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It's pretty remarkable, really. Nature's got her own clean up crew. Flies, larvae, maggots, beetles. And there's the big guys, of course. Rats, squirrels, crows, buzzards. I learned a long time ago never to kill anybody above 5,000 feet. It's cold up there, the evidence tends to linger... They'll be along soon, they like the scent of blood.
Perotta to James Baker

Vincent "Vinny" Perotta is a misandristic and prolific robber, and later serial killer, hitman, abductor, cop killer, thrill killer, gangster, and arsonist who appears in the Season One episode of Criminal Minds, "Natural Born Killer".

Background[]

Born sometime in 1958, Perotta grew up in a home situated in a small suburb in Baltimore, Maryland. While on the outside, the Perotta home appeared normal and happy, but his father Franklin, an active and well-liked member of the community, was secretly abusive, beating his wife Katherine and their son every chance he got. Over time, Perotta began acting out, becoming an alcoholic at the age of fourteen and being arrested for several crimes such as burglary and assault in his teenage years. The most prominent offenses his long rap sheet were throwing a Molotov cocktail at a random motorist and scheduling a visit to an infirmary in order to attack a boy who "looked at him for too long". At the age of seventeen, while out on a hunting trip, Perotta killed his father, making the murder look like an unfortunate accident. After his mother's death, Perotta, never leaving his childhood home, began killing random people and came into contact with the mob sometime in the late eighties or early nineties, becoming a hitman. Perotta went on to kill hundreds of people in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. While most of these murders were committed at the mob's request, some of them were random, committed only for pleasure.

Natural Born Killer[]

In 2005, Perotta is hired by mob boss Michael Russo to kill Freddy Condore and Jimmy Baker, who Russo had become suspicious of. While Perotta easily torture-murders Condore and his uncle William, he had never killed a woman before and is disturbed at how difficult murdering Condore's aunt Helen, who was not tortured, was for him. Unnerved and distracted, Perotta, after dismembering Condore's body, merely dumps the pieces two blocks away, instead of properly disposing them. The next night, Perotta tracks down Baker and takes him to his home, where he tortures him for several hours, eventually getting a call from Russo, who tells him that he brought a lot of heat down on them by killing Condore and the DeMarcos the way he did, and now the FBI, who have tapped the call, are in town. Having arranged a meeting with Russo, Perotta heads to his scrap-yard, where the BAU have set up an ambush. Managing to attack Hotch, Perotta nearly strangles him to death with a garrote, but is incapacitated with a taser by Gideon. Arrested, Perotta is held for questioning, since Baker is still missing and may still be alive.

Vincent vs Hotch

Perotta strangling Hotch.

Trying to get Perotta off-balance, Gideon insinuates he is impotent, but is interrupted during questioning by Agent Josh Cramer, who demands Perotta to tell him where Baker is, but letting it slip that he is a federal agent before being forced out of the room. Deciding to continue where Gideon left off, Hotch questions Perotta, correctly surmising his childhood was abusive and that the reason he had trouble killing Helen DeMarco was because she, as a woman, reminded him of his mother, the only person he has ever felt anything even close to affection for. Growing agitated, Perotta blurts out his father's name, which, along with objects found in his van, helps the BAU track down his home, where Baker is found alive. After he is rescued, officers come to take Perotta away and, as he is being led out, Hotch states "You were just responding to what you learned, Vincent. When you grow up in an environment like that, an extremely abusive and violent household... it's not surprising that some people grow up to become killers"; when Perotta questions what he means by only some people growing up to be killers, Hotch replies with "And some people grow up to catch them." He is last seen being led away in cuffs by multiple cops, likely off to prison for his crimes.

Profile[]

"Paranoid personalities develop in childhood. [...] You learned to take the beatings, the abuse. You learned to smile. But in the back of your mind you probably thought... "One day... One day when I'm big enough." So you were bullied and abused and you became an abuser and a bully. It's a logical progression." - Hotch while interrogating Perotta

While the Freddy Condore and DiMarco murders were excessively brutal, the crime scene shows method, order, and control, indicating an organized killer. The torture inflicted on William DeMarco was varied, which is unusual, as those who cut normally do not burn, and vice-versa. Since the murders lacked any kind of sexual component, showed absolutely no signs of hesitation or wasted effort, and had connections to the mob, it indicated an unsub who is a professional hitman (despite most hitmen not needing to rely on torture in order to get the job done) and a pure psychopath, who would be a white male in his forties or fifties who is intelligent, methodical, and confident in his abilities, having started killing at a young age, allowing him to perfect his craft over the years. It was stated that the unsub had both antisocial and paranoid personality disorders, which developed in childhood due to heavy abuse, and leaves someone completely unable to feel compassion or empathy for others (though Vincent himself had trouble killing women, appearing somewhat disturbed when he killed Helen DeMarco, his sole female victim), whose murder was initially meant to be a form of psychological torture on her husband and nephew.

Modus Operandi[]

With one single exception, Perotta's victims were exclusively male and of different ages and races, some of whom he was hired to kill. Before striking, he would watch his intended victims from his van for an unknown amount of time (possibly days, judging by the amount of old food containers and trash found inside the vehicle). When he attacked, Perotta would restrain his victims to the chairs and torture them for hours (either at the scene or at home) through various means, which included beating, cutting, and burning, before either finishing them with one swift, final stroke or by leaving them bound and barely alive, to be devoured by the vermin living in the basement of his father's home, a process he would record. Most of the victims would be dismembered post-mortem (though the possibility exists that some may have been alive during the process) and the body parts disposed of. When he killed Helen DiMarco, his sole female victim, he quickly slashed her throat and didn't do anything else to her, having been very uncomfortable with killing a woman, even though her death was meant to be psychological torture on her husband and nephew. When he tried to kill Hotch, he strangled him with a cord.

Real-Life Comparisons[]

Perotta is very similar to Richard Kuklinski - Both were prolific (possibly in Kuklinski's case) serial killers, hitmen, and gangsters who came from abusive backgrounds, admitted that they didn't like the idea of killing women, and fantasized about killing their fathers (Perotta actually went ahead with it). Also, Vincent's way of leaving one of his victims to be eaten alive by rats is very similar to the way Kuklinski claimed to have killed some of his victims.

He is also similar to Pedro Rodrigues Filho - Both were prolific serial killers and robbers who were abused alongside their mothers by their fathers during childhood, committed crimes in their youths, had at least one attempted victim prior to their killings, and killed their first victims as teenagers. They primarily targeted men, killed them through various means (primarily with bladed weaponry), would capture and torture some of their victims before killing them, mutilated some of their victims, were involved in organized crime in some way (Rodrigues was a gang member, while Perotta was a hitman hired by mobs), both killed their own fathers, had several dozen confirmed victims (with kill counts suspected of being over 100), and were profiled as paranoid and intelligent psychopaths with antisocial traits.

Known Victims[]

  • Unspecified dates and locations:
    • Unnamed male motorist (attempted, but survived; attacked with a Molotov cocktail)
    • Unnamed teenage boy (intended)
  • October 12, 1975, unspecified location: Franklin V. Perotta (his father; killed, presumably by shooting; his death was ruled as a hunting accident until 2005)
  • June 3, 1987, Baltimore, Maryland: An unspecified case aggravated assault
  • 1989:
    • May 5, Towson, Maryland: A victimless robbery
    • July 6, Glen Burnie, Maryland: A vicmless burglary
    • October 7, unspecified location: An unspecified case of battery and assault
  • Unspecified dates from 1990 to 2005: Numerous unnamed male victims, ranging in the hundreds (all killed by various causes at locations in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland)
  • 2005, Baltimore, Maryland:
    • November 14: Frederick Condore and his family:
      • Helen and William DiMarco (Frederick's aunt and uncle, respectively)
        • Helen DiMarco (throat was slashed; was not tortured)
        • William DiMarco (was tortured, then disemboweled)
      • Frederick Condore (target victim; abducted, tortured, and fatally dismembered)
    • November 15: James Baker (target victim; abducted, tortured, and left for dead; was rescued the next day)
    • November 16: Aaron Hotchner (attempted, but survived; strangled him to near-death with a cord)

Notes[]

  • With his total body count of over 100 people (exact number unknown), Vincent Perotta is the first of only nine unsubs in the show's history who are confirmed to have claimed hundreds of lives. The others are:
  • Perotta is similar to George Foyet - Both were prolific serial killers and cop killers who were abused by their fathers (whom they would later kill out of revenge and then stage their deaths as accidents), operated in multiple U.S. cities, targeted random victims, killed at least two members of law enforcement, had a wildly varying M.O., and attempted to kill Hotch, only to fail.

Appearances[]

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