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"Machiavellian" - An Adaptation of Shakespeare's Richard III into an Episode of Criminal Minds
For a school project, I decided to create an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III into an episode of Criminal Minds. Building upon a suggestion to examine Richard’s mental state after making some observations in a discussion post about his sociopathic tendencies as well as his apparent change in psyche after being visited by the ghosts of his victims lead me directly to one of my favorite television programs. Criminal Minds is an ideal platform to study Richard’s mind due to its focus on criminal behavioral profiling and analysis. Criminal Minds episode titles are short, sweet, and suggestive, but not too revealing; my title “Machiavellian” comes from a description of Richard III as “a Machiavellian villain” (“Richard III of England”).
I originally intended for this adaptation to be done in a traditional TV script format. However, after further research, I found that strictly adhering to the accepted format would take significant time and effort away from the much more important content of this project. As a result, I decided to maintain a script format but allow myself stylistic liberties in creating my own structure, with the guidance of an actual Criminal Minds script I was able to find (Messer). For my composition, I decided to combine elements of short-story writing with script writing in order to ensure I could fulfill my story at a reasonable length. Doing this allowed me to write in a script format, as I originally wanted to; as both Shakespeare’s works and episodes of television shows are written as scripts, it seemed the most appropriate. Avoiding bogging myself down with structural details, I was able to spend more time on the details of the story.
As I began outlining my character list, I originally planned to create variations on the original names of characters in Richard III, so as to make the parallel clear to the reader; for example, “Eddie” for King Edward IV. However, I realized that it would not be realistic or believable for all of Richard’s peers and victims in the episode to have the same or similar names to those in the play. Thus, I decided to give these characters my own names, but have “Richard,” or Leroy Griffyth, as I have named him, identify them as certain characters in his delusions, or be identified by the BAU team, etc. so that the reader can still easily recognize the storyline. Since coming up with names can be difficult anyway, I decided to search for names based on their meanings. For example, my version of Richard’s first name is Leroy, a French name derived from “le roi,” meaning “the king,” and his last name is Griffyth, a Scottish name meaning “murderer.” While it isn’t directly obvious to the reader, this technique provides additional depth and detail to my adaptation. For a full list of character names, the characters of Richard III they represent, and their name meanings, see Explanation of Ties and Parallels below.
The majority of the ages and age ranges in this script are of my invention. The ages of the Criminal Minds characters are generally only alluded to, so I have chosen their ages as an approximation based on my knowledge of the show. However, 10 and 13 were the actual ages of the young princes, Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York and Edward V of England, if they did indeed die in 1483, as is generally accepted (“Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York”, “Edward V of England”).
Gloucester Township is a real town in Gloucester County, New Jersey. I chose Philadelphia, Pennsylvania because it is a large city nearby. Philadelphia, the primary setting, is not suggestive of Richard III, but Gloucester is, which is revealed as Griffyth’s hometown immediately after the team discovers his identity and delusions for an eerie parallel. I have never been to either of these locations, so while they are real, my descriptions of them are fictional.
Any less central characters, like Vaughan and Catesby, were left out simply based on time and space.
- INT = interior
- EXT = exterior
- V.O. = voice over
- O.S. = off screen
- (number) = age or approximate age of character
Get the Series
Get the Play
BAU Team and other Criminal Minds Characters:
- Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner, Unit Chief / Senior Supervisory Special Agent – also considered by Griffyth to be Richmond (Henry, Earl of Richmond)
- David Rossi, Senior Supervisory Special Agent
- Derek Morgan, Supervisory Special Agent / Tactical Trainer
- Dr. Spencer Reid, Supervisory Special Agent
- Emily Prentiss, Supervisory Special Agent
- Jennifer “J.J.” Jareau, Supervisory Special Agent
- Penelope Garcia, Technical Analyst / Communications Liaison
- Jack Hotchner, Aaron Hotchner’s son
- Jessica Brooks, Aaron Hotchner’s sister-in-law
- Sources: (“Criminal Minds”, "Criminal Minds (TV Series 2005- )")
Richard III Characters:
- Leroy Griffyth (Richard III, Duke of Gloucester), unsub
- Ryan Brone (King Edward IV), victim
- Kevin Broderick (George, Duke of Clarence), victim
- Ron Dougherty (Duke of Buckingham), soup kitchen volunteer
- Regina Kinney (Queen Elizabeth), mother
- Alice Kinney (young Elizabeth), daughter
- Doug Kinney (Earl Rivers), husband/victim
- Ben Kinney (Lord Richard Gray), son/victim
- Noah Kinney (Marquis of Dorset), son
- Dolores Prior (Lady Anne Neville), victim
- Ana Griffyth (Duchess of York), Leroy’s mother
- Marianne Prior (Queen Margaret), interviewee
- Owen Royce (the young prince Edward), victim
- Bryson Royce (the young prince Richard), victim
- Fred Prior (former King Henry VI), victim/ghost
- Harvey Prior (Edward, Prince of Wales), victim/ghost
- Cyril Conley (Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby)
- Andy Conley (George Stanley)
- Joseph Bryant, lead detective
- Officers 1-3
- Friends 1-2
- News reporter 1-2
EXT: City street – night
DOMINICK TRUMAN (38) walks down a small deserted street with two friends, laughing and talking loudly. The men are dressed in suits with loosened ties, having been drinking after work together, and are stumbling slightly.
Friend 1: Whatever, man! That bitch is crazy. I can’t believe she’s in charge now. She’s going to run the whole damn company into the ground, just watch!
Truman: Come on, man, she’s not that bad.
TRUMAN pauses briefly as his companions look at him with raised eyebrows. Quickly, he saves himself:
Truman: On the eyes, anyway!
The men laugh heartily, and FRIEND 1 (30s) slaps TRUMAN playfully on the shoulder.
Friend 1: ‘Ain’t that the truth?! Ah, Jesus. (chuckles)
Friend 2: All right, all right. It’s late, I’m hammered, and I’ll see you two sad saps at the office in the morning… way too early in the morning.
Friend 1: Yeah, yeah, like we’re the only jackasses here!
Truman: (laughs) Yeah, screw you too, man.
FRIEND 1 and FRIEND 2 (30s) break away from TRUMAN, walking home in the opposite direction. LEROY GRIFFYTH (33) is shown lurking in the shadows. We see half of his face in light as he eyes TRUMAN with a stern expression. He appears average looking.
Griffyth: (muttering to himself) Thou protector of this damnèd strumpet… (shaking with rage) thou art a traitor. Off with his head, (more quietly) off with his head… (whispering) off with his head.
The scene jumps ahead. TRUMAN stumbles into a mailbox, but quickly recovers and turns down a dark alley. While walking, TRUMAN pulls out his cell phone, stopping to focus on the screen as he sways gently. Suddenly, GRIFFYTH jumps from the shadows. It is clear that he is severely hunched. TRUMAN begins to gasp, but is cut off after a slash of a shiny silver knife.
End of Teaser
INT: Hotchner’s apartment, family room - day
AARON HOTCHNER (41) enters the family room while putting on his suit jacket. He kneels next to his son, JACK HOTCHNER (5), who is drawing with crayons at the coffee table.
Hotchner: Alright buddy, daddy has to go to work. (pauses) Hey, what’s that you’re drawing?
The drawing shows two stick figures: one standing with his hands on his hips and a cape, the other lying down with Xs for eyes and red scribbled across his body. JACK looks up proudly.
Jack: (pointing to the figure lying down) This is the bad guy. And this one (pointing excitedly to the other figure) is you, daddy, because you’re the hero and the hero always wins.
HOTCHNER smiles hesitantly, wondering what sort of effect his job is having on his son. Recovering himself, he ruffles JACK’s hair. HOTCHNER’s sister-in-law JESSICA BROOKS (36) looks on from the kitchen, smiling.
Hotchner: I love you, buddy. Are you going to be good for your aunt Jessica?
Jack: (focusing on his drawing again) Yes, I will.
Hotchner: Okay, good. I’ll talk to you soon, pal.
Jack: Bye, daddy.
Hotchner: (speaking to BROOKS) Will you be all right? Have everything you need?
Brooks: (sighs, smiling) Yes, Hotch, I always do. Now go save the world, hero.
Hotchner: Thank you for staying with him. I’ll call you when I know where we’re headed.
INT: Quantico, VA - BAU Headquarters, briefing room - day
PENELOPE GARCIA teeters around the large conference table in brightly colored, impractical heels, distributing manila folders. SPENCER REID (27), DEREK MORGAN (36), DAVID ROSSI (56), and JENNIFER JAREAU (31) are already seated, and begin to look through their folders. HOTCHNER and EMILY PRENTISS (37) enter together and take their seats.
Garcia: (standing) All right my lovely team of crime fighters, ready for the next piece of evil?
Prentiss: What have we got?
GARCIA clicks on the flatscreen TV, displaying several images: a man’s body missing its head, and large bloodstains on the carpet in a home with yellow numbered markers.
Garcia: Three murders in Philly. The day before yesterday, a businessman named Doug Truman was attacked and beheaded in an alleyway in the city; his body was discovered yesterday. Two days before that, father and son Doug and Ben Kinney were stabbed to death in a home invasion in a suburb just outside the city, (wrinkles her forehead and speaks solemnly) and were discovered that night by the youngest son, Noah.
Morgan: Those are two entirely different M.O.s; how can we be sure this is the same guy?
Reid: (reading from his folder) Says here that the M.E. confirmed the same type of knife was used in both attacks.
Rossi: And they’re too close together to discount the possibility.
Garcia: Exactly. (looking concerned) The local PD is worried about the rapid succession of murders and is dealing with major public outcry.
Hotchner: I would be surprised if they weren’t.
Garcia: (adjusting her glasses) I included the newspaper article they ran about Dominick Truman this morning in your files. (slightly annoyed) The reporters have latched onto this case like tiny little obnoxious parasites. They’re going the super-suspicious route that’s sure to worsen the public fear… (with a sarcastic smile) our favorite.
Jareau: (unsurprised) They always do. (looking at the article) I’m surprised they haven’t given him a name.
Morgan: Not enough to go on yet, I guess.
Prentiss: Well, we know how that feels.
Hotchner: Yes, we do. And time is of the essence; wheels up in 30, everyone.
Several team members nod. HOTCHNER rises, gathers his folder, and quickly exits. The rest of the team gather themselves and begin to leave, leaving GARCIA standing in the briefing room.
Garcia: (with a small wave) Good luck.
Jareau: Thanks, Garcia.
EXT: BAU Jet, flying - day
The BAU jet is shown flying through the clouds.
Reid (V.O.): Mitch Albom said, “Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from the inside. We think that by hating someone we hurt them, but hatred is a curved blade, and the harm we do to others, we also do to ourselves.”
INT: BAU Jet - day
The team is gathered in the jet, reading through their folders on the case.
Hotchner: All right everyone, we’ve got a short flight. Less than an hour until we’re there. What do we know?
Prentiss: There doesn’t seem to be a clear victimology, other than the fact that all three victims are male; a middle-class father and son and a wealthy businessman, ages ranging from 17 to 38. It’s unusual, but not too far out of the normal range.
Morgan: Not to mention the M.O. is radically different; one victim in public, two in private… the locations require two totally different skill sets. Truman could have been a victim of opportunity in that alleyway, but the Kinney family was stalked, watched; home invasions like that take patience.
Hotchner: Which suggests that he is highly competent. What else?
Rossi: Neither scene suggests that the unsub showed any signs of remorse after the kills… and there’s a high level of rage in them. Beheading someone, particularly with the type of knife he used, takes serious time and physical exertion.
Jareau: And the Kinney father and son were stabbed between 30 and 50 times each, clearly excessive and fueled by rage… adrenaline would have been the only thing that permitted him to physically do that in one night.
Rossi: Perhaps that’s the only reason for the day in between the two attacks: time to recover from exhaustion.
Reid: Guys, it says here that all three victims were castrated. The use of a knife itself is often representative of penetration, but this is a clear suggestion of impotence and anger towards other men because of it.
Prentiss: All right, so he’s most likely impotent or views himself to be a failure with women, is obviously full of rage, and chooses male victims over a significant span of ages. That’s not very much to go on.
Hotchner: It’s a start. We’ll know more after we talk to the locals.
INT: Philadelphia, PA - Soup Kitchen - day
Church volunteer RON DOUGHERTY (23) brings a plate of food to GRIFFYTH and sits down at the table with him. GRIFFYTH’s right shoulder hangs far below his left, as he has a permanent hunch. His right arm remains in his pocket, and his cane is leaned against the table.
Dougherty: Here you are, Richard. How have you been?
Griffyth: (gleefully) Ah, Buckingham! My honourable lord, a happy time of day! (V.O. flashback) The gentle duke is dead, stabb’d and drowned in wine.
Flashback: KEVIN BRODERICK (42) is shown briefly, dead, in a bathtub filled with water stained red by his blood. His wrists have been slit.
DOUGHERTY sympathetically smiles, albeit confused, playing along with GRIFFYTH’s strange delusions. GRIFFYTH operates as if DOUGHERTY is joking with him.
Dougherty: Oh. (pauses) And who is the gentle duke?
Griffyth: Ha, Buckingham. I set Clarence and the king in deadly hate, the one against the other! (V.O. flashback) The king’s soul of sorrow helped him to his closet.
Flashback: RYAN BRONE (57) is shown, dead, lying in bed peacefully, appearing to be sleeping.
Griffyth: Ay, I am Lord Protector! I attend the ruin of the Queen’s house.
DOUGHERTY is clearly confused, but seems to be used to GRIFFYTH’s delusions, and decides to agree with him to wrap up the conversation.
Dougherty: Ah, of course. All right, Richard, enjoy your meal.
Griffyth: I bid thee farewell, Buckingham.
DOUGHERTY leaves the table. GRIFFYTH eats with his left hand, smiling maliciously.
INT: Philadelphia Police Department - day
The team arrives at the local police station. Lead detective JOSEPH BRYANT (40s) looks up and walks over to greet them. BRYANT is tall, handsome, and charming.
Bryant: (with a smile) Well, I suppose you just might the FBI agents I ordered? I’m the lead detective on the case, Joseph Bryant.
BRYANT and JAREAU shake hands.
Jareau: Detective Bryant, it’s nice to meet you. I’m Jennifer Jareau, we spoke on the phone.
Bryant: Ah, yes. It’s nice to meet you as well. (speaking to the whole team) Welcome to Philly. I wish it were under better circumstances.
Rossi: (with a gentle smile) We do as well, detective, but that’s never why we’re here.
Bryant: (laughs) Well, I suppose that’s true, now isn’t it?
Jareau: (gesturing to each team member, respectively) Detective, this is our unit chief, SSA Aaron Hotchner and SSAs David Rossi, Derek Morgan, Dr. Spencer Reid, and Emily Prentiss.
Bryant: Thank you all for coming. I’ve got everything you requested set up in one of our conference rooms, just this way.
Hotchner: Great. J.J. and Morgan, go speak with the Kinney family. We’ll get started here.
JAREAU and MORGAN nod and exit. The rest of the team follows BRYANT as he turns and walks farther into the station.
INT: Philadelphia Police Department, conference room - day
The team files in. ROSSI and HOTCHNER sit down. BRYANT, REID, and PRENTISS remain standing.
Hotchner: Tell us more about the murders. Let’s start with the man in the alley.
Bryant: Dominick Truman, upper middle class businessman. He was with two coworkers that night, drinking at a bar. The M.E. confirms he had high levels of alcohol in his blood. His friends said he was fine when they all left to go home. They only parted ways a block from where he was found, but didn’t see or hear anything, but his level of intoxication would have made him easy to surprise and subdue at night on a deserted street; none of the nearby residents heard or saw anything, either.
Morgan: Was that alleyway part of his normal route?
Bryant: Yes, he lived nearby. It made sense as a shortcut, as far as we can tell.
Prentiss: Who found him?
Bryant: One of the tenants in the neighborhood, taking trash to the dumpster there the next morning.
Rossi: Has his head been recovered?
Bryant: Nowhere to be found. Do you think the killer kept it?
Reid: (speaking quickly) It’s a possibility, considering the amount of rage the unsub has shown in these two attacks. He may have put in so much effort to sever the head specifically so he could keep it as a souvenir. Beheading is often a forensic countermeasure, in order to try to prolong the identification of the victim, but this unsub didn’t try to conceal the identities of the father and son, so that explanation would be unlikely in this case.
BRYANT stares as REID, somewhere between dumbfounded and impressed.
Prentiss: (teasing) He’s a certified genius, you’ll get used to it.
Bryant: (shakes his head, laughs) Okay, then! Anyway, the M.E. also confirmed that the same type of knife was used in the home invasion. Ready for the worst part? (pauses) Both victims were injected with (reads from paper) a neuromuscular-blocking drug.
Rossi: What does that mean?
Reid: It means that they were rendered immobile, paralyzed, but remained fully conscious and able to feel pain… (pauses and looks around) unable to move while they were brutally stabbed to death.
Hotchner: So all three victims were subdued with a substance before the attack. Truman drank of his own volition, but Doug and Ben Kinney had to be drugged.
Reid: The methodology suggests that the unsub is physically incapable of overpowering these men without the assistance of the substances; in conjunction with his rage, it’s likely that he is disabled or handicapped in some way.
INT: Suburban Home, living room – day
REGINA (45), NOAH (15), and ALICE (11) KINNEY sit on the couch. They are staying at REGINA’s sister’s house. REGINA’s eyes are red and puffy, NOAH has a haunted, blank stare, and ALICE is silently crying.
Morgan: Ma’am, we are so sorry for your loss. We just have a couple of questions.
Regina: (nods, trying to maintain her composure) Yes. Of course.
Jareau: Doug and Ben were home alone. Where were you all last night?
Regina: (sniffling) I took Alice to visit my parents in Baltimore, just a quick trip. We stayed the night.
REGINA stops speaking. MORGAN and JAREAU exchange a glance.
Morgan: And Noah, ma’am?
Noah: I snuck out. (long pause) I snuck out to meet up with my girlfriend. I was gone for a few hours. (begins breathing heavily, face distorted in pain) I should have been there!
Morgan: Noah, Noah, it’s alright. It’s better that you weren’t.
Noah: (blurts) I found them! (begins crying) I found them both.
REGINA promptly stands up and sits back down next to NOAH on the couch, cradling him as he cries.
Regina: He called 911. The police called us. I drove us home in the middle of the night. (with tears in her eyes) How can this be happening? How can this be happening to us?
JAREAU reaches out, placing her hand on REGINA’s knee.
Jareau: There is no explanation that will make you feel better; but we are here to do everything in our power to catch the man that did this.
ALICE stands, suddenly, hands in fists at her sides. Tears stream down her face, but she looks angry and hurt now, rather than sad.
Alice: You get him.
MORGAN and JAREAU exchange another glance. MORGAN looks at ALICE sympathetically.
Morgan: (nods) We will.
ALICE turns and leaves, heavy-footed.
EXT: Suburban Home, driveway – day
MORGAN and JAREAU stand near the black police-issue SUV. MORGAN dials on his phone while JAREAU looks on.
Morgan: (on the phone) Yeah, Hotch. (pauses) We’re on our way back. (pauses) The other son was supposed to be home, too; luckily he snuck out to meet up with his girlfriend. The mother and daughter were out of town for the night visiting family. (pauses) Mhmm. (pauses) Yep. (pauses) All right, we’ll be back soon.
MORGAN hangs up the phone.
INT: Philadelphia Police Department, conference room – day
HOTCHNER hangs up the phone and addresses the room.
Hotchner: The surviving son was supposed to be in the house, but the mother and daughter left town for the night. If the unsub was watching them, even if only for a day, he would have known this.
Rossi: So, the males were all targets, then. The unsub waited until the females were gone.
Prentiss: He’s not going to be happy that Noah is still alive. (to BRYANT) Do you have a protection detail on the family until this is solved?
Bryant: Yes, 24 hours a day at the sister’s house that they’re staying.
Hotchner: Good. Detective, we’re ready to give a preliminary profile.
INT: Philadelphia Police Department – day
BRYANT and his officers are gathered facing the team. Several have notepads and pens.
Hotchner: This is a preliminary profile based on what we know thus far. Please note, it is subject to change, but we want to equip you with as much information as possible as we move forward.
Rossi: Given the great differences between the ages of the victims and the locations of the crimes, our unsub has demonstrated significant adaptability. This requires a level of maturity that places him somewhere between 30 and 35 years old.
An officer in the crowd raises his hand slightly, gaining the attention of the team.
Officer 1: Unsub?
Morgan: It stands for “unknown subject.” It’s how we refer to the killer.
The officer and several others nod in understanding.
Prentiss: Truman may or may not have been a victim of opportunity, but the Kinney family was most certainly stalked. The unsub observed them long enough to know that the mother and daughter would be gone for the night, and waited for them to leave. This suggests that he is only targeting males and has a significant amount of time and patience to carry out his attacks.
Reid: His M.O. consists of subduing his victims with a substance before attacking. While Truman had already been drinking, Doug and Ben Kinney were injected with a neuromuscular-blocking drug, and we have to assume the unsub would have been prepared to do the same to Truman if necessary. This level of sophistication suggests that he is highly intelligent.
Morgan: The need for this method of subduing his victims implies that he is unable to overpower them without it. Coupled with his rage, we believe the unsub is somehow physically disabled.
Jareau: That rage is demonstrated in the overkill of his assaults. Dominick Truman was fully beheaded, which takes significant time and is physically exhausting. With a physical limitation, adrenaline-fueled rage would be the only thing allowing this unsub to complete that task. The excessive stabbing of the Kinneys would require the same.
Hotchner: All three murders have been committed using a knife. A knife as a weapon can often represent penetration, and in view of the fact that all three men were castrated post-mortem, we believe that the unsub is impotent, or views himself to be a failure with women, and is taking that anger out on other men.
Prentiss: There is also no sign of remorse in these kills, nor any attempt to hide what he has done. This can potentially be seen as a form of taunting towards the police, but regardless of this intent, the lack of forensic countermeasures taken mean the unsub likely believes he is too smart to be caught. This arrogance is characteristic of narcissistic personality disorder, and the lack of remorse suggests sociopathic tendencies.
Rossi: We use these behavioral profiles to help us understand the unsub. By understanding him, we can find him more easily. Keep this analysis in mind as you search for suspects.
The officers in the room nod in agreement and begin working and conversing with one another about the case.
Bryant: Thank you.
Jareau: (with a small smile and a nod) That’s what we’re here for.
INT: Leroy Griffyth’s home, family room – day
GRIFFYTH sits on an old, beaten up couch in a dark room; all of the curtains are drawn to block out the bright sunlight. His face, shadowy, shows clearly that he is angry as he watches the news on a dated, poor quality television screen.
News reporter 1: We’re back with more coverage on the recent murders here in Philadelphia. The police department is still searching for answers in the deaths of Dominick Truman and Doug and Ben Kinney and has confirmed that the FBI has been brought in for assistance. The FBI has issued this statement, asking the public for any relevant information.
HOTCHNER appears on screen, standing at a podium with a dozen microphones. Several team members can be seen standing behind him.
Hotchner: We are looking for a 30-35 year-old white male who most likely has some sort of physical disability or limitation. This man is intelligent, but not necessarily rooted in reality; while we do not yet have enough information to speculate with reasonable certainty as to motive, due to the difference in his victims and the location of the crimes it is probable that he has delusions driving these kills. This man will also seem arrogant or self-centered. If you have any information for the Philadelphia police about the case or concerning this description, please call their tip line. Thank you.
GRIFFYTH’s eyes widen, still angry. He begins breathing more heavily.
News reporter 1: The manhunt for this killer has resulted in high tensions amongst the people of the city. We spoke with several concerned citizens earlier this afternoon.
The newscast shows several interviews with Philadelphia citizens, the microphone bobbing in and out of the frame at the bottom of the screen.
Male citizen 1 (40s): Oh, man, I can’t wait until they catch this guy. We can’t have a violent lunatic running around… my wife and kids are terrified. Hell, I am too. Everyone is on edge with this guy on the loose.
Female citizen 1 (30s): Well, I mean, it’s your worst nightmare, isn’t it? Someone breaking into your home, where you think you’re the safest? My heart goes out to the Kinney family, I can’t imagine what they’re going through.
Male citizen 2 (20s): Y’know, I’m not usually scared, being a guy… that sounds terrible, but it’s usually girls these wackos are after. I haven’t hit the bars all week; no way am I next on that guy’s list, man, no way.
The news reporter is back onscreen.
News reporter 1: As you can see, the public is outraged and uneasy, hoping the police will bring this killer to justice as quickly as possible.
The screen goes black. Fuming, GRIFFYTH stands rather quickly and wavers slightly, before grabbing the arm of the couch and steadying himself. His chest is heaving and he is shaking. He grabs the lamp on the end table and throws it across the room with his left arm, ripping the cord out of the wall and shattering the ceramic on the wall.
Griffyth: (bellows furiously) RICHMOND!
He grabs his cane and begins to exit.
EXT: Bus stop – day
GRIFFYTH maintains his composure, overstating his hunch to appear feeble and non-threatening. He smiles at the others waiting for the bus, but malice can be seen in his eyes once they look away.
INT: Soup kitchen – day
GRIFFYTH limps into the soup kitchen at a fast pace, obviously in a huff. DOUGHERTY notices him enter and walks over to help him to a seat.
Dougherty: Hello, Richard. You need some dinner today, as well?
Griffyth: O! Buckingham, beshrew the false knaves! Fie! I prithee, mine discipline in war, wisdom in peace, bounty, virtue, fair humility! (loudly)
DOUGHERTY remains thoroughly puzzled, but unfazed. Nodding and smiling politely, he humors GRIFFYTH.
Dougherty: Oh, I see. Yes. Let me get you a plate of food, Richard.
Griffyth: Hark, Richmond is on the seas! (angrily) White-livered runagate, what doth he there?
Dougherty: Um, yes, yes. Okay, I’ll be right back, Richard.
Griffyth: (whispering) God save King Richard! God save King Richard.
DOUGHERTY walks away, slightly startled by GRIFFYTH’s disposition. Upon his return, GRIFFYTH is gone. DOUGHERTY wrinkles his forehead in confusion, mouth slightly agape.
EXT: Suburban Street, playground – day
Daylight is fading. GRIFFYTH walks home from the bus stop with a gait, using his cane, down a suburban sidewalk near a park. He sees OWEN (13) and BRYSON (10) ROYCE running around the playground and stops to observe them with an angry and suspicious expression. He quickly regains his composure, and begins to exaggerate his limp while walking towards a park bench near the boys. They notice him, and clearly do not take him for a threat, continuing to laugh and play. GRIFFYTH sits down on the bench and watches them. The boys give him a friendly smile, but keep their distance. The sun is setting, and the brothers get on their bicycles to ride home. GRIFFYTH watches them pedal away.
EXT: Suburban Street, Royce home – night
The ROYCE family can be seen through the windows of their home turning off the TV and heading upstairs. OWEN and ROYCE are seen hugging their parents goodnight. The scene skips ahead, and the last light in the ROYCE house is extinguished.
Griffyth (V.O.): (muttering below his breath) O bitter consequence that Edward should still live, “true noble prince!” I wish the bastards dead, and I would have it suddenly performed.
GRIFFYTH is shown lurking in the shadows, watching the home. He smiles, malevolently.
End of Act I
EXT: Philadelphia – day
View panning over the city.
Prentiss (V.O.): “Evil is unspectacular, and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our table.” – W. H. Auden
INT: Ron Dougherty’s apartment, living room – day
DOUGHERTY sits down at the edge of the couch with a plate of breakfast, and begins to eat while watching the news.
News reporter 2: Breaking news in the case of the recent murders, two young boys were found dead in their beds this morning by their parents. Owen and Bryson Royce were 13 and 10 years old. Police have released that the brothers were smothered in their sleep using a pillow, and are confident this is the work of the serial killer who also murdered Dominick Truman and Doug and Ben Kinney this week.
DOUGHERTY has stopped eating and is at full attention. The newscast replays HOTCHNER’s description of the unsub.
News reporter 2 (O.S.): If you feel that this description from the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit fits anyone you know or have seen, please report to the authorities; they are working tirelessly to catch the killer—
As this plays, DOUGHERTY’s mouth hangs open and he appears to be stunned. He drops his fork onto his plate with a clank, startles himself, and then quickly rises and grabs his jacket and keys, and slams the door shut behind him, leaving the television on.
News reporter 2 (O.S.): —before he has the chance to strike again.
INT: Philadelphia Police Department, conference room – day
The team is gathered with Detective BRYANT, and all appear frustrated but determined.
Jareau: (looking dejected) Another home invasion.
Morgan: Yeah, but guys, this is a major break in pattern. The age range of his victims was unusual enough, but at least Ben Kinney was a young man. He could have passed for older than 17. These… these are kids, it makes no sense.
Rossi: He’s also abandoned the use of the knife. Suffocating the boys with a pillow is less violent and less painful than stabbing. Unsubs usually progress in violence, not regress… could this be a sign of remorse? If not remorse, mercy, in his mind? Since they were children, not adults, like his other victims?
Bryant: I thought this guy was all over the place before. This is beyond me.
Hotchner: We’re missing a significant aspect of the profile. That’s why this doesn’t fit. (prompting) So, what makes an unsub’s victimology range this much?
Prentiss: It has to be due to delusions. When victimology varies this much, it’s usually because the killer sees his victims as surrogates for the true objects of his rage.
Reid: You’re right, but even still, targeting ages ranging from 10 to 38 is abnormal. Without knowing more about his delusions, any conjecture is essentially impossible.
Just as REID is finishing speaking, a uniformed officer leans into the doorway.
Officer 2: There’s a young man here who says he knows who the killer is.
The team exchanges glances, and quickly rise to follow the officer to an interview room.
INT: Philadelphia Police Department, interview room – day
HOTCHNER and JAREAU sit down across the table from DOUGHERTY, who is obviously shaken. The rest of the team and Detective BRYANT observe from behind the one-way glass.
Jareau: Hello, Ron. I’m SSA Jennifer Jareau and this SSA Aaron Hotchner. Thank you for coming in. You told the officers you had information about a suspect?
Dougherty: (eyes darting) Yeah, a suspect, but I’m pretty convinced it’s him.
Dougherty: He says his name is Richard, but he’s always dodged me and the other volunteers when we ask him personal questions, like his last name, or where he lives. I don’t even know if that’s his real name.
Dougherty: (shakes head) Yeah, sorry. (takes a deep breath) I volunteer at a soup kitchen that my church runs. Richard comes in a few times a week… he struggles with money, but I think he comes more for the company than the food, honestly. I feel bad for him, so I always try to talk with him, but it’s hard. He’s crazy.
Jareau: Crazy how?
Dougherty: He talks like Shakespeare. I only occasionally understand a word or phrase, it all seems like nonsense, (looks down, talking to himself) but I didn’t pay very much attention to Shakespeare in high school.
Hotchner: What makes you believe this man is responsible for the murders?
Dougherty: He came in twice yesterday. That’s unusual. He takes the bus because he’s disabled and can’t drive, but he hates it. To take it twice in one day was weird enough, but the second time, he left before I could even give him any food. He was really upset, angry even. When he was in for lunch, he was over the moon… his mood change made me really worried.
Jareau: He’s disabled? How so?
Dougherty: I think it’s scoliosis or something. He’s hunched over really bad, and uses a cane to walk. (speaking quickly and nodding) And I’ve never seen him use his right arm, that’s the side he hunches to, and I don’t think it works. His hand is always tucked in his pocket. He acts like he’s an old man, but he’s younger than my parents, maybe in his 30s or 40s. It’s hard to tell.
Hotchner: He fits the description. Is there anything else you can tell us?
Dougherty: (calmer) Yeah. I got so worried because he was talking about people being dead yesterday. Something about… um… Clarence, I think? That’s when he was really happy. I thought it was strange that he’d be happy about someone being dead, but I’ve sort of gotten used to his antics. He calls me Buckingham, for God’s sake. I just shrugged it off. Until he came in later, anyway, all upset about some guy named Richmond, practically shouting about King Richard, I guess referring to himself.
HOTCHNER and JAREAU look at one another knowingly. They quickly gather their papers and rise.
Jareau: Ron, thank you, this was very helpful. These officers will take down anything else you can think of, and then we’ll have a sketch artist come in, all right?
DOUGHERTY nods. HOTCHNER and JAREAU exit quickly, joining the rest of the team on the other side of the glass.
Reid: (slightly stunned) Our unsub thinks he’s Richard III.
There is a pause as the understanding of this sinks in. Each team member is obviously deep in thought. After a moment, they rouse themselves to take action.
Hotchner: Rossi, J.J., I need you to go with Detective Bryant to speak with the Royces. We’ll get to work on the profile now that we know his delusion.
The team quickly disperses to get to work on the lead.
INT: Philadelphia Police Department, conference room – day
HOTCHNER, MORGAN, PRENTISS sit around the conference table with papers splayed about as REID furiously writes notes on the large whiteboard.
Prentiss: Okay, so the kid said he mentioned the name Clarence, but talked about “people,” being dead, plural.
Reid: If the unsub truly believes that he is Richard III, then he’s probably following Shakespeare’s play as closely as possible. If he mentioned Clarence being dead, then someone representing King Edward IV will also be dead, but neither were beheaded in the story. If we assume he’s remaining faithful to the order of murders in the play, then Dominick Truman most likely represents the nobleman Hastings. The Royce brothers are obviously the young princes that posed a threat to Richard’s succession to the throne. Then… yes, then the Kinney father and son represent Rivers and Gray… (pauses as the realization dawns on him) that’s why he chose them. A mother: Queen Elizabeth: A daughter: young Elizabeth. A son that survives: Dorset. A brother, in this case her husband: Rivers. And a son that dies: Gray.
Prentiss: Okay, that’s creepy.
Morgan: If you’re right, that means there’s at least two bodies we haven’t found yet.
Hotchner: (to Morgan) Call Garcia. Have her search for unsolved murders in the area.
Reid: Expand that to deaths with suspicious circumstances.
Prentiss: Yeah… in the play, Hastings was beheaded, Rivers and Gray were stabbed repeatedly, and the princes are often assumed to have been smothered in the Tower of London. From what we can tell, the unsub is reproducing the kills as authentic to the play as possible.
Reid: Exactly. Clarence was stabbed and drowned in a barrel of wine and Edward died in bed of illness and grief.
Hotchner: So there’s a chance those murders didn’t show obvious signs of foul play.
Morgan: Jesus. All right.
MORGAN steps outside while dialing his cell phone.
Garcia: (colorfully) Live from Quanitco,Virgina, this is the magnificent Miss Penelope Garcia. And whom do we have with us on the BAU Bad Guy Ass-Kicking team today?
Morgan: Baby girl, do you ever answer the phone like a normal person?
Garcia: Not when I know it’s you, sugar.
Morgan: Yeah, yeah, all right crazy girl.
Garcia: Crazy is right, I’ve been going crazy waiting for you to feed my techie mojo. What have you got for me?
Morgan: Our unsub thinks he is Richard III.
Garcia: (pauses) And you’re calling me crazy?
Morgan: (laughs) Craziest girl I know.
Garcia: I’m going to take that for the compliment it is.
Morgan: Good. I need you to look up unsolved murders in the area or any deaths that happened under suspicious circumstances.
Garcia: (sighs) You guys have got to throw me a challenge sometimes, you know.
Morgan: Be careful what you wish for, woman.
Garcia: Okay, I’ve got a list longer than a DMV line. Can you narrow it down?
Morgan: Anyone found dead in a bathtub or a bed?
Garcia: (pauses while typing furiously) Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. Separate cases, but get this: they were within three days of each other two weeks ago. 42 year-old Kevin Broderick was found in his bathtub with slit wrists; the police concluded it was a suicide, and 57 year-old Ryan Brone appeared to have died in his sleep; the M.E. determined that he had a heart attack.
Morgan: And Broderick died first?
Morgan: Okay baby girl, send me these cases.
Garcia: (with a proud smile) Already done.
Morgan: You’re a superhero, woman.
Garcia: (smiling) I know.
MORGAN reenters the conference room.
Hotchner: J.J. called. The parents didn’t hear anything and found them this morning. They’re understandably grief-stricken… she said they could hardly hold a conversation.
Prentiss: They’re in shock… I would be, too.
Morgan: Yeah, well, Garcia came through. Found two deaths, one ruled a suicide and the other a heart attack. This guy killed a full-grown man in the middle of a public alleyway, broke into two homes undetected, and now may have succeeding in making two murders look like deaths without foul play. I think intelligent may have been an understatement.
Hotchner: Mix that with devious and you get travesty.
Reid: True, but now that we know the fantasy he is operating under, we finally have an upper hand. We know what’s coming next.
Prentiss: What murder comes next in the play?
Reid: Lady Anne, Richard’s wife.
Hotchner: It’s unlikely our unsub is married, and so far none of the victims have any connections. The targets are random. They must do or say something to trigger his delusion, making him believe they are a certain character.
Prentiss: That makes sense… (walks to look at the whiteboard) Truman was a wealthy businessman that corresponds with nobility. The Kinney family must have just fit the mold too perfectly for the unsub to ignore… and the young brothers, that’s obvious.
Morgan: So, we know a woman is next to die and no way to predict who… great. How is she killed in the play?
Reid: Unfortunately this one is less concrete. The play doesn’t exactly say, and while there’s no evidence to it, the widely popular rumor is that she was poisoned.
Hotchner: Prentiss, Reid, re-brief the department with the updated profile. This significantly changes things.
ROSSI and JAREAU return.
Hotchner: Good, you’re back. Both of you come with me, I’ll fill you in on the way.
Rossi: The way to what?
Hotchner: Another press release. Do we have the sketch from Ron Dougherty’s description?
Jareau: They should be done. We can get it on the way.
HOTCHNER, ROSSI, and JAREAU exit.
EXT: Philadelphia police department, entrance steps – day
HOTCHNER stands again at a podium with an array of microphones. BRYANT, JAREAU, and ROSSI stand to the side.
Hotchner: The Philadelphia police have made significant strides in learning about the man committing these crimes, (V.O. picture) but we need to public’s help to identify this man. He refers to himself as “Richard.” If you have any information, please contact the police department immediately. (end V.O.) Due to the fantasy that this man is fulfilling, we have reason to believe that the unsub will be targeting a woman next. We strongly recommend taking extra safety precautions until this man is caught; men, women, and children alike should strive to travel in pairs or groups. Ensure that the doors and windows of your home are locked. Thank you.
Reporters begin shouting questions. HOTCHNER ignores them and begins to walk back inside the police station. BRYANT, JAREAU, and ROSSI follow.
Bryant: You didn’t tell them about the poisoning.
Jareau: (looks disappointed) We can’t. It would cause utter mayhem. Hospitals would become overwhelmed with panicked citizens thinking they’ve been poisoned.
Bryant: Damn. I hate it when these bastards tie our hands like that…
Rossi: Yes. That’s why we have to find him as quickly as possible.
INT: Dolores Prior’s home - day
DOLORES PRIOR (40s) opens the door after a knock. GRIFFYTH stands on the porch with a bag.
Dolores: Leroy, I wasn’t expecting you. What are you doing out here?
Griffyth: (smiling) Wherefore doth one need reason? Give me leave to share tea with thee.
Dolores: (smiles) Of course.
GRIFFYTH enters the home, and DOLORES closes the door behind him.
End of Act II
INT: Dolores Prior’s home, kitchen – day
REID and JAREAU stand, looking at the kitchen. DOLORES’s body has been removed.
Jareau: There’s no signs of forced entry, like the other two home invasions. Plus, this happened during broad daylight.
Reid: She had to have let him in. They had tea… she must have known him. (dials cell phone) Hey, Garcia.
Garcia: Hello, boy genius.
Reid: I need you to find everything you can on a Dolores Prior. She was poisoned by the unsub yesterday, but there’s no sign of forced entry. She had to know him.
Garcia: Poisoned? This guy cannot pick a freaking track. Okay, I’ll call you back.
Reid: Thanks, Garcia. (hangs up)
Jareau: Even if she did know him, the police reports are giving an incredibly specific description of him and broadcasting a sketch of his face. I know people never want to believe that someone they know could do these things, but come on… she’d had to have known.
PRENTISS enters as JAREAU finishes speaking.
Prentiss: I’d say you’re right, but there’s not a single TV in this entire house. (shakes her head) We have to assume she never saw the reports.
INT: Philadelphia Police Department, conference room - day
REID is examining the whiteboard and occasionally makes notes. It is clear that his mind is racing. Suddenly, his phone rings, and breaks him out of his trance.
Reid: Reid. (pauses) Hey, Garcia, let me put you on speaker.
REID activates the speaker and sets the phone on the table. The team leans in to listen.
Garcia: Okay, ready to love me? Get this: our “Lady Anne’s” husband and father-in-law were killed in a car crash almost a year ago. The police ruled it an accident, but Dolores and her mother-in-law, Marianne, insisted that it couldn’t be.
Rossi: And why is that?
Garcia: Dolores said that she spoke with her husband on the phone shortly before the crash—said he sounded drunk, slurring his words, losing his train of thought, totally disoriented.
Morgan: Okay, and?
Garcia: Drum roll: the autopsies showed a blood alcohol content of exactly 0.0.
Prentiss: Doug and Ben Kinney were drugged… it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume the unsub could have drugged the Priors as well.
Hotchner: But the Kinneys were drugged with a neuromuscular-blocker that showed on a traditional autopsy tox screen. In all of the murders we’ve been called in for, the unsub hasn’t tried to conceal the kills, but we now have four potential murders prior to these that were made to look like accidents or suicides. Why the change? Why not attempt to hide all of the murders to avoid being caught?
Reid: The Richard III of the play behaves similarly to a delusional sociopath in the sense that he starts slow, builds, and eventually spirals out of control. Our unsub is not only fulfilling the expected path for this type of killer, but the path of Richard III’s character as well. I presume that he stopped concealing his kills in order to observe and enjoy the public knowledge of the murders—in a way, taking ownership for them without being caught.
Jareau: We need to talk to Marianne Prior. If she and Dolores were convinced that the crash wasn’t an accident, then she might have suspects; or at least insight into who Dolores may have know that fits our killer’s description.
Garcia: I’ve sent you all her phone number and address.
Hotchner: Thanks, Garcia.
INT: Philadelphia Police Department, interview room - day
MARIANNE PRIOR (60s) sits at the table. ROSSI sits down opposite her. PRENTISS hands her a cup of coffee and sits down as well. MARIANNA has clearly been crying.
Prentiss: Is there anything else I can get you, Mrs. Prior?
Marianne: No, dear. Thank you.
Rossi: We are deeply sorry for your loss, ma’am.
Marianne: (completely dejected) I’ve lost my husband, my son, and the woman who was like my own daughter in less than a year. What else can they take from me? (cries)
Prentiss: We want to bring justice to your family and catch the man who did this. If we could just ask you a few questions, you may be able to help us to do that.
Marianne: Yes. I’ve been through this before. (sniffles) Whatever you need.
Rossi: Have you heard the description or scene the police sketch of the man suspected of committing the murders this past week?
Marianne: You think he did this? (shakes her head) No, I keep mostly to myself. Everything on television is either depressing or it’s crap. I don’t even own one. I’ve just heard about the serial killer around town. Only made me want to hole up at home even more.
Prentiss: We noticed Dolores didn’t have a television either.
Marianne: We were sort of on the same page after the boys’ accident. Life just… was never the same again. We were both so angry at the world, and we were all each other had. We just tried to shut everyone out and keep to each other as much as possible.
Prentiss: We believe that the man who poisoned Dolores was someone that she knew. There were no signs of forced entry into her home, and there were two tea settings on the table.
ROSSI lays the police sketch of GRIFFYTH on the table and slides it towards MARIANNE.
Rossi: Do you recognize this man?
Marianne: Well, that’s Leroy! Dolores used to be his neighbor before she got married to Harvey. She always checked in on him, he’s crippled. Has a hard time. (face slackens) Did he do this? Did he do this?!
Rossi: He is a suspect. We need to find him to question him. Do you know his last name?
Marianne: It’s Griffyth. I never liked him, damn it! (crying) He always made me uncomfortable. Dolores was always too nice.
PRENTISS comforts MARIANNE and ROSSI turns around to look at the one-way glass.
INT: Quantico, Virginia – BAU Headquarters, garcia’s lab – day
GARCIA sits at her desk, in front of many computer screens, speaking into her headset.
Garcia: Leroy Griffyth, age 33, suffers from severe scoliosis and a birth defect that has rendered his right arm nearly immobile since birth. This is our guy.
Hotchner: Great job, Garcia. Where can we find him?
Garcia: He’s a ghost. His paper trail ends years ago. I’ll have to do some more digging to try to find an address.
Hotchner: Keep at it, call us when you do.
Garcia: Wait! His father is deceased, but I have his mother’s address. (pauses) Oh, God…
Morgan: What, baby girl?
Garcia: His mother lives in Gloucester Township, New Jersey.
Reid: Richard III, the Duke of Gloucester. (pauses, contemplating the irony) The name of his hometown must have triggered his delusions.
Prentiss: Seriously? Can this get any creepier?
Bryant: Gloucester Township is only about 20 minutes across the river.
Hotchner: J.J., come with me to her house. The rest of you bring in the Kinney family. See if any of them knew Griffyth.
HOTCHNER and JAREAU exit.
EXT: Ana Griffyth’s home, porch - day
HOTCHNER knocks on the door. After a moment, ANA GRIFFYTH (60s) opens the door.
Jareau: Hello, Mrs. Griffyth?
Ana: (suspiciously) Yes. Who’s asking?
HOTCHNER and JAREAU both flash their badges.
Hotchner: I’m agent Hotchner and this is agent Jareau, we’re with the FBI. May we please come in?
Ana: What’s this about?
Hotchner: Your son, Leroy.
ANA nods and opens the door wider, ushering HOTCHNER and JAREAU inside.
INT: Ana Griffyth’s home, living room - day
ANA walks inside and sits down in a char. HOTCHNER and JAREAU follow.
Jareau: Ma’am, my apologies, but you don’t seem surprised that we’re inquiring about your son.
Ana: That would be because I’m not.
Jareau: Do you care to explain?
Ana: (very matter of fact) There was always something wrong with him. Even as a kid. Something off, I could tell. Everyone else saw a charming little boy, but I knew what he really was. It’s an act. Everyone feels bad for him because he’s deformed, but he uses that too.
Hotchner: Are you saying that Leroy uses his disability to affect how people perceive him?
Ana: Exactly. He always acted feeble and weak, but he’s not. He might be hunched, but he’s strong. With his left arm, anyway.
Jareau: Mrs. Griffyth, where is your son now?
Ana: I don’t know. I haven’t seen him since the day he turned 18.
Jareau: You don’t know where he lives?
Ana: No. He always used his act on me. He knew what he was, and I knew what he was, and he knew that I knew what he was, but he still put on that fake, smiling face. The day he left, he let me see it melt away. One second he’s a sweet, meek young man playing stupid; the next, he’s the empty shell of a monster I’d always seen in his eyes. I’d never been more afraid of him in my life. He walked out and never looked back. And I never went after him.
Hotchner: Mrs. Griffyth, do you know why we’re asking about Leroy?
ANA’s face hardens, and she looks pained.
Ana: (almost a whisper) Did he kill those people?
Jareau: (sympathetically) Yes.
Hotchner: Ma’am, will you come to the station with us? We need help finding your son. Even if you haven’t spoken in years, you may still have insights that can help us.
Ana: (crying silently) Yes. Of course.
INT: Philadelphia Police Department – day
HOTCHNER and JAREAU walk in leading ANA.
Marianne: (to Prentiss) Who is that?
Prentiss: (hesitantly) That’s Mrs. Griffyth. Leroy’s mother.
REGINA stands abruptly in a fit of tears and anger. MARIANNE appears equally enraged.
Regina: Monster! Your son is a monster!
Marianne: Curse him! And curse you!
ANA snaps around to stare at MARIANNE and REGINA as PRENTISS and MORGAN attempt to calm and restrain the women.
Ana: (yelling angrily) You don’t think I know that? (louder) You don’t think I know what he is? He’s a bastard. I regret him and the day he was born every damn day of my life! Every damn day of my life I wish I never had him! Don’t you dare presume to know anything about me!
MARIANNE and REGINA are startled by ANA’s reaction and are calm. They seem content to know that ANA hates GRIFFYTH as much as they do, and go back to comforting one another. ANA senses there isn’t a fight to be had, and approaches the women. The team watches carefully.
Ana: (softly) I mean it. I hate him, too. I’m so sorry for what he’s done.
MARIANNE and REGINA nod hesitantly in thanks. REGINA motions to a chair next to them, and ANA takes it as she begins to cry. Suddenly, a uniformed officer pushes his way through, slightly out of breath.
Officer 3: Agents, there’s been a kidnapping. The father’s here. He’s got a ransom note.
The team and Detective BRYANT are at full alert.
Hotchner: Bring him in here, now.
The officer is back momentarily with a distraught-looking man, CYRIL CONLEY (40s), who is clutching a piece of parchment paper.
Conley: He has my son! (crying) He has my son!
CONLEY thrusts the parchment paper into MORGAN’s hands. MORGAN quickly reads it.
Morgan: He’s calling him Stanley, and the kid George.
REID snatches the paper from MORGAN’s hands. It reads: “The Welshman comes. Thou wilt revolt and fly to him, I fear. Ay, thou wouldst be gone to join with Richmond, but I’ll not trust thee. Leave behind your son George Stanley. Look your heart be firm. Or else his head’s assurance is but frail. Bring thy power before sunrising, lest thy son George fall into the blind cave of eternal night.” Tensions are running high now that GRIFFYTH has a hostage.
Reid: (angrily) I should have seen this coming. Detective, dispatch a unit to Ron Dougherty’s house, now. He’s in danger.
BRYANT rushes off without hesitation.
Jareau: What makes you so sure?
Reid: (speaking quickly) In the play, Richard has Buckingham executed for defecting to Richmond, just like he fears “Stanley” is going to. Ron Dougherty came to us with information, which is the same as defecting to the enemy, in Griffyth’s eyes. He’s on his list, I’m sure of it.
The team members exchange worried glances.
INT: Griffyth’s home, closet – day/night
ANDY CONLEY (12) is shown in a small, dark closet. His hands and feet are tied, his mouth is gagged, and he appears very frightened.
End of Section
INT: Philadelphia Police Department – night
CONLEY can be seen rocking back and forth nervously in his chair through the window to a conference room. REGINA, MARIANNE, and ANA are mostly quiet, but occasionally try to comfort him. All appear quite miserable. The team is looking at them when HOTCHNER enters.
Hotchner: I just got off the phone with Detective Bryant. He’s at Ron Dougherty’s apartment now. (pauses) We were too late. He was found on the side of the building near the mailboxes by one of the residents… he’s only been dead for an hour. He appears to have been checking his when Griffyth slit his throat.
The team members all look angry and disappointed. They brood in silence for a few moments. ROSSI breaks the silence.
Rossi: Griffyth took the time to behead Truman for authenticity. Slashing Dougherty’s throat is merely representative of the act… it means he knows we’re getting close. He’s panicking. He knew he had a limited amount of time to attack Dougherty, otherwise he would have remained faithful to the play.
Prentiss: He’s right. He’s spiraling out of control, making mistakes.
REID suddenly perks up.
Reid: (rushed) The note, the ransom note, where is it?
JAREAU produces the piece of parchment.
Reid: (frantically) I should have seen this before! It’s sealed, look, look! It’s Richard III’s actual seal pressed into wax.
Morgan: That would have to be custom made.
Prentiss: Or ordered online.
Reid: Exactly, we can track it.
The energy level is high as JAREAU dials GARCIA.
Jareau: Garcia, can you track it?
Garcia: (determined) J.J. I can do anything; especially with a little boy’s life on the line. I’m on it.
GARCIA hangs up abruptly.
INT/EXT: Griffyth’s home, bedroom – night
GRIFFYTH is tossing and turning in his sleep, occasionally moaning and whimpering. In his dream, he is visited by the ghosts of his victims. The dream is shown in brief flashes of dialogue.
Ghost of Harvey Prior: Despair therefore, and die!
Ghost of Fred Prior: Richmond, virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror!
Ghost of Kevin Broderick: Betrayed! Fall thy edgeless sword!
Ghost of Doug Kinney: Let me sit heavy in thy soul tomorrow!
Ghost of Ben Kinney: Let thy soul despair!
All: Richmond will conquer him! Awake! Awake!
GRIFFYTH jolts strongly, but does not wake.
Ghost of Owen Royce: Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard!
Ghost of Bryson Royce: And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death!
Ghost of Dominick Truman: Bloody and guilty! And in a bloody battle end thy days!
Ghost of Dolores Prior: Despair and die!
Ghost of Ron Dougherty: Die in terror of thy guiltiness! Yield thy breath!
GRIFFYTH startles awake, gasping away the ghostly dream manifestations of his victims.
Griffyth: Have mercy, Jesu!—Soft, I did but dream.
INT: Philadelphia Police Department – night
MORGAN is on the phone with GARCIA.
Morgan: (to team) We got it! (to Garcia) You are a goddess, woman!
MORGAN hangs up the phone. CONLEY is alert to the commotion, and a uniformed officer fetches him while the team gathers their weapons and gear. REGINA, MARIANNE, and ANA motion goodbyes and watch the procession of FBI and police leave with hopeful eyes.
INT: Griffyth’s home, bedroom – night
GRIFFYTH paces around his bedroom, nervously.
Griffyth: O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me! (pauses) What do I fear? Myself? There’s none else by. Richard loves Richard; that is, I and I. Is there a murderer here?
EXT: City Street – night
A procession of black SUVs and police cruisers speed by with their lights.
Bryant: (into a police radio) No sirens! I don’t want him to know we’re coming or he might hurt the kid!
MORGAN hangs up the phone. CONLEY is alert to the commotion, and a uniformed officer fetches him while the team gathers their weapons and gear. REGINA, MARIANNE, and ANA motion goodbyes and watch the procession of FBI and police leave with hopeful eyes.
INT: Griffyth’s home, bedroom – night
GRIFFYTH continues to pace, conflicted and frightened.
Griffyth: Alas, I rather hate myself for hateful deeds committed by myself. I am a villain. Yet I lie. I am not. (mumbles) Vengeance on the head of Richard.
GRIFFYTH appeared very solemn and sobered. There is a muffled bang from outside the bedroom, and he starts. Quickly coming back to himself, he grabs his knife from the bedside table and drags ANDY out of the closet by the back of his shirt. Breathing heavily with anger, he stands with the large knife to ANDY’s throat. ANDY is scared, but maintains his composure.
Morgan: Leroy Griffyth! Come out with your hands where we can see them!
GRIFFYTH doesn’t move as MORGAN turns the corner, gun and flashlight pointed. MORGAN slows, then stops. REID and HOTCHNER move in behind MORGAN. JAREAU, PRENTISS, ROSSI, and BRYANT are poised to the sides, ready.
Morgan: Griffyth, drop the knife, now!
Griffyth: (furiously) What says Lord Stanley? Will he bring his power?
Reid: (to Morgan) We won’t be able to break his delusion. Go along with it. (to Griffyth) He doth deny to come.
Griffyth: (shaking, he spits) Off with his son George’s head!
REID steps forward, lowering his aim, but maintaining his grip on the gun.
Reid: My lord, the enemy is past the marsh. After the battle let George Stanley die. (pauses) Withdraw, my lord. I’ll help you to a horse.
REID stares as GRIFFYTH, holding his breath. The team members all look very nervous, but they trust REID’s tactics. GRIFFYTH loosens his hold on ANDY, but does not let go. The knife remains at his neck.
Griffyth: (screaming) Slave! I have set my life upon a cast, and I will stand the hazard of the die. (looking at all of the agents) I think there be six Richmonds in the field. Giveth me Richmond, knave!
Reid: (under his breath) Hotch. Hotch. I think he’s talking about you.
HOTCHNER moves forward with his gun aimed steadily. REID moves slightly aside, raising his aim again.
Griffyth: (sneering) And who doth lead them but a paltry fellow?
HOTCHNER stands his ground, silently. GRIFFYTH becomes enraged. Shoving ANDY to the ground, he lunges toward HOTCHNER, knife raised.
Griffyth: (screaming) Long live King Richard!
HOTCHNER shoots GRIFFYTH in the chest. GRIFFYTH jolts with the impact and crumples. ANDY is scooting away from his body with his hands and feet still tied, mouth still gagged. HOTCHNER rushes to the boy while MORGAN and PRENTISS move in on GRIFFYTH’s body. GRIFFYTH is dead.
EXT: Griffyth’s street – night
HOTCHNER leads ANDY out by the hand. CONLEY comes running forward, relieved, and ANDY breaks free to run to him. They embrace, crying. JAREAU approaches them.
Jareau: Mr. Conley, the paramedics need to check on Andy. You can stay with him, just come this way, please.
CONLEY ushers ANDY to the ambulance with his arms around his shoulders. After the paramedics begin examining ANDY and CONLEY converses with ROSSI, CONLEY walks towards HOTCHNER.
Conley: He said you did it. (motions to Rossi) You killed him. (slightly choked) Thank you. Thank you so much. You saved my son.
Hotchner: I’m just glad to see him safe; you two together again.
HOTCHNER reaches out to shake CONLEY’s hand. CONLEY takes HOTCHNER’s hand with both of his and shakes firmly, holding back tears, then hurries back to his son. PRENTISS approaches.
Prentiss: (sighs) They found Dominick Truman’s head in his refrigerator.
INT: BAU Jet – day
The team is seated in various spots within the cabin.
Jareau: Do you think he’d ever have let himself be taken alive?
Reid: In the play, Richard III dies in battle with Richmond. (cautiously) I think Griffyth manages to play out his fantasy down to the very end.
Prentiss: He must have identified Hotch as Richmond from one of the newscasts. I didn’t even think about it.
Morgan: The parallels to the story are creepy.
Prentiss: Thank you, that’s what I said!
JAREAU, REID, PRENTISS, and MORGAN laugh lightly. HOTCHNER stares out the plane window quietly. ROSSI gets up and sits down across from HOTCHNER.
Rossi: You heard Reid. He’d never have been taken alive.
Hotchner: I know.
Rossi: You did what you had to do.
Hotchner: No, I know. I’m just… thinking about Jack.
EXT: BAU Jet, flying - day
The BAU jet is shown flying through the clouds.
Hotchner (V.O.): Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into the abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
End of Act IV
Explanation of Ties and Parallels
- Leroy Griffyth (Richard III) – Leroy, a French name derived from “le roi,” meaning “the king,” and Griffyth, a Scottish name meaning “murderer”
- Ryan Brone (King Edward) – Ryan, an Irish name meaning “royalty,” and Brone, an Irish name meaning “sorrowful”
- Kevin Broderick (Clarence) – Kevin, a Celtic name meaning “gentle,” and Broderick, an Irish name meaning “brother”
- Ron Dougherty (Buckingham) – Ron, an English name meaning “advisor to the king,” and Dougherty, an Irish name derived from Doherty, meaning “wicked”
- Kinney – last name of the family representing Queen Elizabeth and her kinsmen, Rivers, Dorset, and Gray, derived from “kinsmen”
- Regina (Queen Elizabeth) – Italian name meaning “queen”
- Alice (young Elizabeth) – Variant of the French word “Adelaide,” meaning “nobility”
- Doug (Rivers) – Scottish name diminutive of Douglas, from the Gaelic “dubglas,” meaning “dark river”
- Ben (Gray) – an Israeli name meaning “son of”
- Noah (Dorset) – Hebrew name meaning/associated with “survivor”
- Royce – the last name of the brothers representing the young princes, meaning “son of the king” in its French origins and “royal” in its English origins
- Owen (young prince) – Owen, an Irish name meaning “born to nobility”
- Bryson (young prince) – Bryson, an English name meaning “nobles’ son”
- Ana Griffyth (Duchess of York) – Ana, Azerbaijani for “mother of,” and Griffyth, a Scottish name meaning “murderer”
- Prior– last name of the family representing those formerly in power, Latin for “former”
- Dolores (Lady Anne) – Latin-American name meaning “lady of sorrows”
- Marianne (Queen Margaret) – French name meaning “bitter”
- Fred (King Henry VI) – German name meaning “peaceful ruler”
- Harvey (Edward, Prince of Wales) – Celtic name meaning “eager for battle”
- Dominick Truman (Hastings) – Dominick, an English name meaning “lord,” and Truman, an English name meaning “loyal”
- Conley – the last name of the father and son representing Stanley and George, an Irish name meaning “strong-willed”
- Cyril (Stanley) – English name meaning “lord”
- Andy (George) – English name meaning “brave”
- Sources: ("Search 45,000 Names and Meanings", "Google Translate")
- Clarence was stabbed and drowned in a barrel of wine; Kevin Broderick’s blood dyes his bathwater a dark red, like wine.
- Garcia mentions the public uproar with the newspaper about Hasting’s death (III.vi).
- Marianne Prior, representative of Queen Margaret, curses “Richard” in the police station.
- Hastings is a wealthy businessman because it would be today’s equivalent of nobility.
- Dominick Truman and his friends in the teaser represent the nobles who dislike Queen Elizabeth.
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