Backstory and Events Edit
All that was revealed regarding Heather Taffet's backstory was that she was married to a man named William Burton for one month back in 1998. She solely used the marriage to create a fake identity, which she used to buy a storage unit that she would eventually use for her kidnapping equipment.
Heather began her activities as The Grave Digger a year later, abducting a young boy named Terrance Gilroy and burying him alive. She would demand a ransom from Terrance's loved ones (her eventual habitual modus operandi), and when she didn't receive a ransom, she strangled Terrance to death. Heather did the same to twin boys Matthew and Ryan Kent in 2001, with both of them dying after their father, James, refused to pay the ransom. She abducted four others in the next few years, but in the case of those victims, they were rescued after the victims' families paid the ransom to Heather.
The Grave Digger's unseen debut in the series came in episode 2.09, "Aliens in a Spaceship," when she abducted Dr. Temperance Brennan and Jack Hodgins, while demanding an $8 million ransom. The ransom was not paid, but Brennan and Hodgins were rescued after the latter's phone was used to send a Morse code message to Seeley Booth.
Heather's first physical appearance came in episode 4.14, "The Hero in the Hold," when she introduced herself as an AUSA attorney taking over the Grave Digger case, after Kim Kurland (who was on the case two seasons earlier) was killed in a car crash; with the assumption that she was killed by The Grave Digger. Heather stated that evidence from the case was missing, with Brennan, Hodgins, and Thomas Vega (a kidnapping and ransom expert) being suspects; while promising full immunity if it's returned. Later on, the evil Heather abducted Booth and locked him in the cell of an old Navy ship that was set to be sunk, and later killed Vega with a stun gun to the heart--doing so due to Vega continuing to dig into the case.
While performing Vega's autopsy, it was deduced that he struggled with his killer, who left with broken ribs. In the episode's climax, Heather arrived with a warrant, but her inability to move her arm was noticed by Brennan. After a jab to Heather's ribs caused her to wince in pain, Heather was officially revealed as The Grave Digger. Following her reveal, Heather was handcuffed and interrogated, but never said a word; only displaying a scowl during the team's search for Booth. The villainess was arrested following Booth's rescue.
Trial and Death Edit
Heather was put on trial in Season Five's penultimate episode, "The Boy with the Answer," which began with Heather appearing in Brennan's nightmare. In the sequence, Brennan finds Jack Hodgins being dragged away, while Booth is trapped in a room filled with water. As for Brennan, she is trapped in a grave and being buried alive by Heather, who gave a malicious cackle while burying Brennan, In the episode, Heather represented herself in her trial, where she mentioned a number that Brennan hadn't found yet, leading to the assumption that it was a phone number. The number was revealed to be connected to a pizza place, but Angela figured out that the number was actually coordinates to her first victim, Terrance Gilroy. Heather's plan was to further taunt the group with the discovery, but it would be her undoing, as her DNA was found on Terrance, as he had bit her while she was killing him. Heather was convicted of her crimes, and later snarled, "This isn't over," to Brennan.
Heather appealed her conviction in episode 6.11, "The Bullet in the Brain," and she was shown taunting Lance Sweets with the possibility of her going free as she was leaving the prison. Just seconds later, Heather was shot and killed by Jacob Broadsky, who was paid $2 million to kill Heather by James Kent, doing so to avenge his twin sons.
- Deirdre Lovejoy later appeared as the evil Carrie Traub (another kidnapper/murderess) on Elementary, as well as psychotic villainess Claire McDermott (another serial killer) on NCIS: New Orleans.
- The original draft of "Aliens in a Spaceship," the episode that introduced The Grave Digger to the series, had Janine O'Connell, a journalist who helped Thomas Vega write his books on the subject, revealed as the serial kidnapper and killer.