Law & Order: Season 7, Episode 8

Family Business (20 Nov. 1996)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 83 users  
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Two feuding daughters of a department store owner are suspects in a murder investigation. Both have motive and connections to the murder weapon, but getting a conviction on either daughter could prove to be difficult.



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Title: Family Business (20 Nov 1996)

Family Business (20 Nov 1996) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Episode credited cast:
Anne Twomey ...
Kate Bergreen-Spiegel
Jean De Baer ...
Laura Bergreen
Richard Venture ...
Bill Moor ...
Paul Medici
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Irma Lopez (as Anna Carolina Avim)
Buzz Bovshow ...
Charles Herman


Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the murder of Richard Spiegel, CFO of a major New York City department. The company was run by Spiegel's wife Kate and her sister Laura after their father Seymour Bergreen retired. The investigation leads them to designer Paul Medici who it turns out was having an affair with Kate. He has a solid alibi for the time of the killing however. They subsequently learn the victim had consulted a criminal attorney and that Laura Bergreen may have been using employee pension funds to pay off the store's debts. When they locate the murder weapon, they find the gun was owned by Kate and had Laura's fingerprints on the barrel. Both sisters are arrested but there is no evidence of a conspiracy and little specific information to point the finger at one or the other. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

20 November 1996 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was Joseph Wiseman's final television appearance before his death on October 19, 2009 at the age of 91. See more »


Jack McCoy: A murder goes unpunished, it's bad for business.
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User Reviews

Crowded At The Top.
4 November 2012 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

The executive of a very high-end clothing boutique -- if that's the word -- is shot to death and nobody seems to have liked him very much. His wife, Kate, was about to divorce him and claim child custody, not to mention what I imagine to be a generous alimony payment. He was also in fierce combat over running the company with his wife's sister, Laura. Both Kate and Laura are the daughters of Joseph Wiseman, an actor now grown old and frail, who has done some idiosyncratic but memorable stints in movies like "Zapata" and "The Left Handed Gun." The two sisters are estranged but both have good motives for knocking off the abrasive executive. When the murder weapon turns up, it is registered to Kate's "personal spiritual adviser" who provides her with guidance at her Easthamptom estate and also mows the lawn. But the weapon also has Laura's fingerprints on it. The alibis of both sisters depend on their having visited their ailing father, Wiseman, at roughly the same time but without meeting one another in the vast, roomy townhouse.

It's a little complicated but interesting. Kate is charge with murder. In return for complete immunity, Kate agrees to testify that her sister Laura pulled the trigger. But on the stand, Wiseman testifies that Kate did the deed. Something like that. I may be a little confused. The upshot is that, what with Wiseman's testimony, Kate is acquitted and Laura can't be charged. Result of the trial: They get away with murder.

Kate is played by Anne Twomey and, man, does she have the projection of superiority and contempt down pat. It may be a stereotype of the way the rich treat the hoi polloi but she makes it convincing. Another superb performance comes from Victor Slezak (no relation to Walter) as the spiritual adviser. His character is well drawn by the writers too.

Probably an above-average episode.

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