Criminal Minds/The Fox

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The Fox
Season 1, Episode 7
Airdate November 9, 2005
Written by Simon Mirren
Directed by Guy Norman Bee
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Natural Born Killer
Criminal MindsSeason One

The Fox is the seventh episode of the first season of Criminal Minds. A man kidnaps families for several days before killing them.

Starring: Mandy Patinkin (Jason Gideon), Thomas Gibson (Aaron Hotchner), Lola Glaudini (Elle Greenaway), Shemar Moore (Derek Morgan), Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Spencer Reid), A.J. Cook (Jennifer "J.J." Jareau)

Guest Starring: Neal Jones (Karl Arnold), Tony Todd (Eric Miller), Bonita Friedericy (Dr. Rachel Howard), Abraham Benrubi (Frank Fielding), Meredith Monroe (Haley Hotchner), Kirsten Vangsness (Penelope Garcia), Chane't Johnson (Barbara Raleigh)

Co-Starring: Allison Dunbar (Allison Crawford), Dameon Clarke (Chris Crawford), Warren Davis (Harry Dunken), Jacqueline Mazarella (Robin Dunken), Sharisse Baker-Bernard (Fay Arnold), Leith Burke (Michael Kapp), Roberto Sanchez (SWAT Guy), Dana Emberson (UNSUB), Emma Polhemus (Emily Crawford), Colton Shires (Sam Crawford), Alexandra Wyshak (Jackie Dunken), Chaise Goris (Sarah Arnold), Zackary M. Fisher (Karl Arnold, Jr.)


Plot Overview

The apparent murder-suicide of the Crawford Family is brough into question when an identical murder suicide of the Miller family is found. The circumstances match that each family was planning to go on vacation for several days but never arrives and is instead found dead several days later from knife wounds in the basement with the father posed to appear he shot himself. He also takes the husband's wedding ring as a trophy.

Ex-husband Eric Miller is initially a suspect because of a violent past, but Reed's questioning of him reveals only an abusive past but a firm belief that he didn't kill them. He had found the children dead and had seen a children's drawing in one of their hands. Investigating the records of the Crawford family reveals that they had been paying for a separate residence and they find Frank, Alison's mentally challenged brother. He also has a children's drawing, although it is different from the colorless un-childlike version they find in the Crawford home. Frank is dismissed as a suspect due to him being incapable of getting into the locked residence and too large to fit in the electronic dog door. However, he had visited the residence while they were captive and saw Alison, the children, and a short stranger with red hair sitting at the table.

Checking similarities, they find both were in family therapy and both had received drug prescriptions from Dr. Rachel Howard. With a credible alibi, she informs them that the two families had been referred to Carl Arnold. Arnold had a successful family life until it fell apart five years ago. Calling the ex-wife, they find he is currently in another families house and Dr. Howard narrows the search down to just the vacationing Duncan family.

Arriving on scene, they find the family bound around the kitchen table with the young daughter in the basement. Gideon is able to talk him into giving him the child but he fights before being subdued. Lacking physical evidence, they coerce a knowledge of the crime scenes by mixing up crime scene photos in a way that frustrates his orderly way of thinking. Later, Hotchner is able to find a hidden area where he keeps his trophies. Based on the number of wedding rings found, he's killed eight families before being caught.


  • Profile: Socially and sexually confident, meticulous, detail-oriented, and planning obssesed. He relives his previous married experience with a family for four to five days before killing them all.
  • Victims: Based on his pattern of choosing two parent, two children families, it's likely he's killed thirty-two people.

Arc Advancement



  • Hotchner's wife has given birth to a baby girl.



The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments