- "Trying to make the system secure, we make it more complex. But the more complex we make it, the more insecure we actually are."
- ―Pelant in the FBI interrogation room in "The Crack in the Code".
Christopher Pelant (or Bassam Alfayat, according to background records) is a serial killer introduced in the season seven episode The Crack in the Code.
Christopher Pelant is an American citizen who was born in the town of Pitt Meadows, Virginia. According to Sweets in The Past in the Present, his parents divorced when he was young and he was close to his father, though they rarely saw each other afterwards (also, in The Corpse on the Canopy Booth says that Pelant officially was born in 1986 in Denmark and raised in the U.S.). He later used his distinctive hacking skills to erase this identity, making it appear as though he was actually an Egyptian citizen, Bassam Alfayat, who had lived in Egypt until the age of six. He did this in order to escape arrest for a crime he committed during his teens that 'Christopher Pelant' could be undoubtably tied to. By making it appear as though he was not Pelant, however, he evaded arrest.
During high school, he had a guidance counselor by the name of Carole Morrissey. He tried to get her to write him a letter of recommendation for Stanford but she refused. He hacked into her computer, wrote the recommendation himself and killed and buried her to make sure he was never caught. He had been very obese at the time of the murder, however he later placed pictures on an online yearbook from his high school making it appear that he was slim, therefore distorting the proportions of the force of the fatal blow and the weight of the murder weapon. This distortion made it look like he was slim and using a heavier weapon, when in reality he was large and using a lighter weapon. He then began rapidly losing the large weight he had at the time to further corroborate his story.
Before he became a serial killer, he was a computer hacker who had a strong belief that the U.S. government was corrupt. He demonstrated his hacking skills twice by shutting down the Senate website in 2009 and hacking into the Pentagon security system to shut it down, endangering the lives of countless U.S. soldiers. He was eventually arrested, convicted of wire and computer fraud and sentenced to house arrest. His personal calling card both times was leaving behind a question written in blood-like letters on the websites; on the Senate website he left the question "Where's the website?" and on the Pentagon's, he left behind "What are you defending?".
His hatred was then directed towards the FBI for his arrest and conviction and resulted in him seeking revenge against them. He started by stealing the blood of five FBI agents and acquiring a boom stick (or as is suggested constructing one himself). He was then able to surreptitiously remove his ankle monitor and proceeded to kill a woman. He then placed her remains in various locations for the FBI to find, upon scanning the bones the Jeffersonian computers were infected with a virus which Pelant had intricately carved into their surface.
In his first appearance, Pelant places the skull and spine of his victim in front of a statue of Abraham Lincoln and leaves the message "Where is the Rest of Me?." He then proceeds to leave the rest of the bones in a storage area where the FBI keeps information regarding its informants. After this he reaches out to a reporter named Ezra Krane, who had previously covered his trial, and gives him all the details of his crimes and the FBI's corruption. Later Pelant gets nervous and kills Krane in order to ensure the identity of his source remains a secret. Pelant then hacks various hospitals to have Krane's body cremated before an autopsy can be made. When brought in for interrogation, Pelant doesn't deny being responsible for the murders, but also points out that his ankle monitor gives him a solid alibi.
In the season seven finale, Pelant, who is up for the possibility of parole, frames Brennan for the murder of her friend, Ethan Sawyer, a schizophrenic mathematician whom she had asked for help with the case. He seems to be a skillful manipulator and ensures that people who love Brennan and are capable of solving his crimes are removed from investigation one by one. Caroline recognizes this and her hope for bringing justice for Brennan and his victims lays with Jeffersonian team, still being on a case. Eventually, Brennan's father convinces her that she shouldn't trust the system, thus making her go into hiding.
In the Season 8 opener, Bones is still on the run, still attempting to find a way to prove Pelant has framed her. She manages to uncover the bones of Pelant's former school counsellor, whom he murdered in order to ensure his place at Stanford by forging her recommendation. It is revealed that Angela and Bones have also been communicating using flowers with various coded meanings. Cam tells Edison to send details of both the bones and the flowers to Booth via email, knowing it will draw Pelant out. Knowing of the flowers code Pelant waits at the next drop point for a flowered message and encounters Hodgins who he taunts into strangling him into unconsciousness. Hodgins reveals this fact to Sweets who realizes it uncovers a third aspect of Pelant's personality and gives this information to Angela, showing that it fits into Ethan's pyramid. Booth convinces Flynn (the agent who took over for Booth when Booth was taken off the case due to manipulation by Pelant) to arrest Pelant for hacking into the FBI email system just as Cam had hoped and he is detained. Meanwhile, Bones has been snuck into the Jeffersonian and is using Cam and Edison's work to analyze the bones further, she discovers that Pelant was in fact fat in high school and thus could have used a light weapon to deliver a heavy blow. The FBI discover his grandfather's Japanese sword and it matches the killing blow to his high school counsellor, he is finally arrested for at least one murder. Angela uses the explanation Sweets provided of Ethan's pyramid to find an encryption key which breaks some of Pelant's code and reveals how he superimposed Bones into security footage.
Just when things start to seem settled, Caroline reveals that the man they know as Pelant is in fact, according to DNA, finger prints, and background records, Bassam Alfayat, an Egyptian diplomat who is being taken back to Egypt by their government, begging the question of which identity was real. As a final act, Pelant/Alfayat gives Bones a Marigold symbolizing pain and grief, and in return, Bones slaps him across the face. When Bones tells Booth what the flower means, Booth throws it into a nearby wastebasket and they both leave, only to have the camera zero in on the flower in the wastebasket, which is then retrieved by Agent Flynn.
Having wiped out his past identities and creating a new one, "Justin Trimple", Pelant resurfaces, killing Xavier Freeman, a former Navy SEAL now working for SERBERUS, a private military corporation, and leaves his skinned and mutilated body in the canopy of Hodgins and Angela's bed after gassing them with a sedative. Using the SERBERUS computers, Pelant plans an attack on an Afghani girls' school by hacking into a drone and threatening to destroy the school with it. He drains Hodgins' and Angela's bank accounts, leaving them to make a choice; either kill the feed from SERBERUS to stop Pelant from draining their money, or save the school by keeping the computers online so they can hack the drone. They choose to save the school, leaving them broke. Pelant is shot by Booth while trying to escape and is last seen in the office of a killed veterinarian, using his medical supplies to treat the damage done to the right side of his face.
Pelant has no consistent method in his crimes, though his murders are usually very complex and involve severely mutilating the victims, sometimes in order to implant messages into their remains.
- Carole Morrissey (hung upside down and slashed to death with a katana)
- Inger Johannsen (killed with a bang stick, dismembered and her spine and skull removed)
- Ezra Krane (killed with a bang stick and hung from a flagpost)
- Ethan Sawyer (drugged him with tubocurarine, cut his arteries and left him to be eaten by wolves; framed Brennan for the murder)
- Xavier Freeman (tortured to the point of cardiac arrest with repeated needle punctures to the spine, then flayed and mutilated)
- Special Agent Hayes Flynn (shot with security gatling guns; survived)
- The students of a girls' school in Afghanistan (threatened to destroy with a drone strike; averted)
- An unnamed veterinarian (apparently stabbed; killed for access to his office and supplies)
Victims by ProxyEdit
- Alan Friedlander (shot once in the neck and shot ten more times post-mortem by Anna Samuels)
- Jeff Stone (shot once in the neck and shot ten more times post-mortem by Anna Samuels)
- Lance Sweets (attempted to shoot)