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Dr. Gregory Williams Yates was a psychopathic and prolific serial killer, rapist, and stalker. Most notably he was responsible for the murder of Nadia Decotis and the year-long stalking of Erin Lindsay from prison. He was portrayed by Dallas Roberts.

The Number of Rats

After evidence at the scene of a fire (We Called Her Jellybean) points to the modus operandi of a serial killer who was active in New York City ten years prior, Sergeant Olivia Benson of the NYPD Special Victims Unit flies out to Chicago to consult on the case. After comitting several more rapes and murders, Yates kidnaps Nadia and forces her into Erin's car and drives her to New York City, where he savagely beats, rapes and murders her before dumping her body in a shallow grave.

Interim appearances

Yates appears in the Law & Order: SVU episode Daydream Believer, which is a direct continuation of The Number of Rats. After Nadia's body is discovered, Yates is put on trial and is eventually convicted because he incriminates himself by becoming too excited at reliving Nadia's last moments, which sways the jury against him.

He further appears in the SVU episodes Devil's Dissections, Criminal Pathology and Nationwide Manhunt, the latter of which is a direct prequel to The Song of Gregory Williams Yates.

The Song of Gregory Williams Yates

After Yates escapes from a New York prison, Lindsay and the team learn that he is on the road towards Chicago. The Special Victims Unit informs them that Yates has been gathering information on Lindsay, as Sergeant Olivia Benson and Detective Odafin "Fin" Tuotola arrive in Chicago to assist with the manhunt.

In a lengthy stand-off, with Yates repeatedly taunting Lindsay over many of her personal matters, Nadia's torture, rape and murder among them, he lunges for her with a pry bar in hand. This ultimately proves his undoing, as Lindsay shoots and kills him in self-defense. She breaks down thereafter and is later consoled by Benson and Voight, with the former sharing a drink with her at Molly's.

Notes and Trivia

  • Yates was closely based on real-life serial killer Ted Bundy.


Season 2
Call It Macaroni Get My Cigarettes The Weigh Station Chicken, Dynamite, Chainsaw An Honest Woman
Prison Ball They'll Have to Go Through Me Assignment of the Year Called in Dead Shouldn't Have Been Alone
We Don't Work Together Anymore Disco Bob A Little Devil Complex Erin's Mom What Do You Do
What Puts You On That Ledge Say Her Real Name Get Back to Even The Three Gs The Number of Rats
There's My Girl Push The Pain Away Born Into Bad News
Season 3
Life is Fluid Natural Born Storyteller Actual Physical Violence Debts of the Past Climbing Into Bed
You Never Know Who's Who A Dead Kid, a Notebook and a Lot of Maybes Forget My Name Never Forget I Love You Now I'm God
Knocked The Family Right Out Looking Out For Stateville Hit Me The Song of Gregory Williams Yates A Night Owl
The Cases that Need to be Solved Forty-Caliber Bread Crumb Kasual with a K If We Were Normal In A Duffel Bag
Justice She's Got Us Start Digging

See Also