“Criminal Minds” is still one of the most popular police procedurals of all time – and one of the most popular TV shows, period. The CBS series ended its run in 2020 after 15 seasons and 324 total episodes, and there were even plans for a revival on Paramount Plus. Sadly, those plans have apparently been scrapped (via Variety).
Little is known about her working life before she joined the BAU, but she was a career FBI administrator with little to no field experience – although, at her funeral, Special Agent Morgan (Shemar Moore) did say she was an exceptionally good shot. Without firsthand knowledge of what the BAU agents went through, Strauss often questioned them and their methods.
Strauss was also a recovering alcoholic, which occasionally affected her job performance, and which ruined her relationship with her children. At Hotchs urging, Strauss sought treatment and by Season 8, according to Rossi, she had been sober for more than a year. Tragically, her alcoholism was used against her when the unsub The Replicator (Mark Hammill) forced her to drink and poisoned her, leading to her demise.
One moment from her pre-BAU days that did get some screen time was her involvement in the Amerithrax bioterrorism case. During the investigation, Strauss and linguistics expert Alex Blake (Jeanne Tripplehorn) arrested the wrong suspect. Strauss let Blake take the fall, and during Season 8 the two women finally reconciled.
According to the Criminal Minds Wiki, Strauss was born on December 14, 1959. She was married with three children and ended up divorcing, although her family was is rarely seen on the show, with her children hugging David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) after Strauss death. It seems that Strauss and Rossi may have had some history, as he frequently seems to disregard her status as an authority figure.
Was Rossi sleeping with Strauss?
Why did Strauss get rid of Hotchner?
What did Erin Strauss do to Alex Blake?
Did Rossi and Erin date?