Law and Order

The Serpent's Tooth

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"The Serpent's Tooth"
L&O, Episode 1.19
Production number: 66224
First aired: 19 March 1991
  th of 456 produced in L&O  
th of 456 released in L&O
  th of 1106 released in all  
Robinette The Serpent's Tooth
Teleplay By
Robert Stuart Nathan & René Balcer

Story By
Joshua Stern & I.C. Rapoport

Directed By
Don Scardino

Two brothers appear to be the logical suspects in the murder of their wealthy parents.

Plot Edit

In another case ripped from the headlines, a wealthy couple's teenage sons are the prime suspects in their murders. The detectives soon learn that the boys were victims of abuse by their father. Prosecutors are convinced the brothers are solely to blame, but Detectives Greevey and Logan continue their investigation over the D.A.'s objections.

Cast Edit

Main cast Edit

Recurring cast Edit

Guest cast Edit

References Edit


Quotes Edit

"What about the kids?"
"They're either innocent, or well-rehearsed."

- Donald Cragen and Max Greevey

"The family that kills together..."

- Max Greevey

"Some of my money in the bank, yeah."
"Some? Now, the bank records show that there was, last month, $6,011,301.26."
"If you say so."
"And the month before that, $9,615."
"Sounds right."
"A six million dollar difference, uh ... good month at the discount store, sir?"

- Sasha Osinski and Benjamin Stone

"He ain't heavy, he's my brother."

- Max Greevey

"A prosecution based on debt re-financing. That’s going to get you real far with the jury."
"I’ll lay it out for them. I'll draw them a Monopoly board."
"Yeah, I’d like to see them get from 'Park Place' to 'Go.'"

- Adam Schiff and Benjamin Stone

Background information and notes Edit

  • This episode was based on the Menendez brothers case. In August 20, 1989, the two brothers murdered their parents then went to the movies to give themselves an alibi. Lyle and Erik Menendez were later convicted in a highly publicized trial for the shotgun murders of Jose and Kitty Menendez which The brothers claimed they were driven to by a lifetime of abuse from their parents, including sexual abuse from their father. Despite the excellent defence for Erik by Leslie Abramson and a competent defense for Lyle by his attorney, the past criminal records of the brothers stood in contrast to their "escape from parental abuse" theory. Under the terms of the sentences for their multiple crimes, the brothers are expected to spend the remainder of their lives in prison. (Source: Lyle and Erik Menendez at Wikipedia)

Episode scene cards Edit

1 2 3 4 5

Embassy Row
75 St. and Fifth Ave.
Wednesday, February 21

Ballistics Lab
Thursday, February 22

Residence of the late
Karl & Evelyn Jarmon
6.E 75th Street

Jarmon Printing Co.
235 Varwick Street Tuesday, March 6

Supreme Court
Trial Part 45
Thursday, August 9

Previous episode:
"The Secret Sharers"
"The Serpent's Tooth"
Law & Order
Season 1
Next episode:
"The Troubles"
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