The BAU is called to Somerville Academy, a military boys' school, when five students are found dead from hanging while on an unsupervised survival outing in the woods. The school's administration believes it to be a mass suicide as there is a supposed simple suicide note at the scene, with the words "we're sorry". These deaths follow a suicide hanging of another underclassman, Bailey Shelton, two weeks earlier. The one student tying to two sets of deaths together is Josh Redding, who is the missing sixth member of the survival outing, and in whose room Bailey was found hanging. As Somerville, which has worked on tradition and thus has bucked any modern technological conveniences, has ties to highers-up in the organization, Strauss accompanies the team to ensure both that the investigation goes smoothly and that there is as little media attention as possible. They initially believe that Josh reneged on the suicide pact, but then come to the conclusion that he killed the five other boys... Written by
Did You Know?
Early in the episode, Dr. Reid and Penelope Garcia discuss apparitions after Reid startles Garcia. He provides a scientific explanation for most psychic phenomena, but then adds, "I do know a three year-old boy that once met a friendly apparition named Leverett Saltonstall." Reid does not explain the name further, but Leverett Saltonstall was the governor of Massachusetts from 1939-1945, and U.S. Senator from that state from 1945-1967. He died in 1979. See more
Throughout the episode, the characters use the phrases "hung himself" or "hung themselves," but the correct past tense for death by hanging is "hanged." As trained professionals who deal with all sorts of death frequently, the BAU members would likely know that. See more
Aggressive motto: Vivere est vincere. To live is to conquer.