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You made this mess, and we're gonna clean it up.
Paul to Tom

Paul Larson was an attempted murderer and the father of abductor Tom Larson, who appeared in the Season Eleven episode of Criminal Minds, "Target Rich".


Paul was physically abusive towards his wife Cheryl and son Tom. This caused Tom to begin acting out as a teenager, committing several misdemeanor peeping offenses. Every time Tom was arrested and then released, Paul would attack him so severely that he would be hospitalized. Eventually, Cheryl committed suicide in 2011. On January 4, 2015,[1] he suffered a heart attack that disabled him, and Tom was registered as his primary caretaker.

Target Rich[]

Paul is first seen on a couch sleeping while the television set is on. Unbeknownst to him, Tom comes home with a captive Bahni Desai and tries sneaking past him and going upstairs. However, Paul wakes up from a creak on the stairs and calls out for Tom in a state of confusion. When he doesn't get an answer, he goes back to sleep without ever noticing that Tom has Bahni. Paul is next seen watching TV when he hears noise coming from the attic. He lowers the volume and asks Tom about what he is doing up there. He then goes up the stairs, yells to Tom that he is hungry, and tells him to come down. Tom does so and tries to feed him, but Paul becomes increasingly cranky, knocks his food away, and orders Tom to buy some more.

When Paul finally goes upstairs and finds Bahni, he begins to panic when he recognizes her from the news and realizes that Tom abducted her. Paul becomes enraged and hits his son with his cane. He then tells Tom to close the door because they have to get rid of her. When Paul approaches Bahni, Tom steps in and tries to stop him from killing her. Paul snarls to Tom that he made this mess and that they need to clean it up. When Tom tries to stop him again, Paul sees Tom's smartphone on the floor, recording everything. He destroys the camera from the ceiling and tells Tom that they can't record it. He then latches his hands around Bahni's neck and tries strangling her. Then, Tom stops Paul by strangling him with his own cane and then killing him by throwing him to the floor, breaking his neck as a result.

Modus Operandi[]

Paul was usually seen physically and emotionally abusing Tom throughout the episode and did the same to his wife before her suicide. When he tried to kill Bahni Desai, he strangled her with his bare hands.


No profile of Paul was made by the BAU, who were more focused on Tom.

Known Victims[]

  • Unspecified dates:
    • Cheryl Larson (his wife; abused; committed suicide in 2011 when she couldn't take the abuse anymore)
    • Tom Larson (his son; abused and attacked repeatedly)
  • November 13, 2015:
    • Bahni Desai (attempted, but survived; was non-fatally manually strangled)
    • Tom Larson (assaulted)


  • Paul bears a striking resemblence to Glen Whitehouse, the main antagonist of the 1997 drama film Affliction . Both were abusive to their families, had serious drinking problems (though with Paul it is mostly implied), and both end up being killed by their adult sons when they finally get fed up with their abuse.



  1. Garcia states, however, that the heart attack occurred in 2014. This is likely a mistake on the writer's part.