"Do you know what real pain is? That...hollow ache? That gaping hole that comes from senseless tragedy? No, you don't. You live in blissful ignorance, like all the happy, go-lucky people who have no idea that darkness is a whisper away. You remind me of Steven, my ex-boyfriend. With that stupid smirk on your face. You should've been looking out for Adam instead of lying your cheating ass off!"
Tess was in a relationship to a man named Steven Colson, with whom she had a son, named Adam. Her relationship with Steven was an unhappy one, in which he abused her and presumably cheated on her. One day on March 4, 2010, while the family was out on a lakeside picnic, Tess and Steven got into an argument, and this distracted them from Adam, who waded into the lake while trying to get a rock he threw and subsequently drowned. The incident went on to traumatize Tess and trigger her future psychosis. Steven divorced her sometime afterward, and in the years following his departure, she developed a disease in which her eyes were sensitive to light due to the fact that it was sunny when Adam died. Tess eventually met Raoul Whalen, a Native American medicine man and closet sociopath who gave her a remedy for her disease and later married her. She then got a job as the manager of the Red Creek Lodge, which was owned by Raoul. To satisfy his murderous urges, Raoul manipulated Tess, convincing her that, in order to get Adam back, she should get herself impregnated by a man who was physically similar to Steven and kill him if the task wasn't accomplished. She did so, and their scheme led to the death of Raymond Nava, who was killed on the week of the anniversary of Adam's drowning.
See section on the Raoul Whalen and Tess Mynock article
The unsub is a Caucasian woman who is trying to become pregnant and is experiencing black widow maternal desire, which is a desperate need for a child that most likely stemmed from the recent loss of her own, who may have died or was taken away in a custody situation. She is drugging her victims in order to keep them under her control for 48 hours, where she uses them as breeding partners to help replace the child she lost. Her victims are surrogates for a male figure in her life, one she may have killed; he could be a boyfriend or husband, who most likely fathered the child she lost. The signs of torture indicates she may blame the child's father for this loss and is exacting her revenge on these victims. After they are dead, she dismembers them to ensure easier disposal. Because of the strength that is required to do this, as well as to transport body parts, it is highly likely that she is working with a submissive male partner whom she dominates with her agenda. Based on the sophistication and patience required for theses murders, she is probably in her 30s and no older than her early 40s if pregnancy is her goal. She works at night, luring victims from parties or bars, possibly using an illness or feigning one to gain sympathy.
It was later learned that her partner, Raoul Whalen, was the actual dominant partner, as he took advantage of her grief to fulfill his murderous urges. Her mind already mentally fragile, Raoul convinced her that each victim was Steven, her abusive ex-boyfriend.
Tess targeted men in their early 30s who lived out of state and physically resembled Steven. She would lure them from parties and bars to the Red Creek Lodge, where she would have sex with them in a room she would let them stay in. She then poisoned them with solanine, a potent toxin and hallucinogen. After the victims died, she dismembered them, and Raoul disposed the body parts in wildlife preserves.
- Unspecified date: Steven Colson (her ex-boyfriend; presumably assaulted and/or attempted to kill)
- March 6: Raymond Nava (his body was found on March 20)
- April 14: Joseph Purl (his body was found on April 21)
- May 1: Chad Dumont (drugged, held captive, and attempted to stab; was rescued the next day)
- ↑ There have been a few implications in the episode (including the BAU's profile of her) that Tess might have attacked him sometime prior to the episode