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You took Tony away from me! The Capilano Brothers!

Sal Capilano is a robber, and later serial killer who appeared in the Season Thirteen episode of Criminal Minds, "The Capilanos".


See section on The Capilano Brothers page

The Capilanos

See section on The Capilano Brothers page

Modus Operandi

Sal targeted houses that were secluded to avoid being seen by witnesses and broke into the homes of his victims by jimmying a lock on either the garage or front door of the victims' house. When he escalated to murder, he killed married Caucasian men with kids, who acted as surrogates for his abusive father, by beating them to death. He would wear the costume from his job as a clown while committing his murders and presumably his first three robberies as well. The primary signature for his murders was cutting the sides of his victims' mouths with a knife as a reference to the assault that he was given by his father. His initial signature was carving smiley faces with stars for the eyes into the doors of the victims' homes. After each of his robberies (and later murders), he would run towards his van, which his brother (who acted as the getaway driver) had parked close by, drive off with him, and pawn the items he stole from the homes.


The unsub is a dominant power-assertive male robbing and killing his victims. He had a submissive partner who drove the getaway vehicle, likely a van. Both men are aged in their thirties. Capilano liked to kill with his bare-hands and liked to cut his victims postmortem, as part of his signature. However, the submissive partner has no idea that the dominant partner is committing murder, as it is common for criminal partners to keep secrets from one another. While the submissive waits in the vehicle, the dominant works alone in the killings while choosing not to harm the children. The sparing of the children might've been because of the submissive's influence. This may result from one of them having a child or having unresolved childhood issues. The unsub's use of a clown disguise, while possibly could be a forensic countermeasure, is a predictor of anti-social behavior, a deindividuation. It allows him to be anonymous and act out their worse. He likely paints his face because he hates his own, possibly because of a facial disfigurement or a speech impediment. He can't control this and it frustrates him.

Real-Life Comparison

Sal seems to be partially based on John Wayne Gacy - Both were serial killers who were abused by their fathers as children, had jobs as clowns and dressed as them, and targeted men.

Known Victims

  • Unspecified dates:
    • Unspecified location: Unnamed man (attempted to cut his face)
    • Eads, Colorado: A victimless robbery
    • Lamar, Colorado: A victimless robbery
    • Springfield, Colorado: A victimless robbery
  • 2018:
    • Compo, Colorado: Sam Franklin (killed while his family was out of the house)
    • Guymon, Oklahoma:
      • Mark Wilson (killed while his son was home)
      • Jon and Bella Richardson (killed while their kids were home)
        • Jon Richardson
        • Bella Richardson (incidental)
      • Unnamed man (attempted, but survived; attempted to rob, then shot him in the shoulder with his own shotgun)
      • Dina Capilano (his sister-in-law; assaulted and attempted to kill by strangulation, but relented when Mikey showed up)
      • Lenny Borman (attempted but survived; shot him in his left leg and attempted to rob)


  • Sal seems to have been based on at least three unsubs from the show's past:
    • Season Three
      • Gary ("Children of the Dark") - Both are robbers-turned-serial killers who committed robberies in their victims' homes before escalating to killing them, killed people who were surrogates for their abusive relatives, and were the dominant members of two-person teams.
      • Joe ("Damaged") - Both killers had jobs as clowns and killed the parents of children in home invasions.
    • Season Five
      • Billy Flynn ("Our Darkest Hour" and "The Longest Night") - Both were serial killers who operated in multiple states in the U.S. killed their victims in nighttime home invasions, robbed their victims of their belongings, and left the children of their victims alive.