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SVU, Episode 5.18
Production number: E4422
First aired: 2 March 2004
  th of 366 produced in SVU  
th of 366 released in SVU
  th of 1106 released in all  
Munch Warner Fin Careless
Written By
Patrick Harbinson

Directed By
Steve Shill

Summary Edit

After a young boy dies during a church vigil, Tutuola and Munch investigate the boy's foster parents and social worker for neglect.

Plot Edit

The detectives investigate the death of a 6-year-old boy, Jamie Semple who was brought into the hospital by his foster dad, Sam Dufoy when he took Jamie to church for an exorcism. At first, the church pastor is believed to be responsible for Jamie's death, but then it is discovered that Jamie was already dead when he was brought into the hospital after being smothered with a pillow at home. Sam is arrested for murdering Jamie, but Jamie's birth mother claims that his social worker, Mariel Plummer is responsible for his death because on the night of Jamie's murder, Sam called Ms. Plummer when he claimed that Jamie was out of control, but she never returned his calls or made follow-up visits to the Dufoys' house even though she claims that she did.

Mariel is arrested for reckless endangerment and altering records and Novak decides to put her on trial and have Sam Dufoy testify against her. Soon after, Mariel is cleared of all charges, but then evidence discovers that the Dufoys had a teenage girl living in their home. When Fin confronts Mariel about it, she ends up killing herself after getting a threatening phone call. It is soon discovered that Lori-Ann Dufoy (Sam's wife) is accused of taking in other foster children, neglecting them, and letting them runaway.

Sam reveals that they had a foster teenage girl, Megan living with them before Lori-Ann sent her to a mental facility on the day of Jamie's death. Megan reveals that it was Lori-Ann who smothered Jamie with a pillow and cutting Megan's face with a cheese grater. In the end, Lori-Ann is arrested for the murder of Jamie Semple with Sam finally telling the truth as he actually cared about Jamie and was protecting Lori-Ann due to love and her claiming it was an accident.

Cast Edit

Main cast Edit

Recurring cast Edit

Guest cast Edit

References Edit


Quotes Edit

  • Elliot Stabler: What about that autistic kid in Milwaukee last year? Parishioners held him down. They were laying on top of him to cure him.
  • Olivia Benson: That could explain the ring mark. [walks around behind Cragen and wraps her arms around him to demonstrate] Someone holds Jamie, he struggles, they hold him tighter.
  • Cragen [a little breathless]: Until he can't breathe. [to Olivia] Thank you, I enjoyed that.

  • Fin Tutuola [on the phone when Mariel Plummer gets a threatening phone call]: Who the hell are you calling a bitch? This is the police. Ring this number again, we're gonna come busting in your damn door. Believe that.

  • Mariel Plummer [holding a gun]: I saved thousands of children and I'll only be remembered for losing one. [shoots herself in the chest]

  • Fin Tutuola [to Lori Ann about Megan Rose]: You raked her face with a cheese grater.
  • Lori Ann Dufoy: She raked herself, she's psychotic.
  • Fin: Yeah, and Jamie smothered himself.

  • Fin Tutuola: (to Lori Ann) That was smooth. Shutting a murder witness up in a loony bin.

  • Lori-Ann Dufoy [to Sam]: You weak son-of-a-bitch!

Background information and notes Edit

  • During cross-examination of the social worker during the trial, we learn the reason she didn't return distraught calls from the foster parent of the child that died. She states that she was busy aiding two other children, who witnessed their father beating and shooting the children's mother, before turning the gun on himself. This is a very dramatic moment, as it is presented as though the prosecution was not aware of this. This makes absolutely no sense. For starters, it's certainly one of the first questions that would have been asked, or offered by the defense prior to trial, particularly in light of potentially reaching a plea bargain in the case. Secondly, the defense most certainly would have asked the question on direct questioning knowing that the jury would be looking for the answer, and that the answer was highly favorable to her case. While it may have made a more dramatic moment as written, it's simply illogical to think it would have happened this way.

Episode scene cards Edit

1 2 3 4

Church of Divine Blessing
87 West 126th Street
Tuesday, February 3

Dufoy Residence
324 St. Nicholas Avenue
Tuesday, February 3

Administration for
Children's Services
Wednesday, February 4

Office of
The District Attorney
One Hogan Place
Friday, February 6

5 6 7 8

Trial Part 22
Monday, February 23

Apartment of
Mariel Plummer
36 West 54th Street
Monday, February 23

Rikers Island
Monday, February 23

St. Columbia's
Psychiatric Facility
Morningside Heights, New York
Tuesday, February 24

Previous episode:
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 5
Next episode:
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