|Minor Character: Las Vegas|
|Pathology|| Serial Killer|
|Modus Operandi||Strangulation, preceded by rape|
|No. of Victims|| 9 killed|
|Portrayed By||Dylan Walsh|
|First Appearance||CSI on Fire|
Tom Cooley grew up outside Seattle and came from a wealthy and influential family that had made its money dealing in real-estate. At Hardison High, he graduated in 1987 and was the senior class president. Despite this, he grew up to become a rapist, apparently starting as early as when he was in high school, when he and two of his closest friends, Max Liston and Gavin Pearson, drugged and raped a woman named Marla together. When Liston and Pearson, thinking she was dead, were about to bury her on Cooley's ranch, she woke up and escaped. As she ran, Cooley told her that nobody would believe her. In adulthood, Cooley became a serial killer, raping and killing young blonde women who went to bars near his office building. Liston and Pearson, with whom he stayed in touch, were apparently at least partially involved in the killings. Pearson, who got a law degree and the right to practice, became Cooley's lawyer. Liston, with some financial aid from Cooley, got into the construction business.
In 2010, Cooley killed Janet Warren and buried her with the other victims he had killed over the years. Finlay investigated the case and, though the body wasn't recovered, she was able to find evidence incriminating him, including semen. Unfortunately, she obtained the DNA sample proving his guilt in the case by breaking into his house and taking a used glass. The sample was legally dismissed and Cooley, publicly dismissed as a suspect, filed lawsuits against the Seattle police and Finlay personally and won. Russell was eventually forced to fire her. Afraid that the bodies might be exposed, Cooley had Liston dig them up and rebury them in a land preserve in Nevada, ensuring that they wouldn't be dug up again, and then used his contracting firm to have the Cooley ranch (along with the original burial ground) demolished and turned into a residential area along with the surrounding area, ensuring that the original crime scenes couldn't be dug up again either.
CSI on Fire
After the bodies are dug up and Julie identifies one of them as Janet Warren, Cooley quickly responds by publicly offering a reward for information that can aid the investigation. Finlay then returns to Seattle to take a look at Cooley's ranch, only to discover that it has been torn down and covered with residential buildings. After going back to Vegas, she confronts Cooley in his hotel room. The next morning, he is found dead, hanged in an apparent suicide. The CSIs find it suspicious that Cooley would kill himself when he was in no risk of being captured. When he is autopsied, his DNA proves him guilty of killing Janet Warren and he turns out to have a high amount of sedatives in his blood, which combined with the alcohol wouldn't leave him with enough dexterity to tie the knot to hang himself. The CSIs suspect that Cooley was killed by his lawyer and long-time friend, Gavin Pearson. When they find the evidence to incriminate him, he is offered a reduced sentence if he helps them identify the remaining victims. He gives Brass their names and is presumably incarcerated.
Cooley targeted athletic, attractive Caucasian blonde women in their early 20s. He would pick them up in bars and near his office, drug them with flunitrazapam, drive them to his ranch, rape them and kill them, usually by strangling them. Their bodies would then be buried on his family ranch's grounds.
- 1987: Marla Louie (raped together with Liston and Pearson; attempted kill and bury; escaped)
- 1999-2010: Eight victims killed over an eleven-year period. They are:
- 1999: Stephanie Hollinger
- 2002: Sunshine Vanletti
- 2010: Janet Warren
- Unspecified dates:
- Ashley Brinn
- Jennifer Sutterman
- Sarah Jones
- Tiffany Alcott
- Kinley Summer
- 2011: Max Liston (accomplice; killed in a scuba diving accident)
- Max Liston (deceased; contractor; transported the victims' bodies and covered up the original crime scenes; presumably also aided in some of the killings)
- Gavin Pearson (lawyer; apparently aided in at least some of the killings)