After a mother orders a professional hit on her daughter-in-law's new husband, detectives reopen an investigation into her son's death.


Brian Mertes


Dick Wolf (created by), Ed Zuckerman | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Lennie Briscoe
Benjamin Bratt ... Rey Curtis
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... Jack McCoy
Carey Lowell ... Jamie Ross
Steven Hill ... Adam Schiff
Frances Sternhagen ... Estelle Muller
Bradley White ... Jim Shepherd
Tom Riis Farrell ... Howard Philips / Dr. Paul Sackett
Charlotte Moore ... Julia DeBakey
Jere Shea ... Mr. Goldman
Johann Carlo ... Mrs. Jeffrey Zabner
Mark Margolis ... Bronson
Jenny Robertson ... Robin Shepherd
Marylouise Burke ... Mrs. Collins


Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the shooting of James Shepherd who was walking to his home from the parking garage where he keeps his car. He had just returned home from an outing with his wife Robin and 8 year-old daughter to celebrate the child's birthday. Forensics reports that the same weapon was used in a hit some two years before by a professional hit-man. A fixer points the finger at Robin Shepherd's former mother-in-law, Estelle Muller whose son Rick was married to Robin until he died some 5 years ago in a rock climbing accident in Central Park. Jim Shepherd was with him when Rick died and and Estelle is convinced he was responsible for her son's death. She makes no bones about ordering the hit but offers to plead guilty if the police and DA investigates Shepherd for murdering her son. A new autopsy on Rick Muller shows he was hit on the head with a baseball bat before he fell. The DA decides to proceed against Jim Shepherd Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 January 1997 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mark Margolis portrayed three different characters over the course of the series: See more »


A.D.A. Jamie Ross: Almost a record! They convicted him in an hour and a half.
D.A. Adam Schiff: How's the Wife doing?
Jack McCoy: Shaky but she served him with Divorce Papers on his way out of the Court Room.
D.A. Adam Schiff: Gotta be tough finding out you married your stalker.
See more »


References Donkey Kong (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

The Gun In The Poop Bag
30 November 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Frances Sternhagen was the guest star in an unusual Law And Order episode where she plays a mother who hires a hit man to kill the second husband of her daughter-in-law. She's got good reason she feels to want him dead, she thinks he actually killed her son although the incident was desultorily investigated and listed as an accident. A fresh look opens the investigation there and her daughter Jenny Robertson's second husband Bradley White is arrested.

Two things about this episode were interesting. Although the DA's office make an arrest, Sam Waterston and Carey Lowell can't quite make the motive out, they can't prove any kind of affair while Robertson was married to husband number one. This episode proves the mantra that legal system has for itself, that a trial is a search for the truth. In most instances it's a question of proving a known truth, here the trial is well in process before the truth comes out for Waterston, Lowell, and the audience.

Secondly there is one droll performance by Tom Riis Farrell who plays a most ordinary looking hit man. He's the kind of a guy you wouldn't look twice at, in fact he's one of the coolest acting hit men I've ever seen on the big and small screen. He walks around on his job with his dog and keeps the weapon in the bag he says is keep the poop he's scooped. He answers questions quite calmly at the scene and is visibly holding the poop bag while Jerry Orbach and Benjamin Bratt question him. What a pair this one has.

This episode takes a few unexpected twists in it, try not to miss it when broadcast.

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