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"I have many names. Some people call me Red John"
―Timothy Carter[bron]

Timothy "Tim" Carter (at first time called Ross / Red John, in the early draft of the screenplay), then also known as "the Fake Red John", was a Red John pretender. He was only a mysterious criminal man - one of Red John's accomplices -, young girl abductor (with his wife and, maybe, Red John's helping), and probably sex offender and rapist. His official job is businessman, but this identity is fake. He was killed by Patrick Jane, believing Timothy is Red John. Patrick is absolved of Carter's murder at trial, because Carter has a gun and threatened Jane with it. As the prosecutor says at trial, it's not known if Timothy had killed anyone in his past life.


Timothy's past is not revealed, all that is known about him is his name and identity were fake and had been invented five years prior to his appearance, probably with Red John's help. His alleged background was that he was the only child of missionaries and grew up in Africa, studying and living abroad until he moved to the U.S. in 2006. He also kidnapped a young girl named Debbie Lupin and with his wife as an accomplice kept her locked up in his basement. He then poses as Red John after Red John discovered Jane's trap and sent him in case Craig failed in his mission. After Craig O'Laughlin is killed while trying to kill Hightower in her mountain cabin hideout, Jane (who is in a food court in a Sacramento mall) has Lisbon use the redial on O'Laughlin's phone and tell whomever answers that O'Laughlin is dead. Timothy is sitting in the food court near Jane and answers his phone. Jane, seeing this, has Lisbon tell him what the person she called said to her. It's the same thing that Timothy in the food court said, so Jane confronts him. Timothy first denies it, but moments later drops hints that he is Red John, keeping Jane at a safe distance by subtly pointing a revolver hidden inside a folded newspaper at him. Jane, however, is still skeptical, and confronts the man again as he tries to leave, only for him to reveal to Jane details of the murders of his wife and daughter, specifically, what they smelled like. This sends Jane over the edge, and he calls after the man, then guns him down with a weapon hidden in his coat pocket. Jane then sits down and calmly sips tea while waiting to be arrested, apparently satisfied that this man was indeed Red John. It is later revealed that he is not Red John after Jane tricks his wife into revealing that they kidnapped Debbie. It is also revealed that when Patrick was arrested, one of the officers (another accomplice of Red John) took Timothy's gun and swapped his cell phone for another one. His wife, in her suicide letter, called him "Red John".

The definitive revelation that Carter wasn't Red John is in the end of Little Red Book, when Patrick takes Rosalind Harker, Red John's blind ex-girlfriend, to the morgue where Carter's body is stored and has her feel its face to check if she recognizes him. After doing so, Rosalind confirms Patrick's suspicions - Carter was not the man who identified himself as "Roy Tagliaferro". This is further confirmed in Blinking Red Light when Red John kills James Panzer, a serial killer who insulted Red John. In Green Thumb, his name was seen on the fake list of Blake Association members.


In the Fake Jane's List of Suspects appears the name "Timothy". (This is unrelated. Jane knows that Timothy Carter was not Red John.)


The name "Timothy" in the Jane's notebook