Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 2 Episode 15

Monster

4
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 02, 2003 on USA
8.9
out of 10
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Monster
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The murder of a woman in her apartment results in her son, recently paroled after serving 15 years for murder, becoming the prime suspect. Having consulted with the lead detective on the old case, Goren and Eames discover he was involved in a cover-up to rush other cases to closure.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A woman is killed in her home and suspicion falls on her son, a recently released rapist-murderer. But the detectives find there is another murder that needs reckoning with as well, one that four young men were falsely convicted of.moreless

    8.0
    The "Monster" is a devolved specimen, the kind of killer whose motivation is his own sick sexual release which can only be achieved thru the murder of his partner. One of the diseased human slugs that once were shunned as sheer evil before the meaning of the words 'celebrity and 'notoriety' became semantically entangled.



    This creep is out of prison after serving time for a crime obviously drawn on the Central Park 'Yuppie' strangulation. He's making up for lost time with a covy of bimbettes, but living at poor mom's. Mom views a video made by Sonny boy and a 'skank', and realizes the fantasies she hears her son threaten sound familiar. She goes to the library and researches a key element of the MO, and discovers that her son had to have committed another murder, one which four teen aged boys were convicted of.



    She calls her son a "malignant narcissist", and is dead by daybreak. But the son, on finding his mother dead, appears legitimately distraught.



    Turns out that there is yet another 'monster' on the loose, and this one in the form of a police detective who framed the four kids. The mom's research might end up re-opening the case, and the cop fears being exposed as a deliberate conspirator. (The epi draws on yet another famous Central Park case, that of the jogger who was raped and could not accurately identify her assailants. A pack of young hooligans out 'wilding' got nailed for it, but DNA, after they spent years behind bars, proved them innocent. I don't recall tho, that in the real case, there were any Goren and Eames calling out conspiratorial cops or racist prosecutors. But there were a lot of rightful lawsuits resulting, funded, of course, by the taxpayers of NYC).



    Anyway, Goren and Eames have their work cut out for them. Bobby's major eureka is understanding that the mom thought her son was guilty of a serial type crime, not just the 'one-shot' deal for which he had been earlier imprisoned. Mom's research at the library was that of, says Goren, 'a fact checker' - he knows she suspected another murder, and that that knowledge had put her in danger - but not from her son.



    Inevitably, the detectives nail the bad cop for the murder of the mom, and the bad son for the murder he committed years ago, the crime that his unfortunate mom suspected he was guilty of. Ironically, and fittingly, the detectives have the bad cop help break the bad son, and then it's a Bobby finale on both losers.



    Buh-bye to both. Maybe they can be cell-mates.



    This episode also tangentially illustrated the unfathomable (to the sane) attraction that some women feel for criminals of this ilk. One wouldn't think rapist-murderers are high on the lust list of any female, but such creatures manage to draw their groupies, sad lot that they are. The fact that the rehabilitation stats on this sort of criminal are remarkably low doesn't seem to matter. I guess the groupies think they'd meet a different fate because they alone 'understand' the sicko.



    Anyway, if Eames' dead-on wisecracks aren't enough to betray the FYI on what law enforcement thinks of these women, Goren's face is well worth watching in the scenes that have him and Eames interviewing these gals. There are nuances of judgment, even for those surrounded by various degrees of viciousness and vice, and here you can see the classic 'professional' aplomb, all-telling with the level of impassivity - stoic, but repelled all the same.



    Adam Storke, one of V D'O's co-stars from 1988's Mystic Pizza, played the rapist-killer. A very effective job, alternately preening, wheedling, boasting, and whining, making the killer unlikable on many levels, not just anathema for his sexual predilections. Well done!



    But I must say the years have been kinder to Mr. D'Onofrio. Much. :)

    moreless
Adam Storke

Adam Storke

Mark Dietrich

Guest Star

Christine Jones

Christine Jones

Laura Dietrich

Guest Star

Terri Conn

Terri Conn

Chantal Fielding

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Robert Goren: (to Chantal Fielding) You know, Mark… he told us that there's three varieties of murder groupies: victims, psychos, shrinks.
      Alex Eames: He said with you he's got three mints in one.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Robert Chambers case. Robert Chambers, dubbed the "Preppie Killer", pled guilty to manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin. He killed her in Central Park during the early morning hours of August 26, 1986. (The Law & Order first season episode "Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die" was also based on this case.) The "monster" in this episode, Mark Dietrich, seems to have been written with Chambers in mind.

      This episode also appears to be Ripped from the headlines of the "Central Park jogger" case involving Trisha Meili. Meili was the victim in a high-profile assault and rape case in NYC in 1989. She was violently assaulted while jogging in Central Park. Although several suspects had confessed on videotape, they retracted their statements within weeks. No DNA evidence tied the suspects to the crime, so the prosecution's case rested almost entirely on the confessions. In 2002, convicted rapist and murderer Matias Reyes, serving a life sentence for other crimes but not, at that point, associated by the police with the attack on Meili, declared that he had committed the assault, and that he had acted alone. The DNA evidence confirmed this. In the episode, the other "monster", Detective Ted Marston, feared exposure causing him to perpetrate a new crime.

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