Law & Order (1990–2010)
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The Reaper's Helper 

A gay man with AIDS is accused of murdering another gay man. However, he claims that the victim also had AIDS, and that it was a mercy killing.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Cragen
Paul Robinette
Tom Signorelli ...
Anthony Holland
Barbara Andres ...
Patricia Holland
Angel Suarez
Charlotte Moore ...
Julia DeBakey
Neal Benari ...
Mr. Gordon (as Neal Ben-Ari)
Terry Roland
Millie Tirelli ...
Lois Rivera
Trial Judge Marton


Greevy and Logan investigate the shooting death of Bobby Holland who is found on the floor in his apartment. The scene has several characteristics of a burglary gone bad. The apartment is a mess but strangely, money was left in the dead man's wallet. From all accounts, the Holland was well-liked. They also learn that he was gay and had been meeting a man several times before his death. That man is Jack Curry who freely admits shooting Holland but claims that it was an assisted suicide as Holland had AIDS and had chosen to end his life. The case presents a dilemma for ADA Stone who isn't unsympathetic with the killer or the victim. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

4 October 1990 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 behavior. He died on June 3, 2011. See more »


During the trial an 'expert witness', Mr Willmen, states that doctors have the right to assist their patients to die in the UK. This in incorrect, it is permissible in the Netherlands however. See more »


Jack Curry: What gives you the right to decide how I should live the rest of my life?
EADA Ben Stone: Unfortunately, you did. Not once, not twice, but three times.
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Featured in 'Law & Order': The Beginning (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Gay angel of death
20 October 2017 | by See all my reviews

Watching this show now from the new millenia and the advances in treatment of AIDs gives this Law And Order episode a certain air of unreality.

A closeted gay man is found shot to death in his apartment with the place completely trashed. Bullet to the back of the head so it isn't a suicide at least in the classic sense.

The investigation leads to Peter Frechette who apparently has started a new business, assisting fellow gay men who want to commit suicide. He's traced by George Dzundza and Chris Noth to cases in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

I well remember these years and did see first hand what AIDs did to many friends. Some I suspect did take the out of suicide with methods that could never be proved.

The issues raised are real and genuine yet for me a weakness in the story telling is the fact that a certain point in the story the related cases in California were just dropped. I suspect there would be more than passing interest in Michael Moriarty's prosecution from the related jurisdiction.

At least AIDs is not an automatic death sentence any more.

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