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What Really Drove Criminal Minds Con Artist Bill Hodges To A Life Of Crime

Popular police procedural "Criminal Minds" established itself as one of the most successful shows on television during its initial 15-season run on CBS. However, for a minute there, it seemed that the Behavioral Analysis Unit had solved its final case and called it a day. But it's not over yet by any means; a highly-anticipated revival will be available to stream on Paramount+ in the near future, which means more cases will be cracked, and some memorable characters will make an appearance in the process.

While the heroes of "Criminal Minds" are popular among the show's fans, some of the bad guys they've gone up against are equally as captivating. One of those baddies was none other than Bill Hodges (Victor Webster), the handsome-yet-deceitful conman and killer who served as the primary antagonist in Season 5's "Parasite" episode. This miscreant was behind a host of crimes and despicable deeds, but what drove him to that lifestyle in the first place?

Bill Hodges is a career criminal with a sketchy history

It's difficult to pinpoint the exact moment Bill Hodges turned to crime. His backstory is a mystery for the most part, though "Parasite" provides some interesting nuggets of information about him that paint a basic picture. The episode establishes that the villain has been a conman for years, with his first known crime being a scam against churchgoers in Seattle. After that, he moved around the country, spending just over a year in each city or town he ventured into, using a variety of aliases to scam his unsuspecting victims — many of whom he was able to manipulate and seduce due to his good looks and charm.

It was only a matter of time until someone discovered his true identity, however, which led Bill Hodges to commit murder in order to protect his shady secrets from his family — who had no idea what he was really getting up to. Despite feeling guilty about taking a life, it didn't stop him from taking more moving forward. It's clear that Bill Hodges turned to murder in order to save his own skin, first and foremost, but that doesn't explain why he feels compelled to forge fake identities and steal from people.

Pathological factors drove Bill Hodges to crime

Bill Hodges' profile reveals that he's a psychopath with a huge ego. Similar to Ted Bundy, he knows that he's able to use his charisma to satiate his nefarious desires, and he feeds off of this power. His behavior could be explained by the "Dark Triad" theory, which, according to Psychology Today, "refers to a trio of negative personality traits — narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy — which share some common malevolent features." People who are afflicted with this condition are impulsive, and they've been known to turn to crime as a result. 

Therefore, it's safe to assume that Hodges' crimes are motivated by pathological factors, as opposed to desperate circumstances and a need to get by. The fact he created so many aliases also meant that he lost control of his own sense of self, which is why he became unstable and more dangerous as time went on.