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The Criminal Minds Victim Who Was More Important Than You Think

"Criminal Minds" has established itself as one of the most popular shows on television, forging a successful legacy that encompasses 15 seasons (with Season 16 on the way), spin-offs, and a global fanbase. The series, which chronicles the exploits of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), has brought in some notable guest stars throughout the years, including Robert Englund, Mark Hamill, and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Every once in a while, the creators of "Criminal Minds" have found themselves star-struck in the presence of some of these celebrities, and they've wielded their creative powers to make their biggest dreams come true.

That was certainly the case for "Criminal Minds" co-producer and writer Rick Dunkle, who has a cameo as a corpse in one episode that most viewers probably didn't think twice about. However, it was significant for Dunkle, due to the fact that he got to star alongside one of his heroes from "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Criminal Minds producer Rick Dunkle is a big Wil Wheaton fan

Wil Wheaton's appearances in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "The Big Bang Theory" gave him a squeaky-clean good-guy image, but he embraced the dark side in "Criminal Minds." In the Season 4 episode "Paradise," Wheaton portrayed the vile Floyd Hansen, a psychopathic serial killer and rapist. He was a peeping Tom who targeted traveling couples, and it made for some disturbing, albeit morbidly compelling, television. Despite playing a notorious villain, however, Wheaton couldn't escape his legacy as a Starfleet sensation.

At the beginning of the episode, Floyd kills a man named Jonathan after slamming into his car with a tractor-trailer. Dunkle plays the victim, though his cameo is brief and he was forced to lie still. As Tickle pointed out, Dunkle, a self-professed sci-fi nerd, thought it would be funny to be killed off by Wesley Crusher, suggesting that his fandom was so deep that he still thought of Wheaton as his "Star Trek" persona. That said, after seeing Wheaton's dark and demented performance in "Paradise," Wesley was probably the last person on Dunkle's mind.