Daniel Varney
Name Daniel Stephen Varney
Title The Night Ripper
Occupation Church janitor
Pathology Spree killer
Family Paula Varney (wife)
Two unnamed daughters
Status Institutionalized
Actor Richard Thomas
First Appearance "Scourge"

Daniel Stephen Varney (alias The Night Ripper) was a schizophrenic who became a Jack the Ripper-style spree killer, murdering four victims within 48 hours.


Daniel was extremely religious and a family man. He suffered from syphilis; in its early stages, it could have been cured by a dose of penicillin. However, the negligent insurance company did not inform the health department nor Daniel of the disease. The syphilis eventually attacked his brain, inducing paranoid schizophrenia into his psyche. The mental illness became so severe, he eventually attacked four people fatally with a knife in a spree similar to Jack the Ripper, minus the removal of internal organs.

While mopping, Daniel was apprehended in a church by Detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler. Psychiatrist George Huang's profile of him being a schizophrenic was true, but they also learned that it was caused by the untreated syphilis. ADA Alexandra Cabot attempted to pursue the death penalty due to the public pressure, but eventually accepted an insanity plea. Daniel was found incompetent to stand trial and taken to a mental institution until he was sane enough to stand trial.

Benson and Stabler knew it would never happen because the syphilis had been left untreated for so long it would not be cured. Malcolm Hunt, head of the insurance company that neglected to inform Daniel and the health department, was forced to settle wrongful death suits filed by Daniel's family and the families of his victims. His company was later ordered to report all cases of communicable diseases, past and present. (SVU: "Scourge")

Known Victims

  • 2001, New York City, New York:
    • May 1:
      • Cassie Horner (stabbed 42 times, mutilated her genitals, cut her torso, slit her throat to the spine, and burned her body post-mortem)
      • Quentin Lindberg (assaulted)
    • May 2:
      • Theresa Folsom (slit her throat)
      • The arcade stabbings:
        • Jeremy Weston (slit his throat)
        • Unnamed foreman (assaulted)
        • Josh Weston (Jeremy's father; slit his throat)
    • May 3: Don Newvine (his attorney; assaulted)