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You just came from New York and took over. Sticking your nose in things that were going just fine.
Boyd to Ruiz

Ronald "Ronny" Boyd, a.k.a. "Santa Muerte" or "The Saint of Death", was a prolific killer cop, one-time mass murderer, one-time enucleator, and serial-turned-spree killer, copycat, and cop killer. He appeared in the Season Five episode of Criminal Minds, "A Rite of Passage".


Not much is known about Boyd's early life. His father, Fred Boyd, was a foreman for Golden Harvest, a grain and feed company, and died in one of their barns due to an unspecified accident when he was younger. When Boyd was eighteen, he was involved in an ATV accident, which left a lasting injury to his leg. He somehow got a job as a Sheriff's Deputy in Terlingua, Texas, as well as a hold of a trailer that he moved into, keeping to himself both personally and professionally. At some point, he became a serial killer. It is unknown why or how he came to be so, but he seems to have chosen illegal immigrants as his victims since they are hard to identify and travel at vast deserts, where there wouldn't be any witnesses. It is also possible a secondary motivation is his racism. Word of the mysterious disappearances of his victims spread around Terlingua, leading the locals to fearfully believe they were the work of Santa Muerte, a folk saint of cult worship who is the personification of death in Mexico and the southwestern U.S. In October 2009, Boyd received a new sheriff, Eva Ruiz, hailing from the New York City Police Department, whom he felt threatened by after she began tracking his murders for the next six months. As a result, he hatched a scheme to kill Ruiz and pin her death, along with his other murders, on the Lugo Cartel, a Mexican drug cartel that had a base of operations in Terlingua.

A Rite of Passage[]

Boyd is first seen riding his ATV with a helmet on and a mask covering his mouth, pursuing another illegal immigrant. He catches up with the immigrant and kills him, later decapitating him and putting his head into a cooler with the heads of two previous victims. The heads are later discovered when a group of biking youths accidentally knock the cooler over, spilling out its contents. When the BAU is called in, he assists them in the investigation, in which the main suspect is Omar Morales, a member of the Lugo Cartel. Boyd watches as Morales states that decapitation isn't his style and describes how he disassembles his victims, which is more gruesome than his decapitation method. The following night, he watches a group of illegal immigrants enter the country and kills one when the man remains behind in order to rest. He then leaves the latest victim's head at Ruiz's house. The BAU track down the group of illegal immigrants the latest victim was escaping with before getting killed. When one of the immigrants, a child, mentions seeing "The Sun" during his travel, something that intrigues Ruiz, Boyd decides to lure her into a trap as she is beginning to catch on to him.

He takes Ruiz to a barn owned by Golden Harvest, which is abandoned, alone, kills her, and brutally mutilates her body in a fashion similar to Morales's aforementioned vivisection method in hopes of framing Morales and the Lugo Cartel, dumping the pieces far away from the barn.

Boyd 870

Boyd massacres the Lugo Cartel.

However, when he and a fellow deputy, Gentry, go to arrest Morales at the Lugo Cartel headquarters, he devolves, opening fire with a pump-action shotgun, shooting and killing any members that come across him before killing Morales. He then repeatedly shoots and kills Gentry, who witnessed the entire shooting, with the same revolver used to kill Ruiz, and then places the gun in Morales' hands in an attempt to pin the shooting on the two of them. Just then, he receives a call on Gentry's cell. Pretending to be Gentry, Boyd is notified that the BAU are onto him.

M4A1 Jeep

Boyd tries to escape on an ATV.

Fleeing back to the Golden Harvest barn, Boyd arms himself on his ATV with an M4A1 assault rifle and gets ready for the BAU to arrive. When Hotch and Rossi arrive, he fires at them before attempting to escape. An SUV containing Morgan and Prentiss arrives and Morgan shoots him repeatedly with an MP5A3 repeatedly through the windshield, hitting Boyd several times in the chest, forcing him off the ATV, and killing him.


The unsub is a male in his late 30s to 40s who has the personality type of a "human predator", basically a hunter in the classic sense, whose killings are about power and control. All of the victims that were conclusively tied to him have been older or handicapped in some way, suggesting that he seeks out the weakest in the "herd" (the other illegal immigrants). He waits for his victims to get separated from the rest of the herd and then wears them down for a long period of time by chasing them across the vast desert. He may not be able to take them on in their strongest state, despite their age or infirmity, suggesting that he may be physically weak, small, thin, or possibly suffering from some sort of handicap, and is therefore incapable of taking them on in a fair fight. He creates chaos and then attacks, a pattern that he applies to his entire life. Because of this, he is most likely not in any kind of relationship, or if he is, it will be an abusive one as he gets off on control. Since he is an organized killer, he will be likely following the investigation. He decapitates his victims as a forensic countermeasure and is trying to throw off the investigation, which is typical of organized offenders. He is also well aware that Sheriff Ruiz has started looking into the missing illegal immigrants.

Modus Operandi[]

"Now how can someone be missing if they ain't supposed to be here in the first damn place?"

Boyd would stake out a remote part of the desert lying on the U.S.-Mexico border, specifically close to a tunnel that is used by illegal Hispanic immigrants at night. When a group of immigrants passed by, he would single out the weakest member of the pack, usually the oldest, sickest, or simply the slowest, and chase them for miles on his ATV. When the victim became completely exhausted, Boyd would slash and/or stab them to death with a machete, take the body to his trailer, and behead it with the same machete. Boyd would then bury the remains on his property, though months after Eva Ruiz became sheriff, he began leaving the heads around Terlingua (including her own house) to taunt her. For the first three heads he left near the Terlingua police station, he put them in coolers to cast suspicion on the Lugo Cartel, since they also put the heads of drug dealers they killed in coolers. Similar to how George Foyet, a.k.a. The Boston Reaper, wore a black mask to intimidate his victims, Boyd wore a motorcycle helmet with a skull-motif (presumably referencing Santa Muerte) to terrorize his prey.

When he devolved into a spree killer, Boyd lured Sheriff Ruiz to the Golden Harvest Barn, shot three times with a .38 Smith & Wesson Model 36 revolver, and mutilated her according to how Omar Morales had said he would have people killed in order to cast suspicion on him. Then, in a botched attempt to frame Morales and the Lugo Cartel, he attacked several members with a 12-gauge Remington 870 pump-action shotgun and also killed Gentry and presumably one Lugo Cartel member with the same revolver used to murder Ruiz. He would later attack the BAU at the Golden Harvest barn with an M4A1 assault rifle he had mounted on an ATV.

Real-Life Comparison[]

Boyd may have been partially inspired by Gerard Schaefer - Both were serial killers (suspected in Schaefer's case) with jobs as Sheriff's Deputies, abused this position to commit murder, were given several nicknames because of it, and were eventually killed.

Known Victims[]

  • Unspecified dates: At least a dozen unnamed illegal immigrants killed prior to Sheriff Ruiz's arrival
  • October 2009-April 2010: At least 21 unnamed illegal immigrants
  • 2010:
    • April 11 (found): The three heads discovered in the cooler (the first two were decapitated months after death, while the third was killed and decapitated recently):
      • An unnamed female illegal immigrant (killed in January; was singled out due to old age)
      • An unnamed male illegal immigrant (killed in January like the previous victim; was singled out due to near-blindness)
      • An unnamed male illegal immigrant (killed on the same day his head was found; was singled out due to old age)
    • April 12: An unnamed male illegal immigrant (was singled out due to exhaustion; his decapitated head was left at Ruiz's house)
    • April 13: Sheriff Eva Ruiz (lured to the old Golden Harvest barn, then shot three times with a revolver; gutted from her genitals to her chin, her intestines slung out, and cut off her left hand; also cut out her eyes and tongue post-mortem and took them)
    • April 14:
      • Five killed in the garage massacre. They are:
        • Unnamed mechanic (shot in the torso with a shotgun)
        • José (shot in the torso with a shotgun)
        • Omar Morales (shot twice in the leg and back with a shotgun)
        • Deputy Clyde Gentry (shot five times in the stomach with the same revolver used to kill Eva Ruiz)
        • An unnamed Lugo Cartel member (killed, presumably by shooting)
      • Shot at the following BAU members with an assault rifle at the old Golden Harvest barn:



  1. Spanish for "Our Lady of the Holy Death"