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Steven Parkett, a.k.a. "The Mad Butcher of Bakersfield", was a stalker, abductor, and later serial killer who appeared in the Season Ten episode of Criminal Minds, "X".


Parkett's mother died while giving birth to him, leaving him to be raised by his schizophrenic, alcoholic father, who physically abused him. As a result, he grew up introverted and unable to socialize. While at a local Bakersfield university, for reasons unknown, he set his sights on a college student named Christine Locke and apparently started stalking her, causing her to file a restraining order against him on August 6, 2014. When Locke later began dating an anatomy professor named Dylan Myers, Parkett snapped and attacked them both, dismembering and decapitating them. He then disposed of their torsos and sold the limbs to an unsuspecting acrotomophile named Frank Cowles. The discovery of the torsos led the media to dub him "The Mad Butcher of Bakersfield". Parkett then decided to continue killing and intended to frame Myers for the murders.


After murdering another woman, Kim Eakle, who was purchased online from a human trafficking ring, Parkett purchased Angie Stanton from the same ring. During the investigation launched by the BAU after Eakle's torso is found, Cowles was suspected of being the unsub at first, then Myers. After severing Stanton's left arm, Parkett becomes distracted when she begins showing affection towards him in a desperate bid to survive. When she gets him to untie her, she assaults him before fleeing. He pursues her, but the BAU arrive, having finally identified Parkett as the unsub, and rescue Stanton, forcing him to retreat back to his shed. He then lies in wait until Kate unknowingly approaches him, allowing him to ambush her. However, before he can kill her, he is shot and killed by Hotch.

At the end of the episode, Hotch looks at Parkett's file, wondering how he managed to acquire Stanton. The episode concludes with Alex Zorgen, Donna Mangold, and Kyle Zorgen abducting another woman and putting her up for sale online.

Modus Operandi[]

Parkett initially targeted victims who were connected to him, but later acquired his newest victims online from the trafficking ring. While holding them captive in his cattle ranch in Bishopville, he would tie them up to a table and gag them with a bridle. He would torture them for a period of 48 hours by severing their limbs one by one with a machete. Beforehand, he would tie ropes tightly around their shoulders and thighs to stop the blood flow in order to allow for successful amputations, with the litigation improving with each victim. He would then kill them by decapitating them with the same machete in a single clean stroke. His signature was mutilating the torsos to remove anything identifiable as a forensic countermeasure, although he didn’t do this to Christine’s because she didn’t have any distinguishing marks. He would then dispose the torsos in various locations throughout Bakersfield and surrounding areas. He also sold some of the legs to Cowles, contacting him via message board and leaving them at public bathrooms and abandoned locations, though what he did with the other parts in unknown. As a way of framing Myers for the murders, he drew his victims' torsos and their disposal sites in a notebook, which he left in Myers' apartment.


The unsub is a single 30-to-40-year-old white male who lives in isolation. He seeks out solitude because he was probably raised in an abusive home and is still looking for refuge. It is likely that he lost his job recently, which is why he sold his victims' limbs. His social skills point to menial work that involves some knowledge of anatomy, like a hunter or a butcher, but his sophistication suggests that he is more intelligent than initially believed. Like Jeffrey Dahmer, a.k.a. "The Milwaukee Cannibal", he is also deranged, but he has learned from the mistakes made by other killers. For example, he knows that he cannot keep strong smells around too long, which is why he disposes of the torsos within a few days of killing his victims.

His stressor may be a serious rejection; if he had the confidence to ask a woman out, he would have been clumsy and aggressive and this would have cause the woman to push him away. It is why he got rid of all the things that symbolized intimacy, since it is how his psychopathology developed. Despite the murders being about rejection and the last two victims being female, the unsub killed a male first, and it cannot be determined whether or not the first and second victims knew each other until they are identified. He is obsessive about the locations of where he puts the victims' torsos, but because he has likely seen the police surveillance, he will go out to find another victim.

Based on his M.O. and the motivations for his crimes, Parkett is an organized power-seeker type serial killer.

Real-Life Comparisons[]

Parkett seems to have been inspired by the unidentified Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run - Both were serial killers and abductors (possibly in the butcher's case) who killed their victims though dismemberment and decapitation (though through different means), disposed of their torsos in secluded locations, were both profiled with anatomical knowledge, and were given near-identical nicknames (also referred to as 'Torso Killers').

Parkett may have also been based on Richard Cottingham - Both were serial killers and abductors who usually targeted women (although Parkett's first victim was male), would restrain, torture, and dismember their victims (though Cottingham did it post-mortem), and were given similar aliases for their crimes that had the words "torso" and "killer" in them.

Parkett may have also been based on Robert Berdella - Both were serial killers and abductors (once in Berdella's case) who were abused by their fathers as children, had M.O.s that involved bringing their victims to their homes to restrain, torture, and dismember them (although Berdella did it post-mortem), and were given names by the media for their crimes that had the word "butcher", as well as the name of a city, in which they were active, in them.

Known Victims[]

  • 2014:
    • Early September: Dylan Myers (Christine Locke’s boyfriend; stalked for an unspecified amount of time; later abducted, tortured, and killed)
    • September 15: Christine Locke (stalked for an unspecified amount of time; later abducted, tortured, and killed like the previous victim; her torso wasn't mutilated post-mortem)
    • Late September: Kim Eakle (was purchased from the ring, tortured, and killed)
    • October 1: 
      • Angie Stanton (purchased from the ring, held captive, and severed her left arm; she escaped)
      • Kate Callahan (assaulted and attempted to kill with a machete)


  • Parkett seems to have been based on at least two unsubs from the show's past:
    • Season Seven
      • Thomas Yates ("Profiling 101" and "Profiling 202") - Both were organized serial killers, stalkers, and abductors who had mothers who died in childbirth, were abused by parental figures (Parkett was abused by his father, while Yates was abused by his maternal grandmother), primarily targeted women but also killed a male victim as their first, would restrain and torture their victims in some way (Parkett tortured his victims by dismembering their limbs, while Yates tortured his victims through starvation), were based on real-life serial killers (Parkett was based on the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run, while Yates was based on Henry Lee Lucas), committed their murders in California (though Yates also killed victims in the other West Coast states of Oregon and Washington), killed their first victims out of revenge, utilized a signature on at least two of their victims post-mortem (Parkett mutilated his victims' torsos, while Yates removed their vocal cords), were given names by the media for their crimes, and were ultimately shot and killed by a male BAU agent while attempting to kill at least one final woman. Yates also appeared in Season Twelve.
    • Season Eight
      • John Myers ("The Silencer") - Both were serial killers who were abused by a parental figure (Parkett was abused by his father, Myers was abused by his mother), were socially isolated, were based on real-life serial killers (Parkett was based on the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run; Myers was based on Henry Lee Lucas), killed at least one victim out of revenge, had signatures that involved torturing their victims (Parkett tortured his victims by dismembering their limbs, while Myers tortured his victims by sewing their mouths shut), and were given names by the media for their crimes. Myers also shared his surname with Parkett's first victim, Dylan Myers, who was briefly considered a suspect by the BAU. And both were also ultimately shot and killed at the end of their crime spree (though Myers' death was a suicide, while Parkett was shot and killed by Hotch).
  • In "The Hunt", Parkett was also referred to as "The Riverside Torso Killer". This may have been a more generalized nickname to refer to the case. Curiously enough, his murders occurred in Bakersfield, not Riverside (the same city Parkett's third victim lived in), as the new nickname would suggest.