Profiler is an American crime drama that aired on NBC from 1996 to 2000. The series follows the exploits of a criminal profiler working with the FBI's fictional Violent Crimes Task Force based in Atlanta, Georgia. Ally Walker starred as profiler Dr. Samantha Waters during the first three seasons, and was later replaced by Jamie Luner as profiler Dr. Rachel Burke during the show's final season. Robert Davi, Roma Maffia, Peter Frechette, Erica Gimpel and Julian McMahon co-starred throughout the show's run. Caitlin Wachs played Dr. Waters daughter for the first two seasons, a role taken over by Evan Rachel Wood in 1998. Profiler shares a similar lead character and premise with the Fox Network series Millennium, created by Chris Carter. Both shows premiered at the beginning of the 1996–97 television season.
A kidnapped Sam (Ally Walker) stalls for time as the murderous Jack of All Trades (Dennis Christopher) twists the facts hoping to convince her that she too will kill -- when the subject and timing are right -- while a recovering Bailey (Robert Davi) and new profiler Rachel Burke (Jamie Luner) grope for clues about Jack's hideout. But Jack shows a new card when he lures Sam's young daughter, Chloe (Evan Rachel Wood), into his web of deceit by convincing her that her mother was responsible for her father's slaying.
Now a member of the VCTF team, newly relocated Agent Rachel Burke sorts through a series of murders where the killer singles out successful career women and subjugates them to humiliating housework and compulsive cleaning before posing them naked in kitchens or bathrooms. While Rachel narrows in on a suspect (guest star Scott Allen Campbell) whose timid, fearful wife (guest star Paula Malcomson) may be the missing link, she must first overcome her combative relationship with an increasingly skeptical John
An obsessed Malone is haunted by an unsolved case in Georgia concerning several teenaged girls who were slain with a knife 15 years ago, and when more older victims are suddenly found - marked with slashes on their bodies -- his focus zeroes in on their original prime suspect who has resurfaced in the area. Once he has the VCTF team on board, he enlists Rachel's help to connect the two crime sprees but his decision to exhume the earlier victims understandably draws the wrath of their ever-grieving parents.
When Rachel and Bailey investigate a series of Ohio murders in which the mutilated victims are cheating husbands, they suspect that the killer is the vengeful boyfriend (guest star L.L. Ginter) of a woman (guest star Amanda Wyss) common to all of the dead men -- until she offers an unconvincing confession. Meanwhile, the VCTF team must contend with a local sheriff who wants to join their force, Grace must deal with her crumbling marriage and new pregnancy, and George is left limping after a painful car accident
When a series of random murder victims are found on the streets of St. Louis, Rachel and the VCTF team believe the slayer is a military veteran who uses weapons of opportunity, and their focus shifts to an incoherent, ranting homeless person (guest star Jeremy Roberts)who fits the profile. However, Rachel wonders if she should widen her field of suspects to include any ex-serviceman -- and trained killer -- who is susceptible to an altered state psychosis. Back at headquarters, computer whiz George ignores his increasing reliance on prescription pain pills while recovering from a car accident.
As Christmas nears, Rachel and the VCTF work into the night in search of a twisted serial killer (guest star Ben Bode) who goes online to select his victims, all of whom are carefully screened, seeking a candidate he can make over into his ideal woman. At the same time, Rachel is surprised when her troubled brother, Danny (guest star Rafael Sbarge), drops in from out of town and displays telltale signs of substance abuse. Also, Rachel confronts George about his own addiction to pain pills and other drugs.
Rachel and Bailey respond to the growing list of isolated elderly men and women who are strangled while riding the rails in the Southwest, and Rachel notes cigarette burns that indicate the young killer (guest star Samuel Bliss Cooper) must have been a victim of abuse as well. While the slayer eyes his next targets, the VCTF theorizes that the dead must be surrogates for an angry drifter who feels rejected by society
Rachel and the VCTF team search for a serial killer (guest star Greg Kean) who strangles women with knots of their own hair, but when the latest victim proves to be the daughter of powerful mob boss James Perrone (guest star Ray Wise), the FBI profiler must gain the grieving father's confidence to learn more about her habits. Meanwhile, Rachel is under pressure from the Bureau's Organized Crime Division to take advantage of her access to Perrone and wear a wire to trick him into confessing to a fellow mobster's murder, thereby ending a lengthy investigation.
The action continues in Part 2 when ""The Pretender's"" Jarod (Michael T. Weiss) and the FBI's Rachel Burke discover that the two dirty Secret Service agents, who are their most direct link to the killers of a fellow agent, are found slain, forcing them to begin their investigation all over again. However, while romantic sparks fly between the pair, Jarod suddenly disappears and is tortured by the murderer (as Baxter, guest star TBA), who is on a crazed mission to eliminate everyone he thinks is involved in the agency's corruption.
While shopping in a convenience store with his girlfriend Kate (guest star Samantha Smith), Agent John Grant intercedes during a robbery, but when Kate is wounded and fights for her life, Rachel and Bailey are concerned that he will mete out his own justice outside the law. Even John's shooting of a suspect comes under review, prompting him to angrily resign and grapple with his overwhelming emotions of guilt for Kate's grave condition
When Rachel visits her old college to appear on a radio call-in show to discuss a series of ongoing sexual assaults on campus, the case takes a peculiar personal turn when the rapist repeatedly dials up to mock her on-air, prompting an ongoing mind game of cat-and-mouse between them. On other fronts, Rachel finds herself drawn again to an old flame (guest star Mark Dobies) who is now married to her good friend and later meets the therapist (guest star Joe Flanigan) assigned to her brother's drug rehabilitation. Likewise, George slips in his shaky bid to end his own addiction to painkillers.
After a police officer and other authority figures are found stabbed in the backs, Rachel centers her investigation on a young woman, Pamela (guest star Marcia Cross), who is reported to have assumed multiple identities which probably spring from memories of early child abuse. But Rachel faces an even greater personal threat from an FBI honcho (guest star Gregory Itzin) who has falsely accused her of forcing a sexual relationship of a subordinate -- a charge that could ruin her career. Elsewhere, Bailey confronts George over his reliance on prescription drugs and orders him to get help.
Rachel, Bailey and the team head to Yosemite National Park where a maniac brutally killed a mother and her two daughters, and while circumstantial evidence points to a local outlaw biker (guest star Douglas Bennett), Rachel constructs a different suspect profile -- one who feels remorse and might have sibling issues. Meanwhile, George's lingering substance abuse problem causes a dangerous embarrassment for Bailey and the VCTF just as an attractive Congresswoman (guest star Erin Gray, ""Silver Spoons"") begins an investigation of the unit, and she is most impressed by Bailey. Back at home, Rachel's budding romance with her brother's (guest star Raphael Sbarge, ""Message In A Bottle"") drug counselor (guest star Joe Flanigan, ""Providence"") hits a snag.
A tormented Rachel must push aside her personal nightmares when she realizes that a disturbed child slayer (guest star Harry Groener, ""Buffy The Vampire Slayer""), whom she could not convict as a prosecutor years before, has resumed kidnapping young girls and putting them in gilded cages where he worships them as virginal ""princesses."" At the same time, Rachel is troubled by the sudden disappearance of her drug-addicted brother (guest star Raphael Sbarge) from a halfway house and her romantic relationship with therapist Tom (guest star Joe Flanigan, NBC's ""Providence"") enters a new stage. Also, George frets about the hot shot computer whiz (guest star Judith Moreland) who's temporarily replaced him while he's on leave due to his own struggle with narcotics.
A desperate Rachel and the VCTF team cast about wildly to quickly form a profile of an anonymous sniper who's perched atop the pump house of a dam with a commanding view of his victims in an adjoining park, but their options are limited out of fear that the shooter may have wired explosives that could inundate downtown Atlanta. While the body count rises, John risks his life to save some trapped patrons and Rachel suspects the murderer might be an enraged husband whose philandering wife (guest star Saxon Trainor) is pinned down with her lover.
Rachel and the team search for a serial killer who does not seem to follow a pattern following the abduction of a 10-year-old boy from a local diner. Meanwhile, Bailey must testify before a congressional subcommittee to save VCTF funding which is threatened to be cut off by Congresswoman Archer. Also, Rachel find that her apartment was broken into and the audiotape she made of Joel Marks confessing to planting a wire on her (in the Proteus episode) has reappeared in the court dockets where Marks is dismissed from the FBI and vows revenge against Rachel.
When a talented concert pianist is found slain, Rachel suspects the victim's prodding parents until she discovers the young woman was pregnant and that her baby was forcibly delivered and kidnapped. But her biggest surprise comes when Jarod re-surfaces at her door. While the two indulge their mutual romantic passion, Jarod's mission is to help her deal with the threat posed by Marks, a fugitive FBI agent who delights in tormenting her.
In the season finale, Rachel is emotionally distraught after her brother's death and she's further rattled by the mind games played by wanted ex-Agent Marks, who she believes is responsible for a series of murders, but Marks needs her to accomplish his own agenda. Malone has even more concerns when he is ordered to conduct a performance review of his VCTF members as rumors fly in Congress that the elite unit will be disbanded.
As Rachel continues to be spooked by Marks (Gregory Itzin), she and the team investigate a series of murders of businessmen who were all involved with the same woman (guest star Kimberly Davis).