Matthew O'Dell
O'Dell 1 (2)
Name Matthew O'Dell
Occupation Activist
Pathology Serial kidnapper
Serial killer
Family Benjamin O'Dell (brother)
Status Imprisoned for life
Actor Michael Medeiros
First Appearance "Disappeared"
Last Appearance "Disappeared"

"We shall soon mete out the ultimate sanction to the carpetbaggers who were seized as a warning to those who uproot us from our homes, our lives, our community. The justice which was envisioned comes now to fruition".

--Matthew O'Dell

Matthew "Matt" O'Dell (nicknamed by the press "The Chelsea Snatcher") was an activist, serial kidnapper and serial killer. His crimes were part of a campaign against young urban professionals (popularly known as "yuppies").


Matthew and his brother, Benjamin, were raised in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan by their widowed father, although he didn't have much time for them.

During the nuclear power scare, he crushed a car through a fence in Seabrook as a symbol of protest.

In his late teens, Matthew started deteriorating psychologically, suffering from fixations. In his 20s, he was in and out of psychiatric hospitals.

According to Ben, Matthew was "the smart one" of the two as he succeeded in his studies and graduated from Princeton University in three years, with a major in phylosophy. He subsequently moved to Harvard for graduate work in urban planning. He also got a job of some kind in Boston. Around this time, Matthew and Benjamin began to grow apart.

In 1991, when their father died, he left them a small inheritance with which Matt supported himself while living in New York. He also got a some kind of government check. Due to his fervent activism, Matthew got involved in neighborhood causes, community groups and rent strikes. He helped his brother filing a lawsuit against some developers and started writing pamphlets supporting his cause.


In march 1998 Matthew abducted, by breaking into their household, Paul and Donna Ericson, a couple of yuppies he considered responsible, among others, for the evictions of his old neighborhood's inhabitants. Three days later he abducted Nathan Faber, the Ericsons' landlord, as he deemed him a building speculator.

He sent a some sort of "manifesto" of his campaign to the Daily News, menacing more abductions unless it was published in its entirely, and subsequently shot Faber and the Ericsons to death.

Matthew was eventually turned in by his own brother, Ben, after he recognized Matt's ideas in the published manifesto. Detectives Briscoe and Curtis arrested him in his shabby apartment.

In court, while assisted by Danielle Melnick, he vehemently refused an insanity defense, going as far as to accept the prospective of death penalty.

As she had made a deal with Benjamin, ADA Jamie Ross allowed the latter to speak about Matthew mental instability in the conclusive part of the trial. This enraged Matthew but also oriented the jury in favor of a life imprisonment sentence.

Known Victims

  • 1998:
    • March 10: Paul and Donna Ericson
    • March 13-15: Nathan Faber


  • He is loosely based on Theodore "Ted" Kaczynski (AKA "The Unabomber"), a mathematician and serial bomber who killed three people and wounded several others as part of a campaign against technology. Kaczynski also wrote a famous manifesto which was published on The New York Times and The Washington Post. Ted was eventually denounced by his brother, David, and was condemned to life imprisonment after pleading guilty.