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Jonny McHale as True Night in his delusional mind in "True Night".

A vigilante is a person who violates the law in order to exact a perceived justice against criminals and wrongdoers or people perceived as such, usually due to a lack of faith in the legal justice system.

On Criminal Minds

Vigilantes on the show:

  • Season One
    • Marvin Doyle ("A Real Rain") - A serial-turned-spree killer and schizophrenic court stenographer whose auditory hallucinations, coupled with the murder of his parents, drove him to kill criminals who were acquitted by the justice system and claimed to be victims themselves.
  • Season Two
    • Elle Greenway ("Aftermath") - A one-time killer and former agent with the BAU. After being shot by Randall Garner, Greenaway suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and missed multiple psychological evaluations. After her actions caused the FBI to be unable to convict William Lee, Greenaway confronted him herself, and proceeded to shoot him. When the police arrived, she feigned self-defense, and was ultimately found to be innocent, but some in the BAU (especially Hotch) had their doubts. Following this shooting, Greenaway resigned from the BAU.
    • Evan Abby ("Ashes and Dust") - A one-time killer and arsonist who burned serial arsonist Vincent Stiles to death for his crimes, dying himself in the process. Abby led a group known as the Earth Defense Force, a radical environmentalist group known for vandalizing and setting fire to properties they deem harmful to the environment. However, with the except of Stiles, the EDF was non-violent, and never targeted a specific person, nor did they ever cause serious bodily harm to a person.
    • Ronald Weems ("Sex, Birth, Death") - A "house cleaner"-type serial-turned-spree killer who headed a neighborhood group called "The Decency Watch", whose frustration with a seemingly lax system prompted him to murder prostitutes, who he viewed as subhuman degenerates.
  • Season Three
    • Jonny McHale ("True Night") - A serial-turned-spree killer, one-time mass murderer, and one-time abductor who survived a brutal attack by a street gang known as the 23rd Street Killers, that left his pregnant wife Vickie Wright dead. He then began targeting members of the gang and slaughtered them under the alias 'True Night'. Out of all the vigilantes, he has the highest body count, at 14.
  • Season Four
    • Paul Silvano ("Demonology") - A serial killer and poisoner who targeted and killed via false exorcisms a group of men he thought were responsible for the death of another priest, who was an old friend of Silvano's.
    • William Hightower ("To Hell and Back") - A one-time killer who shot Mason Turner, both in revenge in orchestrating the murders of his sister and numerous people, and overhearing that it was possible to Mason to get away with the murders by blaming them solely on his brother, Lucas Turner. Also attacked border guards with his car in order to draw attention to disappearances, but likely did not intend to kill any of them.
  • Season Five
    • Boyd Schuller ("Reckoner") - A proxy killer and one-time proxy abductor who hired hitman Tony Mecacci to eliminate criminals, most of them involved in crimes against children, who were acquitted in cases he presided.
  • Season Eight
    • Ellen Russell and Darlene Beckett ("The Pact") - A team of revenge killers, one-time proxy killers, and one-time abductors that began killing those that were responsible for the rape and murder of Kelly Taylor and Sam Dolan's car accident.
    • Tory Chapman ("Pay It Forward") - A serial killer, one-time cop killer, one-time abductor, and one-time stalker who went on a series of murders, targeting allegedly perfect citizens of a small town who hid dark secrets that involved them committing some sort of illegal activity.
  • Season Nine
    • Leland Duncan ("In The Blood") - A stalker, serial killer, and abductor who, while under a delusion, began killing people who had sinned somehow, such as being a drug addict or a repeat voyeur.
    • Tanner Johnson ("Gatekeeper") - A serial-turned-spree killer, robber and stalker who, while under a delusion, began killing people who had flaws, such as being a marijuana user or constantly asking for money, and simultaneously proved to be bad influences on the tenants of the apartment he worked at.
    • Clifford Walsh ("The Road Home") - A spree killer and one-time mass murderer who went on a killing spree, initially targeting criminals at random before focusing on people specifically involved in the case of Howard Clark, a teenager who murdered his wife and son.
  • Season Ten
    • John David Bidwell ("Boxed In") - An abductor and indirect killer who began abducting young boys who were causing trouble on Halloween, keeping them locked inside a box for a year until releasing them the day before Halloween. Unlike most vigilantes on the show, Bidwell had no intention to kill his victims, only to give them a literal "punishment" for their wrongdoings by holding them captive.
    • Danny Lee Stokes ("Protection") - A schizophrenic serial killer and abductor-turned-spree killer who went on a killing spree, targeting people who were committing immoral acts. However, as he continued to slip further into his delusions, he devolved and began killing random people after hallucinating them committing crimes, even though they were actually innocent.
  • Season Eleven
    • James O'Neill ("Drive") - A serial killer and abductor who used his former ride-share driver service to pick up people who were committing immoral acts, abduct them, and kill them by decapitating them with a homemade guillotine.
  • Season Thirteen
    • Mitchell McCord ("Bad Moon on the Rise") - A serial-turned-spree killer and one-time abductor whose son was killed in a mugging gone wrong right in front of him and his wife. While under a drug-induced delusional state he would kill criminals (such as gang members and muggers) in the same fashion as a werewolf in the same park where his son was murdered.
  • Note: William Hightower, Evan Abby, Monica Kingston, and Eileen Woods are considered vigilantes despite not truly fitting the pathology.

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