|Pathology|| Serial arsonist|
|First Appearance||"Manhattan Vigil"|
Lewis Hodda is a building manager and the prime suspect in multiple kidnappings, arsons, and murders.
Not much is revealed about Lewis' background prior to working for Morningside LLC other than the fact his alcoholic father physically abused him with a strap as a child. In the 90s, he got a job at LLC working as a building manager for Frank and Sam Morris. Sam eventually hired him to solve problems for him by setting fires in certain buildings. These buildings were either torched for one of two reasons. One reason was that the buildings were owned by Sam and he wanted to get rid of a problem (i.e. rent strikes, illegal tenants, drug dealers). The other was that the buildings were owned by other people and Sam wanted to acquire them cheaply. The police questioned Lewis about four of the fires, but weren't able to make the charges stick.
In 1999, Lewis abducted a boy named Hector Rodriguez after he exited a bus. Afterwards, he dyed Hector's hair blonde to disguise his appearance, took him to a secluded location, and strangled him. Lewis took advantage of the fire damage he caused at one of the buildings to rush a work order for concrete. At the building, he dumped Hector's body down a shaft and poured concrete over it to cover his tracks. After that, he used his job as an arsonist-for-hire to cover up future kidnappings, murders of boys. After kidnapping, raping, and murdering the victims, he would use the buildings he burned to destroy the bodies and any evidence. In 2001, Lewis was suspected of child voyeurism in Bushwick, Brooklyn two days prior to the disappearance of Jorge Diaz, who died a week later in a warehouse fire. In 2006, in Yonkers, Dante Borrelli disappeared prior to a sugar factory fire set by Lewis.
In 2012, Lewis started having financial issues and asked Sam's son David for help, citing the jobs he did for Sam as owing Lewis a favor. When David refuses, Lewis kidnaps David's son Wyatt and holds him captive in a warehouse. After the police discover Lewis' pattern and unearthed Hector's body from a building he managed, they bust down Lewis' apartment door and find him alone. Detectives Fin and Rollins demand to learn Wyatt's location, but Lewis refuses to acknowledge he even has the boy. Rollins searches Lewis' cabinets and finds several pill bottles for Vicodin and Oxycodone for one Amy Rosenthal and arrest him. After Lewis is taken to an interrogation room, Detectives Benson and Amaro interrogate him about the arsons and murders. Lewis initially doesn't disclose any details of his crimes, but eventually grows agitated and attempts to leave until Benson and Amaro corner him. They take advantage of Lewis' hatred of the Morris family to eventually extract a confession to all the murders, arsons, and kidnappings, and also disclose Wyatt's location. (SVU: "Manhattan Vigil")
Lewis is held for three years as the trial proceedings drag on. His public defender eventually works out a plea deal with A.D.A. Barba. However, Lewis has second thoughts at the allocution and rejects the plea deal, claiming his innocence. They meet in the judge's chambers, where Lewis informs them he fired his attorney and will be representing himself until further notice. He angrily shouts that Benson coerced his confession through threats and sleep deprivation. The judge recommends that he get a new attorney and Lewis agrees, but adds that he wants to proceed to trial. When Wyatt's parents refuse to let him testify, they move forward on Hector's case alone.
Lewis meets his new attorney and listens to her and Barba argue on the admissibility of Wyatt's kidnapping in Hector's trial. He listens as the judge precludes mention of the kidnapping but allows the confession in. Lewis listens as Delores Rodriguez, Hector's mother, and Benson testify. His attorney later paints a picture of Benson being an overzealous cop who is out to frame Lewis. Lewis then takes the stand and exclaims that Benson coerced his confession, crying the whole time. On cross-examination, Barba manages to catch him a lie when he claims that he was never at a playground. He uses that to get him to unwittingly admit that he touched Hector, just not "down there". After this, his attorney puts Dr. Huang on the stand to suggest the circumstances of his childhood caused him to fear authority figures. This provokes him into confessing. He witnesses his attorney imply auxiliary cop Stephen Lomatin is the real killer while he takes the stand. When one of the jurors consistently refuses to vote guilty, the judge is forced to declare a mistrial and Lewis remains remanded until his retrial can begin. (SVU: "Depravity Standard")
- 1999-2012, New York:
- Unknown dates and locations: Four unnamed boys (all kidnapped, strangled, and bodies burned in fires post-mortem)
- August 9, 1999, Manhattan: Hector Rodriguez (kidnapped, neck snapped, and body buried in concrete post-mortem)
- July 2001, Bushwick, Brooklyn: Jorge Diaz (kidnapped, strangled, and body burned in a warehouse fire post-mortem)
- 2006, Yonkers, Westchester: Dante Borrelli (kidnapped, strangled, and body burned in a sugar factory fire post-mortem)
- October 7, 2012, Manhattan: Wyatt Morris (kindapped; was rescued)