First aired: 11/03/95
Written by: Jim Gross
Directed by: David Nutter
A woman, Lauren, sits in a car with a man she is meeting for the first time after three months of corresponding online. They kiss and she pulls back, her mouth foaming. The police find her body the next day in the car.
Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate. This is the fifth such murder and that the four women before had answered a personal ad. The detective wants to find if Lauren had also.
The killer, Virgil Incanto, chats online with another woman, Ellen. He wants to meet her but she is hesitant. Virgil is interrupted by his landlady who says she knows he is a writer and wants to take a look at his stuff. Virgil abruptly shuts the door in her face.
Scully prepares to autopsy Lauren but finds the body has almost totally liquefied with nothing but a skeleton. A friend of Lauren's talks to Mulder and tells him that she had met a man nicknamed '2Shy' in the 'big and beautiful' section of an online chat room. She said he knew exactly what to say.
Mulder feels that the killer has moved from personal ads to the internet. They put out a warning on the guy.
The lab results come back and show a digestive enzyme, like stomach acid, on Lauren's body, and an absence of fatty tissue. The body weighed 122 pounds where Lauren's friend said she weighed over 165 pounds.
Ellen has gotten the word of warning and does not meet Virgil. Virgil, at the restaurant leaves and picks up a slightly heavy prostitute. He kills her and starts to feed on her. Another prostitute finds them and he flees.
Mulder feels that the killer isn't psychotic but is acting on a physical need, seeking to replenish the lack of oils and essential fatty acids (which were not found in tissue samples). Mulder suggests that he is a kind of fat-sucking vampire and that he may be genetically different and that he may digest by regurgitating onto his victims, much like scorpions.
The detective finds a group of potential suspects and finds himself at Virgil's home.
Ellen contacts Virgil via email and says she is sorry but would like to meet later. They have dinner and they are about to go to his apartment when he sees the light is on. He sends Ellen off and finds the landlady in his apartment -- she sees the dead body of the detective.
The landlady's blind daughter smells her mother's perfume in Virgil's apartment and calls the police after hearing no sound from her mother. However, there is no record of Virgil's existence. The agents find a list of his chat partners and send out a warning.
They reach all women except two, including Ellen. Virgil has gone to see her. She receives the FBI warning but Virgil attacks her. Mulder and Scully rush in to save Ellen. Mulder chases after a figure down the street who turns out to be a teenager. Virgil surprises Scully who fights back but is knocked down. A shot rings out. Ellen, injured but angry, holds the smoking gun.
Virgil is in detention and a week later his skin seems scaly and flaky. Mulder tells him that 47 women are missing in 5 states. Virgil tells him that they are all his.
Mulder -- "Okay, it's not yet the finely detailed insanity that you've come to expect from me, it's just a theory. But what if he's not doing this out of a psychotic impulse but rather out of some physical hunger? Maybe he needs to replenish this chemical deficiency in order to survive."
Scully -- "From a dry skin sample you're concluding what? That he's some kind of a fat-sucking vampire?"
Scully -- "Yeah, scorpions predigest their food outside of their body by regurgitating onto their prey but... I don't know too many scorpions who surf the internet."
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