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.
The way to a criminal is through his mind.
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Did You Know?
When David Rossi (Joe Mantegna
) joins the team, he makes a comment that their offices are better than "that bunker" out of which the BAU used to work. The comment isn't metaphorical. The actual BAU (in its many earlier incarnations and titles) used to operate out of a bunker former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover
had built below FBI Headquarters in Quantico, Virginia. See more
Most serial killers are either caught in the act, caught due to extreme carelessness on their part or confess when they are arrested. Almost none have ever been caught due to the result of profiling by the FBI or any other agency. See more
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