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The Creepiest Unsub In Criminal Minds Season 9

The following article includes mentions of sexual assault and murder. 

More than a year after completing its 15-year run, "Criminal Minds" still maintains a massive and enthusiastic fan following. The CBS drama followed the exploits of the FBI's crack Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) as they profiled and hunted down violent threats to society. "Criminal Minds" hooked audiences with its mix of highly skilled (and not altogether unattractive) FBI agents, crime scene forensics, dramatic action, and criminal psychology. But what really set "Criminal Minds" apart from other network procedurals was its villains — the sick, twisted, deranged, and disturbed elements of humanity only the BAU knew how to hunt: the unknown subjects, AKA "unsubs."

Through 15 seasons, "Criminal Minds" confronted viewers with a weekly parade of murderers, kidnappers, torturers, sadists, and more. Fans of the show continue to share and debate their all-time nightmare-inducing unsubs lists. Frequent top 10 contenders include: serial rapist and spree killer "Prince of Darkness," played with gleeful sleeziness by Tim Curry; George Foyet, AKA "The Reaper" (C. Thomas Howell), based loosely on the Zodiac Killer; Adam Rain (Brad Dourif) who made human mannequins out of his victims; disgruntled ex-FBI agent The Replicator (Mark Hamill) who murdered Erin Strauss with poisoned wine; and cannibal Floyd Ferell (Jamie Kennedy) who hosted his victim's search party by serving them a stew containing the girl they were looking for. 

While every season of "Criminal Minds" served up its share of thrills, chills, and scares, Season 9 has been singled out by many fans to be particularly creepy. And, of course, it's all down to the unsubs.

Criminal Minds Season 9 was one of the creepiest

The ninth season of "Criminal Minds" contained more than the usual amount of gruesome, unsettling, and shiver-inducing situations, as fans on Reddit have noted. User sabertoothdiego declared: "the people in charge of season 9 have some weird a** brains."

In the same thread, u/CarlyS4546x agreed, saying they actually had to stop watching the show because they found Season 9 so disturbing. When their love of the characters eventually drew them back to "Criminal Minds," they admitted: "but [now] I have to fast forward the nasty bits!" 

The season opened with guns blazing in the two-parter "The Inspiration" and "The Inspired," featuring psychotic rapist and serial killer Wallace Hines (Fred Koehler). Young Wallace had an obsession with praying mantises, in particular the females' habit of killing their mates after intercourse, then eating their heads. As an adult, Wallace experienced disturbing delusions and gave his own personal spin on the mantis MO by decapitating his unrequited high school crush when he learned she was getting married, then fed pieces of her head to his female abductees before shooting them.

In the fourth episode, German unsub Anton Harris (David Anders) tortures and lobotomizes his victims before releasing them. Oh, and Harris had also inserted nano-cameras into his own eyes so could record his crimes and share them with the world. 

The somewhat outrageous opening unsubs gave way to more nuanced and insidious creeps as the season took a bleaker and more psychological turn by episode five.

The creepiest Season 9 unsubs get under the skin

One of the scariest unsubs in "Criminal Minds" history, villain George Foyet returned in Season 9, Episode 5, despite having died four seasons earlier. When Hotch (Thomas Gibson) is hospitalized, he has a hallucination in which he sits in a movie theater alongside his dead wife and her murderer, Foyet. Even in death, Foyet's presence is insidious. As Reddit user u/bigred9310 put it, "Any season with George Foyet was creepy."

In "Mr. and Mrs. Anderson," the team hunts down a similarly creepy pair of unsubs working in unison to lure attractive young victims to their hotel room before murdering them — the couple uses the murders to spice up their sex life. What makes the killers especially disturbing is the fact that they're an otherwise completely normal middle-aged married couple. They even go to couples therapy. The sheer banality of the situation and the everyday blandness of the unsubs gives them a creepiness that got under the skin of many fans.

Additionally, in "The Edge of Winter," BAU agent Morgan (Shemar Moore) performs witness preparation duties with Daria Samsen (Aasha Davis), the only surviving victim of a serial abductor. Over the course of the episode, it's revealed that Daria fell in love with her kidnapper during captivity and, even a year later, is suffering from a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome. In an even darker twist, we learn that Daria actually joined her kidnapper in the torture and murder of other abductees, making her the submissive half of a truly horrific dual-unsub partnership.

The creepiest unsub in Season 9 isn't one person

Season 9's creepiest unsub isn't a single perpetrator, but a whole network of disturbed offenders. In "Gabby," the BAU investigates the disappearance of four-year-old Gabby Hoffer (Julia Butters) who was taken at a gas station while her ward, Sue Walsh (Sianoa Smit-McPhee), was in the store buying food. After examining the CCTV footage, the team determines Sue Walsh had rehearsed and staged the abduction, so the investigation pivots to her.

It transpires that Sue's parents died when she was a child, and she was sent to live with the Hoffers where she suffered sexual abuse. In an act of vengeance, Sue arranged to hand little Gabby off, and the team discovers that Gabby was given to a horrific "family" of child traffickers. Anyone who's seen the episode won't soon forget the scene in which Gabby and two other toddlers sit in the back of a grimy van, being driven by their captors. 

It's not as sensational as some of the show's more "out-there" episodes, but perhaps that's what makes "Gabby" so disturbing. A family unwittingly placing their child in the hands of someone who betrays their trust in the worst possible way, and a young woman so damaged by childhood abuse that she would sell a child to a similar fate out of vengeance — it all adds up to an intense and very unsettling experience that stays with viewers long after it's over.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.