|Affiliation||Formerly Manhattan Sun|
Humphrey Becker was a failed crime novelist who attempted to recreate the violent career of the serial killer RDK, and a suspect in 2 murders and the disappearance of Jeannette Henley. (SVU:"Scavenger")
Though he was named for one of the greatest stars in movie history, Humphrey Bogart, Humphrey spent most of his life as a loser. The only son of single mother Ida Becker, Humphrey had a terrible fear of the dark and was a difficult child and, because of that, he couldn't go to the movies with his mother because he cried like a baby, thus his mother took to locking him in a closet at least once a week so that she could go out without having to worry about him. As a result, Humphrey developed claustrophobia in addition to his nyctophobia. As his childhood wore on, he grew to hate his mother more and more. This in turn made it almost impossible for him to develop trust in her, and without that sense of security, he would never get over his fears even as he matured.
In college, Humphrey majored in journalism, finding that he enjoyed reading and writing. However, when his mother actually approved of his career path, to the point of taking two jobs to pay his tuition, his enthusiasm began to wane, as he started to believe that she was manipulating him again. When it came time for him to submit his senior thesis, the professors found that he had plagiarized considerable sections of his paper, and he was expelled. Whether he had plagiarized in the belief that he could get away with it or whether he deliberately sabotaged his academic career to humiliate Ida is unrevealed. However, being expelled and with his mother refusing to spend any more money on his education, Humphrey groped around for a job and finally secured one as an archivist and researcher for the Manhattan Sun.
Still, for all that his ego had been crushed over the years, Humphrey still had higher aspirations. He began writing crime novels and mysteries in his considerable spare time, but although he finished and submitted several manuscripts, he was repeatedly rejected.
Then, one day, after his proposal for a book about the RDK killer was rejected, he noticed that the rejection letter cited the publishing house's policy of not publishing stories about old cases. As RDK had never been caught or identified (and as the 25th anniversary of his crimes was approaching), Humphrey decided to resurrect him. Having already memorized RDK's victims and methods, he tracked down the killer's only surviving victim, Jeannette Henley, on a pretense of interviewing her for the anniversary, and thus got a look at RDK's signature. He also talked up Morty Graf, a former reporter for the Sun who'd manage to obtain a large amount of inside information from the police officers back during the RDK case.
When he learned the cops were tossing his apartment and realized that his habit of targeting mothers had enabled the police to find a chorus girl, Humphrey kidnapped Jeannette Henley and trapping her in a fridge in the middle of a dump in Staten Island. He then let himself be captured in Henley's bed, offering himself up as the last clue.
In the interviews, Humphrey smugly refused to answer questions in attempt to avoid a potential death penalty for Henley's murder if she died, trying to force Det. Elliot Stabler to guess. However, Dr. George Huang deduced that Humphrey's targeting of single mothers was a reflection of his hatred towards his own mother, and so Ida Becker was brought in. Ida let slip that Humphrey was claustrophobic, and so the detectives locked him in a closet. Less than a minute later, he confessed to leaving Henley in a refrigerator and disclosed the location. Henley was found alive and well.
Humphrey has since been imprisoned for conspiracy to commit murder, attempted manslaughter, and kidnapping, with only the memory of his former notoriety to comfort him.