|“||Scream for me.||”|
— Peter's last words before he tried to kill JJ
Born sometime in 1980 as the son of Frank and Karen Holden, Peter's parents' marriage was an unhappy one, with Frank constantly physically abusing Karen as Peter watched. As a result of the injuries sustained from the abuse, Karen frequently visited the local hospital. Her visits attracted the attention of a police officer named John Folkmore, who investigated every time she went to the hospital, and he suspected the actual nature behind her injuries. Due to his investigation, he befriended her and Peter, but was unable to convince them to leave Frank. As a last resort, Folkmore gave Peter a tape recorder and told him to turn it on once he overheard Frank abusing Karen again, hoping to use the recording as proof of the abuse. On April 4, 1987, Peter overheard the abuse and turned on the recorder. He then stumbled upon his father slashing his mother's throat, killing her. Shocked that his son saw what he did, Frank then committed suicide by shooting himself in the head in front of Peter.
Following the murder-suicide, Peter began going from foster home to foster home, and was characterized as having the recorder with him at all times. Having been traumatized by what he saw, he never gave Folkmore the recording. He instead spent the following years of his life listening to the recording repeatedly and remembering what his parents had said the night of the murder-suicide by heart. Sixteen years prior to the episode, Peter changed his surname to Folkmore, after the only real father figure in his life. On September 9, 2007, he had found employment at a battered women aid center, hoping to help women who were abused just like his mother. On January 12, 2015, Peter's basement caught on fire, which destroyed several possessions. While he was able to safely retrieve the recorder, he lost the audio tape that recorded his parents' deaths. Snapping from the loss of the recording, which he had grown attached to, Peter decided to reenact the recording by abducting women who reminded him of his mother and torturing them while reciting his parents' last words. When he did so with Maya Collins, he killed her, likely by accident.
Nearly two weeks after killing Maya Collins, Peter abducts Lauren White and takes her to his home, where he tortures her for some time. After making his bed and eating breakfast, he goes down to the basement where he is holding Lauren and resumes the torture, trying to get her to recite the words his mother said. Eventually, Peter is unsatisfied and bludgeons her to death with a baseball bat. Afterwards, he begins listening to the audio recording again, banging his head on the nightstand repeatedly, even after it begins bleeding. The next day, he goes to his workplace, where he comes across Greta Thomas and her son Conner. Upon finding out that Greta is being abused by her husband, just like his own mother was, and that her son is the same age as he was when he witnessed his parents' murder-suicide, Peter decides to target her. The following night, he breaks into the Thomas home as Greta and Conner pack up to move out. He gains Conner's trust by giving him some candy and then ambushes Greta, abducting her and taking her to his home. There, he chastises her for allowing her husband to abuse her in front of Conner. Peter then proceeds to torture her, and afterwards listens to the recording he made of it.
Later on, he returns to the basement, having been unsatisfied with the results of his torture. He angrily yells at Greta for not doing it right. When she pleads for him to let her go, Peter snaps and tries to hit her, but instead flies into a rage and trashes the entire room around her. Then, he begins repeatedly banging his head childishly on the shelves. Once he is done, Peter asks her if she thinks he wants to keep doing what he is doing, to which she responds that he doesn't. When she continues begging for her release, Peter has a psychotic breakdown and continues trashing the room, all the while not noticing her fiddling with her bindings. When he leaves, Greta manages to break free from her bonds and tries to escape, but is unable to find a way out and hides. Peter returns and manages to find her; when she beats him with his baseball bat, he grabs it from her and tries to strangle her with it. However, JJ bursts into the basement, having identified him as the unsub, and Peter ambushes her. He beats and subdues her before grabbing his baseball bat, telling JJ to "scream for [him]". However, before he can bludgeon her, Peter is shot and killed by Kate. As JJ attends to Greta, Kate finds out that Peter had been unintentionally recording his last moments, having hoped to re-enact his mother's murder with JJ.
Peter targeted Caucasian women in their twenties who physically resembled his mother, had professions in which no one would notice if they had gone missing at first, and had low self-esteem, usually from something stemming from romantic relationships. He first came across them at his workplace in the battered women aid center.
After abducting them while they were on their way back home from work (except for Greta Thomas, who was abducted inside her home and in front of her son), Peter would take them to the basement in his house, restrain them in a chair, tie their hands together with zip-ties, play Brenton Wood's song "Great Big Bundle of Love" (the same song his father played when he killed his mother) on a record player, turn on his recorder, repeat what his father said the night of his parents' murder-suicide, while also making his victims say what his mother said the same night, and torture them by beating them. While torturing them, he would wear an apron and rubber gloves and put newspapers around their feet to avoid getting blood on his clothing, hands, and the floor. With Maya Collins, he used his bare fists, but with Lauren White, he switched to a baseball bat. During the torture, Peter would force them to drink saltwater, honey, ginger, and tea, all of which healed sore throats, so they would be able to scream.
After a while, he would then kill them after they wouldn't do what he asked; he did so by applying blows to the back of their heads. Afterwards, Peter would slash their throats with a knife as references to his mother not being able to speak out against the abuse she suffered and the manner in which she was killed. He would then dump their bodies in alley dumpsters.
The unsub is a Caucasian male aged in his mid-to late-30s who has a history of physical and psychological abuse. He is a projecting punisher, which means that he is victimizing women who he believes, in one way or another, haven't stood up for themselves. The first two victims were not abused by their romantic partners, although he caused injuries that are consistent with domestic abuse. However, his latest victim, Greta Thomas, is actually a mother being abused by her husband. Because of this, the unsub's mother most likely also suffered physical abuse from her own husband. He possibly blames her for allowing the violence to enter and continue in the home, and rather than viewing his mother as a victim, he holds anger and resentment towards her because of the upheaval and fear that he had to live with. His mother would have been a Caucasian brunette in her 20s like the victims, who also would have made frequent visits to the E.R., not for abuse, but for injuries she stated were caused by accidents, such as falling down stairs or excessive clumsiness. Her occupation might be similar to the victims as well.
Hesitation marks on the earlier victims indicate the unsub feels conflicted by his actions, and possibly does not want to hurt the women that he abducts, but somehow feels that he has to. Given his warped sense of justice, he may see himself as a protector of these women and may even want them to fight back against him. He lost control at an early age, and he is desperate to regain it. He most likely finds his victims in locations where battered women frequent, such as group homes, women's shelters, and legal hearings.
He is healing his victims' throats after they scream, meaning something about their voices may be what is driving him. Usual sadists would not go to such lengths to heal their victims, especially when his final act of rage is slashing their throats post-mortem. He is destroying the very thing he is trying to preserve, so all the torture could simply be a means to an end; for him, it is not about the violence, but their screams. He may work in the system, which is how he found Greta Thomas. The physical abuse he witnessed in the household as a child imprinted on him psychologically, which is why he feels conflicted. He sees himself as both a protector and an abuser and is reenacting what happened to his mother. Unsubs with this type of nostalgia typically keep a trophy. The only way for his victims' screams to be a trophy for him is if they are recorded.
- January 22-23: Maya Collins (accidentally killed; beaten to death with his fists)
- February 11-12: Lauren White (bludgeoned with a baseball bat)
- February 13: Greta Thomas (abducted, beaten, and non-fatally strangled with a baseball bat; was rescued the next day)
- February 14: Jennifer Jareau (incidental; assaulted, beaten with a baseball bat, and attempted to kill)
- Ty Haile, the child actor who portrays the young Peter Folkmore, previously appeared in Criminal Minds, starring as one of Joe Muller's sons in the Season Five episode "Retaliation".
- Peter seems to have been based on at least two unsubs from the show's past:
- Season Four
- Roderick Gless ("Cold Comfort") - Both were delusional serial killers (budding at least) and abductors who had a similar victimology (Caucasian women in their twenties), targeted their victims because they resembled women who died during their childhood, abducted their victims after they left work and were on their way home, and held their victims captive for extended periods of time before killing them.
- Vincent Rowlings ("The Big Wheel") - Both were serial killers (budding at least) who were the sons of unhappy couples, witnessed their fathers killing their mothers with knives in fits of rage, recorded the acts, killed women who resembled their mother as adults in order to reenact the traumatic events and record them, and were ultimately shot and killed (though under different circumstances).
- Season Four
- According to his record of employment, Peter's Social Security number is 973-00-0128.
- Curiously, however, the police report on the murder-suicide of Peter's parents stated his mother was stabbed to death, contrary to Peter's flashback of her throat being slashed once