|Affiliation||Jackson & Walsh|
|Pathology||Double proxy murderer|
|Family|| Linus McKellen (husband)|
Unnamed father (deacesed)
|Actor||Rebecca De Mornay|
Tessa grew up as the daughter of an attorney and eventually followed in her father's footsteps and became an attorney as well and started working at his firm. She eventually met and married a man named Linus McKellen. In 2003 she was involved in a car accident while her husband was driving the car and she was paralyzed. She eventually got better but liked the attention she got from her condition and pretended to still be paralyzed. She still handled cases for her firm but most of her day to day operations was taken over by her subordinate, Vicky Riggs. When her father passed away in 2005, Tessa inherited his share of the firm. When she suspected her husband of cheating on her she hired Walter Inman, a former employee of a private contractor company she represented, to spy on her husband and to steal some viruses so she could inject herself with them to make her sicker. Inman eventually told her that Linus was sleeping with two strippers, Josie Post and Vicky, her associate.
After this she hired Inman to kill both strippers and frame her husband to punish him for cheating on her, unaware that Josie only gave Linus permission to use her place to hook up with Vicky. Inman rappelled down after Linus had sex with Vicky in her apartment and choked the life from her. She was questioned by Detectives Benson and Stabler and she pointed them to a labor case involving a mobbed up strip club she was working on knowing it would connect to Vicky's double life as a stripper. When the detectives arrive at her house to question her husband she defends him and tells them to get a court order for their DNA when they ask for it. When they bring Linus to the station, she tries to go with him but he says she needs rest and he goes alone.
When he gets back she performs oral sex on him and gives his DNA to Inman to further implicate her husband. Inman then kills Josie, plants Linus' DNA on her and waits for her plan to kick in. Unfortunately Inman forgot to unlock Josie's front door and the police realize someone entered by the window and killed Josie. When Benson and Stabler come to interview her about possible clients trying to frame her husband in the hospital she asserts attorney-client privilege to stonewall them. Inman is eventually arrested and Tessa's DNA is found on the sample on Josie and police interview her with her attorney present. Tessa denies involvement in the murders and eventually leaves the station when they don't have enough to implicate her. When the police discover Inman is using the money used to pay him for his daughter's college expenses he eventually flips on Tessa about everything, including her faked condition, and she is arrested.
Her attorney sets a meeting with Dr. George Huang to try and assert that Tessa isn't competent to stand trial. But despite Huang concluding that Tessa has Munchausen syndrome, she is competent to stand trial and aid in her defense. At the competency hearing Tessa fools Judge Lena Petrovsky into believing she isn't faking and declares her unfit to stand trial. Benson and Stabler eventually convince Linus she is lying and he pushes her into their pool. Tessa floats in the pool for awhile, but is forced to reveal she can swim and walk, proving her lies and Linus leaves her in disgust. She is imprisoned for two counts of murder-for-hire and grand larceny.
- January 18: Vicky Emily Riggs (choked to death by Inman)
- January 20: Josie Post (choked to death by Inman)