Serial Killer X

Serial Killer X (real name Leland Vanhorn) is a fictional character and one of the main antagonists of the American video game ' and its sequel, '.

His first appearance in the game misleads audiences to believe that he is a serial killer known as "The Match Maker" when he assaults Ethan Thomas, the game's protagonist, at a crime scene left by the Match Maker. However, if the player (who is in control of Ethan Thomas) looks carefully when the so called "Match Maker" is pointing Ethan's very own gun at him, the player would see that he is not missing his right index finger. Earlier on in the level, the player is informed that the Match Maker is missing the index finger of his right hand. SKX was often seen with the dark creatures.

Early life

Little, if any, background information is given about Serial Killer X (SKX). All that is given about his background is what his uncle, Malcolm Vanhorn, says to Ethan. Malcolm once said that Leland was "a good boy" but that he was "not as strong" as him. This is referring to him being unable to fight off the evil, somewhat paranormal, urges relating to the dilapidated section of Metro City.


Much like the rest of those who had succumbed to the paranormal effects of staying in the dark part of the city, Leland began to grow increasingly violent and aggressive, exhibiting violence whenever he could. He resolves to find a "positive" outlet for his violent aggression: taking it out on the large number of serial killers who terrorized the city. He soon found that the best way to locate them was to follow the investigator of all their cases, Ethan Thomas. He kept a watchful eye on Ethan and learned everything he needed to about the serial killers. Once obtaining crucial information such as the killers' whereabouts and motive, Leland would head to their location and kill them using the same "modus operandi"s as the serial killers used on their victims. For instance, the Match Maker's M.O. was that his victims were female and were left at a crime scene with a male mannequin whose face was slightly disfigured. When Leland caught up with the Match Maker, he placed him with a female mannequin and with her face disfigured. (The sole fact that the Match Maker was missing his right index finger was the only reason Ethan found out about SKX, up until then Ethan had simply thought all the other cases had gone cold).

The Match Maker

There were nine serial killers Ethan was working on at the time Leland started his work. Leland had managed to go through seven of the nine before Ethan becoming aware of Leland's presence. It was the Match Maker case that lead to Leland's exposure. Having picked up a tip on a new crime scene believed to be caused by the Match Maker, Leland traveled there to investigate. However, Ethan and some other officers arrived shortly after and engaged Leland in a deadly game of cat and mouse, mistaking him as the Match Maker. Leland confronted Ethan, telling him that they were on the same "path of righteousness". Leland had stripped Ethan of his firearm previously, and killed the other two officers with it who had accompanied Ethan to the first crime scene.

During Criminal Origins

During Condemned Criminal Origins, Leland is tracked by the game's protagonist Ethan Thomas through Metro City. Ethan eventually figures out that Leland is targeting the serial killer "The Torturer", who tortures his victims and drives them to suicide. Ethan investigates a school where The Torturer is antagonizing his latest victim, a gym teacher who knew the Torturer when he was in school. It is revealed that Leland has already kidnapped The Torturer and has already begun to copy the methods the Torturer uses. Ethan then goes to an abandoned apple refinery and orchard where he and Leland duel in the farmhouse. When it appears that Ethan is about to defeat Leland, Malcolm Vanhorn knocks Ethan unconscious and tries to reason with his nephew but to no avail. Leland attacks and incapacitates his uncle and drags him and Ethan to the nearby barn. There, Leland explains to Ethan how he used him to "find the serial killers you so desperately sought and then killed them" while a larger version of the demonic creatures is perched in the rafters of the barn overlooking the scene. Leland then lists off various ways to kill Ethan, and decides to cut off his index finger to resemble that of the Match Maker's (Though he cuts off Ethan's left index finger instead of the right.) Ethan is saved by Malcolm who has awoken and incapacitates Leland and urges Ethan to kill the creature who "has caused all this madness." After the battle is over, Ethan and Malcolm drive away. But during their conversation Ethan hears Leland struggling in the trunk of the car and orders Malcolm to stop the car. Upon pulling over, Malcolm opens the trunk and Ethan draws his firearm. Malcolm states that he has to keep protecting his nephew and that he still has a chance for redemption. It is here that the player gets to decide whether to shoot Leland or show mercy, if the player decides to spare Leland he will pull out a gun and shoot himself.

After the incident at Apple Seed Orchard

Very little is known as to what happened to Leland after the events of the first game, but it is revealed in Condemned 2: Bloodshot, that after sustaining a gunshot wound to the face, Malcolm brought him to the abandoned Black Lake Lodge to nurse him back to health.

Condemned 2

During the second game, it is revealed that Leland had indeed survived the gunshot wound he sustained in the first game. He now has a large hole on the right cheek and the left side has been nearly completely stripped away. He also has a large X carved into his forehead. During the game it is revealed that Leland killed his uncle and now wants to become a part of the cult that was hinted in the end of the first game named, "The Oro", who have created ways of generating sonic vibrations capable of sending people into violent fits of psychosis. He now hunts down members of this cult to study "how they work" and has experimented on the homeless with his own horrific metal appliances. After being captured by the SCU, Ethan Thomas manages to sneak aboard the bus that holds Leland and tries to get answers to who the Oro are. Leland escapes and crashes the bus into a nearby bowling alley which happens to be his base of operations (along with the school from the first game which has been altered with various contraptions and an arena with electrified fences). After Ethan manages to find his old boss Farrel and fight off the bums in the arena, Leland saves Ethan saying that it was "a future investment" and that he "looks forward to cutting [Ethan] open" and "learn your little secret." After that, Leland disappears. But at the end of the game a scene plays showing him receiving metal implants signifying that he had indeed been accepted into the Oro and might be an antagonist in the third installment.

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