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The Most Chilling Episode Of Criminal Minds Ever

The crimes committed on shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit can be difficult to stomach at times, but neither series compares to the depravity featured on Criminal Minds. While other police procedurals focus on incidents that could be pulled straight from the headlines, the CBS drama incorporates (fictional) crimes that feel ripped out of one of the Saw movies. Often, these elaborate setups lead to intriguing insights into the psyche of unhinged criminals, but sometimes, they're just plain gruesome.

For fans of Criminal Minds, it might seem like a difficult task to pick which unknown subject (or "unsub") of the week takes the cake for being most deranged. However, a user posted that exact question in a thread on Reddit, and the answers that flowed in were shockingly uniform. It seems that there is indeed one episode of Criminal Minds that sticks with fans as the most chilling ever. If your morbid curiosity has the better of you, read on to find out which episode shocked even the most hardcore Criminal Minds fanatics.

The episode that was too much for Criminal Minds fans

When presented with the question of which episode of their beloved crime drama disturbed them the most, more than a few Criminal Minds fans on Reddit had one particular installment in mind: "Lucky," from the show's third season. If you're not familiar with the episode, brace yourself before reading on, because it didn't get so many mentions for no good reason.

The set-up is pretty typical for an episode of Criminal Minds. The Behavioral Analysis Unit team is sent to Florida, where the body of a young woman with Satanic symbols carved into her chest was dredged out of a river. As if this wasn't gruesome enough, all of her fingers have been cut off. When the team visits the local medical examiner's office, they find out why: The killer has been cutting the fingers off his victims in order to feed them to future people he murders. The stomach of the latest body has ten fingers in it — all belonging to different people. 

All pretty normal gut-churning Criminal Minds fare so far, right? Well, what happens next is what sets this episode apart from the rest in terms of bone-chilling horror.

The shocking reveal on Criminal Minds

Midway through the team's investigation, another young woman named Tracey Lambert (Colleen Foy) goes missing nearby. The BAU knows that the culprit is likely to insert himself into the investigation, and thus a search of the area is organized so that the team can collect information about everyone who shows up to help out.

The team soon gets a break in the case that leads them to apprehend a troubled man named Floyd Feylinn Ferrel (Jamie Kennedy). They determine that he is the killer, and that he holds his victims captive for 72 hours before murdering them. As Tracey Lambert has only been missing for 48 hours, the team believes there still might be a chance that she's alive and can be saved. They press Floyd for information about Tracey's whereabouts, but he refuses to speak to anyone but his priest.

When his priest arrives, Floyd makes a shocking confession. After the priest assures Floyd that he's not alone because "God is in all of us," Floyd responds, "So is Tracey Lambert."

It's then that the team connects the horrible dots. Floyd's name was on the sign-in sheet for the search party for Tracey Lambert, but he wasn't registered as one of the searchers. Instead, he was there feeding the search party volunteers chili from his restaurant, Feylinn's Fine Bar-B-Q. The special ingredient in the pot that day was the woman they were all there looking for.

Disturbing honorable mentions from Criminal Minds

"Lucky" might take the cake for the most horrifying Criminal Minds reveal ever, but there were a few other episodes that multiple fans said made their skin crawl.

Another popular pick is the two-part season 4 finale, "To Hell... and Back." This episode sees the BAU investigating the abductions of multiple downtrodden people from the streets of Detroit. Their search leads them to a pig farm in Canada, where they discover that a quadriplegic man has been using his developmentally disabled brother to kidnap his victims and then harvest their spinal fluid in an attempt to find a cure for his paralysis. However, the only trace the team finds of any of the victims is a haunting bin filled to the brim with shoes. Everything else was fed to the pigs.

Still not disturbed enough? Then might we suggest checking out the season 8 episode, "The Lesson." Many fans of Criminal Minds cited this as the episode that disturbed them the most — for one particular reason: The unsub turned his victims into human marionettes and had them perform in a play. Not sure we need to say more.