|"The Reaper's Helper"|
|←||L&O, Episode 1.03||→|
|Production number: 66215|
First aired: 4 October 1990
| Teleplay By|
Thomas Francis McElroy, David Black & Robert Stuart Nathan
Thomas Francis McElroy
The death of a man with AIDS appears to be the work of a serial killer who may have been motivated by lust.
Construction worker Bobby Holland is found shot to death in his apartment. Logan and Greevey investigate and soon learn that Holland was gay. After reading a magazine article, Greevey connects the death to another in Los Angeles, which leads them to a similar murder in San Francisco. The detectives arrest Jack Curry, who is connected to all three cases. Curry admits his involvement and claims that each man asked him to help them commit suicide because they had AIDS. The idea of murdering someone with AIDS sounded very erotic to Curry - so he did as they asked. Stone is troubled about prosecuting the case because of his doubts that Curry did anything wrong.
- George Dzundza as Sergeant Max Greevey
- Chris Noth as Detective Mike Logan
- Dann Florek as Captain Donald Cragen
- Michael Moriarty as Executive A.D.A. Benjamin Stone
- Richard Brooks as A.D.A. Paul Robinette
- Steven Hill as D.A. Adam Schiff
- Peter Frechette as John 'Jack' R. Curry
- Tom Signorelli as Anthony Holland
- Barbara Andres as Patricia Holland
- Jesse Corti as Angel Suarez
- Charlotte Moore as Julia DeBakey
- Neal Benari as Mr. Gordon
- Richard Steinmetz as Terry Roland
- Millie Tirelli as Lois Rivera
- Francis Guinan as Jed Coles
- Susan Knight as Allison McGill
- Suzanne Shepherd as Arraignment Judge
- Jack Laufer as Wellman
- Frank Girardeau as Massacio
- Thomas Mikal Ford as Harry Pincher
- Jack Merrill as Hurley
- Josh Pais as Cioran
- Roger Rignack as Irate Man
- Matthew Locricchio as Court Officer
- Olinda Turturro as Jury Forewoman
- Christopher Rubin as Reporter
- Daniel Kenney as Bradley
Gay Men Allied Against AIDS; Paradise Lost Bar.
"Do you think a lot of cops are gay?"
"No way, man. The department's got a special test. They look you in the eye, and if your left eye blinks before your right eye, they know you're gay." [Blinks at Greevey with his left eye]
- - Max Greevey and Mike Logan
"It only hurts when I prosecute."
- - Benjamin Stone
"What gives you the right to decide how I should live the rest of my life?"
"Unfortunately, you did. Not once, not twice, but three times."
- - Jack Curry and Benjamin Stone
"Who shoots in the head besides dealers?"
"A robber who gets surprised?"
"A burglar who's so surprised, he leaves behind a full wallet?"
- - Max Greevey and Mike Logan
Background information and notes
- The term "Reaper" stands for death, personified as an old man or a skeleton with a scythe, also known as the "Grim Reaper".
- This episode is based on the Dr. Jack Kevorkian case. Dr. Kevorkian became famous in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a supporter of assisted suicide and he became most noted for publicly championing a terminal patient's right to die via euthanasia; he claims to have assisted at least 130 patients to that end. He famously said that "dying is not a crime." Between 1999 and 2007, Kevorkian served eight years of a 10-to-25-year prison sentence for second-degree murder. His trial was a lengthy one, because of several acquittals and a mistrial. He was released on June 1, 2007, on parole due to good behaviour. He died on June 3, 2011. (Source: Jack Kevorkian at Wikipedia)
- During the trial an 'expert witness' claims doctors have the right to assist their patients in dying in the United Kingdom, but this is incorrect. As of 2013, euthanasia still isn't permitted in the UK, but some forms of euthanasia are legal in Belgium, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the U.S. state of Oregon, the Autonomous Community of Andalusia (Spain) and Thailand.
- The department's fax number is 212-555-8342.
Episode scene cards
The Home of Mr. & Mrs.
Paradise Lost Bar
Offices of Gay Men
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"Subterranean Homeboy Blues"
| "The Reaper's Helper"|
Law & Order
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"Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die"