Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him.
At the age of eleven years, seven months and thirteen days, Spencer Reid killed his first human being.
It wasn't quite the same as killing animals. Yes, animals fought back. They screamed. They bled. But there wasn't that feeling of utter ecstasy as you felt their life slip away beneath your fingertips. With humans, you got that.
Amber White was nine years old when Spencer stabbed her in the heart. He knew where the heart was, of course, but it was another thing altogether to try and stab someone there. It took him several tries, his tiny hands sticky with fresh young blood.
How did Spencer Reid justify this death? He saw her taunting eyes. Knew that she was mocking him, just like the rest. He wanted to know if it would feel as good to have their blood on his hands as well.
The Las Vegas Police Department never caught the man who killed Amber White.
He was always one step ahead.
Quantico, Virginia. Fifteen years later.
Morgan sat at the conference table, stirring sugar into his coffee. According to JJ, who was still on the phone with the LVPD, this was a bad one.
They'd dug up a killing ground, bodies going back almost ten years. They had all been stabbed to death.
The Las Vegas Police Department had called the Behavioral Analysis Unit. The ball was in the BAU's court.
'What do we have?' Prentiss sat down next to Morgan, her own coffee tightly gripped.
'Ten year dump site,' Morgan replied. 'Vegas. That's all I know.'
Hotch and Rossi soon joined them. Both senior agents had long since learnt to function without the influence of caffeine. It was an addiction isolated to the younger members of the team.
'Las Vegas, Nevada.' JJ began the briefing with the location. 'The bodies of nearly fifty women, some missing as long as ten years. On most, the rate of decomposition is too severe to show a preliminary cause of death, but the more recent bodies indicate that these women were stabbed to death.'
'Raped?' asked Prentiss.
'Lack of sexual aggression could be the result of impotence. He's using the stab wounds as a substitute.'
'Have any of the bodies been identified yet?' asked Hotch.
'A few. There are a lot to work through, and in some cases, they only have dental records to rely on. So far it's a mixture of teens and women in their twenties and thirties. The decomposed bodies are consistently younger.'
'So as he grows, so does his preference,' concluded Rossi.
'That's what it looks like,' JJ agreed. She stared at the screen. The depths of human depravity never failed to horrify her. She wondered what kind of sick, twisted person could do something like this.
She always wondered.
At first, when he his dump site had been compromised, he had sworn. He went to a lot of effort to find that place, and now he would have to find a new one all over again.
Then he learnt that the FBI was coming to investigate him. The FBI was coming to find out just who killed all those women.
Spencer Reid cracked a smile.
He did enjoy a challenge.