Based in Quantico, Virginia, the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) is a subsection of the FBI. Called in by local police departments to assist in solving crimes of a serial and/or extremely violent nature where the perpetrator is unknown (referred to by the Unit as the unknown subject or unsub for short), the BAU uses the controversial scientific art of profiling to track and apprehend the unsub. Profiling entails coming up with basic characteristics of the unsub and the victims (referred to as the victimology), using evidence from the case and matching that information to historic precedents and psychological analyses as a means to solve the case. Because of the nature of the work conducted by the BAU - the work being time consuming and psychologically demanding - its members are fiercely loyal to the Unit and to its other members. Also because of the work's overall demanding nature, not many members of the BAU have been able to maintain a happy or stable family life.
To catch a criminal, you have to think like one.
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Did You Know?
When Matthew Gray Gubler
initially auditioned for the show, he was told that he was not right for the part. However, he was called back to audition again a few more times and was consistently told that he wasn't right for the part. After several more auditions, Gubler was eventually given the role. See more
On several occasions, cases have taken place in Southern Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania all within several hours driving time from the BAU's QUantico headquarters. Yet the group is shown flying there in the executive jet available to them, a process that would actually take longer than driving, if flight prep time and travel to and from the plane are included. It would also be far more expensive.
It's very unlikely that a government agency would pay for extravagant travel when cheaper options are available. See more
Look, I don't speak smartass.
Referenced in Grandfathered: The Biter