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Oh, all the girls say that. "Please don't kill me, I'll do whatever you want." Pretty soon, you'll beg for your life. And, little secret? Towards the end, you'll cry for your mama.
~ Yates taunting Nadia DeCotis before killing her.

Dr. Gregory "Greg" Williams Yates is the main antagonist in several episodes of Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He was loosely based upon the late serial killer Ted Bundy.

He was portrayed by Dallas Roberts.



Yates was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Michael and Susan Williams. At a young age, he exhibited disturbing behavior, such as killing animals and setting the basement of his home on fire. When his mother became pregnant with his sister Nellie, his parents decided to give Yates away for adoption to protect the baby. His father personally drove him to North Carolina, where he was adopted by another family and raised under the surname of Yates. Yates believed that his mother had abandoned him, and grew up to hate her and all other women.

He attended medical school at Duke University, where he met freshman Susie Frain and they started dating. The couple also got acquainted with fellow medical student Carl Rudnick and his then-girlfriend Lena Grunwald. They all graduated together and Yates became a surgeon. Yates and Susie later made plans to move to New York after Yates accepted a job as a professor at Columbia University.

Before Yates left, he kidnapped, raped and murdered a pregnant woman named Gillian Hale. He then took advantage of the move to discreetly transport her body and bury her in a forest near a beach in New York City. While in New York, he also acquired a residency at Presbyterian Hospital and Rudnick became an attending surgeon.

Yates also continued to rape and murder women while disposing them in his burial ground. He eventually raped and murdered two nurses (crimes that were investigated by Detectives Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson at the time).

What connected both of the victims was that Yates painted their nails green and, after killing them, burned their bodies instead of burying them, to eliminate any forensic evidence left behind.

Yates later kidnapped, raped and murdered another nurse named Debra McCulloch, but unlike the other two, he buried her along with his other victims on the beach. Afterwards, he moved around, raping and killing women wherever he went, bringing the bodies to New York to bury them.

Crimes in Chicago

Yates eventually got a job in Chicago with MedCare and restarted his rape/murder spree by targeting a nurse named Victoria Lewyn.

In the Chicago Fire episode "We Called Her Jellybean," he rapes and beats Victoria, paints her nails green and sets her house on fire, killing her.

In the Chicago P.D. episode "The Number of Rats," Officers Kim Burgess and Sean Roman catch Yates fleeing the scene of the fire in his car and take him into custody, saying that the car he is driving was involved in a hit-and-run accident.

Yates is cooperative with Detectives Erin Lindsay and Nick Amaro, giving them all of his information as they talk about his work records. All the while, he has his eye on Lindsay. When the detectives start showing photos of the victims to Yates, he becomes suspicious and denies that he knows them.

Yates then leaves after he asks if he is under arrest and they say no. He greets secretary Nadia Decotis on the way out. Yates then calls Lindsay and asks to meet her at a park, which she agrees to do. Before the meeting, he rapes and kills another woman.

Afterwards, Yates sets up a remote incendiary device to be triggered while they are talking, in order to set up an alibi for himself and goes to meet Lindsay. He approaches her and insists that they walk and talk, which Lindsay reluctantly agrees to do. Yates begins talking about the revolution in Egypt and brings up the law of unintended consequences, which Lindsay interprets as a veiled threat; she retaliates by asking Yates if she reminds him of his mother, which rattles him. He then leaves Lindsay as they get the call about the newest victim.

After leading them on a wild goose chase, Yates approaches Nadia as she is getting a cake for Lindsay's birthday. He greets her again and then knocks her unconscious with a tire iron and forces her into the back of Lindsay's car (which Nadia had been borrowing).

First Spree and Trial

In the Law & Order: SVU episode "Daydream Believer," Yates drives Nadia to New York City, wrapping her in green plastic and swapping the car's license plates at a rest stop in Elkhart, Indiana. As he drives, he taunts Nadia by singing along to the radio on the road at full volume. Yates stops at a gas station in Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania, and buys supplies and more green nail polish. Upon leaving the store, he is approached by a trucker who tells him he saw something moving around in the backseat, unaware that it is Nadia. Yates jokes that he kidnapped a girl who is resisting violently, then claims that it is his dog. Once the man walks away, he gets into the car, unwraps Nadia, and threatens to knock her out again if she continues resisting.

When Nadia begs Yates to let her go and promises not to tell anyone that he was responsible, Yates replies that she missed her chance at doing that and tells her about the trucker, claiming he is still nearby. Nadia promptly screams, but Yates cranks the radio volume up again and tauntingly tells her that she should tell him something about herself as they have a long drive ahead of them.

Later on, as Yates makes another stop in Plainfield, New Jersey, he tells Nadia that they will arrive at New York soon. Nadia tells him that she will not cave in to him and that Sergeant Hank Voight will make him regret killing her before spitting in his face, but Yates is not deterred. When they arrive at New York, he forces Nadia to change cars while she leaves her scarf in the old car. He then rapes, tortures and murders her. He buries her in his burial ground.

Afterwards, Yates charms his way into an apartment where he rapes a pair of roommates and bludgeons both of them, killing one and putting the other in a coma. Yates is then tracked down to Susie's house, sometime after he proposed to her. As he is arrested, Voight demands to know where Nadia is, but Yates denies knowing what he is talking about.

During the interrogation, he claims that he visited the Chicago precinct but found only Nadia, who offered to give him a ride to New York. He then frustrates Detective Jay Halstead by claiming Nadia looked up to him and wanted to escape. He then briefly hints at what he did to Nadia, wording his statements as rhetorical guesses and subtly taunting Voight.

With Susie's unknowing help, they eventually find his burial ground, find Nadia's body and charge Yates for the rape, sodomy, and murder in the first degree.

With the judge's approval, Yates represents himself with his attorney, Sofia Crane, as his co-counsel during the trial. He puts on a defense to create reasonable doubt through Nadia's past as a drug-addicted prostitute as well as previous suspicion on another suspect, Halstead's brother Will, and his claims that the Chicago Police Department was abusing her. However, during his testimony, he begins to visibly revel in his manipulation of the court and go off-topic in his responses to questions.

Realizing that Yates is getting off on hearing about the injuries he inflicted upon his victims, A.D.A. Rafael Barba decides to trick him into revealing his true nature to the jury by showing him the autopsy photos of Nadia during the trial. Yates takes the bait, and asks Medical Examiner Melinda Warner to detail the full extent of the injuries that Nadia suffered while relishing the descriptions of her pain and suffering. By the time he realizes that he has been tricked, it is too late; the jury has seen him for who and what he is. Yates is subsequently convicted of all charges and sentenced to life in prison without parole at Green Haven Correctional Facility. Before Yates is taken to prison, Voight puts him in a chokehold, saying he could easily snap his neck; he lets Yates go, saying that he will get what he deserves sooner or later.


In the SVU episode "Devil's Dissections," SVU detective Amanda Rollins questions Yates in prison after a body washes up where Yates had buried his victims. Rollins accuses Yates of killing this new victim; Yates implies someone else is responsible, but won't elaborate. He asks Rollins to wait for a while and come back when he is ready to share, and she leaves.

Yates then calls Rollins twice to set up a meeting and she agrees, but is forced to bring Detective Fin Tutuola with her, which Yates isn't happy about. Yates then describes an incident in 2002 in which he was called to a townhouse by another doctor to treat his wounds and he suspected that he killed someone. He gives them the address while withholding the doctor's name.

When the SVU detectives discovers a body buried in the townhouse, Yates claims to know who she is and who killed her, but will only talk if they grant him conjugal visits with Susie. Barba reluctantly agrees, and after one such visit, Yates reveals that the woman is Lena, and Rudnick killed her. Benson and Rollins don't believe him and leave in disgust, thinking Yates was lying to them. When Yates hears that Rudnick is a medical examiner, he asks if Rudnick autopsied any of his victims. When they confirm it, Yates theorizes that such an act would be a trigger and would cause him to kill again. He then tells them to check the body that washed ashore again, as he is positive the killer cut the victim up while she was still alive.

When SVU starts to seriously consider Rudnick as a suspect, they ask Susie to find a photo of Rudnick posing as Lena to prove their theory. Susie eventually finds the photo, but she decides to use the photo to blackmail Rudnick into setting him free, against Yates' wishes. This backfires when Rudnick kills Susie. When he doesn't get a call from Susie as he expected, Yates starts to get concerned.

When Rollins calls Yates to inform him about Susie's disappearance, he shares his concerns and asks if Rudnick is still imprisoned. When she informs him he made bail, Yates realizes what happened. The police eventually finds Susie's dismembered body washed ashore and Rollins notifies him of her death. He then asks them to examine her body and to test to see if she was pregnant.

In the SVU episode "Criminal Pathology," Rudnick is arrested for three murders. Barba sends Rollins to talk to Yates for more information they can use at the trial. He tells Rollins that Susie went to Rudnick to blackmail him for his freedom in exchange for hiding the photo. Yates speculates that Susie wanted him out so they could raise their baby together, stating that he knew she was pregnant even though she didn't tell him about it. He also implies that Rollins might be pregnant herself.

After Rudnick is convicted of his crimes, Yates expresses his disappointment. He subtly confesses that after Rudnick killed Lena and called him over to have wounds inflicted on him treated, he gave Rudnick advice on how to better control his future victims and helped hide the body. At the end of the episode, Yates catches up with Rudnick in the prison cafeteria.

Escape From Prison

During his imprisonment, Yates pays a corrupt guard to smuggle disposable cell phones to him so he can do research on his birth family. When he discovers the location of his family and learns of an escape plan devised by Rudnick and prison employee Bronwyn Freed-Wilkins, Yates implicitly confesses that several remains found at his primary disposal site in New York belonged to runaways from Chicago.

In the SVU episode "Nationwide Manhunt," Detectives Lindsay and Antonio Dawson are sent from Chicago to New York to interrogate Yates, but Yates refuses to cooperate unless he can speak with Rollins. When Yates is able to speak with Rollins, he offers to share more details under the condition that he is transferred to the prison's honor block, which is reluctantly accepted.

When Barba, Lieutenant Olivia Benson, and Sergeant Mike Dodds arrive at Green Haven to visit Yates, drones suddenly appear at the prison, causing a small riot among the prisoners. At the same time, Rudnick finishes creating a hole in the wall of his cell with the tools he got from Bronwyn and takes Yates with him.

They both crawl through a pipe leading out of the prison and kill two electrical workers who assisted Rudnick, and Yates leaves behind a taunting note written in green nail polish for the SVU team to find. The two then rendezvous with Bronwyn, who drives them over to her house and provides them with weapons. Afterwards, Yates gags her, stuffs her in the trunk of her car and tells Rudnick to kill her, but Rudnick allows her to escape.

Yates and Rudnick make their way to Gloversville, New York, where they hide out in an abandoned house. They are found by a state trooper, but Yates rapes and murders her. He then attacks Rudnick and leaves him to die, but Rudnick is rescued by the SVU squad.

Meanwhile, Yates murders another state trooper and uses his body to lure in Lindsay and Dodds, shooting at them with the trooper's stolen gun and wounding Dodds. He then flees to a cabin, where he carjacks a man, kills him and leaves a taunting note for Lindsay, telling her he will be seeing her back home.

Final Showdown and Death

In the Chicago P.D. episode "The Song of Gregory Williams Yates," Yates returns to Chicago to find his sister, Nellie Carr. During this time, he uses the spyware on Lindsay's phone to keep tabs on the investigation. Yates arrives at an apartment complex, finds the apartment his sister owns and knocks on the door. He charms his way into the apartment and brutally murders all four of Nellie's roommates, who are nurses.

When he doesn't find Nellie, Yates goes to her workplace and asks a couple of students where she is. They inform him she is covering class and is headed to the parking lot. While he waits, he calls Lindsay by spoofing her mother's phone number, but she ignores it.

When Yates finally finds Nellie, he kidnaps her, leaving another note taunting Lindsay and revealing that he knew she was at the station. He starts interrogating Nellie about her past and keeps mentioning how everyone needs a home. He starts handing the stuff he stole from his victims off to homeless people to throw the police off his trail, and pays one of them to deliver a box to the station, containing one of his victims' hands holding another note.

Yates then breaks into Lindsay's apartment, bringing Nellie with him. He checks on Lindsay through the spyware and monitors her when she opens the box. As soon as Lindsay reads the note, he calls her again, spoofing her mother's number, and FaceTimes her. Yates shows Lindsay that Nellie is still alive and continues taunting her. Lindsay tries to get Yates to confess to murdering the four nurses, but he refuses and hangs up on her. Yates then locks Nellie in a closet and threatens to kill her if she tries to escape.

Later on, Yates locates his biological father, Michael, and kidnaps him. Using Nellie's phone, he calls his mother's cell phone. When Lindsay and Nellie answer the phone, Lindsay tells Sergeant Platt to take Nellie somewhere safe. Lindsay turns the tables on Yates and starts taunting him with the fact that she reminds him of his mother. He informs her that her team is on their way to the wrong location, which he pointed them to. As one of Lindsay's colleagues triangulates his location, Yates invites Lindsay to come over and promises to talk to her when she gets there, but threatens to kill Michael unless she comes on her own.

When Lindsay arrives, Yates has his father tied to a chair, perched over an edge with a noose tied around his neck. When Lindsay tries to call for help, Yates forces her to hang up and surrender her weapon. He then instructs her to sit down, gives her a full confession of all his crimes, and begins taunting her about Nadia's murder. After Yates is done, he pushes Michael over the edge, hanging him. He then grabs an ice pick and starts moving toward Lindsay, taunting her that she will be the one to kill him. Lindsay warns him to stay back, but Yates keeps edging closer and closer, declaring that she will be the one to tell his story and repeatedly daring her to kill him. Finally, Lindsay is forced to shoot him in self-defense, killing him.



  • Unknown dates
  • (Durham, North Carolina: Gillian Hale (raped and snapped her neck; buried her body in New York; was pregnant at the time of her death)

New York

  • Stottville: Jess Crye (raped and bludgeoned; buried her body in New York)
  • Syosset: Unnamed student (raped and bludgeoned; buried her body in New York)
  • New Jersey: Allison (raped and bludgeoned; buried her body in New York)
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: Stella Quinn (raped and bludgeoned; buried her body in New York)

Chicago, Illinois

  • Siobhan Kennedy (raped and killed by unknown causes; buried her body in New York)
  • Lisa and Rebecca (both raped and killed by unknown causes; buried their bodies in New York)
  • Unnamed woman (raped and killed by unknown causes; buried her body in New York)

2004, New York

  • Alice Whitlock (raped, bludgeoned, and set on fire post-mortem)
  • Lisa Hoffman (raped, bludgeoned, and set on fire post-mortem in her car)
  • Debra McCulloch (raped, killed by unknown causes, and buried her body)

2015 (Chicago, Illinois)

  • Unknown date: Charlotte Reegen (intended)
  • April 9: Victoria Lewyn (raped, beaten, fractured her skull, and set on fire; later died in the hospital)
  • April 12: Unnamed woman (raped, beaten, and set on fire) and Nadia Decotis (abducted in Chicago and taken to New York; raped, tortured, bludgeoned and strangled to death)

April 13, New York City, New York: The apartment assaults:

  • Renee Walden (raped and bludgeoned)
  • Nila Green (assaulted; was raped and bludgeoned, subsequently being left in a coma)


  • February 6, New York City, New York
  • Two unnamed electrical workers (killed together with Rudnick; necks snapped)
  • February 7, Gloversville, New York:
  • Unnamed female state trooper (raped and bludgeoned)
  • M.E. Carl Rudnick (assaulted; broke his knees and ankles, stabbed his eardrum and left him to die; was rescued by authorities)

The roadside shooting

  • Unnamed male state trooper (shot in the head)
  • Sergeant Mike Dodds (assaulted; was non-fatally shot)
  • Detective Erin Lindsay (assaulted; shot at, but missed)
  • Unnamed man (shot in the head and carjacked)
  • February 7–8
  • Pennsylvania: Unnamed motorist (assaulted and carjacked)
  • Ohio: Unnamed motorist (assaulted and carjacked)
  • Indiana: Unnamed motorist (assaulted and carjacked)
  • February 8, Chicago, Illinois

(The apartment massacre)

  • Kindra Komerda (bashed her head on the floor repeatedly)
  • Carla Gorniewicz (slammed against the wall repeatedly)
  • Adrienne Lewis (bludgeoned and cut off her hand post-mortem)
  • Sam Inniss (bludgeoned; died at the hospital)
  • Penelope "Nellie" Carr (his sister; kidnapped; was rescued)
  • Michael Williams (his father; assaulted, kidnapped, and hanged)


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Dr. Greg Yates |