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|“||If you shoot me, you save her, but then I can't tell you where I buried all those other girls over the years. But if you don't shoot me, I'm gonna kill her.||„|
|~ Thomas Yates holding a hostage.|
Thomas Yates is a recurring antagonist in Criminal Minds. He is a misogynistic serial killer who murders women and mutilates them post-mortem. He is the nemesis of FBI profiler David Rossi.
He was portrayed by Adam Nelson.
Yates is the product of the rape of his mother Georgina, who died giving birth to him. He was raised in Seattle, Washington by his grandmother Trudy, a cruel woman who blamed him for Georgina's death and beat him mercilessly throughout his childhood. He was expelled from two schools for starting fires, and committed his first murder at the age of 15, stabbing the school bully to death. He served three years in juvenile detention, and another seven in prison.
As an adult, he drifted around the country as a day laborer, working a series of menial jobs. He also began murdering women to release his long-repressed rage toward his grandmother, with his signature touch was to tear out their wombs, a response to Trudy's repeated insult that he should never have been born. He targets both women in high-risk lifestyles, such as prostitutes, and low-risk ones, such as housewives.
His murders are investigated by FBI criminal profiler David Rossi, with whom he becomes obsessed. After Yates is arrested, Rossi recounts his history to a class of criminology students.
In "Profiling 101"
In 2009, Yates returns to Seattle after Trudy is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, and puts her in hospice care. He also starts killing again after a four-year hiatus, murdering a prostitute named Rochelle Jenkins. Rossi, now the head of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), recognizes his signature and reopens the investigation.
Yates kidnaps soccer mom Grace Powell from the same building where he had killed one of his first victims 17 years earlier. BAU technical analyst Penelope Garcia researches criminal records in the area, and finds the police report of Georgina's rape. From there, she learns of Yates' abuse history and arrest record, and Rossi becomes convinced that he is the killer. The BAU interviews Trudy and finds Yates' address, where they arrest him in the act of torturing Powell.
The BAU interrogates Yates for two weeks, but he refuses to break. He is nevertheless convicted of multiple murders and sentenced to death. He calls Rossi from prison and offers to identify his victims and give him their locations, in return for getting his sentence commuted to life imprisonment and being transferred to another facility. He gives Rossi the names of 40 victims as a sign of good faith, as he claims to have killed 101. He has other conditions, as well, as he will only give Rossi, and only Rossi, one name a year on Rossi's birthday. Rossi reluctantly agrees in order to give the victims' families closure. On his birthday in 2011, Rossi meets with Yates, who gives him a victim's name and mockingly sings "Happy Birthday" as Rossi leaves.