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Lindsey in "Spencer" and "Unforgettable"

Lindsey Vaughn (real name unknown) is a prolific, international, and psychopathic serial killer, hitwoman, proxy killer, stalker, gangster, one-time copycat, one-time cop killer, one-time abductor, and one-time arsonist.

She first appears in the Season Three episode "3rd Life", where she was abducted by Ryan's Gang and was saved by her father Jack Vaughn, a former hitman. She later reappears in Season Twelve as a member of Cat's gang, who plotted out a vendetta against Spencer Reid.


Lindsey was born on April 13, 1990. Her father Jack was a hitman for apparently all of her childhood. He served with the McCrellan Corporation, a predominantly Irish mob in Boston. Eventually, Jack decided to turn against the "corporation" and testify against them when they went on trial for their criminal activities. The family subsequently went into the witness protection program for ten years, under the protection of U.S. Marshal Pat Mannan. Her mother was later killed in a car crash intended to kill Jack. The two were finally placed in Chula Vista, California, where Lindsey met and befriended another girl named Katie Owen. Considering that she was in witness protection and her entire background was taken out of a book, it is extremely likely that Lindsey Vaughn isn't even her real name.

Season Three

3rd Life

Lindsey in 3rd Life.

Lindsey with Jack, right before he murders Ryan.

"What you do to me will be nothing compared to what my dad will do to you."

One night, Lindsey and Katie went to watch a movie at the theater. Afterwards, they were approached by three males led by former high school student Ryan Phillips, who Katie had a crush on. They offered them a ride home, which Katie accepted, and a reluctant Lindsey was forced to tag along. Instead, the trio took them to an abandoned house on the outskirts of town, where they sadistically raped and tortured Katie for hours while Lindsey watched. Eventually, Ryan strangled Katie to death with a belt the next day. The unexpected murder caused one of his accomplices to panic and try to report Ryan, but Ryan stabbed him to death before he could do so. Ryan and his remaining accomplice then dumped Katie's body and took Lindsey to the closed Mayford High School. Lindsey was also presumably raped during this time. Ryan later sends Taylor to his father's home to retrieve a Remington 870 shotgun.

However, when Taylor does not return, having been hospitalized by Jack, who has discovered the identity of her abductors, Ryan begins advancing on Lindsey, intent on raping her. At that moment, Jack arrives and attacks Ryan with the shotgun, incapacitating him and freeing Lindsey. Jack then holds Ryan at gunpoint, with Lindsey yelling at her father to kill him, saying that Ryan killed Katie. Reid then arrives at the scene and tries to talk Jack down, saying, "Jack, your life has been about violence, and, if you do this, Lindsey's will be, too. Do you want that? When does it end, Jack?" After listening to the agent, Jack agrees that he needs to make changes in his life for the sake of Lindsey. However, when asked "When is the violence going to end?", he replies, "Tomorrow." Then, he pulls the trigger, killing Ryan. Because he is an important witness against the McCrellan Corporation, Jack is exonerated for his crimes. He and Lindsey are sent to Atlanta, Georgia, to start over. There, they meet a pair of neighbors, a father and his daughter. Both the men and the girls shake hands, and Lindsey introduces herself as "Katie".

Season Twelve


Lindsey during the events of Spencer, as remembered in Unforgettable.

In 2016, Lindsey started stalking Reid for months and thus learned about his trips to Mexico between November 2016 and January 2017. As a result, she follows him back to Mexico, tracks him down to a local motel room, and attacks him and a doctor he has been constantly visiting, Nadie Ramos. Lindsey subdues Reid and then drugs him with what appears to be the powerful dissociative agent scopolamine. As a result, she is able to convince the suggestible Reid to stab Nadie to death. Then, she plants drugs in his car and convinces Reid to chase her to the desert. There, they are intercepted by Mexican police, who shoot out Reid's tires and disable his vehicle while Lindsey manages to escape.

Because she manages to escape, apparently undetected, the police arrest Reid for drug possession after they find the stash Lindsey planted in the trunk. When the BAU get wind of this, they go to Mexico to assist the investigation, and eventually bring in Clara Seger and Matthew Simmons for further assistance. Soon afterwards, they find Nadie's body in the motel room, and the Mexican officers quickly cast suspicion on Reid, though the BAU believe in his innocence and assume it was the work of Peter Lewis, an escaped serial killer by proxy who is known to antagonize the BAU. Reid is nearly transferred to a maximum-security Mexican prison for Nadie's murder, but it is stopped when it is revealed that Nadie has dual American-Mexican citizenship. As a result, he is extradited back to the U.S. However, the federal government refuses to provide legal assistance for Reid, because he was never in Mexico for official government business.

Collision Course

Once Reid returns to the U.S., Prentiss hires a lawyer, Fiona Duncan, for him. The prosecutor offers a deal in which Reid pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter in exchange for a sentence of two to five years in prison. After Reid turns down the offer, the knife used to kill Nadie is found in the Mexican desert, leading to another plea bargain of five to ten years in prison. Reid turns down this offer too, and later, he is denied bail by a judge, despite Fiona's best efforts. As a result, Reid is sent to Millburn Correctional Facility in the next episode, and spends the next few episodes imprisoned there.

True North

Lewis gets an opportunity to visit Reid and act as his personal psychiatrist, since she has a Ph.D. Lewis gives Reid a cognitive interview; it is during that interview when Reid reveals he stabbed Nadie to death. However, she later tells Prentiss that she believes he manufactured the memory in a desperate attempt to find an answer behind his circumstances. She resumes the interview on the next day, and Reid seems to remember the murder a little more clearly, recalling someone spraying a fine mist in his face during the attack in the motel; this matched Peter's M.O. However, when Lewis presses further, Reid remembers that the person who was with him and Nadie in the motel was not Peter, but a woman (though he does not place Lindsey's exact identity just yet).


At some point, Lindsey kills Cassie Campbell and replaces her as the caretaker of Reid's mother Diana, with Diana unaware of what had happened due to her Alzheimer's. She physically reappears at the end of the episode when she comes to the prison at the visitor's area where Reid and Diana are. She tells Diana it is time to go. Distinctly remembering the sound of her voice, Reid turns around and asks her if they met, but she replies that they haven't and introduces herself as Carol Atkinson. When Lindsey extends her arm to shake Reid's hand, Officer Butler tells her that there is no physical contact. Then, Reid remembers Lindsey from ten years ago. Reid tells Lindsey her real name, but she denies it and tells him her alias name. Afterwards, Lindsey takes Diana and tells her that it is time to go. Suddenly, Reid remembers that the woman who framed him said the same thing and realizes that Lindsey is that woman. Before Reid can stop her, Butler shuts the door in front of him as Reid yells out to him and to his mother.

Green Light (Part 1)

Immediately after Diana's visit, Lindsey manages to abduct her. In the episode, her post-abduction life is revealed. Five years after the events of 3rd Life, Lindsey left the witness protection program while Jack remained to testify against the McCrellan Corporation, which was apparently dismantled as a result. While Jack wanted to enjoy living a quiet life, Lindsey didn't. Instead, she intended to follow in her father's footsteps and thus became a hitwoman, working with a number of drug cartels operating along the U.S.-Mexico border, and claiming at least fifteen victims. In all of her hits, she used the same weapon Jack once used during his days as a hitman. In 2016 or 2017, Lindsey somehow got into contact with Cat Adams, another hitwoman who had been manipulated into surrendering by Reid and subsequently imprisoned. The two put together a plan to frame Reid, apparently as retribution for his involvement in both of their lives. They found out about Peter Lewis and his connection with the BAU, and decided to use his M.O. for the plan as a temporary red herring.

Red Light (Part 2)

While on the search for Lindsey and Diana, the BAU discover that Lindsey gave some hints of her personal life to a gun vendor, such as her romantic involvement with a woman. The BAU then realize, through the vendor's dialogue, that this woman is Cat. While she framed Reid under Cat's orders, she abducted Diana out of jealousy, knowing that Cat is still fixated on Reid following her arrest. Though she puts on a blonde wig, Lindsey's cover is almost blown when a man at a gas station sees an Amber Alert of her as a child abductor and recognizes her. As a result, Lindsey kills him, burns her car and the man's corpse, and steals the man's truck with Diana in tow.

Lindsey with blonde hair.

It is eventually revealed that Cat and Lindsey has another partner, Officer Lionel Wilkins, who is a guard at Millburn Correctional Facility, the prison where Reid was incarcerated at. Cat manipulated and seduced both, though both were oblivious to the other's relationship with Cat. Lindsey eventually brings Diana to Wilkins' cabin, where she kills him, rigs the house with bombs as a trap for the BAU, and patiently waits for Cat's call. While waiting, Prentiss reveals a recorded conversation Cat has with Reid. There, he reveals that he knows Cat is lying about him indirectly fathering her baby, and that Wilkins was the real father, which shocks Lindsey. With this as proof that Cat is more interested in playing a game with Reid than being faithful to Lindsey, Prentiss convinces her to surrender. She is arrested and presumably incarcerated alongside Cat.

Modus Operandi

As a hitwoman, Lindsey's murders were all committed with the same handgun her father Jack used, a .50-caliber IMI Desert Eagle handgun, though she used hollow-point bullets instead of the regular brand. The victims, all of them living along the Texas-Mexico border, were shot in the back of the head execution-style. However, during her and Cat's campaign to frame Reid for murder, Lindsey started shooting her victims while they were facing her.

Two of her murders were committed through the use of proxies. During the murder of Ryan Phillips, she convinced Jack to shoot him to death with a shotgun. When she orchestrated the murder of Nadie Ramos, she drugged Reid with what appeared to be scopolamine and forced him to stab Nadie to death with a knife. She then pinned Nadie's murder on Reid by stashing drugs away in the trunk of his vehicle, then luring him out to the desert to be found by Mexican police.


No official profile of Lindsey was made by the BAU, though Reid stated that she followed in her father's footsteps because of their complicated relationship and because she was a "daddy's girl".

Real-Life Comparison

Lindsey as a hitwoman appears to be based on Freddie Scappaticci - both are serial contract killers under freelance work having spent time in witness protection.

Known Victims

Personal Victims

  • At least twelve victims killed during her time as a hitwoman. They are:
    • 2012:
      • March 10, Reyonsa, Mexico: Cisco Rivera (a cartel runner)
      • May 17, Carmargo, Mexico: Maria Diaz (was set to testify in a federal trial)
    • 2013:
      • April 5, Los Aldamas, Mexico: Hector Martinez (a cartel hitman)
      • June 12, Agualeguas, Mexico: Manuael Valdez (a cartel money launderer)
      • September 30, Roma, Texas, U.S.: John Williams (a suspected drug dealer)
    • 2014:
      • May 5, Endinburg, Texas, U.S.: Melanie Clark (a suspected cartel informant)
      • August 10, Valle Hermoso, Mexico: Jorge Munoz (a cartel trafficker)
      • October 1, Rio Bravo, Mexico: Geraldo Garcia (a cartel lieutenant)
    • 2015:
      • January 22, China, Mexico: Tomas Alvarez (a cartel lieutenant)
      • July 2, Guerrero, Mexico: Sofia Ramos (a cartel hitwoman)
    • 2016:
      • March 17, Zapata, Texas, U.S.: Robert Duncan (a cartel runner)
      • November 13, Elsa, Texas, U.S.: Sam Jones (a suspected drug trafficker)
  • October 2016(?)-February 2017, various locations in the U.S.: Spencer Reid (stalked only)
  • 2017:
    • February 10, Los Indios, Texas, U.S.: David Hill (a drug mule)
    • February 13, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico: Victor Flores (shot; killed for his truck)
    • February 14, Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico: Spencer Reid (assaulted, drugged, and forced him to kill Nadie Ramos; based on Peter Lewis)
    • February 16, Harlington, Texas, U.S.: Victor Jimenez (a suspected drug dealer)
    • February 18, Port Mainsfield, Texas, U.S.: Alonzo Lopez (a drug trafficker)
    • April 15, Washington, D.C., U.S.:
      • Cassie Campbell (Diane's caretaker; shot in the forehead)
      • Diana Reid (Reid's mother; abducted and attempted to blow up; was rescued)
    • April 15-16, Virginia, U.S.:

Victims by Proxy

  • January 7, 2008, Chula Vista, California, U.S.: Ryan Phillips (her abductor; shot by Jack with a shotgun)
  • February 14, 2017, Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico: Nadie Ramos (stabbed 25 times by Reid with a knife)


Ryan: You don't know, do you... Who I am? But I know who you are...Lindsey. And now you know who I am...and what I can do...what I will do...if you don't shut up!

Lindsey: One way or're gonna die.

Ryan: Ladies first.

Lindsey: (to Ryan Phillips) You really are as dumb as you look. You're forgetting one thing. I saw what you did.

Lindsey: (to Ryan Phillips) What you do to me will be nothing compared to what my dad will do to you.

Ryan: (tauntingly) Oh, I'm so scared.

(Jack Vaughn cocks his stolen shotgun and ambushes Ryan, bludgeoning him)

(Reid remembers the murder of Ryan Phillips)

Reid: You're Lindsey Vaughn...

Lindsey: Carol. Carol Atkinson. It's nice to meet you. Your mother's an angel. So glad you had this time together.

(The BAU confront Lindsey as she has rigged Wilkins' cabin with explosives)

Lindsey: (calmly, raising her cellphone) Waiting for a phone call.

Cat: (to Lindsey via cellphone) Kill her.

(Lindsey doesn't respond)

Cat: Lindsey, I said-

Lindsey: You bitch. You're pregnant?


  • Lindsey is the second unsub on the show to have appeared in an earlier season as a notable character before reappearing as a criminal, the first being Rodney Harris ("Profiler, Profiled" and "Restoration").
  • Lindsey has several similarities to Lachlan McDermott ("It Takes a Village") - Both were members of three-person groups that were motivated by vendettas against an individual, with an abduction playing a key role in the plan (in McDermott's case, it was the abduction of Declan, the son of Ian Doyle; while in Lindsey's case, it was the abduction of Diana). Both of their vendettas also began when the individual in question interacted with a close family member of theirs (Doyle killed McDermott's brother, while Reid tried to talk Lindsey's father Jack out of one last contract killing). Finally, both turned against their leaders during standoffs with the BAU, due to an action taken by Reid. In McDermott's case, it was Reid's idea to exchange Doyle for Declan, which led to McDermott double-crossing Chloe. In Cat's case, Reid got her to confess the truth about who truly fathered her baby, which led to Lindsey's surrender and subsequent arrest.
  • Interestingly enough, Lindsey was introduced in the twelfth episode of Season Three, then was reintroduced in the last three episodes of Season Twelve.
  • The actress who portrayed the character- Gia Mantegna , is the daughter of Joe Mantegna who plays SSA David Rossi on the show.