A good Samaritan's life is thrown into turmoil when he is accused of murder. And when Jack asks him to testify against the real killer, things only get worse for him.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Shuman
Ron Frazier ...
Ricky Garcia
Tiffany Sherman
Fernando López ...
Sgt. Frank Gottlieb
Mike Bodack
Sam Reni ...


Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the murder of Matthew Sherman who is found by his sister shot to death in his car. She who had earlier been waiting for him in a nearby coffee shop. It has all the appearance of a mugging and the main suspect is a young man who had also been in the coffee shop briefly. They locate the man, Mike Bodack, at his wedding rehearsal dinner and he claims he had helped Sherman change a flat tire. When they find a drop of the victim's blood on his jacket they arrest him at his wedding. Bodack claims he saw a man with a snake tattoo on the back of his hand and the investigation leads them to Ricky Garcia but when most of the evidence is ruled inadmissible Garcia is out on the street. The only way they'll get a conviction is to have Bodack testify but he's proving to be a reluctant witness. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

30 April 1997 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ricky Garcia: [Having just been instructed to write down his confession] Can I say how I didn't mean to... do it?
Detective Lennie Briscoe: You mean how you only shot him because he wouldn't give you his watch? Yeah, the DA will love that.
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Remade as Law & Order: UK: Help (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Wrong focus
27 February 2016 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

One of the strengths of the Law And Order shows, especially the prime show is that it was never afraid to show that the police and prosecution were never perfect. They made errors like the rest of us mortals. Only their mistakes could really jam people up.

Detectives Jerry Orbach and Benjamin Bratt zero in on a witness to the events prior to the crime instead of the crime itself as the perpetrator. Just prior to the shooting of a young man, Frank John Hughes helped him change a tire and as he left he saw the eventual perpetrator show up. His 'crime' was going into an all night coffee and donut shop and lifting a bunch of napkins to clean off the grease on his hands.

I won't go into all the details, but later on when Briscoe and Curtis are focused on the right suspect Hughes is reluctant to cooperate. When you see the episode you won't really blame him. Hughes is scheduled to be married and his future father-in-law John Doman who is a housing police cop acts like his attorney. Maybe Doman once had a wrong focus on a case and got burned with it. In any event Sam Waterston's case looks like it's going in the toilet unless Hughes cooperates.

I've seen this happen a few times in my days at Crime Victims Board. Cops are in real life far more reluctant than Briscoe and Curtis to abandon original theories on a case.

This episode is a case study in why sometimes people are reluctant to be good citizens.

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