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You damn half-breed, you don't know anything!

Trevor Mills was a family annihilator, abductor, and serial-turned-spree killer, and an attempted assassin who appeared in the Season Seven episode of Criminal Minds, "A Thin Line".


On February 6, 2002, the Mills family were the victims of a home invasion, the perpetrators being two African-American men, Ronnie Green and Carlos Jackson, both of whom were eventually caught. Mills' father and older sister were beaten and stabbed to death.[1] His mother, Pamela, was also sexually assaulted, barely surviving, and was consequently left in a near-vegetative state due to serious brain damage that she suffered during the assault, forcing Mills to take care of her. Mills escaped the horror by hiding in a closet and calling 911. Green and Jackson were both sentenced to life in prison, although Mills thought that they should've gotten the death penalty for what they did. During testimony, Green and Jackson repeatedly said that someone hired them to do the home invasion, but they couldn't prove it. A businessman, Clark Preston, took note of the case and supported Mills and his mother financially, paying for Pamela's medical care. Thanks to Mills, Pamela also became a (likely unwitting) financial contributor to Preston, donating the money she got from her disability check to him.

Because of this, Mills absolutely idolized Preston and adopted his racist beliefs as his own. What he didn't know was that Preston, who dealt in real estate, had been the one who hired Green and Jackson to commit the home invasion on his family, intending to create a crime wave and cause the property values to plummet so he could buy them cheaply; he had never held any racist beliefs in the first place. In 2012, ten years after the Mills family killings, Preston started a mayoral election campaign against two other candidates, Mayor Steve Wennington and Councilwoman Hilary Ross, strongly basing it on promises to lower the local crime rate. Mills felt that Preston would do a much better job of that than Wennington or Ross would. In an effort to support his campaign, he began a series of home invasions in which he killed white middle-class families and framed men of ethnic minorities of whom he also killed. Preston, having been the one who convinced Mills to do so, then used the home invasions as premises for his campaign during political debates. After the second set of murders is committed, the BAU is called in to investigate.

A Thin Line

After killing his third set of victims, Mills is visited by Preston, who had just been interrogated by the BAU about the killings. Preston gives him flowers for Pamela and then tells him to keep a low profile, much to his surprise. Becoming impatient, Mills instead drugs and abducts another minority, Ramon Gomez, and then stations himself near another family household. When the family goes to sleep, he cuts out the power and methodically executes every member. Mills goes back outside and opens the trunk of his car, where he has stuffed Gomez inside, but he is attacked by him, having recovered earlier due to his drug tolerance. Mills fights back, but ultimately, Gomez gets the upper hand and incapacitates him before escaping. Gomez flees to the police station, where Prentiss interrogates him and finds that the unsub lives near train tracks. Worried that there is now a witness to his crimes, Mills tries going to Preston, who just tells him to leave and never come back, as the BAU is beginning to suspect him of his involvement in the murders. After watching a speech made by Hilary Ross, Mills' fury increases and he devises an endgame, leaving a goodbye note for Pamela before going to Ross' house and cutting out the power. He then breaks into the house and finds her. Prentiss, Morgan, and JJ arrive, but Mills fires at them and hits Prentiss in the arm. He then holds Ross at gunpoint, and Morgan tells him of Preston's involvement in his family's attack. Unconvinced, Mills tries to shoot Morgan, only to be shot dead by him. Preston is later arrested by Rossi and Hotch.

Modus Operandi

Mills targeted Caucasian, suburban middle-class families living in predominantly white neighborhoods, specifically in houses that had outdated or inactive alarm systems that could easily be disabled and had a parent who was also a registered gun owner. After disabling the alarm systems at night while everyone was asleep, he would break in through the back window, cut the power and phone lines, and kill everyone in the house. To cover his tracks and make the murders look like the work of gangs, he would lure a man of some ethnic minority into his car, abduct, and inject them with Oxycodone (doing so prior to the home invasions) and kill them as well, using the fact that the family was armed to make it look like the minorities had attacked the families and were killed when they fought back. Mills initially abducted African-Americans living in poor neighborhoods, then shifted his focus to illegal immigrants, asking them where they were from prior to drugging them to make sure they were born outside the U.S. He also smeared blood all over the walls to give the appearance that a brutal gunfight occurred. These acts would, therefore, make the families martyrs to the community and attracting more sympathy that Preston could use for the benefit of his campaign.

The homeowners were usually killed quickly and mercifully with single shots to the head, with the exceptions of Mackenzie Lewis, who was shot in the neck, and Billy Wilson, who was shot in the chest. The fall guys, on the other hand, were killed with several shots to the head and abdomen, all fired from a gun that was owned by the family. To ensure that the killings resembled separate incidents, Trevor used different guns for each familicide; during the second home invasion, he utilized a .357 Magnum handgun. During the fourth home invasion, before killing the son Billy, Trevor (most likely in a subconscious action) put him into a closet to emulate how he hid in a closet during Ronnie Green and Carlos Jackson's attack on his family; he didn't do this to the other children because he didn't relate to them.


The unsub is a white male in his late 20s-early 30s who is trying to make his murders look like the work of black gangs and undocumented immigrants by staging the crime scenes. The goal is to create a racial conflict, not unlike Charles Manson's Helter Skelter plan. He may be a member of a hate group like the Aryan Brotherhood, who believes that such race wars are inevitable. If so, he may also be an ex-convict or related to a convict, since such gangs have strong ties to the prison system. He may also be some kind of zealot who believes that his war is already being fought and the murders are a mission to him, and like a soldier, he is willing to put himself in harm's way. He may also be vulnerable, weak-minded, or even lonely, so his cause gives him a sense of power and belonging. As a result, he is highly unlikely to surrender. Because he is physically fit to move dead bodies, he is probably young, but not too young to be impulsive; he is also quite disciplined, since the attacks took time and focus to plan. Since he is able to drug his victims using Oxycodone without killing them, he probably has knowledge of dosage, and since it is an expensive drug, he may work in medical care, such as a medical care professional, caregiver, or anyone who has access to prescription drugs. He is dedicated and driven, making him especially dangerous.

Real-Life Comparison

Mills may have been based on Joseph Paul Franklin - Both were serial killers, attempted assassins, and white supremacists who, while in their twenties, attempted to start a race war (though Mills hoped to do so by killing white people and make the crimes look like the acts of black gangs and immigrants, while Franklin mostly killed interracial couples and African-American men, hoping to inspire other white people to follow his example). Also, the BAU theorized that Mills' could have modeled his plan after Charles Manson's "Helter-Skelter", just like Franklin, by his own admission, did in real life.

Known Victims

  • 2012:
    • February 16: The first home invasion:
      • The Mitchell family
        • Brian Mitchell (father)
        • The unnamed mother
        • Two unnamed sons
      • Alex Collison (a gang member; set up as the attacker; shot repeatedly in the head and abdomen with the family's weapon)
    • February 20: The second home invasion:
      • The Lewis family (all were shot with a .357 handgun)
        • Matt Lewis (father; shot in the head at near-point-blank range)
        • Trisha Lewis (mother)
        • Mackenzie Lewis (eldest daughter; shot in the neck)
        • Blake Lewis[2] (youngest daughter)
      • Ronald Underwood (a struggling college student; set up as the attacker; shot eleven times in the head and abdomen with the family's weapon)
    • February 22: The third home invasion:
      • Charles and Karen Nelson:
        • Charles Nelson
        • Karen Nelson (was eight months pregnant)
      • Pedro Mendez (an illegal immigrant; set up as the attacker; shot six times in the head and abdomen with the couple's .38 snub-nosed revolver)
    • February 23: The fourth home invasion:
      • The Wilson family
        • The unnamed parents
        • Billy Wilson (son; forced him into a closet, then shot in the chest)
        • Kelly Wilson (daughter)
      • Ramon Gomez (an illegal immigrant; drugged, abducted, assaulted, and intended to kill to frame him for the familicide; he escaped the same day)
    • February 24: The attack at Hilary Ross's house:
      • Hilary Ross (Preston's rival candidate; attempted; threw across a table, shot at repeatedly, and later held at gunpoint)
      • Emily Prentiss (attempted, but survived; shot at her, non-fatally hitting her left arm)
      • Jennifer Jareau (attempted; shot at twice, but missed)
      • Derek Morgan (attempted; shot at, but missed; later tried to shoot again)


  • Trevor Mills is the eighth of only twelve serial killers in the show's history to have killed at least a dozen victims, yet not be a prolific killer because the span of their crimes was less than three years. The others are:
  • Kevin Sheridan, the actor who plays Trevor, had previously portrayed a family annihilator in an episode of the crime drama The Closer.
  • Trevor Mills is the second of two unsubs in the show's history to have two distinctly separate victimologies that were practiced simultaneously in their killings. The first was John Vincent Bell ("The Fight"), a serial killer and abductor who targeted both father-daughter duos and homeless men.
  • According to an interview by Virgil Williams, Mills' case was inspired by Neo-Nazi Matthew Hale, who tried to hire someone to kill a judge who had rejected his license to practice law on the grounds that he lacked the requisite moral character and fitness to do so. His contact was an undercover FBI informant, leading to him being convicted and sentenced to 40 years for attempting to solicit the murder.



  1. Curiously, however, gunshots could also be heard during a flashback of the Mills home invasion, though Garcia's screen indicates that no firearms were used or even found on Green and Jackson or even at the crime scene
  2. Though Blake Lewis's first name is more common as a male name, it has been said several times she was a girl