Malik in 1986
Malik in 2007
|Portrayed by|| Steve Walsh Jr. (1986) |
Jamil Walker (2003-2007)
|Episode||It Takes a Village|
Malik (last name unrevealed), AKA "Theseus" and "Theo Gamble" was a serial killer responsible for the deaths of four boys from 1999 to 2007. When cornered by police after abducting a fifth boy, Malik committed suicide by slitting his throat.
Malik was at some point sent to the Pritchard House juvenile detention facility, more commonly referred to as "The Pit". A counselor there, Wilford Grimes, frequently practised general punishment, making interns stand in small squares in shower room 17 for days at a time. One day, because of something Malik had done, he and five other boys were placed there. Grimes told them to set an example with Malik, or they would all stand there for much longer. When he left, the boys ganged up on Malik, who was smaller and weaker than them, and used a mirror shard to cut off his left index finger. After that, Malik stayed on his best behavior for the rest of his sentence.
Upon reaching maturity, Malik, concealing his severed finger with gloves, began killing boys who reminded him of the ones he had been with in the shower room: Damont Henderson in 1999, Kendrick Malone in 2001, Marcus Hollister in 2003. After his fourth victim, Shemar Reynolds, was found in 2007 when the freezer his remains were kept in broke, the Philadelphia PD tracked down the name of the person who rented the storage facility, "Theo Gamble", they learned there were three other storage facilities rented under the same name, they checked them and found a freezer containing a dead victim in each. They eventually tracked down Malik just after he abducted another boy, Tyrell Hobbs. After questioning Grimes, the Philadelphia PD found out about the significance of the number 17, which had been present at the crime scenes, and went to the original shower room and found Malik, who held Tyrell at knife point. Lily managed to talk him down by pointing out that he no longer was the little boy who had been tormented all those years ago. Defeated, Malik slashed his own throat, commiting suicide.
Malik would search for potential victims at arcades in rough neighborhoods in Philadelphia. In those arcades, there was a fighting game called "Defector III", in which the goal is to knock the other player into "The Pit", something which for Malik was a reference to the Pritchard House. Malik, who was skilled at the game, would play versus-matches with his intended victims, hoping for them to beat him at it. If they did, he would abduct them by using their victories over him to gain their trust. This also had a very symbolic meaning to Malik who actually got mad at one intended victim, Corey Middleton, for losing to him and let him go. Whenever he won, Malik would use the signature "Theseus" on the leaderboard, referring to a character from Greek mythology who would punish wrong-doers by using their own methods against them.
In preparation for each abduction, Malik rented a self-storage unit for each murder under the alias "Theo Gamble". The numbers on the units all added up to 17, referring to the shower room, such as 1925 (1+9+2+5=17). Once he got the boys there, he would force them to stand in a small square, just like he had been, until they no longer could anymore. At that point, he would kill them by slashing their throats, then slash their faces, cut off their left index fingers and place the bodies in freezers in the unit, presumably as a way to dispose of them, the coolness preventing the bodies from decomposing and smelling. Malik would also video record at least some of his victims while they stood in the square.