1. The Lesson — Season 8, Episode 10
Crime thrillers have always had a way of holding my attention for hours and scaring me to the point that I must sleep with a nightlight. “Criminal Minds” is an excellent example of the kind of show that has become an addiction for me. One episode in particular, “The Lesson,” makes me cringe every time I come across it, but I can’t flip the channel. How could anyone turn away from a story featuring a serial killer who dislocates the joints and jaw of his victims’ primordium to make them loose enough to be strung up like marionettes?

2. Lucky — Season 3, Episode 8
Did you see the one about the cannibal who forced his victim to eat a few fingers? No, me neither until I saw this episode. Jamie Kennedy perfectly executes the role of a disturbed man placed in a mental facility as a child for taking a bite out of his sister. Once released at the age of 18 he went on to become a garden-variety cannibal who invented extravagant recipes out of his victims and was nice enough to share his famous human chili recipe with the good churchgoing townspeople.

3. Angels — Season 9, Episode 3
Between the drugged-out, pimping, woman-beating preacher and the sadist serial killer who tied up, ferociously carved and shot his victims in the head to set up said preacher, I had to say a few Hail Marys before going to sleep (after hiding all the kitchen knives). Also, as a fan of the genius Special Agent Spencer Reid, the fact that he gets shot in this episode hit me in the gut.

4. Entropy — Season 11, Episode 11
“You don’t get everything you want just because you are pointing a gun at me under the table. You’re not the first killer to point a gun at me. You’re not even the first woman to pull a gun on me. Sorry.”  Reid said as he sat across the table from an expert contract killer. While this episode is devoid of the usual blood and gore that I have come to stomach after a few Alka-Seltzers, this is one of the most memorable. Reid matches wits with a contract killer, Miss .45, during the hunt for the 12 serial killers who escaped in Season 10. What makes this episode so memorable is Reid’s frequent moments of assertiveness despite the gun pointed at his groin under the table and the close calls that make viewers think Reid has been outsmarted for the first time ever. The twists and turns of this one had me riveted, and praying.

5. The Boogeyman — Season 2, Episode 6
This episode starts off as a typical bat-wielding, child-killing serial-killer episode until we find out that the killer, who finds joy in beating his victims to a pulp, is a child himself named Jeffrey. Towards the end of the episode when we finally to witness the deranged kid in action, I couldn’t help but be shocked as he taps into his serial killer personality. His sudden evolution from helpful buddy to crazed killer during a short walk is actually quite haunting.