Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 8 Episode 14


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 13, 2007 on NBC

Episode Recap

As Sidney Truex walks his son, Tommy, home from a friend's house, he wonders why his mother was not called instead. Tommy informs him they had tried calling her, but she was not answering the phone. Truex believes she was asleep. When Tommy asks him when he is moving back home, he responds that he hopes it will be soon. Truex tries to explain that, although he and his mother, Maura, are not together, they still love him very much. Once in the home, Tommy asks him to stay the night. Truex makes him a deal. If he goes straight to bed, he will tuck him in and read his favorite story. While they are having their conversation, someone comes up behind them and hits Truex on the head with a lamp. Tommy runs screaming in search of Maura. When he gets to her bedroom, he finds his mother unresponsive on her bed covered in a sheet. He runs back, pushes the panic button, and sits in a doorway cuddling his teddy bear.

As Benson and Stabler make their way up the stairs, Warner explains Truex is still unconscious at Mercy. At hearing the name, Benson verifies they are talking about the mob attorney. Warner informs them he had been hit on the head. The security company found him on the floor when they responded to the panic button. The alarm was either not set or Truex disarmed it when he came in. Maura had been raped, sodomized, and bludgeoned, and she slowly bled to death. There is no DNA because she had been assaulted with a candlestick. Stabler notes the perp has anger issues before asking about forensics. A partial bloody tennis shoe print is pointed out. Warner tells them the only other person not accounted for that lives in the house is a 16-year-old daughter, Charlotte, but she is not home. Stabler wonders where she is at one o'clock in the morning. Warner tells him Tommy had indicated to her that Charlotte was spending the weekend at a friend's house. Stabler asks if Tommy saw the attacker. Warner tells him Tommy is pretty traumatized, so patrol waited for them to interview him. When Benson asks her where Tommy is, Warner wordlessly points the way.

Benson knocks on the door jamb before entering the room where Tommy is sitting still with his bear and staring into space. She introduces herself before asking him to tell her what happened. When she leans down in front of him, she explains she needs for him to be a big boy and tell her what happened. After a brief pause, he looks at her and tells her a monster hurt his daddy.

When a Cragen arrives in the squad room dressed in formal attire, Benson asks where his top hat is. He explains Councilman Baker's daughter got married and he had been paged at the after party by the Chief of Detectives to get some answers on the Truex case. Stabler believes it was personal. He does not believe Maura was a random target. Cragen wonders if there was a dissatisfied client who was sending a message. Benson wonders if the perp was after Sidney and did not know they were separated. When Cragen questions if Maura was the one against whom someone had a grudge, Benson explains she was a sales representative for Tauscher-Leto Pharmaceuticals. Stabler adds that it is difficult to run a background check on the family so early on a Saturday. He suggests they find out from Charlotte, but is told she is still MIA. Stabler adds they found the family phone book in the kitchen and are using it to locate Maura's friend. Cragen informs them he will have the CO at the 15th to post an officer outside Truex's hospital room. Tutuola interrupts them to inform them a family friend said Charlotte spends her weekends with Jennifer Brown. Stabler does not want to tell her the news over the phone and he and Benson leave so they can tell her in person.

Benson tells Jennifer they need to speak with Charlotte. Jennifer claims Charlotte had left before she woke up. Benson asks where she went so early and is told she may have gone home. Jennifer's mother interrupts and asks who they are. Benson shows her badge and informs her they were told Charlotte had spent the weekend there. Her mother asks Jennifer if she lied to the detectives before telling Benson and Stabler Charlotte is not allowed in her home. She explains Charlotte was a good girl until she started lying and skipping school. She believes she may be on drugs. Jennifer's mother tells Jennifer that Charlotte is only using her to cover for her before walking away. Jennifer stops Benson and Stabler as they try to leave telling them Charlotte is not a bad person. Maura would not let her see Ryan Bedford, so she has to lie to see him. She tells them he lives at The Packard on First Avenue.

Ryan answers his door after Stabler flashes his badge. Stabler explains they are looking for Charlotte before asking if she is there. Ryan asks if he is under arrest, which causes Benson to ask if he should be. He defends himself by saying her parents do not like him, but she is 16 and he is 19, and it is not a crime. When Stabler asks where his parents are, he is told St. Bart's before Bedford tells him to tell Maura he will talk Charlotte into going home and she is fine. Benson tells him they will talk to her themselves. Bedford calls for Charlotte and tells her the police are there. As Charlotte walks down the stairs, she thinks her parents had sent them to freak her out. Stabler tries to explain there has been an accident, but she thinks it is a trick. Benson tells her to get dressed and come with them. She refuses. Stabler tells her that her parents had been assaulted before telling her to get dressed. He further explains that Maura is dead and Truex is in the hospital. Bedford offers to go with her, but she tells him to stay and she needs to be with Tommy.

As Huang watches Tommy draw at Stabler's desk, Benson and Stabler escort Charlotte into the room. When Tommy hears his sister say his name, he runs up the stairs and tells her to go away from him. She asks what is wrong with him. Huang explains he is traumatized from watching Truex get attacked and adds he will be all right in time. Charlotte tells them that Tommy likes their Aunt Amy in Riverdale, so they could stay with her. Huang agrees to set it up before excusing himself to check on Tommy. Benson informs her Truex is still in surgery and they will not know anything for a few hours. Stabler asks if anyone has threatened her family. Charlotte wonders if he is joking. Half the city hates Truex for the cases he tries. He had hired a private investigator because of everything that had been happening. Garbage was being spread in their garden and his car was spray-painted with curses.

The private investigator shows Benson and Stabler pictures of the things done to the Truex family. Garbage is on the doorstep. Bags of excrement are set on fire on the stoop. Swastikas are painted on the front door. The family cat had been dismembered and returned in several boxes. Sidney had moved out to protect the family. They are told the suspect is Luccio Ricci. Truex had defended his father, but lost the case, and Ricci blames Truex for his family losing everything they had owned. He shows them a file of Truex's hate mail. He explains the letters were unsigned, but he had taken them to a handwriting analyst with writing samples from his trash who confirmed he had written them. Stabler notes it was enough to take it to the police. The investigator wanted to do that, but Truex felt bad for losing the case and did not want him to pursue it further. Ricci now spends his time in San Marco Hall in Little Italy.

Benson and Stabler arrive at San Marco Hall armed with the picture of Ricci. They locate him immediately as he plays cards with two others. They tell him they need to talk about Truex. He tells them he charged them a fortune for losing his father's case. Benson shows him the pictures of the damage he had done. He denies ever hurting Truex. When Stabler clarifies he just threatened Truex and his family, Ricci claims he was just playing. Benson reminds him he did 18 months for playing when a jury called it aggravated assault, at which Ricci claimed he had been framed. As Benson answers her ringing cell, Stabler asks if Ricci was upset because Truex had his freedom. Ricci repeats he never hurt Truex and adds he should ask him. Benson ends her call and tells him they will asking him because he had just awakened.

Benson assures Truex that Tommy was not hurt. Stabler informs him they heard about the vandalism, threats, and hate mail he suffered at the hands of Ricci. Truex assures them he stopped the harassment when he moved out. When he questions if they believe Ricci killed Maura, Benson turns the question back on him, but he does not remember. He explains the doctors think he has some temporary memory loss. Benson asks him to take them through what he does remember. He remembers walking Tommy upstairs to his bedroom. He felt a pain in his head. He fell down. He thinks he blacked out for a second. When he stops recounting the events, Stabler urges him to continue. He admits he saw Charlotte running down the hallway, which caused him to believe she had killed Maura.

In the interview room, Charlotte denies being at home. When Stabler informs her that Truex had seen her there, she claims he says a lot of things that are not true and adds her father lies for a living because he is a lawyer. Benson thinks they do not get along, but she corrects her saying he is never home. The only way she knows what he is doing is by watching the news. Charlotte claims Maura's idea of parenting was to lock her up so she would not have to deal with her. Stabler notes Maura's method did not work well. Charlotte tells them she got around her rules causing Stabler to comment on her using her friends to cover for her so she could go out with Bedford. She explains she had to because Maura hated him for no reason and would not allow them to be together. Benson reminds her they know she was with Bedford on Friday night before asking what they did. She tells them she and Bedford had gone to a friend's house to get wasted. When they left there, she claims they crashed until Benson and Stabler woke them up. Stabler tells her they need the names of everyone at her friend's house, but she refuses to drag her friends into it. Benson persuades her by threatening to question every student in her school.

At Hanover Day School, Jane Williams denies being at a party and claims she had been babysitting until late. One of her male friends claims he was at his house with his friend watching a game all night. Another male friend says he was home all night writing a term paper that was due the following week. Susan tells them she was at the movies with Jane until after midnight. When Stabler informs her that Jane had said she was babysitting, she changes her story saying they watched the movies while Jane was babysitting. Benson wants the name of the family so they can check out the story, and Susan admits they had a party.

Stabler escorts the other three friends back to the steps to join Benson and Susan. They are not thrilled that Susan had ratted them out. Benson informs them Charlotte admitted to being drunk that night. Stabler tells them they just want to know what Charlotte did that night. One of them announces she did baby blues, but is called a moron for not realizing they meant where she was. Benson tries to clarify Charlotte was on drugs and is told "I guess."

Kathy Stabler answers the door to her husband, and he tells her they need to talk. She tells him she saw the news and knew he did not kill Bedford. He confirms it has been a rough couple of days. He has had time to think about what is important to him. He loves his job and he loves his family. He almost lost both. He tells her he wants to come home.
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