In season 4 of Stranger Things we learn that

Henry Creel (a.k.a 001)

uses his victims' own guilt to kill them. As far as serial killers go, he seems very consistent in his motive and methodology. However, his earliest attacks are a bit murkier. His killing of Virginia Creel seemed more driven by self preservation, but it does make a certain amount of sense that her actions would have led her to feel guilty. His killing of Alice Creel, however, is never really explained. What would such a young and seemingly innocent girl had to feel guilty about?

1 Answer 1


Probably nothing.

First, how could he kill her if she did not feel guilty about something?

Vecna is a powerful telekinetic, much like Eleven. As Eleven could if she wanted to, he can use his telekinetic powers to kill people of any sort by twisting their bodies, as we saw with his massacre of the children in the laboratory. In particular, when he tried to kill Eleven the first time, in person, he did not need to get into her mind first: he just attacked her directly with his telekinesis. He does not need to engage in subtle psychological torture, and he definitely does not need guilt to kill people.

The element of guilt seemed to enter when he needed to kill people across dimensions. We saw that Eleven needs some kind of anchor—a physical object, a photo, or a previous connection to the person—to enter someone's mind or view them from far away. Vecna appears to be subject to a similar limitation. It seems that if Vecna is going to bridge the gap between the Upside-Down and Earth, he cannot simply kill whomever he wants, whenever he wants: he needs that element of guilt to connect to their mind so he can use his telekinesis to kill them. He needs that "hook."

Does he need to take his time to build that connection, or is that mere sadistic cruelty? That is unclear, but he certainly needs a very specific something to worm his way into people's minds across that metaphysical void. It is also an interesting question whether it has to be guilt, or whether it is Vecna's own psychology that prevent him from using other strong emotions to make a connection.

Notice that as Nancy was leaving the Upside-Down, Vecna was able to instantly connect to her mind without any prior warning or playing on her guilt. Seemingly, once she was in the same dimension as him, he had a much easier time of things.

Second, why would he kill her if she did not feel guilty about something?

It does seem as if Vecna actually enjoys tormenting people with their guilt. We saw that he mentioned "holding a mirror" up to the misdeeds of his parents. But again, as we saw with his attack on Eleven or (presumably) with his rather rapid massacre of the people in the laboratory—or for that matter, with his childhood killing of small animals—he certainly does not always follow this methodology. He seems perfectly willing to kill people directly if tormenting them is not effective.

In fact, when he talks about his childhood murders, he actually does not mention guilt as his motivation for killing. He says that he showed his parents their misdeeds, but he did not attack them until faced with the threat of being locked away. He does, however, mention several other reasons that would have motivated him to want to kill his sister:

  • He says that he specifically planned to frame his father for the murder of his sister:

    He was arrested, blamed for the death of my sister and mother, just as I had planned.

  • He says that he grew stronger by killing more people.

    With each life I took, I grew stronger.

  • He really just liked killing people. He talks approvingly about predators, particularly spiders, "bringing order to the world" by "killing the weak." It is not as if the animals that he killed felt any guilt, after all. He sees everyone besides himself as weak, except perhaps Eleven, so you can see where that would end up.

Maybe his sister had some unresolved guilt, maybe not, but he would have killed her anyway.

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