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What Really Drove Criminal Minds Con Artist Marion Codwell To A Life Of Crime

Over the course of the 15 seasons of "Criminal Minds," as well as the seasons of both spinoffs "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior" and "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders," the teams encountered a wide array of criminals, many of whom became instantly memorable for a variety of reasons.

"Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders" was a spinoff of the main series that focused on the IRT, or International Response Team, a group in the FBI that focused on helping Americans who needed help overseas. With a cast that included Gary Sinise, Daniel Henney, and Tyler James Williams, the series ran for two seasons, and despite the limited run, produced its fair share of memorable criminals to add to the canon of the franchise.

One such criminal was Marion Codwell. Introduced in the ninth episode of the show's first season, titled "Matchmaker," Codwell was played by Sonya Walger, known for her work on shows such as "Lost" and "For All Mankind." Here's what drove "Criminal Minds" con artist Marion Codwell to a life of crime.

Marion worked with the CIA as an interrogator

The team first encountered Codwell as the CEO and founder of the Marion Codwell Group, a consulting firm based in Istanbul. However, before she founded the firm, she was an operative with the British Intelligence Agency MI6, where she worked as an interrogator for some time. MI6 often loaned her to the U.S. agency CIA for any help they needed, which included visiting American-run prisons in Iraq such as Abu Ghraib, as well as other detention sites the CIA ran in secret. The things she saw in those sites made her angry at the U.S. for what they were doing to the prisoners and detainees.

Upon her retirement from MI6, Codwell was determined to hold the U.S. accountable for the CIA's activities, which led her down the path to a life of crime. When she landed on the team's radar, she was luring American women to Turkey with the idea of brainwashing them to commit terrorist acts against Americans in the country. It was also revealed that she was working for Al Badi, whose younger brother had been killed in an airstrike that was authorized by the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey.

While the team did not subsequently cross paths with Codwell, that initial encounter left an impact both on the team, and on viewers of the show.