The discovery of skeletal remains on Roosevelt Island leads to a new trial for a former Wall Steet junk bond broker now serving time in the victim's murder. The defendant chooses to act as his own counsel.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Elizabeth Olivet (credit only)
Phillip Swann (as Zeljko Ivanek)
Scott Sowers ...
Billy Doyle
Mark Tymchyshyn ...
Chip Rafferty
Bernie McInerney ...
Sophie Hayden ...
Beverly Dorfman
Bernie Passeltiner ...
Harry Schuman
Margaret Hilton ...
Mrs. Whitaker
Guy Davis ...
Russell Bobbit


An old case comes back to haunt ADA Ben Stone when a body is discovered buried on Roosevelt Island. Stone had obtained a murder conviction against Phillip Swann without the victim's body ever having been found. What he did have was the sworn testimony of the man who helped him bury the body in New Jersey. Finding the body elsewhere calls into question that witness' testimony. Swann has become quite a competent jail house attorney and represents himself before the Court of Appeal who grant his request for a new trial. Briscoe and Logan try to track down the witnesses from the first trial but only a few are still available. When Swann is acquitted, Stone faces a lawsuit but decides to fight fire with fire. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Release Date:

9 November 1993 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Based on the Ron Levin murder case. In 1984, Joseph Henry Gamsky, also known as "Joe Hunt", was believed to have murdered Ron Levin, a con artist who had allegedly swindled Hunt and other members of the Billionaire Boys Club (BBC) out of over $4 million. In 1987, Hunt was found guilty of the 1984 murder of Levin and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. Hunt remains in prison but maintained his innocence. The case was the subject of a 1980s telemovie, The Billionaire Boys Club. The plot of this episode even includes a scene of Swann making a note in his planner to commit the murder, just as Joe Hunt penned "Kill Ron Levin" in his daily agenda. See more »


Ben Stone: I guess you just weren't clever enough.
Phillip Swann: I got this far, Ben.
Ben Stone: A lot of effort to wind up right back where you started. And in polite society, Sir, you don't call people by their first name unless they ask you to - I didn't do that. You're not a friend, and you're certainly not a colleague.
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Remade as Law & Order: UK: Unsafe (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

A Unique and Tense Early Episode
3 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A very powerful performance by Zeljko Ivanek highlights this unique and tense episode of Law and Order. Skillfully directed by Constantine Makris, this is one of the outstanding entries in the "Ben Stone" era of the show. Michael Moriarty is superb as prosecutor Ben Stone, New York ADA, and it's a shame the actor didn't stay with the program a bit longer and develop his character more deeply. His ethics and moral struggles, frustration and outrage, are in sharp contrast with ADA Jack McCoy, Sam Waterston, and are fascinating to explore. Jill Hennessy is also excellent and Stephen Hill is a wonder as Adam Schiff, the anchor of the District Attorney's office. Jerry Orbach, sorely missed and often remembered fondly, and Chris Noth both give wonderful performances and their chemistry is extraordinary. This particular episode, however, belongs to Zeljko Ivanek and his work here is simply some of his best.

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