Meet The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit Team Of Criminal Minds

Cast of Criminal Minds (Photo by CBS)

CBS’ hit crime drama Criminal Minds premiered on Sept. 22, 2005, and has been adored by fans for 15 seasons. The 1-hour drama follows a group of behavioral profilers who work for the FBI as members of its Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), who utilize behavioral analysis and profiling to investigate violent and gruesome crimes. The show tells the story of the team as they work on various cases and tackle their personal everyday struggles. Meet the BAU agents, who lock away some of the worst serial killers known to mankind.

Dr. Spencer Reid (Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS)

Dr. Spencer Reid

(Played by Matthew Gray Gubler)

Reid is a genius who holds Ph.D’s in mathematics, chemistry and engineering as well as bachelor of arts degrees in psychology and sociology. With an IQ of 187, it’s no surprise that he would have all of those accolades under his belt. His mother Diana Reid, who is played by the brilliant Jane Lynch, suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and has been committed to a mental institution for many years. His love life is a little complicated since Reid has a crush on fellow agent JJ Jareau, who is married with children. Reid also has an eidetic memory, which means that he can remember large amounts of information with extraordinary detail.

Jennifer “JJ” Jareau
(Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS)

Jennifer “JJ” Jareau

(Played by A. J. Cook)

Jareau served as the communications liaison of the BAU to local police agencies from seasons 1 to 5. However, in season 6, in the episode “JJ,” she is forced to accept a promotion at the Pentagon, causing her departure from the team only later to return as a legitimate profiler the following season. Jareau also admits to helping BAU agent Emily Prentiss fake her death, much to the dismay of her colleagues. Last season in a shocking finale, while Reid and Jareau were held at gunpoint in a hostage situation, Jareau confesses to Reid that she’s always loved him. What becomes of Jareau’s and Reid’s relationship remains to be seen.

Emily Prentiss (Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS)

Emily Prentiss

(Played by Paget Brewster)

Prentiss is the daughter of ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss and is a very level-headed and calm person. Her initial role within the BAU was to report any problems within the BAU to the higher-ups, but Prentiss remained loyal to the team and refused to report any problems, going so far as threatening resignation. She is also fluent in several languages, such as Spanish, French, Greek and Arabic. In season 6, she was thought to be killed while being held hostage, but it was eventually revealed that she survived. In Paris, she meets Jareau and gives her passports and bank accounts for protection. In the season 7 premiere, she returns alive and well, much to the team’s surprise. Eventually, Prentiss is promoted to the BAU’s unit chief.

David Rossi (Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS)

David Rossi

(Played by Joe Mantegna)

Rossi, who was a marine in Vietnam, is a highly experienced profiler, who worked the BAU in its origins, then took early retirement in 1997 to write books and go on lecture tours about criminal analysis, until volunteering to return to the BAU. He has been married three times and is quite wealthy because of his successful writing career. To most who know him, Rossi can be described as compassionate, bold and loyal.

Penelope Garcia (Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS)

Penelope Garcia

(Played by Kirsten Vangsness)

Garcia joined the BAU after she illegally accessed some of their equipment while she was an underground hacker and was then offered a job. She usually supports the team from her computer lab, but occasionally joins them on location. Her parents were killed by a drunk driver when they were out looking for her when she was a teen who had missed her curfew. She also had a flirtatious relationship with BAU agent Derek Morgan, often engaging in comical banter of a sexually suggestive nature when he calls for information.

Dr. Tara Lewis (Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS)

Dr. Tara Lewis

(Played by Aisha Tyler)

Lewis is a forensic psychologist and BAU agent with an eye on forensic psychology and its application toward the criminal-justice system. She joined the FBI as a forensic psychologist, who extensively interviews a number of psychopathic criminals to determine whether they are fit for trial. Before joining the BAU, she came from the San Francisco FBI field office.

Luke Alvez (Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS)

Luke Alvez

(Played by Adam Rodriguez)

Alvez is a member of the FBI fugitive task force that partners with the BAU. Inspired by his father’s military service, he joined the U.S. Army and served as a part of the 75th Rangers Regiment in Iraq. After he was discharged, Alvez joined the FBI and worked in different divisions. While training with the fugitive task force, he studied Calvin Shaw, a disgraced former FBI agent convicted of murdering his informant.

Matt Simmons (Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS)

Matt Simmons

(Played by Daniel Henney)

Simmons is a special operations agent and formerly worked with the International Response Team (IRT). Simmons has a wife and has a total of four children. He was a former member of a special ops unit, and his experience with the unit allowed him to hone his profiling skills. He joins the BAU following the disbandment of the IRT.


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