This recent Reddit thread is about who was supposed to be Red John offered a very interesting alternative ending from u/Asha_Brea. They gave a simple but profound answer: Rigsby. Yes, Wayne Rigsby, senior CBI agent in charge of Jane and the cases they worked on together.
In many ways, this makes sense. Rigsby, working with Jane daily, explained why Red John was always one step ahead. Rigsby also had an abusive childhood thanks to his father, a violent criminal and former member of an illegal biker gang, and it is not uncommon for serial killers to be abused as children (via Advisor for Psychiatry). Comrade Redditor you/cody_d_baker agreed that it “would be the ultimate scam”, with you/emperorval elaborating further: “Red John was supposed to be [sic] to have strength, since no one seemed to be able to overcome him. Rigsby was a big guy, that would have worked. Red John had to be attractive… The real Red John never met those criteria for me, but Rigsby could.”
As disappointed as most fans were by the big reveal, the fact that Red John’s identity wasn’t even determined until a couple of years before Season 6, Episode 8’s showdown added insult to injury. Show creator Bruno Heller revealed the fact that the show ran for about four seasons before Red John was cemented in stone during Entertainment Weekly Interview published shortly after the episode aired. “Actually, it just happened. It seemed like the natural right choice,” he explained to the publication, later clarifying that “ideally you want it to be Sean Connery with horns and a tail in a cave, but that guy doesn’t exist. .”