sort as a reference to his own emasculation. The bodies were initially then left in lifeguard houses, but as the authorities closed in on him, he started leaving them at other locations, although these locations would still be close to the beach for reasons never specified. If the victims weren't the ones who had cheated on their lovers, they would be wrapped in plastic as an act of remorse. If otherwise, they would just be left exposed. To cover his tracks, he would remove the GPS devices from the victims' cars and crush the cars themselves with a car compactor at the scrap yard.

As his murders started to become more personal, Janeczko began targeting other victims, killing them through other means. His sixth victim, a woman (who was a surrogate for Wright), wasn't shot and was instead killed by being savagely stabbed and dismembered with the same blade he used to cut off his victims' genitals and her body then disposed of in a dumpster. His seventh victim, Doug Summers, was killed more sadistically than the others, dropping Ashwood's car on him using a scrap yard claw and being slowly crushed in a car compactor after accidentally knocking him inside and breaking his back in the process.

Profile[]

"I am your father!"

The unsub is a white male aged in his 30s or 40s who is targeting emotionally distraught men. Because he is able to select, befriend, and kill them all in one night, he probably appears ordinary, unimposing and is easy to talk to. Because he can get them to open up about themselves and their personal information, he is able to project a sense of familiarity towards them, meaning he probably has suffered some kind of loss himself. He is targeting businessmen who are struggling in their everyday lives, believing that by killing them, he is being merciful and putting them out of their misery. Because he removes their genitals post-mortem, he might be feeling emasculated by his own loss. Most of the victims are from out of town or new to the area, so he may be someone who offers advice to visiting professionals. He probably has enough working knowledge about cars or the resources to remove a GPS system. His comfort zone appears to be in the South Bay district, so he either lives or works there. He is making an effort to cover his tracks, suggesting that he has something to lose, and if he notices an increased police presence, he will move on to another area and start killing there.

The covering of the men who were cheated on suggests sympathy, while showing disgust for cheaters like Shawn Taylor, leaving his body exposed. The savagery of Kelsey Ashwood's murder suggested that either she was the source of his rage or represented it.

Real-Life Comparisons[]

Janeczko is similar to John Wayne Gacy - Both were serial killers whose wives left them prior to their killings, targeted men, incapacitated them by getting them drunk before killing them, and left their bodies in constructed spaces and at natural sites with bodies of water (Gacy left them in his crawspace and a nearby river, Janeczco left them in a lifeguard tower and otherwise near the ocean). Also while Janeczko wasn't homosexual, the BAU initially assumed he was, which may be a reference to Gacy's own sexuality.

He also partially resembles and was compared by Reid to Randy Kraft - Both are serial killers who worked as bartenders, primarily targeted men (though Janeczko also killed a woman and attempted to kill another, and Kraft also killed teenage boys while Janeczko attempted to kill one), incapacitated them by getting them drunk, then cut off their genitals post-mortem. The initial assumption that Janeczko was homosexual and specifically targeted other gay men as a result seems to be an allusion to Kraft's homosexuality and resultant choice of victims.

Known Victims[]

  • 2012:
    • February 11 (found): Three bodies found in the lifeguard tower. They are:
      • Wayne Keller (killed on January 2; wrapped in plastic)
      • Hank Mitchell (killed on January 23; wrapped in plastic like the previous victim)
      • Sean Taylor (killed on February 2; left exposed)
    • February 12: Joseph "Joe" Kraus (left exposed; put his body in a different lifeguard tower)
    • February 13:
      • Gus Harrington (wrapped in plastic; put his body under a pier)
      • Unnamed bar patron (intended; gave up when he spotted Kelsey Ashwood)
    • February 13-14: Kelsey Ashwood (was stabbed and dismembered while alive and conscious instead of being shot; put her body in a dumpster)
    • February 14:
      • Doug Summers (pushed him over a railing, breaking his back, then trapped him under Kelsey Ashwood's car and crushed him in a car compactor)
      • Hunter Wright (his stepson; non-fatally struck his head with a handgun, tied up, and held at gunpoint)
      • Jennifer Jareau (assaulted and attempted to stab)

Appearances[]

References[]

  1. Garcia tells Morgan and Prentiss before the case briefing that they are "going back to [California]", considering that the case takes place over a week after Michael's
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