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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.

Biography

Early life

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.

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Season 1
Adrian Bale | Bruno Hawks | Clara Hayes | Cory Bridges | David Walker | Donald Curtis | Eddie Mays | Edward Hill | Hassan Nadir | Jackson Cally & His Tribe | Jacob Dawes | L.D.S.K. | Maggie Lowe | Mark Gregory | Mary Mays | Pablo Vargas | Richard Slessman | Ted Bryar | The Fisher King | The Footpath Killer | The Fox | The Keystone Killer | The Seattle Strangler | The Tommy Killer | The Vigilante | Vincent Perotta | Vincent Shyer | Will Sykes


Season 2
Amber Canardo | Carl Buford | Charles Holcombe | Frank Breitkopf | Jamal Abaza | Jeffrey Charles | Kenneth Roberts | Lyov Lysowksy | Marcus Younger | Michael Earlson | Paul and Johnny Mulford | Ronald Weems | Roy Woodridge | Sarah Danlin | Terrance Wakeland | The Fisher King | The Hollow Man | The Mill Creek Killer | The Stripping Bandit | Tobias Hankel | Tony Canardo | Vincent Stiles | William Lee


Season 3
23rd Street Killers | Anna Begley | Brian Matloff | Charlie Wilkinson | Chester Hardwick | Francis Goehring | Gary and Ervin Robles | Glen Hill | Henry Frost | Jason Clark Battle | Jeremy Andrus | Joe Smith | Lucky | Mike Hicks | Owen Savage | Peter Redding | Richard Jacobs | Ryan Phillips | Stanley Howard | Steven Fitzgerald | Susan Jacobs | The Campus Killer | The Have-You-Seen-Me Murderer | True Night


Season 4
Adam Jackson | Animal | Armando Ruis Salinas | Ben Abner | Benjamin Cyrus | Chad Brown | Chloe Kelcher | Claire Bates | Danny Murphy | Eric Ryan Olson | Floyd Hansen | Gary Michaels | Henry Grace | Hugh Rollins | Ian Coakley | Leo Kane | Lucas Turner | Mason Turner | Megan Kane | New York Terrorist Cell | Paul Silvano | Robert Parker | Roderick Gless | Romani Family | Sam | Separatarian Sect | Steven Baleman | The Angel Maker | The Reaper | The Road Warrior | Tommy Wheeler | Vincent Rowlings | William Harris


Season 5
Anita Roycewood | Arthur Malcolm | Bill Hodges | Boyd Schuller | Connor O'Brien | Dale Schrader | Darrin Call | Earl Bulford | Gina King | Joe Belser | John Vincent Bell | Miranda Dracar | Owen Porter | Patrick Meyers | Prince of Darkness | Ray Campion | Robert Burke | Robert Johnson | Ronald Boyd | Samantha Malcolm | The Fox | The Hollow Creek Killer | The Reaper | The Reimanns | Tony Mecacci | Turner's Group | Wade Hatchett | William O'Brien | Will Summers


Season 6
Ben Foster | Bill Thomas | Blake Wells | Brandon Stiles | Drew Jacobs | Greg Phinney | Hollis Walker Jr. | Ian Doyle | James Barrett | James Stanworth | James Thomas | Jane Gould | Jeremy Sayer | Kaman Scott | Lucy (Criminal Minds) | Michael Kosina | Prince of Darkness | Ray Donovan | Rhett Walden | Robert Bremmer | Shane Wyland | Shelley Chamberlain | Steve | Sydney Manning | The Butcher


Season 7
Bill Rogers | Caleb Rossmore | Chase Whitaker | Chloe Donaghy | Chris Shelton | Clark Preston | Colonel Ron Massey | Curtis Banks | Ben Bradstone | Donald and Linda Collins | Dylan Kohler | George Kelling | Harvey Morell | Herman Scobie | Ian Doyle | Izzy Rogers | James Heathridge | J.B. Allen | Jeffrey Collins | Jimmy Hall | Lachlan McDermott | Lieutenant Tawes | Luke Dolan | Malcolm Ford | Margaret Hallman | Matthew Downs | Mike Janeczko | Randy Slade | Robert Adams | Rodney Garrett | The Face Cards | The Piano Man | The Womb Raider | Travis James | Trevor Mills


Season 8
Adam Rain | Arthur Rykov | Bryan Hughes | Carl Buford | Carl Finster | Chad Mills | David Roy Turner | Diane Turner | Donnie Bidwell | Ellen Russell | Emma Kerrigan | Jason Nelson | John Nelson | Jonathan Ray Covey | Larry Feretich | Mark Jackson | Matt and Josh Moore | Paul Westin | Peter Harper | Phillip Connor | Raoul Whalen | Rodney Harris | Sera Morrison | Darlene Beckett | Tess Mynock | The Replicator | The Silencer | Toby Whitewood | Tory Chapman | Willie Kestler


Season 9
Alan and Judith Anderson | Anton Harris | Carla Hines | Charles Johnson | Clifford Walsh | Colin Bramwell Daniel Milworth | Daria Samsen | David Wade Cunningham | Eddie Lee Wilcox | Eric Carcani | Ian Little | Jesse Gentry | Joe Bachner | John Nichols | Justin Mills | Leland Duncan | Mecklinburg Rapists | Nicole Jones | Owen McGregor | Owen McGregor's Partners | Ronald Underwood | Sheila Harrison | Sue Walsh | Tanner Johnson | The Doctor | Wallace Hines | Wayne Gulino | William Harding | Woodsman Killer


Season 10
Alex Zorgen | Allen Archer | Andrew Ford | Benton Farland | Brian Stiller | Chad Griffith | Claire Dunbar | Colin Dupley | Dale Shavers | Danny Stokes | Dinah Troy | Don Black | Donna Mangold | Donnie Mallick | Ellen Connell | Frank Cosgrove | Hayman Vasher | Jack Westbrook | James Burke | Jerry Tidwell | John David Bidwell | Jon Kanak | Justin Leu | Kyle Zorgen | Leo Jenkins | Marc Clifford | Miles Hendrick | Mr. Scratch | Patrick Butler | Patrick Jon Murphy | Peter Folkmore | Randall Jefferson Jones | Steven Parkett | The Mirror Man | Weeks


Season 11
Al Eisenmund | Andrew Meeks | Antonia Slade | Betty Wilson | Brian Cochran | Chazz Montolo | Claude Barlow | Dana Seavers | Eric Rawdon | Flora Martin | Giuseppe Montolo | Jacob DuFour | John Bradley | Johnson | Joseph Berzon | Lester Turner | Matthew Franks | Michael Thompson | Michael Peterson | Cat Adams | Mitchell Crossford | Mr. Scratch | Patrick Sorenson | Randy Jacobs | Robert Boles | Sam Burnett | Skull Tattoo Man | The Beantown Beheader | The Bomber | The Chemist | The Sniper | Tommy Larson | William Cochran | William Duke Mason | William Taylor


Season 12
Alan Crawford | Ben Davis | Bryce Jarvis | Cormac Burton | John David Bates | John Malone | Jonathan Rhodes | Kevin Decker | Kyle Ecklund | Lindsey Vaughn | Lionel Wilkins | Mark Tolson | Miss .45 | Mr. Scratch | Sara McLean | Stuart Barker | The Bone Crusher | The Crimson King | The Day/Night Killer | The Henson Twins | The Womb Raider | Zeke's Gang


Season 13
Asclepius | Caleb Sands | Cheryl Kaline | Desi Gutierrez | Gabriel Merza | Irene Jacobs | Jake Logan | Jess Carney | Josh Martin | Josh's Partners | Justin Franco | Kevin Peck | Kevon Winters | Lawrence Coleman | Lucky | Marcus Manning | Mark Henshaw | Mary Meadows | Melissa Miller | Michelle Gorman | Mr. Scratch | Mr. X | Sal Capilano | The Believers | The Central Park Ripper | The Messiah | The Neon Terror | Tony Capilano | William Lynch


Season 14
Arthur Brodie | Casey Allen Pinkner | Douglas Knight | Dustin Eisworth | Edward Addison | Eduardo Ramos | Elgin Family | Emmanuel Rask | Grace Lynch | Jacob Wallace | James and Marcus Wells | Jeremy Grant | Jordan Halloran | Mary Meadows | Roberta Lynch | Stephanie Carter | The Believers | The Chameleon | The Messiah | The Tall Man | Varnville Unsub | Wayne Hollis


Season 15
Beaumont Unsub | George Kyle Peters | Grace Lynch | Hayes Cullinan | Juliette Weaver | Louie's Gang | Louis Chaycon | Miss .45 | Sebastian Hurst | Shelby Mattson | The Chameleon


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