Cally's Tribe

Cally's Tribe

Cally's Tribe (as so named in the official Criminal Minds wiki) was a criminal cult and the major antagonists of the episode "The Tribe" of the Criminal Minds TV series.


Not much specific information has been revealed about the "tribe's" past. It was founded and led by Jackson Cally, a highly intelligent ex-convict. Following his conviction for auto theft, he spent 22 months in prison. While there, he found religion and preached to his fellow inmates. After being released, he studied Native American culture at different universities. During this time, he presumably recruited members for his own "tribe", calling himself "Grandfather". He claimed to have based it on love, but his real motive was to start a war between Native Americans and Caucasians, not unlike Charles Manson's Helter Skelter scheme. They made a home of sorts in an abandoned motel in the Terra Mesa desert.

The cult's first known act of violence was an attack on five students having a party in an empty building (The Tribe). Ingrid Grieson, a member of the cult, apparently acted as a double agent, but was kidnapped by two men hired by her father. Even though she was taken, the rest of the cult (except Cally) proceeded with the attack. The BAU, with help from John Blackwolf, a reservation police officer, deduced that the perpetrators were copycats with little to no practical understanding of Native American culture. They figured that the American Defence Union, a movement founded by local businessman Roy Minton, could be responsible as the Native American community were in constant legal feud with them regarding the ownership of the land. After questioning him, however, the BAU figured he was innocent, but still ordered local police to place him under surveillance.

Since the ADU couldn't take any action to strike back, the tribe attempted to provoke them even further by killing Minton and his family, plus a policeman watching Minton. At this point, Ingrid's kidnappers had turned themselves in and explained that her father had hired them to get her out of the cult, the tribe's attack simply coinciding with the abduction. When Reid questioned her, she answered every question with her name and social security number. When Hotch and Blackwolf brought her to the Minton residence, she called Blackwolf a traitor and everyone living in the desert trespassers, revealing the approximate location of the motel in the process. When the BAU went there, they found Cally alone. When they questioned him, Blackwolf's presense caused him to reveal his true, racist motives. They then figured the tribe's next move would be to stage an ADU attack on a Native American school in the area and headed there. Hotch and Blackwolf arrived first and managed to knock out three of the six attackers. When the other three realized that the police were here, they retaliated, forcing Blackwolf to fatally stab one of them and Hotch to shoot and kill another. The remaining attacker surrendered. Cally and the remaining members were then presumably incarcerated.


The methods of killing used on the students had religious significance, but only to the tribes that practiced them. They were described as "confused imitations" by Blackwolf. It is highly unlikely that a single tribe would mix them all, suggesting that the Unsubs have theoretical knowledge about Native American culture, but no practical understanding of it. The group shares a singular vision which may be religious faith, racist ideology, political manifesto, etc. Each member has surrendered its individual identity to the group. The kidnapping of Ingrid led the BAU to believe that the group was a domestic terrorist organization similar to the Symbionese Liberation Army that kidnapped Patty Hearst. Ingrid's behavior suggested that the members think of themselves as Apache even though none of them were ethnically Native American, but their beliefs are different from Native American religions, such as their belief in a Messiah. In addition, the rituals performed during their crimes were an eclectic mix of those of many different tribes.


  • Jackson Cally (leader; incarcerated)
  • Ingrid Grieson (presumably incarcerated)
  • Six other unnamed members (two deceased and the rest incarcerated)

Known Victims

  • Unnamed convict (during his imprisonment, Cally manipulated another inmate into beating him to death)
  • Five college students, all skinned alive and killed through various Native American rituals:
    • Ingrid Grieson's unnamed boyfriend
    • Four unnamed others
  • Six killed in the Minton residence attack. They are:
    • Unnamed police officer (killed while watching the Minton family)
    • The Minton family
      • Roy Minton (father)
      • The unnamed mother
      • Three unnamed daughters
  • The attack at the Native American school:
    • Numerous unnamed teachers and students (intended to massacre)
    • John Blackwolf (attempted; tried to stab him)
    • Aaron Hotchner (attempted; shot at, but missed)