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You left me behind! [...] She sent you away! You left and you didn't come back. Eight years, and I never heard from you again!
Porter during the standoff with the BAU

Owen Porter is a teenage serial-turned-spree killer and one-time cannibal who appears in the Season Five episode of Criminal Minds, "Exit Wounds".

Background[]

For presumably his entire life, Porter grew up in an extremely violent household, with his father frequently abusing him and his mother Martha, and whenever local police responded, they would always cover for him. As he grew, he developed psychopathic tendencies. While attending a local school, his best (and likely only) friend was Joshua Beardsley, who later left the town to attend Seattle University. Thereafter, Porter developed severe abandonment issues since his mother wouldn't allow him to leave as well because she was afraid that he would start hurting people if left unsupervised. He later became home-schooled and would regularly go into the wilderness to kill and mutilate animals using the hunting skills that he learned from Beardsley. However, on May 5, 2010, a 16 year-old Porter he ended up accidentally shooting and killing a man, Jon Baker, with a rifle (presumably thinking he was a large animal), and when he learned that the man in question had been planning to leave town, and therefore leave him just like Beardsley had left him, he began to mentally deteriorate. As a result, he killed two more victims every two days: Dedaimia Swanson, a schoolteacher, and Brenda Bright, a dock worker, both of whom had plans of leaving town, and therefore him. The death of the latter prompted Franklin authorities to call in the BAU. All the while, Porter's parents became aware of the killings but covered for him.

Exit Wounds[]

In the episode, when Garcia wanders outside of the inn the BAU team is staying at so she can restore phone reception, she witnesses Porter repeatedly stabbing a man before fleeing after spotting her. Garcia rushes to the man's side and tries to keep him alive, but he dies in her arms, which traumatizes her. The BAU later realize that Porter has taken the man's spleen, and he is later seen about to consume it. When Beardsley is brought into custody under suspicion of being the unsub, Porter, having intended to kill him, infiltrates the home of Beardsley's mother Carol and stabs her repeatedly before eviscerating her. As a result, the BAU conclude that Beardsley isn't the unsub and release him. Later, Beardsley, after shaking off a policeman sent to secretly follow him, assembles a hunting party to track down Porter, forcing him to flee. With the help of Martha, the BAU catch up to the hunting party at a Franklin harbor, where they have cornered Porter, who has been trying to flee to a secret hideaway he and Beardsley once set up. There, Porter yells at Beardsley for abandoning him. All of the hunters except Beardsley are talked into surrendering, and Beardsley is non-fatally shot in the shoulder by Rossi when he attempts to shoot Porter. Both Beardsley and Porter are then arrested and the latter is last seen in a prison cell alongside his father, looking guilty and defeated with his head in his hands while Beardsley looks at him from the hallway. It is safe to presume Porter is either incarcerated or institutionalized afterwards.

Profile[]

The unsub was initially profiled as an emotionally immature male aged in his mid-to-late-20s, who has severe abandonment issues due to having been abandoned by someone in the past, possibly a parent who had died, a spouse from who he had separated from, or a loved one who had moved away. He will have extensive hunting experience since the bodies of his second and third victims were not buried out of remorse but in order to protect them from wild animals. He has extensive knowledge of the local landscape, surroundings, and the victims' routines, and will, therefore, probably have lived in the area for most of his life. He most likely has a criminal history usually consisting of petty crimes and assaults. He would probably have either bloody clothes or cuts and bruises because one of the victims may have assaulted him before they died. He would seem as if he had something to hide. Because he had broken his two-day cooling-off period following Craig Ramey's murder, he could strike at any time. He probably had homicidal tendencies as a student in high school.

It was later realized that the unsub is a teenager since he lacked sophistication and showed immaturity in his murders. At first, he started killing animals because that is what he was taught ever since he was a child. When he got bored with animals, he moved on to target and kill other people, seeing them as more challenging prey.

Modus Operandi[]

Originally killing every two days, Porter targeted people who were intending to leave Franklin, due to his severe issues with abandonment (except for Carol Beardsley, who was killed for taking his best friend away from him when the he was a child). He initially killed them in secluded places, and from afar with a hunting rifle due to his lack of confidence at the time, but as he accelerated and his confidence in attacking grew, he began killing in town daily and started using sharp weapons such as arrows and hunting knives, eventually growing to mutilate and disembowel his victims post-mortem (even taking an organ, presumably to consume, in one case). To preserve the bodies of his first two female victims, Porter hid them under trash, and he even went as far as urinating on Jon Baker's corpse to deter predators (as he was the only one who wasn't covered with trash due to the environment that he was killed in).

Real-Life Comparisons[]

Porter appears to be partly inspired by Jesse Pomeroy - Both were teenaged psychopathic killers who were physically abused by their fathers, had disciplinary problems at school, were defended by their mothers when they got into trouble, tortured animals, were known to the authorities around the time of their crime sprees, targeted victims of both genders, killed by stabbing (though Porter killed by other means), and mutilated their victims post-mortem.

Porter is also similar to Richard Ramirez - Both were serial killers who were physically abused by their fathers, had an older male figure in their lives who taught them techniques in their murders (Porter was taught to hunt by Joshua Beardsley, Ramirez's cousin Miguel showed pictures of women he raped and murdered during the Vietnam war), had criminal records before their murders including animal cruelty, broke into the home of at least one victim, killed their victims by stabbing, shooting, and mutilation (though Ramirez used other means), and had a violent mob searching for them to kill them before they were arrested.

Porter is also similar to Jack the Ripper - Both were serial killers who murdered by stabbing (though Porter used other means), eviscerated and mutilated their victims, stole their organs, reportedly ate an organ from one victim, slung the intestines of one victim over their shoulder, killed their last victim inside their home, escalated their murders as they became more violent and bolder, and killed five victims in total.

Known Victims[]

  • 2010:
    • May 5: Jon Baker (planned to leave for Fairbanks after being divorced; was accidentally grazed twice, then shot in the head with a rifle)
    • May 7: Dedaimia Swanson (planned to leave for Florida after her retirement; shot once with the same rifle used to kill Jon Baker)
    • May 9: Brenda Bright (planned to leave for a new job in Seattle, Washington; stabbed twice in the stomach with an arrow, then mutilated her torso and violated post-mortem)
    • May 10: Craig Ramey (planned to leave due to Owen's killings; stabbed repeatedly in the stomach with a hunting knife, then eviscerated; took his spleen and consumed it)
    • May 11:
      • Kat Allen (planned to leave to attend Indiana University Bloomington; intended; abandoned the plan when she was taken into protective custody)
      • Joshua Beardsley (had abandoned him after leaving to attend an out-of-state college; intended; abandoned the plan when Joshua was arrested by the BAU)
      • Carol Beardsley (Joshua's mother; stabbed eight times in the chest in her house with the same hunting knife used to kill Craig Ramey; eviscerated and her intestines slung out post-mortem)

Notes[]

  • Porter is similar to Owen Savage ("Elephant's Memory") - Both were underaged spree killers who shared the same first name were abused by their fathers, had M.O.'s that involved shooting and stabbing their victims, and killed the parent of someone who was close to them out of vengeance for something they did involving their children (Porter killed the mother of his then-best friend because she made him leave Alaska as a child; Savage killed his girlfriend's father for abusing her).
  • Coincidentally, Mark L. Young, the actor who played Owen, also played a young, aspiring serial killer in the first season of Dexter, whose weapon of choice was also a knife.

Appearances[]

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