Criminal Minds revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country's most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again. The Behavioral Analysis Unit's most experienced agent is David Rossi, a founding member of the BAU who returns to help the team solve new cases. The team is lead by Special Agent Aaron Hotchner, a strong profiler who is able to gain people's trust and unlock their secrets. Other members Special Agent Derek Morgan, an expert on obsessional crimes; Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid, a classically misunderstood genius whose social IQ is as low as his intellectual IQ is high; Jennifer "J.J." Jareau, the team's confident unit liaison who was called to a top Pentagon job but returns to the BAU under mysterious circumstances; and Penelope Garcia, a computer wizard who helps research the cases. Each member brings his or her own area of expertise to the table as they pinpoint predators' motivations and identify their emotional triggers in the attempt to stop them.
When the remains of twelve people are found lying on the bed of a creek, the BAU travel to Yakima, Washington, to find the killer. Also, veteran profiler Stephen Walker from the Behavior Analysis Program joins the BAU.
When a bizarre hieroglyph found under a deceased homeless man's armpit is the same from previous casualties a few years ago, the BAU is called in to investigate. Also, Reid decides to take his mother out of a clinical study early to bring her home with him.
The BAU investigates an urban vampire in New York who kidnaps his victims at night and holds them underground in the sewer system. Also, Reid makes an impossible decision in prison that severely affects himself and other inmates.