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My God, why won't you help him? Why won't you help him?!
Shelley to Officer Gibbs

Shelley "Shell" Chamberlain is a psychotic spree killer, one-time mass murderer, one-time cop killer, and one-time robber who appeared in the Season Six episode of Criminal Minds, "Hanley Waters".


Shelley was originally happily married to Don Chamberlain, who was a firefighter and had a son with him named Damien, who looked up to his father. On April 6, 2010, a West Tampa liquor store was robbed by a man named Hanley Waters, who then fled the scene in a car, leading to a high-speed pursuit. Shelley was driving not far from the chase with Damien in the backseat. It was Damien's birthday on that day. When he kept kicking the backside of her seat, she turned around for a second to tell him to stop and was hit by Waters' car. She survived without serious injuries but Damien died. As a police officer was also killed in the incident in some way, his death got all of the focus, while Damien's death went by almost unnoticed, being a footnote in all of the news articles that reported the incident. Shelley and Don's marriage was badly hurt by their son's death and greatly deteriorated. Sometime in January of the following year, Don filed for divorce, as well as a restraining order, and moved out, taking a .38 revolver that he owned along with him. He did, however, leave behind a stash of ammunition, likely by accident.

Hanley Waters[]

After waking up from a nightmare about Damien's death, Shelley tries to take some antidepressant pills, only to find that the containers are all empty. After smashing a mirror in distress, she becomes calm and finds several rounds of the ammunition left behind. Next, she goes to the Gun Kings Armory gun store in West Tampa and tries to purchase a .38-caliber revolver, intending to kill Don with it, as she blames him for what happened. When the clerk learns that she doesn't have a gun permit, he gives her an application, saying the state has a minimum waiting period of three days to get a permit, which stuns her. While the clerk goes to help another customer, Shelley loads the gun with some of the ammunition she brought, accidentally dropping some while doing so, and uses it to kill the owner, the clerk, and the present two customers when the former spotted her attempting to flee with it. She then goes to a shopping mall in Ybor City to meet Don, only to find him not there. She helps a boy when he falls and hurts his knee, but a security guard misinterprets her actions as a possible abduction attempt and takes the boy to his mother, forcing her to shoot and kill him in a blind rage in front of many witnesses. Shelley then flees to the road, where she comes across a roadblock in Riverside Heights and attacks the two police officers stationed there while escaping. Still waiting for Don, Shelley casts aside the opportunity to escape and turns back to Oakford Park, shooting at two paramedics present at the scene, but missing both.

Later reuniting with Don, who initially tries to remind her of the restraining order, she draws her gun when he turns his back on her, but then puts it away and instead pressures him into going to Sir Burger where they celebrated Damien's third, fourth, and fifth birthdays. There, a waiter approaches them and Don asks for a birthday surprise, but the waiter replies that it is reserved for children, causing Shelley to snap and pull out her gun. Only Don and the waiter are aware of the unfolding situation and when Shelley becomes distracted by a couple celebrating their son's birthday, the waiter evacuates the rest of the customers. However, Shelley, her psychosis escalating, approaches the family and calmly allows them at gunpoint to proceed with the birthday. Outside, the BAU and local police arrive and Hotch tells everyone to stand down before going inside. He distracts Shelley with a picture of the entire Chamberlain family while the waiter, who still remains at the scene, evacuates himself and the family. Distraught, Shelley tells Hotch and Don that she yelled at Damien right before Waters' car crashed into them and that she blames herself and Don for his death, the latter for having not responded to the car crash when she told Damien that he would. When Hotch hands her the picture of her family she breaks down, allowing Don to seize the gun and hand it to Hotch. Shelley appears to finally accept Damien's death and looks at Don with a soft smile. She was most likely institutionalized or incarcerated afterwards.

Eight years later, audio from a press conference led by Hotch about her killing spree was used by a group of anarchists to frame Hotch for conspiracy.


"They don't remember. No one remembers!"

The unsub is a white female between the ages of 30 and 40, who is driving a teal-green station wagon. The only thing that matters is her behavior, which is random. She could have escaped through the roadblock, but she circled back instead, which indicates that she has a score to settle in that particular area on that day. When emotional decisions drive an unsub, it is usually connected to a significant loss and the idea that there is nothing to live for. It is believed that this woman has been through the devastating loss of a child, and the day of her loss means something to her. She has been lashing out at hero figures, likely because she feels deeply betrayed by the one who let her down. The fact that her anger seems to be focused on the first responders rather than the hospital personnel or doctors indicates that her child probably did not die of natural causes, and most likely instead from some kind of accident. If that is so, she believes that her child should have been saved, but was not. Rage like this has been built over time, over years and has been debilitating. She most likely has not been a functioning member of society since the loss of her child and this rampage is her last chance to be heard.

Modus Operandi[]

Shelly revolver

Shelley points her revolver at her ex-husband.

Shelley killed all of her victims with a .38 Smith & Wesson Model 64 Snub Nose revolver that she stole from the gun store on the day of the spree. Besides the victims in the gun store (who were all divorced, blue-collar men with arrest records), they were typically holding jobs in which they were viewed as local heroes, such as paramedics and security guards, and the fatal victims were all apparently only shot once.

Known Victims[]

  • April 6, 2011, Florida:
    • West Tampa: Four killed in the Gun Kings Armory gun store massacre:
      • Larry Connors (the gun store owner)
      • The two unnamed customers
      • The unnamed clerk
    • Ybor City: Paul Lyons (the shopping mall security guard)
    • Riverside Heights: Two policemen injured in the roadblock shooting:
      • Officer Gibbs (first name unrevealed; shot in the lung and barely survived)
      • Officer Sparks (first name unrevealed; struck him with her car as she escaped, slightly injuring him)
    • Oakford Park: Two paramedics shot at in a drive-by shooting:
      • Unnamed paramedic (attempted; shot at him, but missed)
      • Carlos Zappa (attempted; shot at him alongside the above victim, but missed)
    • Tampa: The Sir Burger standoff:
      • Took the following hostage:
        • Don Chamberlain (her ex-husband; previously intended to shoot him, but relented at the last second)
        • An unnamed family
          • The unnamed father
          • Joy (mother)
          • Sam (son)
        • Bill (the Sir Burger manager; previously attempted to kill him)
      • Aaron Hotchner (held at gunpoint)


  • Shelley has many similarities to Norman Hill ("Normal") - Both are psychotic spree killers whose killings were triggered in some way by the deaths of their children (both of whom were killed in vehicular accidents), targeted certain victims, killed them by shooting, targeted their spouses (though Hill managed to kill his wife, while Chamberlain was not successful), attempted to shoot and kill one of their victims from their car, and would later be arrested and most likely be institutionalized.