Criminal Minds Wiki

"Scared to Death" is the third episode of Season Three and the 48th overall of Criminal Minds.


The BAU travels to Portland to assist the investigation into the disappearances of people who are new to the city and have no strong social ties. Meanwhile, the team is forced to cope with Gideon's abrupt departure.

Guest Cast[]

  • Jayne Atkinson - FBI Section Chief Director Erin Strauss
  • Jon Barton - SWAT Leader
  • John Bobek - Patrick Walker
  • Matt Bushell - Agent Bill Calvert
  • Randy Crowder - Apartment Super
  • Melody Hollis - Jessica Howard
  • Jennifer Keyes - Jenny Whitman
  • M.J. Karmi - Mrs. Howard
  • Brandon Killham - Young Stanley Howard
  • Casey Kramer - Landlady
  • Michael O'Keefe - Doctor Stanley Howard
  • Danielle Sapia - Missy Cassell
  • Stephanie Venditto - Jane Howard
  • Barbara Gordon - Dog Owner

Referenced Criminals[]


  • "Barely Holding On" by Wes Nickson
  • "Broken" by Lifehouse
  • "Can't Find My Way" by Phil Collins
  • "Requiem, KV 626 In D Minor: IIIa. Dies Irae (Sequentia)" by Mozart Festival Orchestra
  • "Scott Joplin Collage" by Gordon Green
  • "Tambourine" by Steffan Fantini
  • "River of Darkness" by Kalli

Bookend Quotes[]

  • Aaron Hotchner: The Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu once wrote, "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still."
  • Aaron Hotchner: Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."


  • This episode was dedicated to Mark Kamps, then the current supervising sound editor on Criminal Minds, who passed away less than a month before the episode aired. He died on August 24, 2007, in Ventura, California, at the age of 44.
  • The plot of this episode is reminiscent of the 1980 psychological horror film Phobia - Both films revolve around psychiatrists who were abused by a parent due to their fears, later became specialists in treating patients with severe phobias, and both films involved the patients being murdered in ways based on their phobias.
  • Its interesting to note that Brandon Killham (who plays the episode's unsub in his youth) previously played another young serial killer through flashbacks in two episodes of Dexter. The second episode was his previous role prior to this episode.

Criminal Minds Episodes