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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!
Owen during the standoff with the BAU

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


For presumably his entire life, Owen 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. Therefore, Owen 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 Joshua. However, on May 5, 2010, 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 Joshua had left him, he began to lose his mind completely. 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, Owen'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 Owen 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 Owen has taken the man's spleen, and Owen is later seen about to consume it. When Joshua is brought into custody under suspicion of being the unsub, Owen, having intended to kill Joshua, infiltrates the home of Joshua's mother Carol and stabs her repeatedly before eviscerating her. As a result, the BAU conclude that Joshua isn't the unsub and release him. Later, Joshua, after shaking off a policeman sent to secretly follow him, assembles a hunting party for Owen, forcing him to flee. With the help of Martha Porter, the BAU catch up to the hunting party at a Franklin harbor, where they have cornered Owen, who has been trying to flee to a secret hideaway he and Joshua once set up. There, Owen yells at Joshua for abandoning him. All of the hunters except Joshua are talked into surrendering, and Joshua is non-fatally shot in the shoulder by Rossi when he attempts to shoot Owen. Owen is then arrested and is last seen in a prison cell alongside his father, looking guilty and defeated with his head in his hands while Joshua looks at him from the hallway. It is safe to presume Owen is either incarcerated or institutionalized afterwards.


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.

Based on his M.O. and the motivations for his crimes, Porter can be considered a disorganized control-oriented type serial killer.

Modus Operandi

Originally killing every two days, Owen targeted people who were intending to leave Franklin, due to his severe issues with abandonment (except for Carol Beardsley, who was killed for taking Joshua away from Owen when the latter 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, Owen 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 Comparison

Porter seems to have been based on Robert Hansen (who was mentioned in the episode) - Both were serial killers who had poor relationships with their parents, had troubled school lives, were avid hunters, operated in Alaska, primarily targeted women (though Porter also killed men), shot them from long distances with a hunting rifle, and hunted their victims in secluded areas (though Porter later became local).

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)


  • Owen 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 invovled 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.
  • The jacket Owen is seen wearing during his murders and when he is at his fort is very similar to that worn by the killer in Urban Legend, a 1998 slasher movie.