Leland Vanhorn (aka Serial Killer X) is a fictional character and the main antagonist (later secondary) of the video game Condemned: Criminal Origins and a minor antagonist in its sequel, Condemned 2: Bloodshot. Leland is the nephew of Malcolm Vanhorn and the arch nemesis of Ethan Thomas. He is voiced by Peter Jacobs in the first game and by Henry Dittman in the second.
Little, if any, background information is given about Leland Vanhorn. His uncle, Malcolm Vanhorn, tells Ethan that Leland was once "a good boy" but that he was "not as strong" as him, a reference to him being unable to fight off the evil that has plagued Metro City.
Serial Killer X is best known for stalking serial killers and executing them using their own methods. He has several known victims by the start of Condemned: Criminal Origins, and by the end of the game, he adds another four victims to that list (However, only two were serial killers; the others were police officers).
Condemned: Criminal Origins
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. In order to locate them was to follow the investigator of all their cases, Ethan Thomas. By keeping a watchful eye on Ethan, Leland learned everything he needed to know about the serial killers including their whereabouts and Method of operation.
The Match Maker Case
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, including the Roadside Carver and the Bone Cutter before Ethan became aware of Leland's presence. It is the Match Maker case that ultimately leads to Leland's exposure. Having picked up a tip on a new crime scene believed to be caused by the Match Maker, Leland travels there to investigate. However, Ethan and two other officers arrive shortly afterwards, and, upon learning of Leland's presence, engage Leland in a deadly game of cat and mouse, mistaking him to be the Match Maker.
During the chase, Leland takes out the lights, forcing Ethan to find the fuse box and switch them back on. However, the fuse box explodes, shocking Ethan and knocking him to the ground. Leland then arrives, picking up the handgun that Ethan had dropped, and playfully pretending to shoot him with it before leaving. Later, Leland confronts Ethan, threatening him with his own gun, and saying they are on "the same path of righteousness". The two officers burst in and Leland shoots them both. Before knocking Ethan out, he tells Ethan that death will come again. Ethan later discovers that Leland has been secretly spying on him in his apartment from a squat across the street. After battling a hallucination of Leland, he pursues the real Leland into the subway tunnels, but eventually loses his trail. After the Match Maker's corpse is discovered, Ethan and Rosa suggest the possibility of a "Serial Killer X"; someone who is killing other serial killers.
The Torturer Case
Ethan figures out that Leland is targeting a new serial killer, Carl Anderson, a.k.a. The Torturer, who tortures his victims and drives them to commit suicide. Ethan travels to St. Joseph's Secondary School, where Anderson has just finished torturing a P.E. teacher named Samuel Tibbits. Before dying, Tibbits informs Ethan that a man came and took Anderson away.
Ethan heads to Apple Seed Orchard, where Leland has brought Anderson to torture him. Once Leland leaves the room, Anderson kills himself and Ethan shows up shortly after. When Leland returns, Ethan, who had disguised himself as the Torturer's corpse, jumps up and attacks him. Just as Ethan is about to win the fight, Malcolm arrives and knocks Ethan out so that he can convince his nephew to stop the killings. Leland instead knocks out Malcolm, and drags both him and Ethan to a nearby barn.
Leland ties Ethan up to a wall as he contemplates on how he wants to kill Ethan. Leland manages to cut off Ethan's left index finger before Malcolm suddenly jumps Leland. During the struggle, Malcolm tells Ethan to find "the one who caused this evil" and Ethan proceeds to kill the Dark Primary.
Once Ethan returns, Malcolm pulls up in his car. During the ride back to the city, Ethan hears Leland shuffling in the trunk. After forcing Malcolm to pull over, Ethan opens the trunk and draws his gun. Malcolm tries to convince Ethan to spare him, though ultimately, the choice is entirely up to the player. However, even if the player spares Leland, he will commit suicide by pulling out a gun and shooting himself in the chin.
Boss Battle Strategy
Leland Vanhorn is fought twice in the Criminal Origins; first as a hallucination in Central Metro Station, then later for real at Apple Seed Orchard. The first time around, Leland will be armed with a bent rebar and will fight just like any other enemy. However, he will have twice as much health as normal and will also be completely immune to the taser. Strike him as often as possible, while also remembering to parry frequently and keep your distance.
The second fight occurs towards the end of the game after Ethan disguises himself as the Torturer's corpse. Ethan will be automatically armed with a fire poker while Leland will be carrying a pipe. Instead of fighting him right away, you will have to chase him through the farmhouse. Since Leland runs very quickly, the best way to beat him is to simply stand in one spot and wait for him to come to you. This is best done near the staircase, as there is a lot of room. Be careful, as Leland may attempt to sneak attack the player from behind. Once you get close enough to Leland, the fight begins.
Once again, Leland will have double health and this time, he is far more skilled, utilizing parries and counter strikes. He is also much faster and will attack more frequently than a standard thug. The player must pay close attention to his attack pattern and parry often. It takes about ten to fourteen hits from the poker to bring Leland down. Alternatively, the player can pick up the shotgun he drops and blast him with it, though Leland is extremely resistant to bullet damage, requiring about ten shotgun blasts to go down. It should be noted that the player does not have access to the taser during this fight.
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 the gunshot wound to the face, Malcolm brought him to the abandoned Black Lake Lodge to nurse him back to health. It is during this time that Leland developed an obsession with the Oro.
Condemned 2: Bloodshot
At the beginning of the game. Leland murders his uncle as well as a police
officer, setting off the events of the game. He takes refuge in St. Joseph's School and throughout the game, he hunts down members of Oro, including Mayor Rachel Mars and Director Ike Farrel to study "how they work." He also experiments on the homeless in a homemade laboratory by implanting them with metal pieces and then testing their new abilities in a makeshift fighting arena in the school's gymnasium.
After being found and captured by the SCU, Ethan Thomas manages to sneak aboard the bus that holds Leland to try to get answers on the Oro. Leland escapes and crashes the bus into a nearby bowling alley, which is right next door to the school. After Ethan manages to find his old boss Farrel and fight off the bums in the makeshift arena, Ethan is attacked by several SCU agents. Leland kills the agents and saves Ethan as "a future investment" but insists that he "looks forward to cutting Ethan open" and "learn[ing] [his] little secret." After that, Leland disappears.
A scene after the credits shows SKX receiving metal implants signifying that he had indeed been accepted into the Oro and may return as an antagonist.
In Criminal Origins, Leland has medium-length dark brown hair as well as a small goatee and sideburns. In his first appearance in Weisman Office Building, he wears an orange jumpsuit with a nametag, similar to what a janitor would wear. Later on, in the Apple Seed Orchard, he can be seen wearing a green jacket and denim jeans.
In the sequel, SKX has suffered huge wounds to the side of his face, as a result of the gunshot inflicted by Ethan (or himself) in the original. Regardless of whether Ethan spared him or not, he hugely blames him for his injuries. The letter X has also been carved into his forehead, most likely done himself. His head and face are completely shaven and he appears more burly with a number of tattoos across his arms, chest and back. He wears a butcher's apron, but is otherwise shirtless.
Main article: SKX Murders
- The Match Maker
- Carl "The Torturer" Anderson
- The Roadside Carver
- The Polaroid Killer
- The Bone Cutter
- The Dumpster Strangler
- The Window Washer
- The Crescent Moon Killer
- The Lunar-Tic Slasher
- Agent Mallory
- Detective Dickenson
- Officer Becker
- Three Metro City police officers
- Including Deputy Dennis Black
- Malcolm Vanhorn
- Mayor Rachel Mars
- Three SCU officers
- Serial Killer X, Edward Garrotte (portrayed by Jean-Claude Van Damme) from Ringo Lam's film Replicant and Walter Sullivan from Silent Hill 4: The Room compared each other:
- Three of them became serial killers from the cause of the events since their childhood
- Leland is nicknamed as Serial Killer X (as well as SKX) while Garrotte is nicknamed as "The Torch"
- Both SKX and Garrotte are vigilante serial killers who targets both kinds of individuals; SKX targets the other serial killers while Garrotte targets mothers
- Both SKX and Walter are members of the fanatical organization
- Both Garrotte and Walter are abused by their parents during their childhood (Garrotte was abused by his mother while Walter was abused by his father)
- Both Garrotte and Walter are misogynists (although Walter is also a misandrist).
- Serial Killer X preceded Dexter Morgan from the Showtime TV series, Dexter.
- Both killers love to kill and torture other serial killers.
- In SKX's case, he would copy his target's MO to kill them.
- Both killers have ways of deceiving and avoiding the police.
- Dexter is a lab analyst and has an adopted sister in the police department.
- SKX has been stalking the FBI, namely Ethan and the SCU.
- Both killers love to kill and torture other serial killers.