A family consisting of two parents and their son break into a home, kill the parents and kidnap their daughter. As the investigation proceeds, the BAU team begin to suspect that what they're dealing with is bigger than they thought.



(created by), (as Mark Linehan Bruner) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Jareau (credit only)
Kathy Gray
Det. Bates
The Kid
Cate Hale
Jim Scheuren
Lynn Robillard


Ten year old Cate Hale is abducted from her rural Alabama home while her sleeping mother and stepfather are killed, their throats slashed. Although the BAU realize that time is of the essence since most abducted children do not survive past the first 24 hours, Cate is later released, physically unharmed. The BAU believe her release was due to the fact that she has epilepsy, which the unsub did not know of prior to her abduction. Cate recounts that her abductors were a family: a mother, father and son around her age. From Cate's stories of the abduction and later evidence found, the BAU piece together that the abduction and murders have a ritualistic nature to them. During the investigation, a second young girl in the area is abducted, her parents also killed in a similar manner. It isn't until Garcia does a search of past similar cases - abducted young girls with their parents killed - that the BAU begins to understand the full nature of this case and the rituals involved, in addition... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

21 January 2009 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the location where a car skids to a stop to avoid hitting the girl lying in the road, there are obvious skid marks on the roadway where the car eventually stops, indicating that the driver practiced the maneuver before the scene was filmed. See more »


Aaron Hotchner: [closing quotation, voiceover] Mario Puzo wrote "The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other."
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Criminal Minds Titelmusik
Written by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

An X-files revival
4 July 2013 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

As a distortion of a Romani family tradition, parents take their 10 year-old sons and break into homes, killing the parents and kidnapping their daughters. This forms the basis of this curious CM episode.

Mark Bruner's script makes me think of the first seasons of the X-files. It has all the mystery, the sense of something dangerous and foreign in your own country, and the general feeling of unease that I got from watching the X-files. It it also different from the usual CM episodes by having the "the danger is still out there"-ending that the X-files so often had.

However, I was a bit surprised at the very negative portrayal of Romanii people and gypsies in general, the show strongly confirms stereotypes of gypsies as traveling thieves with tinfoil in their bags to thwart theft alarms during their stealing sprees. I don't think Romani people are all too happy about the way they are portrayed here, and I doubt the show would have gotten away with it if another more vocal minority was portrayed in such unfavorable light.

Overall though, I liked the episode because it strayed from the usually all-to-obvious plot structure of most CM episodes.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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