Law & Order (1990–2010)
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An alcoholic young man is accused of murdering a married couple in their bed -- but they were strangers to him, and no motive can be discerned.

Director:

Vincent Misiano

Writers:

Dick Wolf (created by), Jeremy R. Littman | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Detective Lennie Briscoe
Chris Noth ... Detective Mike Logan
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Lieutenant Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... E.A.D.A. Jack McCoy
Jill Hennessy ... A.D.A. Claire Kincaid
Steven Hill ... D.A. Adam Schiff
Katherine Borowitz ... Defense Attorney Marjorie 'Marge' Larson
David Leary ... Warren Bartlett
Eddie Malavarca Eddie Malavarca ... Steven Alan Smith
Fran Brill ... Mrs. Leah Bartlett
Allan Miller ... Judge Simon Mikelson
Carolyn McCormick ... Dr. Elizabeth Olivet
Alison Sheehy Alison Sheehy ... Elizabeth Lerner
Steven Martini ... Josh Shelton
Karen Shallo Karen Shallo ... Hester Blighe
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Storyline

Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate the murder of David and Eileen Lerner, who were were found stabbed to death in their bed. The killer entered the house through a downstairs window and even used a knife from the kitchen to commit the crime. The Lerners had lived there for only a year, and the police can find no one who disliked or had a grudge against them. When the detectives learn that the house previously belonged to a high-profile divorce attorney, Warren Bartlett, they think a revenge-seeker (not knowing he'd moved) may have been trying to kill him. Written by garykmcd

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Trivia

At the time of this episode's filming testimony based on repressed memories recovered under hypnosis were accepted as evidence in a court of law and a lot of people were convicted based on this type of evidence, most of the convictions were for sex crimes. However a multitude of studies since then have shown that using hypnosis to recover repressed memories, especially memories repressed because of a traumatic experience, is an extremely unreliable process. The main flaw found was in the way the questions were asked to the person under hypnosis, a person under hypnosis is in an extremely suggestible state so if the questions had too much detail they suggested the answer. An example being if a psychologist is trying to help a woman recover repressed memories of a childhood sexual assault and while the subject is hypnotized the psychologist asks "when you were 12 years old did your father grope your breasts". Since the subject is in a suggestible state the question would very likely cause the subject to form an image in her mind of herself as a young girl and her father putting his hands on her breasts, then when she is brought out of hypnosis this image she imagined is stored in the part of her brain where long term memories are stored and she forms what is called a false memory, although to her it seems as if the memory is real. After the findings of these studies were made public a number of people that were convicted based on recovered memory testimony appealed their convictions. Since most of these people were convicted at a time when DNA testing was still in the early stages the evidence in their cases was retested using modern methods that could get DNA from samples that were previously too small to test. In the vast majority of these cases the DNA tests exonerated the defendants and as a result the law was changed and testimony based on recovered memories is no longer accepted evidence in a court of law. See more »

Goofs

One of the murder victims was Eileen Lerner. Just before the trial begins, Jack McCoy refers to her as Elizabeth Lerner. Also, the character is listed in the credits as Elizabeth Lerner. See more »

Connections

References Unsolved Mysteries (1987) See more »

User Reviews

 
A Gruesome Murder and Good Performances
5 June 2018 | by Better_TVSee all my reviews

This one starts out pretty baffling: everyone liked the victims and they were murdered in a horribly brutal way (the crime scene is one of the bloodiest I've seen on L&O, though it's shown only briefly). It leads into issues of drunkenness, child abuse and mental competency; given the latter, it's no surprise that Carolyn McCormick as Dr. Elizabeth Olivet is called in to judge whether or not the defendant was aware of his alleged actions when he committed them.

I was surprised at how good the performances were: Eddie Malavarca, who is perhaps best known for his work on HBO's prison drama "Oz," really gives his all as the defendant; he's pathetic and tragic in equal measure. And his foster mother, Fran Brill, completely knocks it out the park too - there's a really heartbreaking court scene with her character, and you'll know it when you see it.

The main "ethical quandary of the week" here is whether or not McCoy is doing the right thing in trying to convict someone who might not be responsible for his actions - assuming he even did the deed in the first place.

It's yet another solid episode in what has so far been a great first season for the McCoy character. I loved Michael Moriarty as EADA Ben Stone too, but thanks to Sam Waterston he's now a distant memory.


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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 April 1995 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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