Criminal Minds Wiki

Murder by proxy (simplified as proxy murder) is a type of murder in which the murderer commits the act under the orders of another, acting as his or her proxy (hence the name). On Criminal Minds, the term is also used to refer to criminals who cause victims to commit suicide.

Legal Definition

There are two common scenarios for proxy murders, though there are several others possible:

  1. A person takes a contract out on another person. A hitman murders the target in exchange for a sum of money as a reward.
  2. A person manipulates another into murdering someone for him or her. The classic example of this would be Charles Manson, who sent his "family" to commit a string of murders.

There has been a legal vagueness concerning whether a person instigating a proxy murder is guilty of the crime of murder. This distinction varies greatly by nation (and within the United States, by state). However, all jurisdictions worldwide recognize the criminal nature of the actions taken by the instigator. If they are not charged with the murder itself, they may be charged under at least one out of a variety of other statutes, including conspiracy to commit murder and/or accessory to murder.

Proxy murders may skew crime statistics, since the use of a proxy may conceal the true motives of the person.

On Criminal Minds

Proxy killers investigated by the BAU in Criminal Minds: