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Suzanne and Lawrence Silvan, a.k.a. "The Mommy and Daddy Murderers", were a husband-and-wife abductor and killer team who appear in the third Criminal Minds novel, Finishing School.


See sections on the Suzanne and Lawrence Silvan articles

Modus Operandi[]

The couple targeted young girls, all of whom would fill out the spots as their daughters. Lawrence would abduct them, usually three at a time, while Suzanne would raise the girls Larry abducted as her own. She would rename them, school them, and, presumably, bar them from leaving the house. When the girls reached adolescence and began their period, Suzanne, to protect them from any men, including her husband, who would want them sexually, poisoned them with hydrocodone, a barbiturate she was prescribed for her chronic pain and nightmares. After killing the girls, Suzanne would dress them in homemade clothing and wrap them in layers, the first layer being blankets, the second winter clothing and the last plastic tarps; the girls would then be buried in graves Larry dug in the forest he was currently working in.


The victims appearing well taken care of, lacking any sign of sexual abuse, and the lack of ransom demands suggest the unsub abducts children due to being unable to have any of their own. The clothes the children were buried in implies an unsub of a middle-class background and, as the girls were held for years, it means the unsub either works from home, keeps the girls captive in some secluded location, or has a partner. The girls being killed when they reached adolescence means the unsub likely loved them as children, but hates them as women, believing they would lose control of them when they started growing up.

However, when it became apparent that it was a team they were dealing with, probably a married couple, the BAU profiled the husband as the abductor and the wife as the killer; the husband would do the grunt work, be mild-mannered, subservient, non-threatening, and completely abhorred to violence; while the wife, who probably had a very abusive childhood, would be the one in control. Suzanne believed that by killing her girls before they grew up, she was keeping them pure, stopping any men (including her husband) from tainting them and hurting them, making her a type of Angel of Death.

Known Victims[]

  • Atlanta, Georgia:
    • 1988: The first set of victims (abducted; all were eventually killed by Suzanne):
      • Ellen
      • Two other unnamed girls
    • 1998: The second set of victims (abducted; all were eventually killed in Bemidji, Minnesota by Suzanne):
      • Abigail Mathis
      • Heather Davison
      • Lee Ann Clark
  • 2008, Bemidji, Minnesota: The third set of victims (abducted by Lawrence; both were rescued):
    • Sophie Scheckel
    • Unnamed girl


  • The Silvans bear some similarities to The Canardos ("The Perfect Storm") - Both wives were responsible for all of the groups' murders, both husbands were responsible for disposing the bodies, and one member tried to avoid suspicion by pinning the murders on someone else (Suzanne pinned all of the murders on Lawrence, Tony Canardo on himself and an unknowing accomplice).