Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 1 Episode 16

The Third Guy

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 25, 2000 on NBC

Episode Recap

A delivery guy, Mr. Bosic, arrives and finds Mrs. Bernstein tied up and dead in her bed. When Benson and Stabler arrive, they are told she had lived there for 50 years. The attacker ejaculated on her thigh and used her support hose to tie her up. Benson suggest the rape may have been an afterthought. Stabler wonders how someone could get those ideas about someone who looks like your grandmother.

When Cragen sees Stabler talking to Skoda, he questions why, but does not get an answer. Cragen tells him to wait on the shrink, but Stabler tells him he already invited him. In the squad room, Benson and Stabler inform the team on the case. The victim is 72-year-old Lenora Bernstein. She got up, had tea and toast, and filled the bird feeder. The prep came through the window she forgot to lock, tied her up, and robbed and raped her. Stabler tells them her address book is the obits so he cannot find a next of kin to notify. When Stabler wonders what kind of guy would do something like this, Skoda tells them the prep is a sexually inexperienced teen to early twenties social misfit with a sporadic employment history. He guesses he may have been abused by his mother. After Cragen tells him to keep his assumptions about how the guy felt about his mother to himself, he tells Benson and Stabler to canvas and sends Munch and Jefferies to the ME.

The ME tells Munch and Jeffries Lenora died from a heart attack brought on by the attack. When Munch clarifies she died of natural causes, Jeffries adds it was during the commission of a A felony making it Murder Two. The ME tells Munch he will be able to tell when the heart attack started after he dissects the arteries and will let them know as soon as he does.

When Benson and Stabler speak with a friend of Mrs. Bernstein, they learn she had many expensive jewelry, but she sold them. The only jewelry she may have had some costume pieces left.

Munch and Jeffries check for her costume jewelry. The clerk tells them he had someone try to get rid of pieces like they described, but he did not buy them so he did not get names. He describes them both as Dominican or Colombian teens. One is tall with dark hair and wears a fade. The other is short and has a tattoo of barbed wire crossing his fingers and one of a dagger with blood dripping. He agrees to work with a sketch artist.

Benson and Stabler take the sketch to Mr. Bosic to see if he recognizes them. He offers to say whatever they want. They tell him they just want the truth. When they ask about his partner, he tells them Jimmy was in the truck out front. When they show the sketches to Jimmy, he says he recognizes them.

Munch and Jeffries takes the sketch to the streets to see if anyone can help put a name to them. They approach a young lady and she tells them it looks like Carlos Medina and Alfonso. She tells them Carlos lives in the building beside the bodega and hassles everyone that walks by. Munch tells Jeffries the victim had to pass the bodega everyday. Jeffries adds that she would have to walk right past him.

When the team reaches the building, they witness a drug buy going down. After the sale is complete, they identify themselves and approach stopping the fleeing subjects. Munch and Jeffries apprehend the buyer and find prescription diuretics. Jeffries tells him he will not get high, but he will shed unsightly pounds. Benson and Stabler apprehend Carlos and Alfonso. When they bring the three together, the buyer starts talking in Spanish. Stabler asks him if he wants them to mirandize him in Spanish and English. When Munch hands Benson the prescription bottle, Benson reads "Bernstein, Lenora" on the bottle. Stabler tells them they want to go talk about her. Carlos tells Alfonso not to say a word.

Benson and Stabler speak with Alfonso first. He tells them to talk to Carlos. They tell him they believe he did not believe her when she told him she sold all of her jewelry and he was angry. He tied her up and raped her. He tells them he did not rape her. They tell him they will talk to Carlos about it.

When they walk in to talk to Carlos, he has his head down on the table like he is sleeping. Stabler pulls him up by the collar and looks at his hand. After he mentions the tattoos, Benson tells him the guy at the pawn shop raved about them. Carlos claims he found the jewelry next to the pills. Stabler informs him they found his prints in the victim's apartment. When he tells them he helped her with her groceries, Stabler asks if he brought them in through the window. Benson tells him good samaritans do not usually rape old women. When they tell him they have DNA evidence to prove it, he offers a sample.

Benson and Stable return to Alfonso and tell him he must have raped her which led to her heart attack which killed her because Carlos offered a DNA sample. Alfonso agrees to the sample saying he did not do anything like that.

As Benson and Stabler make their way back to the squad room, they are stopped by Cragen. They inform him both suspects volunteered a DNA sample, but they sent them in anyway. When Cragen asks if one is playing them, Stabler tells him there could be a third guy.

The ADA joins Cragen, Benson, and Stabler in Cragen's office asking why she was not told about another guy. They explain they thought there were only two guys at first, but the DNA places a third guy there. They assure her they have the two on robbery though. They ask what they can offer them for the third guy. She tells them they currently have them on Robbery One, two counts of Robbery Two, and many lesser charges. She will give them Robbery Two and Criminal Trespass giving them 5 instead of 15 if they get a name.

Munch and Jefferies bring the offer to the teens. Carlos refuses saying they want the rapist and he wants a free pass. He tells Alfonso they do not want them so let him handle it. They tell them if they find the rapist on their own, then both teens will do the max. Jefferies tells the teens to enjoy the cavity search as they leave.

Benson and Stabler check with an administrator at Stephen Foster High School to make sure Carlos and Alfonso ditched school on the 14th. When they are informed the two were suspended for breaking into school lockers, they ask about any other boys they hang out with or have been in trouble with. She tells them the teen she knows of does not hang out with them anymore and has turned his life around. She tells them Emmanuel Clemente was absent on the 14th.

Jeffries and Munch meet up with Emmanuel. He tells them he does not hang around with Carlos and Alfonso any more and he has nothing to feel guilty about. He tells them Mrs. Bernstein used to give them quarters. When Munch and Jefferies explain that is an insult, he tells them they told her to keep her quarters. He informs them he missed school on the 14th to take his little sister to the methadone clinic.

Munch and Jefferies return to the squad room empty handed. They tell Benson and Stabler that Emmanuel was seen arriving with a 14-year-old around 9:00 and stayed at least two hours. The receptionist discussed baseball stats with him. When Cragen comes in, they inform him they are back to square one. He asks if the ADA might let one of them walk and the other take the max. Skoda tells them since Carlos has been through the system he will not think twice about rolling on Alfonso. He tells them Alfonso is a follower and that will make him harder to turn, but if he is scared he may do it. Cragen tells them to use the fear to motivate Alfonso.

Benson and Stabler bring the new deal to Alfonso. They tell him he will get dropped to third-degree robbery and sentenced as a youthful offender which could mean 18 months in jail or probation if he cooperates. When they tell him only one of them gets the deal, he asks if he can think about it. They give him twelve hours to think about it reminding him Carlos would take it in a heartbeat.

When they return to the precinct, Benson and Stabler tell Munch and Jeffries that Alfonso wants to think about it even though he wants it. They are interrupted when Cragen informs them the DA called with a taker on the deal and they waiting for them.

Benson and Stabler are surprised to see Carlos when they arrive at the DA's office. He tells them Alfonso asked for his advice and he had to counsel him against the deal. His lawyer tells them he is amenable to the terms. Carlos tells them he and Alfonso went in the window. They trashed the place when they could not find anything. When they heard a cuckoo clock sound once, Alfonso took off and he chased him down. Benson tells Stabler that it was 9:30. Stabler asked if they left the other guy there. He tells them he did not leave anyone behind. Benson reminds him if he lies, the deal is gone. He drags Alfonso back, but a white guy was there with a beige uniform was there. Alfonso tells him they need to go since they trashed the place so they leave. Benson and Stabler clarify the delivery guy raped her.

In the squad room, Benson and Stabler relay the information from Carlos. Munch suspects they decided to turn the hero into a patsy. Skoda tells them the profile would make more sense if it were Carlos, but it could also be someone trying to make themselves into a hero. Cragen warns them to tread lightly because this guy made the papers and he does not want another Richard Jewell on their hands.

Benson and Stabler return to the squad room with the knowledge Alfonso now wants the deal. Jeffries informs them Stan Bosic has a record. He served time in Sing-Sing for armed robbery. She notes he was not busted for any sexual assaults. Benson tells them if he got away with it, he had to tell someone and cell mates are a captive audience. Jeffries tells them he bunked with Jonathan Smith, who is now out of jail.

Benson and Stabler catch up with Johnny Schmidt on his garbage route. He tells them Bosic would not shut up. He bragged about working in the pharmaceutical transportation industry and he was sleeping with women on his route. He believed no woman could resist him.

Munch and Jeffries catch up with Jimmy Walp on his way to work. He tells them Bosic calls the deliveries where he is sleeping with the woman special deliveries. When they ask if he ever made a special delivery to Mrs. Bernstein, he tells them no and goes to get a newspaper. Munch and Jeffries believe he knows more than he is telling. They decide to talk to Bosic next.

Benson and Stabler escort Bosic from work to the station for questioning. He denies ever sleeping with anyone on his route ever. When Benson tells him they heard different, he tells them he brags. He tells them he lied on his job application because he knew they would not hire an ex-con. When Stabler asks how they would feel when they find out he raped Mrs. Bernstein, he tells them he never touched her leading him to admit he never gave her CPR. He explains Jimmy takes the tanks up in buildings without elevators, even though he was not supposed to. When he took too long, Bosic went up to the apartment. He saw the new tank by the door, her tied to the bed, and Jimmy in the bathroom freaking out. He created a win-win situation by allowing him to keep his job, got his name in the papers, and Jimmy did not have to deal with it. Benson tells him they will just put both of them in a line-up and see who saw what.

Bosic is in the first line-up. Carlos immediately says he is not there. Jimmy is in the second line-up and Carlos picks him out. When his lawyer says her client fulfilled his side of the deal, they remind her it is only if it leads to an arrest. They tell her they will send the paperwork over when it is ready.

In the squad room, Munch informs Benson and Stabler of the autopsy findings. Mrs. Bernstein had two separate heart attacks. The first one occurred within one hour of the one that killed her. The ME states if she had not had the first one, then the second one would not have killed her. They tell him they just let Carlos go. Munch suggests they not lose anyone else.

Jimmy tells Benson and Stabler he always took the tanks up because of Bosic's bad back. He tells them her door was ajar when he arrived so he went in, saw it was a mess, and called for her. He states he found her on the bed wearing her nightie and happy to see him. He denies tying her up and raping her.

Skoda arrives at Cragen's office to a meeting with him, Benson, Stabler, and the ADA. They tell him the defense said he wrote a psych evaluation on Walp and they are calling for a hearing. They tell him that if they find Walp did not understand his miranda rights, then they lose his statement and everything that came after it. He denies writing a psych evaluation on Walp. He tells them he wrote a sticky note and put it on his desk by the DD5. When Stabler asks what was on it, he tells them "Retarded and a question mark." He adds it never should have left the office. The ADA tells him it made it into the discovery packet. They are told to dig until they can find something to prove he did understand.

Jefferies arrives in the squad room holding Walp's Board of Education records. When Benson tells her an IQ score of 70 or below fies him as mentally retarded, she informs them he was never tested. When they are told his grades were D's and F's, Munch tells them Einstein consistently flunked math. Benson sarcastically tells him they will argue he is another Einstein. Munch informs them Walp had difficulty sustaining employment citing he was even fired from McDonalds. Stabler reminds them he did get jobs and he did live on his own without help.

Benson and Stabler get his manager to let them into his apartment with a warrant. Books are everywhere. He always paid with cash and kept the receipts. He possessed a lot of porn. When Stabler opened the stove, he found more books. The manager told him he always ate at Lilly's Diner.

At Lilly's Diner, the waitress tells them he always sits at the counter and talks to whoever is next to him. He studies the menu carefully, but always orders the special.

His mother tells Benson and Stabler she had seven kids. She could set him front of the television and he would be entertained for hours. She denies he was slow. She tells them she has not seen him since he was 18.

Munch arrives in the squad room and informs the team the defense administered an IQ tests and he received the results. Walp's IQ is 68. Stabler reminds them it would not have been in his best interest to actually try. Stabler hands Munch a porn video case from Walp's apartment. He reads the title and hands it to Benson. When she tries to return it, Stabler tells her to flip it over. The picture on the back shows a woman in the same position Mrs. Bernstein was found. Benson reminds him Carlos and Alfonso were the ones to tie her up and Jimmy found her that way. When Skoda and Cragen arrive, Benson shows them the case. Skoda tells them when Walp saw her he probably thought he was expected to perform a sex act since the mentally retarded mimic to appear normal. Cragen tells him Walp understands enough to know he did something wrong and he does not want to lose his statement. Skoda agrees Walp needs to be locked up, but where. Stabler reminds him there are 250 mentally retarded currently sitting on death row.

In court, Stabler states they found no evidence supporting Walp's mental retardation and no reason to ask Walp to read anything out loud. The defense attorney informs him the mentally retarded will act like they are reading books in public places and will wear a watch when they cannot tell time to appear normal. When Walp is asked to explain his rights, he simply repeats them. When the ADA asks if he thinks he is mentally retarded, he tells her he can prove he is not mentally retarded by telling them what he did to Mrs. Bernstein. The judge tells them he wants to hear what Walp has to say so whatever he says will be off the record. He explains he has never done t before but he has seen it on the videos. While he was on top of her, he noticed something was wrong so he tried to perform CPR, but he must have been doing it wrong. He did not know how to explain what happened to anyone so he went to the bathroom and that is where Bosic found him.

Skoda catches up to Cragen at the station and tells him they need to get together on their sentencing recommendation. Cragen tells him to write the report and sign his name to it. He is upset that Walp missed the mark by 2 points. When Skoda says he saw devastation for what he did, Cragen disagrees saying he saw remorse. Cragen reminds him that while Walp is going to be able to sit in a quiet place an read Winnie the Pooh, Mrs. Bernstein gets a headstone.

Skoda escorts Walp into the psychiatric hospital. As Skoda tries to explain he will help with his intake, Walp asks if he will stay with him. Skoda tells him he will stay for a while as they walk in. When Walp sees the other patients, he begins repeating "No" and shaking his head.