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CRIMINAL
Season-2-Episode-1-Photos-Lost-Souls-15
Name Elijah Ward
Gender Male
Country of Origin U.S.
Family Unnamed parents (statuses unknown)
Ezekiel Ward (brother; status unknown)
Isaac Ward (brother; status unknown)
Ruth Ward (sister; status unknown)
Caleb Ward (brother; status unknown)
Miriam Ward (sister; status unknown)
Rachel Ward (sister; status unknown)
Samuel Ward (brother; status unknown)
Occupation Church leader
Pathology Cult Leader
Abductor
Unclassified Killer
Modus Operandi Brainwashing
Abduction
Stabbing and beating (once)
Victims 1 killed
1 attempted
10 abducted
Status Incarcerated
Portrayed By Steve Kazee
First Appearance "Lost Souls"

"We can start over here. I have built a safe place for you! Remember why we left! This is our DESTINY! Don't let them scare you!"

Elijah Ward is a murderous cult leader who appeared in Lost Souls.

BackgroundEdit

Elijah was born as the youngest of eight children born to a delusional, abusive young couple. His parents viewed him as a prophet that could speak to God. As a result, he was spared from their abuse and raised with the expectation that he had a mission to bring about salvation. Eventually, his parents were arrested for child abuse and the children separated while being put into the foster care system. By then, Elijah had already inherited their delusions. As an adult, he founded the Brunswick Mission Church, a cult adhering to radical Christian views. His right-hand man was Jacob Ross, and eleven other men served as his disciples. Over many years, the group recruited nine women and brainwashed them into obedience towards Elijah, operating under the guise of a regular church group. One of the women, Rebecca Moore, also inducted her son Nicholas into the group.

Years later, Elijah began planning the establishment of a permanent paradise for the group, far away from the throes of civilization. He based it on a location in Tanzania suspected to be the original location for the Garden of Eden. As a result, the group went to Tanzania under the pretense that the trip was part of a goodwill mission to volunteer in local villages. The female members and Nicholas were ultimately never made aware of Elijah's plans to set up a paradise there. Elijah planned to stage the group's disappearance by orchestrating a mass abduction aboard a passenger train, and hired locals to help him carry out the deed. However, the leadership of the group began to show signs of breaking down, as the normally subservient Jacob began to threaten Elijah's role as the leader.

Lost SoulsEdit

Elijah is first seen boarding the train with nine women and one child. Elijah's plan goes as planned as everyone on the train is abducted the same night. The next day, the gunmen force everyone to walk, as Elijah plays victim. The following night, Elijah and everyone else are on the bus heading for the settlement. After the bus stops, everyone gets off and Elijah reveals himself to be involved as he speaks to one of the gunmen in Swahili. Then, Elijah talks to Rebecca Moore. She says to him that he tricked them, but Elijah replies that he didn't as he tested them. Elijah reveals the true purpose and says to Rebecca that she needs him to help her to be strong and would do anything to help her son, Nicholas. Elijah then asks Rebecca if she has faith, to which she replies that she does. After reaching the settlement, Nicholas becomes afraid over the prospect of not returning home, and Elijah asks him if he is afraid. When he says he is, Elijah grabs Nicholas, takes him into the building, and "baptizes" him in the bathtub by non-fatally drowning him as he says to Nicholas earlier that being afraid is for the weak. Afterwards, Elijah leads a prayer with his followers.

Then, the IRT show up and both sides hold each other at gunpoint. Garrett tries to talk to Elijah by telling him that holding people against their will is against the law. Elijah tells everyone that Garrett is the serpent that wants to deny the troops, but Garrett replies that he is only advocating a free will. Then, Garrett tells Elijah that he tricked the women to join him, but Elijah justifies himself by saying that he is saving them from the abuse they suffered. Garrett reveals to everyone that Elijah was the one who killed Jacob and his motive for doing so. Elijah denies it, and Garrett makes everyone choose. They all take the side of the IRT. Afterwards, Elijah grabs a gun and points it at Garrett, but he points a gun at him as well. As they both point the guns at each other, Elijah blames Garrett for ruining everything, but Garrett replies that this was their fate. Then, Elijah points the gun to his head, intending to commit suicide. Garrett tells him that killing himself will make him a sinner in the eyes of his followers. Garrett tells Elijah to give him the gun, which he does. He is then arrested afterward along with his followers.

Modus OperandiEdit

Since Elijah killed only one person, the term "M.O." may be misused. When he killed Jacob Ross, the lieutenant of his cult, he stabbed repeatedly him in the stomach with an unknown instrument and beat him. In the case of Nicholas Moore, he forcibly put him into a container of water as a way of "baptizing" him. During the standoff at the compound, Elijah used a 9mm Browning Hi-Power pistol stolen from one of his followers.

ProfileEdit

Elijah was briefly profiled as having a "Moses Complex", meaning that he doesn't think he is God, but instead believes he speaks for him. Jacob's murder unleashed a homicidal rage from within him, and if he is showing signs of euphoric stress, it could cause him to take more risks and hurt more people.

Real-Life ComparisonEdit

Elijah was most likely inspired by Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple cult ultimately infamous for the Jonestown mass murder-suicide. Much like Jones, Elijah was raised under the belief that he was some sort of messiah and became obsessed with religion. He later founded his own church as an adult and tended to cater his religious services to some sort of high-risk demographic (female victims of domestic abuse in his case, in contrast to Jones catering to the then-socially oppressed local African American populations). He later succumbed to worsening delusions of an impending social apocalypse and convinced his followers to establish a settlement in a foreign country (Tanzania in his case, whereas Jones selected Guyana for Jonestown).

In addition, Elijah may have been partially inspired by Carl Drew, leader of the Fall River Cult. Both were murderous cult leaders who had religious delusions and killed at least one of their followers by stabbing and beating them to death.

Known VictimsEdit

  • Nine women and one child abducted aboard a passenger train. They are:
    • Rebecca Moore and her son Nicholas
    • Eight unnamed other women
  • Jacob Ross (his lieutenant; stabbed repeatedly in the stomach and beaten)
  • Jack Garrett (held at gunpoint and intended to shoot)

AppearancesEdit

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