Celia Roberts is a serial killer incarcerated in Maryland Women's Prison.
A prostitute by profession, Roberts was secretly a man hater who stabbed her victims to death and then mutilated their bodies by cutting off both middle fingers. It is unknown how many men she killed but at some point she targeted sailors. She killed three sailors, two (unnamed) in Maryland and a Lieutenant Neil Poletto in Virginia. Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs was assigned to the case and he eventually caught Roberts. Though she was suspected of Poletto's murder, his body was still missing at the time of her capture, and she could not be prosecuted for that crime. Convicted of two counts of first degree murder, she was sentenced to 175 years in the Maryland Women's Prison.
In 2009, Poletto's body was found, bearing marks of Celia's modus operandi: multiple stab wounds and truncated middle fingers. Though the evidence against Celia was almost airtight, the easiest way to close the case was for Celia to confess to the crime. Gibbs sent Special Agent Timothy McGee to interview Celia.
In a private interview with Celia, he asked her to confess to Poletto's death, telling her that if she did so, the case would remain under federal jurisdiction; whereas if she didn't, the state of Virginia would take over the case, and she would likely be facing the death penalty.
Before Celia could respond, a riot erupted in the prison when a guard, Hayden Trimble, was stabbed to death. During the riot, the female inmates seized control of the visitors' center and took McGee and several guards hostage.
After initial confusion, Celia and another prisoner, Angela Lopez, emerged as the leaders of the riot. McGee convinced them to let him communicate their demands to the prison authorities: NCIS was to investigate and find Trimble's killer, and the warden was to promise that only the killer would be punished.
Running against a sunset deadline, McGee investigated and discovered that Trimble had been secretly heading a drug smuggling ring inside the prison, and had also been forcing another inmate, Sharon Bellows's daughter, Zoe Bellows, to have sex with him, presumbly raping her by threatening Sharon.
Even more sickening, he trumpeted his crime by emailing pictures of himself and Zoe together to the other guards and even got Zoe high so she couldn't either figure out or remember what was happening. When Sharon found out, she stabbed Trimble to protect Zoe.
McGee tried to get Sharon to confess, but she wouldn't, pleading that she only had one year left on her sentence, and only wanted to get back to her three children.
Just before the prison authorities prepared to storm the visitors's center, Celia pulled Sharon aside and convinced her to let Celia take the blame and Sharon agreed.
Revealing a softer side for the first time, Celia "confessed" to killing Trimble to protect Sharon's daughter and stop the drug-running into the prison. Though McGee knew Celia was the one prisoner who had an alibi (she was with him when Trimble was stabbed), he did not speak up. Celia also agreed to sign her confession, admitting to murdering Poletto.
As she was taken into custody, a look of understanding passed between her and McGee: neither of them wanted Sharon to suffer for killing a corrupt piece of scum like Trimble. The two seemed to have developed a new, grudging respect for each other. Gibbs and the rest of the NCIS team likewise knew about the holes in Celia's story, but also agreed to accept it.
It is likely that Celia received an add-on to her sentence for killing Trimble and Poletto, but this made little difference since she had already been sentenced to life imprisonment, and with her signed confession she was able to avoid the death penalty.
Celia would later stab her victims to death before cutting off their middle fingers presumably as a trophy.
- Two unnamed sailors.
- Neil Poletto.
- Calls Gibbs "Mr. Gibbs", a trait she shares with Margaret Allison Hart.