A grisly murder scene at the bottom of an elevator shaft leads SVU detectives to a group of individuals who are under the spell of a charismatic, imprisoned serial killer.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Munch (credit only)
Dr. George Huang (as B.D. Wong) (credit only)
Dr. Melinda Warner (credit only)
Robert Morten
Cecilia Strayer
Harrison Thomas
Edgar Rabinowicz
Forensics Tech Casanueva

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A grisly murder scene at the bottom of an elevator shaft leads SVU detectives to a group of individuals who are under the spell of a charismatic, imprisoned serial killer.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

svengali | See All (1) »


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 November 2007 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


"Svengali" is derived from the 1894 novel "Trilby" by George L. Du Maurier; it refers to the character Svengali, a hypnotist who helps Trilby O'Ferrall, the title character, become a famous singer. The word has since come to metaphorically refer to one who has a hypnotic, manipulative control over another individual or a collective group of people. See more »


Detective Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola: Liv, I got your pizza.
Detective Olivia Benson: I didn't order a pizza.
Detective Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola: It's got your name on it.
Detective Olivia Benson: Well, I'm not hungry. Throw it out.
[Fin goes to throw out pizza box]
Detective Chester Lake: Hey, you gotta recycle that box. Dude, don't you care about the environment?
Detective Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola: It's not empty. There's a pie in here.
Detective Chester Lake: I'll eat it. No such thing as bad pizza.
Detective Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola: It's double pepperoni. It's gonna kill you.
[Lake tosses pizza box on desk, then it explodes, nearly killing him]
See more »


References The Silence of the Lambs (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Weird Right of Passage
7 January 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This SVU episode deals with the squad investigating the murder of a young woman found in an elevator shaft of a building with signs of sexual assault. Even if it's not sexual in nature the squad usually on this show sticks with the case. As it is it's sexual in nature only the broadest sense possible in this story.

The investigation leads to a cult following of an imprisoned serial killer played with menace by Jared Harris. In some weird rite of passage, young Shannon Woodward kills another of the cult members.

This comes down to a battle of wits between ADA Diane Neal and Harris whom she might have to call as a witness. Like Hannibal Lecter or the real life Charles Manson just how much room do you have to negotiate here with a man already serving several life sentences without possibility of parole?

All I can say is, you'd be surprised what can be negotiated in this situation.

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