Law and Order


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L&O, Episode 8.01
Production number: K2508
First aired: 24 September 1997
  th of 456 produced in L&O  
th of 456 released in L&O
  th of 1088 released in all  
Written By
René Balcer

Directed By
Martha Mitchell

The cops break the seemingly random murder of a pizza delivery guy with a little "undercover" work in the park, but McCoy and Ross face a harder battle to get a conviction when the two defendants resolutely point the finger at each other, and the one item identifying the actual killer is the recording of a confession-made to a priest. Rey's wife is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Plot Edit

A delivery boy is lured to a remote location by two punks who kill him for the thrill of it. They are tracked down, but the evidence is shaky. They then accuse each other, thus casting reasonable doubt on each other's contribution. In an attempt to gather more evidence, recordings are made of their conversations with visitors in prison. On one tape a boy makes a full confession to his uncle, but it turns out the uncle is a priest. A legal debate ensues as to whether the tape is admissible. The result is that the two are no longer tried in one case, which undermines their mutual accusation tactic. McCoy manages to get a plea bargain from one of them and get them both convicted for the crime. In the background, detective Curtis learns that his wife suffers from multiple sclerosis.

Cast Edit

Main cast Edit

Recurring cast Edit

Guest cast Edit

References Edit

Luther C. Carter Academy

Quotes Edit

Anita Van Buren: A thrill killing. I take it back, Lennie, I guess some people don't need a reason.
Lennie Briscoe: I guess the macarena wasn't exciting enough for them.

Rey Curtis: You're a Catholic.
Jack McCoy: Not when I'm at work. Sorry.

Jamie Ross: The Church protects thrill killers, the law says two people can fire the same bullet, and the victim's mother forgives her son's killers. You figure it out.
Jack McCoy: You don't think you could? Forgive them, I mean?
Jamie Ross: No.
Jack McCoy: Neither could I. What does that say about us?

Adam Schiff: Sounds like Leopold and Loeb. Who'd we get?
Jack McCoy: Beavis and Butthead.

(trying to prosecute two thrill-killers)

Jack McCoy: I'm playing legal tiddlywinks with these punks. What I'd really like to do is take them out to Battery Park and hang them by the scrotum.
Adam Schiff: An understandable sentiment -- but stick with the tiddlywinks.

"I can't hate you. I'll be praying for God to watch over you every day you're in that awful place you're going to."
Mrs. Wheeler

(on arresting Kershaw)

"Congratulations, Dale. You made your bones."
Lennie Briscoe

Background information and notes Edit

  • This episode is based on the Thomas Koskovich/Jason Vreeland murder case.
  • Along with the fourteenth, nineteenth and twentieth seasons, this is one of only four seasons not to feature any cast changes
  • Lennie sites the macarena as possible cause for murder. This is a reference to the macarena dance craze in the '90s.
  • Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were convicted of murder in Chicago in 1924 and defended by famed lawyer Clarence Darrow. It was called the Crime of the Century. Beavis and Butt-head was a cartoon on MTV in the mid-'90s about two boys who often got in trouble. In law enforcement criminal partners who are especially stupid are often called Beavis and Butt-head.
  • This episode was aired almost 4 weeks after funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales.

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The case raises the interesting issue of whether you can charge 2 defendants in separate trials of having each fired the one and only fatal shot. The judge allowed it but might lead to the illogical conclusion of 2 mutually inconsistent verdicts.

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