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What were you going to do? What if I hadn't shown up? Were you going to kill her? Huh?
Harris

William "Will" Harris is an ephebophilic serial rapist, abductor, and later serial killer who appeared in the Season Four episode "The Soul Mates". He is one-half of a killing team that also includes Steven Baleman.

Background

Harris was born sometime in 1965 and grew up in Columbus, Ohio, before moving to Atlanta, Georgia, where he lived for twenty years. At some point in his life, he married a woman named Sharon and had a daughter named Andrea with her. Sometime prior to the episode, he was charged with rape and abduction in Atlanta, but the victims had refused to testify and the charges were dropped. As a result, in July 2008, he moved his family to Sarasota, Florida, claiming that it was to escape the stigma that had been placed on him and his family. Soon after arriving, Harris and his family participated in a neighborhood block party, where Harris met Steven Baleman. Through careful suggestion and innuendo, the two realized that they shared the same predatory personality. They would soon begin their mutual killings.

Soul Mates

Harris is first seen giving Andrea a driving lesson. When he is interrupted by a page, he tells her that he has to go. Andrea is upset, but Harris reassures her by stating that he plans on giving her the car as soon as she gets her license. This excites her and causes her to hug him, but Harris warns her that she needs to keep her grades up if she wants to keep the car. At that moment, another neighborhood girl and one of Andrea's new friends, Lisa, approaches and tells him that he has to talk to her father, causing him to acquiesce and leave. Shortly after, local police, led by Detective Linden, pull up and confront Harris. He is told that he is being arrested for the abduction of Missy DeWald and the murder of the three other victims. They take him in as Andrea, Sharon, Lisa, and several neighbors watch. As he is being led away, Harris assures Sharon that it is a mistake and he will be home soon. The BAU is awaiting the officers when they arrive at the local police station.

At the police station, Rossi explains that Harris matches the profile of their unsub: a successful family man who lives and works in the area. The probable cause for the arrest was there and they just don't have the evidence that they need to prosecute the man, as Linden didn't believe that the unsub wouldn't keep the victim nearby. As a result, they must dig through all areas of his life while Morgan and Rossi handle the interrogation. Another reason behind the arrest was that the unsub holds his victim for 48 hours before killing her, and DeWald was just abducted yesterday; as long as they hold Harris, he won't be able to finish her off. Harris points out that by the time the authorities realize that he is telling the truth, DeWald could be dead. Reid gets into Harris' computer, with Garcia on a remote connection. Garcia says that Harris has covered his tracks well, but she can follow them.

After hacking around the computer for a while, Garcia finds blog entries sent to and from another individual that appears to be a correspondence between a pair of lovers. Reid realizes that the messages are only coded to appear that way and that the collaboration may be between a killing team. Back at the police station, Rossi tells Harris that they have found the messages and demands to know where DeWald is. Harris says nothing. Then, Detective Linden bursts into the room, telling the group that DeWald's body has been found. Harris smiles, saying "I told you so" (referring to his earlier statement), which enrages Linden, much to his satisfaction. At this point, after the medical examiner tells the BAU that DeWald had only died several hours before, they realize that Harris' partner must have killed her. They tell Harris that if he and his partner had only sex, they would never have the urge to abduct and kill the previous young women.

Later, a call is received saying that Andrea Harris is now missing. It is assumed that Harris' partner, Baleman, must have taken her. Sharon says that Baleman had been checking in on them while Harris was in custody, and she believes that Andrea had followed Baleman after he had an argument with Sharon. Harris is then convinced to lead the team, while wired, to their hideout, a warehouse near the docks. Harris bursts in and removes Andrea's gag. He asks Baleman why he had taken Andrea, telling him that their family members were always off-limits and mentioning Baleman being responsible for DeWald's murder. The BAU now has enough evidence to arrest them both. Andrea backs off, confused, and runs out. The BAU come in and arrest both Harris and Baleman. Andrea reunites with her mother as both leave the scene.

Profile

William was feeling incomplete: he didn't begin killing until he met his "soul mate". The longer the two got away with their crimes, the stronger their relationship grew. They are not just addicted to rape and murder, these two are addicted to each other. Harris is dominant, self-confident, and the other is willing to be led.
-Spencer Reid, Derek Morgan, and Aaron Hotchner

The initial profile given to the Sarasota Police Department said that the unsub would be a highly functioning, successful family man who lives and works in the area and has a record of similar crimes.

Modus Operandi

No in-depth details, other than rape and strangulation, were mentioned about the cause of death. The victims were always black and white college girls who the two abducted (with the exception of Missy DeWald, who attended a local high school). They would abduct the girls on different times of the day, bind their arms and legs together, cover their mouths with duct tape, and put them in a car. They brought the girls to an abandoned warehouse, where they took turns raping them before killing them two days later. They then dumped the bodies in random locations. Considering that the police initially suspected only one person was responsible for the murders, they presumably wore condoms during the rapes as a forensic countermeasure. When he raped alone, he would presumably target the same type of victims he targeted with Baleman and either blindfold them or wear a mask.

Real-Life Comparisons

Harris is similar to Dennis Rader - Both were sexually-motivated, psychopathic serial killers who were successful family men well-known in their communities, targeted women and killed their victims by strangulation (though this was only one of Rader's methods).

He is also similar to William Bonin - Both were ephebophilic serial killers and rapists who share the same first name, were put in orphanages as children, were registered sex offenders, had a specific gender preference (males in Bonin's case, females in Harris'), abducted, raped, and strangled their victims (though that was only one of Bonin's methods), killed their victims to ensure that they would never be arrested again, and were active at the same time as at least one other serial killer (though Harris and Baleman were a team while Bonin, Kearney, and Kraft were all completely independent of each other).

Known Victims

  • 2008:
    • Pre-July, Atlanta, Georgia:
      • Unnamed woman (abducted and raped only)
      • Unnamed woman (abducted and raped only like the previous victim)
    • November-December, Sarasota, Florida:
      • Kim Groves (raped and killed)
      • Unnamed victim (raped; was also killed by either him or Baleman)
      • Unnamed victim (raped; was also killed by either him or Baleman)
  • January 10, 2009: Missy DeWald (abducted and presumably raped; was killed by Baleman the next day)

Appearances

References

  1. Because only one victim can be positively attributed to him, with the perpetrator of the other two murders up in the air, William isn't individually classified as a serial killer. However, he is considered a serial killer alongside Steven.
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