“Chicago PD” fans may want to keep an eye out for one of their favorites in a season 8 episode of “Criminal Minds.” The episode, titled “Broken,” features Adam Ruzek actor Patrick John Fleuger. But, is he a victim, or the titular criminal mind?
Fleuger takes on a role very different from his “Chicago PD” persona for “Criminal Minds”; here, he’s a gay serial killer named Paul Westin who repressed his sexuality after his father sent him to a conversion camp. There, he was repeatedly abused and raped; he became ashamed of his sexuality and identity. He would have sex with men and kill them immediately after, beset with depression. Paul would also have sex with women, but kill them as well due to shame caused by his impotence.
Paul was one of the rare serial killers on “Criminal Minds” who killed everyone they targeted. He targeted men and women differently; the men he felt remorse about, and redressed them after death. The women he brutally stabbed, and stripped them of all their clothes and possessions, showing more anger. He also had a signature; this involved setting the victims’ watches to 6:22, which in military time is 18:22. This is a reference to Leviticus 18:22, which the conversion camp had as their motto.
All in all, Paul Westin was a brutal killer, but he was also sympathetic, as “Criminal Minds” sometimes likes to do. Their actions are irredeemable, but their pasts are so tragic that you can’t help but feel bad for them. Paul definitely had a tragic backstory, and Patrick John Fleuger did a great job portraying him. We just like him better when he’s on the other side of the law.
‘Criminal Minds’ Once Featured a Truly Heartbreaking Storyline
Speaking of tragic backstories, there was another episode from season 1 that brought us all to tears. The story of Sarah Jean Mason and her husband Jacob Dawes was one that definitely broke our hearts.
Sarah Jean and Jacob were on death row for murdering 11 teenage girls and their 2-year-old son. The BAU gets involved when it’s revealed there’s a 13th body. Gideon goes to Florida to interview him, and he suspects that Sarah Jean is lying about something.
Turns out, she is; she never killed her son like her husband told her to. Instead, she gave him to a childless family to raise, so he would be safe from his murderous parents. Gideon finds the son, now a teenager named Byron Sheffield, and urges Sarah Jean to reveal the information. But she won’t get Byron involved. She knows he’s happy and safe where he is, and refuses to bring him into it. Eventually, Gideon relents, and attends the execution at Sarah Jean’s behest. She wants Gideon’s face to be the last one she sees. After the execution, Gideon goes to Byron’s cello recital.