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In history, warriors invaded towns, killed the men, women, and boys, but kept only the girls for themselves. You exist because your ancestors did what was needed for you to survive.
The Romani father

The Romani Family was a family of international prolific killer "gypsies" who appeared in the Season Four episode of Criminal Minds, "Bloodline".


Originating from Romania and eventually spreading to the U.S. and presumably other countries, the Romani had been around for years and years, killing families and abducting the young girls as wives for their sons, and possibly the inverse as well, since at least 1909. One of these abducted girls was Kathy Gray, who was inducted into the family under the name of "Sylvia" after her parents were murdered by a branch of the family in 1971.


The Romani group is discovered in 2009 when the group operating in Alabama kill Nancy Hale (formerly Scheuren) and her second husband, Geoff Hale, and abducting Nancy's ten-year-old daughter Cate. At first, they treat her normally, like she is family, and the boy even decides that she is to be named "Elena". After she has an epileptic seizure, the father decides to dispose of the "sick" child, abandoning her near a secluded highway. Cate tries to get herself noticed and almost gets hit by a car. She is taken to a hospital, where, after interrogated by Prentiss, she reveals some important details about the family, including a Romanian word they used. Due to the fact that the boy has to have a bride by the age of ten, the family quickly starts looking for another victim. They eventually abduct ten-year-old Lynn Robillard and kill her parents. In order to start anew, they burn their RV and most of their possessions. Later, the main three travel to the nearest shopping mall and are preparing to shoplift a large haul of clothes when Kathy's son notices and brings her a flyer with her age progression. She is likely forced by her husband to get caught shoplifting so he and their son can evade and escape the police.

The BAU interrogate Kathy with a good cop-bad cop routine. Having developed a bad case of Stockholm syndrome, she refuses to remember her name and only when she is shown some pictures of her dead parents, she starts showing some emotions. The BAU eventually get her to reveal the location of her son and Lynn. The BAU find the children, then proceed to arrest the father. When the son is returned to Kathy, she tells him not to say a word of his brothers, revealing that other Romani groups practicing the ritual are still at large. Another segment of the Romani group is seen at the end of the episode, about to kill another family. It is currently unknown if the BAU or the police managed to catch every single member of the family. Although, if there are still active members of the family who have not been caught, what they did after Gray and her husband and son were caught (as they presumably would have found out) is unknown.


  • The Alabama family:
    • The unnamed father (incarcerated). Portrayed by Andrew Divoff.
    • Sylvia (mother; originally known as Kathy Gray; incarcerated). Portrayed by Cynthia Gibb.
    • The unnamed son (institutionalized). Portrayed by Slade Pearce.
    • Unnamed older sons (presumably; possibly at large)
  • The second family (all presumably still at large):
    • The unnamed father. Portrayed by Kirk Bovill.
    • The unnamed mother (abducted and inducted from another family). Portrayed Tonja Kahlens.
    • The unnamed son. Portrayed by Caleb Guss.
  • The unnamed parents of the Alabama father (both likely deceased)
  • Presumably more family members and even similar families all over the U.S. and other countries


The unsubs are a family consisting of a mother, a father, and a son close to ten years of age, all of Romanian descent. The family travels in an RV, but also has another vehicle to go back and forth between camp sites and cities. The discarding of broken glass and the abandonment of Cate Hale (because of her epilepsy) reveals that they are highly superstitious and that they were following a very specific ritual. The focus of it is the young girls, whom the family did not come across by accident, and who are studied and hunted. They would probably be scouting at parks, shopping malls, and places at a short distance from the RV park. Because they discarded Cate, it means that they are looking for their next victims.

Modus Operandi[]

Once their sons were close to the age of nine or ten, the families would find prospective wives for them at large, public places, such as malls, and follow them to their homes. Once at the property, the father and son would break in during the nighttime, respectively kill the father and mother by slashing their throats with knives while they slept, and take the chosen girl, stuffing her in the trunk of the car, which the mother would drive up in. The abducted girls would be held, renamed by the son, and slowly brainwashed into servitude. The family's signature was sprinkling multicolored glass outside the homes that they abducted the girls from, and wherever they happened to be staying, due to their beliefs that such acts would bring them good luck.

Real-Life Comparison[]

The Romani family has some similarities to Brian Mitchell and Wanda Barzee - Both were husband-and-wife abductors who were said to have "perverted" elements of their mother culture in order to justify their crimes, and their M.O. had the wife waiting outside while the husband broke into a previously selected family home, armed with a knife, and abducted one underage daughter to "marry" her in a sham ceremony. Also, in both cases, the key to solve the crime was the eyewitness testimony of another young girl.

Known Victims[]

  • At least 30 unnamed families attacked all over the U.S. prior to Bloodline, the dates going as far back as 1909:
    • 60 unnamed parents (all killed)
    • 30 unnamed daughters (all abducted and brainwashed; statuses afterwards unknown)
  • Unspecified date and location: An unnamed family
    • The unnamed parents (both killed)
    • The unnamed daughter (abducted, brainwashed, and inducted into the family)
  • Unspecified date in 1971, Vienna, Virginia: The Gray family
    • The unnamed parents (both killed)
    • Kathy Gray (daughter; abducted, brainwashed, and inducted into the family)
  • 2009:
    • January 19, Harvest, Alabama: The Hale family
      • Geoff Hale (father; killed)
      • Nancy Hale (mother; also killed)
      • Cate Hale (daughter; abducted; was released)
    • January 20, Madison, Alabama: The Robillard family
      • The unnamed parents (both killed)
      • Lynn Robillard (daughter; abducted; was rescued the next day)
    • January 20-21, unspecified location: An unnamed family
      • The unnamed parents (presumably killed by the other Romani family)
      • The unnamed daughter (presumably abducted; status afterwards unknown)
  • Note: Considering that not every single member of the Romani family was caught, their murders are presumed to have continued.