What We Learned This Season On Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

Think globally

Think globally

We travelled all over the world with the International Response Team this season. The combination of Monty's computer skills, Mae's medical knowledge, Clara's culture information, and Matthew's quick wit in the field helped Unit Chief Jack Garrett save Americans in peril from every corner of the globe.

Click through for all the things we learned this season on Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders!

"The Harmful One"

When three American citizens volunteering in Thailand went missing during a trek to Bangkok, the IRT worked with former colleague Clara Seger to profile and apprehend the UnSub before a major storm system washed away the evidence in "The Harmful One."

In "The Harmful One," we learned:

- ​Some Taoist devotees engage in acts of self-mutilation as a means of purification. The episode's UnSub, who engaged in self-mutilation, performed the act as a means of purification and sacrifice to honor his family members.

- Thailand's rainy season lasts from May to October.

- In 2015 alone, 946,919 Americans visited Thailand.


When an American college student vacationing in Mumbai woke up after a giant rave with both a kidney and a friend missing, the IRT suspected whoever was responsible for the crimes was perhaps up to more than selling organs on the black market.

In "Harvested," we learned:

- Sunburn is the largest EDM festival in India. It features more than 100 artists each year and draws crowds in the hundreds of thousands.

- The second largest slum in Asia, Dhavari, is located in central Mumbai and houses between 800,000 and one million people.

- According to World Bank, 54 percent of Mumbai lives in slums.


In "Denial," the International Response Team headed to Cairo, Egypt when an ex-U.S. serviceman of Egyptian-American descent was killed in a gas attack and his best friend was abducted.

In "Denial," we learned: 

- There are two chief kinds of camels: the Arabian camel, also called a dromedary, which has one hump, and the Bactrian camel, which has two humps.

- Camels don’t actually hold water in their humps. They are reservoirs of fatty tissue. When metabolized, the fatty tissue produces water.

"Whispering Death"

The IRT travelled to Tokyo, Japan to help local officials investigate what was believed to be homicides of three Americans, made to look like suicides.

In "Whispering Death," we learned: 

- Aokigahara, a forest in Japan, is one of the most popular suicide destinations in the world.

- Every year, volunteers and police trek through the "Suicide Forest" to recover remains.

"The Lonely Heart"

In "The Lonely Heart," the International Response Team travelled to Paris, France to search for an UnSub targeting Americans who lived there.

In "The Lonely Heart," we learned: 

- The Louvre museum in Paris welcomes over 15,000 visitors a day, making it the most popular museum in the world.

- In 2012, there were 16,408 U.S. citizens living in the entire Paris region.

"Love Interrupted"

When a couple on their honeymoon went missing in Belize, Jack and the team went to their last known location to investigate what was believed to have been a targeted abduction of the couple.

In "Love Interrupted," we learned: 

- Crowdfunding weddings and honeymoons, known as "honey-funding," has become incredibly popular over the past decade. Family and friends can donate to the overall honeymoon or pay for specific activities for the couple to enjoy, like dance lessons or a special dinner.

- An estimated 1.4 million U.S. couples honeymoon each year.

- Honeymoons alone comprise of $12 billion-a-year industry.

"Citizens Of The World"

The International Response Team ventured to Casablanca to find an elderly American couple reported missing from their cruise.

In "Citizens Of The World," we learned: 

- 272 people have gone missing from cruises and ferries in the past decade.

- The annual cruise industry revenue for the U.S. is $37 billion.

- The Tuareg, the nomadic community featured in the episode, inhabit land in Mauritania, Mali, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Libya. Tinesmegelen, Tuareg faith healers, are typically female.

"De Los Inocentes"

The IRT travelled to Mexico when a woman vacationing there with her family was the victim of foul play. The team started to investigate her husband as a prime suspect when he suddenly fled.

In "De Los Inocentes," we learned: 

- Tourism is the fourth largest source of foreign exchange in Mexico.

- Mexico welcomes over 20 million tourists a year, making it the eighth most-visited country in the world.

- 7,164,374 Americans visited Mexico in 2014.

"The Matchmaker"

When an American girl went missing in Turkey while trying to meet whom she was led to believe was her boyfriend, the IRT discovered that the real person behind the communications was using a ruse to abduct American girls. 

In "The Matchmaker," we learned: 

- Turkey is ranked as the sixth most popular tourism destination in the world.

- In 2015, 798,787 Americans visited Turkey.

Watch the full episode on CBS.com.


The IRT headed to Johannesburg, South Africa when an American college student working there was killed and his brother went missing. Suspecting that a gang could be behind both attacks, Jack worked the case with a familiar profiler with an unorthodox style of investigation.

In "Iqiniso," we learned: 

- Flair bar-tending, like the tricks seen in the episode, is the manipulation of bar tools to entertain guests.

- The International Bartenders Association, founded in 1951, initiated the World Flair Competition in 2000. 

Watch the full episode on CBS.com.

"The Ballad Of Nick And Nat"

After Americans were found dead throughout the island, the IRT pursued a possible spree-killer case in Cuba.

In "The Ballad Of Nick And Nat," we learned:

- On June 30, 2015, Cuba and the U.S. reached a deal to reopen embassies in their respective capitals and reestablish diplomatic relations.

- The image of El Che, an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, has been used extensively in various means of pop culture for decades. To many, he’s become a symbol of the underdog, the idealist, and the martyr.

Watch the full episode on CBS.com.

"El Toro Bravo"

The IRT hit Pamplona, Spain during the annual running of the bulls festival after the ears of missing Americans were found in public places throughout the city. 

In "El Toro Bravo," we learned:

- The running of the bulls during the San Fermín festival became famous after Ernest Hemingway released the novel The Sun Also Rises.

- "Toro Bravo" translates to "Spanish fighting bull" in English.

- Every year, between 50-100 people are injured during the run. Since 1910, a total of 15 people have died in the bull running of Pamplona.

Watch the full episode on CBS.com.

"Paper Orphans"

The International Response Team hit the ground running in Haiti after the child of an American family was kidnapped. After successfully finding the young girl, the team headed home to celebrate a farewell party for Jack's daughter, who was headed to the University of Southern California.

In "Paper Orphans," we learned:

- It's estimated that between 100,000 and 160,000 deaths occurred and an estimated three million were displaced from the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit the island nation in 2010.

- From 1999-2015, there have been a total of 3,889 adoptions of Haitian children into America.

- In 2015, the admission rate for the University of Southern California was only 16.5 percent.

Watch the full episode on CBS.com.

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