The Mentalist: Who Is Red John? (Spoilers)










We’ve been waiting 6 years for the answer to the above question; who is Red John?

…and it looks like we’re finally going to get some answers if the promo for 6×06 ‘Fire and Brimstone’ is anything to go by:

So the big question is; who do YOU think the red-faced killer is?

Since the season 6 premiere we’ve already had two RJ suspects bumped off, now we’re left with 5 very capable men. I’m going to write a bit about each and grade the likelihood of each one of them being RJ, reason why and clues we’ve been given.

Bret Stiles (Leader of Visualize)


  • Reason 1: He’s always been around, whether he’s involved in a case or something to do with a case, he’s been there.
  • Reason 2: He’s the leader of Visualize, meaning he has access to a number of different sources through Visualize members within the police department (Ray Haffner being one), he has a lot of followers, therefore he could make others do his dirty work.
  • Reason 3: We all know RJ is a sadistic man, who enjoys his name being put round when a murder is committed. Stiles always taunts Jane about RJ as if he knows more. Obviously he could just be doing this because he thinks Jane is arrogant and wants to wind him up, but you never know.
  • Reason 4: Despite Jane not believing in psychics, it’s in the profession of Visualize. Remember when VanPelt was almost hypnotized by Stiles when he was locked up.
  • Reason 5: Malcolm McDowell is quite a high-profile person to have on the show, so they’d want him to have a memorable role on the show, surely?

Gale Bertram (Director of CBI)


  • Reason 1: Obviously, being the Director of CBI, he has power and access to resources.
  • Reason 2: Bertram once recited part of a William Blake poem (we know that RJ is fan of Blake, hence the ‘Tyger, Tyger’
  • Reason 3: In Sophie Miller’s description in 5×02, RJ is middle-aged, Bertram appears to be middle-aged.
  • Reason 4: If RJ, he’s most likely the leader of the Tyger Tyger club, and would be well aware of what police officers to involve. He could’ve recruited Craig O’Laughlin (FBI/VanPelt’s fiance who tried to kill her) and then told him to stay close to Van Pelt.

Ray Haffner (Former CBI Agent)


  • Reason 1: He’s evidently middle-aged, in good health from what we know, also ‘well-spoken, good posture and self-possessed’, she also mentioned he was an ‘excellent whistler’. This was supposed to make us think of Sheriff McAllister as when she said this they matched it with footage of him. However, when Haffner went to visit Lisbon in hospital, he left the room whistling (the same episode Sophie Miller’s description surfaced).
  • Reason 2: Personally, along with Reede Smith, he’s the only other suspect I would imagine to have a tattoo on his upper arm – obviously they all could have one, but I just think it’s more likely.
  • Reason 3: In a Visualize homicide case the team work on in S5, they discover a barn that has the RJ smiley on it. We know that Haffner was a member of Visualize from his early years and was probably working on the farm that summer, he could’ve come up with his trademark then?
  • Reason 4: Haffner is the only suspect that seems to have a (very creepy) fondness of Lisbon. If RJ wanted to hurt Patrick, he would’ve known that hurting Lisbon would do just that. RJ could’ve done anything to Lisbon but he didn’t, therefore Haffner seems likely.
  • Reason 5: He’s a member of Visualize and used to work in the CBI i.e. he has access to their resources. He said in 6×05 that he still has a lot of friends in the CBI.

Reede Smith (FBI Agent)


  • Reason 1: There’s more to this guy than we’re aware of. He’s only been in a handful of episodes, yet Jane included him in the list of 7 suspects, ruling out the likes of some very probably suspects like Minelli, Mashburn, LaRoche.
  • Reason 2: We know that he’s at least corrupt after the events in 6×04, he told Kirkland about the secret Tyger Tyger organisation and then shot him down.
  • Reason 3: He fits well to part of Sophie’s description, however I wouldn’t say that he hides his anger from what we’ve seen.

Sheriff Thomas McAllister (Napa Valley Police Dpt.)


  • Reason 1: In 6×03 Jane said to McAllister that he moves slowly. He’s known for creeping up on his victims, therefore he’d have to be light-footed. His hunting background would make him would make him a good marksman.
  • Reason 2: He’s in law enforcement, but not amongst the other suspects. He could use this to his advantage as it would never look like he was in the area.
  • Reason 3: Despite having only appearing in one episode prior to him being a RJ suspect, he has been there from the beginning. Similar to how Partridge was before he was killed. He’s always been there.

Final points.

Some people believe VanPelt may be involved, as much as I’d hate it, I have to say it’s plausible. We have the obvious red hair, she also joined the CBI after Jane. Yes she was engaged to Craig, but how do we know that RJ didn’t put them up against each other to test their loyalties. Neither one would’ve known the other was working for him, therefore RJ could test them. This doesn’t prove anything, just a theory, but I just find it odd how VanPelt and Rigsby are leaving around this time. They seemingly have no connection to the RJ case, so why would they leave after the investigation is closed, they wouldn’t. Either one or both get killed or one betrays the other in my opinion.

There’s suggestions about RJ being a collective cult of people, perhaps even the 5 remaining suspects, it could definitely work, but I’d personally be disappointed.

My prediction: Ray Haffner.

He seems to have the most going for him in terms of description, it would explain the sparing of Lisbon and he has the connections. Perhaps he is working for Stiles? Everything fits perfectly for him, my only problem is how obvious they’re making it. He was always the underdog, the dark horse, but in 6×05 it’s as if Bruno Heller was trying to throw people, by making him seem mysterious and quite obviously Red John.

Now it’s your turn:

Time will tell…


One thought on “The Mentalist: Who Is Red John? (Spoilers)

  1. Pingback: Review: The Mentalist S06E05 | The Alphabet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s