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Law & Order

Season 17 Episode 20


Aired Monday 10:00 PM May 04, 2007 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
52 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When a young boy is found murdered, Green and Cassady follow the leads to a suspected serial pedophile/murderer.

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  • While tracking down a pedophile, who has kidnapped a boy, detectives come across another one of the dangerous pedophile's victims, who is subsequently charged with murder.

    Many things about this episode are great, such as the acting, especially the guest stars. The reason I gave this episode a 'Mediocre' rating is because of the substandard writing, which demonstrates a lack of proper research into the serious subject matter of domestic violence, child abductions and Stockholm syndrome.

    Yes, Law and Order is fictional entertainment, but the series has demonstrated its ability to tackle serious subject matter in a way that is both entertaining, but also enlightening and based in facts.

    Many of the 'Ripped From the Headline' episodes have actually been quite good, even when facts of a real crime are changed for the television story or format. The problem here is that the episode downplays and distorts the real damage done to victims of abuse and does little more then to blame the victim, who was beaten by his step-father as well as kidnapped and sexually abused and manipulated by a pedophile. Jack McCoy wonders why the young defendant never left his captor (a question that the episode never bothers to answer). These and other questions actually have been studied quite a bit over the years. Maybe if the writers had done some actually research on the issue, they might have written a better episode.

    Somehow the fact that the young defendant was also being beaten by his blue collar, chronically unemployed father helped the jury to convict, a rather tasteless bit of class bias that is not only totally illogical but down right offensive.

    The audience should certainly not look at this episode as an accurate depiction of subject matter or even the true crime story that initiated this episode in the first place.

    Last, but not least, in real life this type of defendant would have likely not charged due or would have been institutionalized or would have gotten charged with a lesser sentence. I am not a lawyer, but I do not believe that what the defendant ends up being charged and convicted with in this episode is fair or just.moreless
  • Perfectly written, well plotted and full of stunning twists. A must-see.

    Another 10/10 hit to my Law and Order collection. I admire the way the young boy was acted. Liam Aiken did a great job, first when the detectives found him in the house, second when Jack confronted him in his office and had him arrested and third in the courtroom after the verdict. And the boy - his stepfather relation was a value added to the story, I could have suspected there was something wrong once the parents greeted him in the station house, no affection, as if he hadn't been even happy to see the boy come home.

    And yes, the lesson of the day: No one won this case.moreless
  • Poorly written, distastful to victims, based 99% on fiction yet stated "ripped from the headlines".

    I was upset by the bits and pieces they took from the Devlin case and threw them in with things that are way off base. Now for those who have followed the case closely, we can distance ourselves and know its not the truth. But for the average person who was not watching this case, they may think this is fact. This episode shows us the very reason people like BOR make the comments they do. Nobody can understand what would prevent someone like Shawn from leaving his kidnapper. This show was distasteful and inaccurate to any current case. The "ripped from the headlines" is also deceiving. People need to take this episode with a grain of salt. This episode did nothing to show people the truth about why child victims don't run. What it did was blame the victim and make the child out to be a criminal. This common mentality in America is part of the reason people don’t pay attention to kidnapping cases. If you think this show was even close to being about the Michael Devlin case, you are mistaken. Go do some research, this is far far from being related.moreless
  • What a wonderful episode.

    I love it when Law and order produces great episodes like this. It really makes you proud that you are a fan of this all time great show. So when a young boy is found murdered Green and Cassady believe that the murderer is suspected serial pedophile/murderer. And it is true to say that not all of these cases taken from the news headlines are all bad. Infact this is one of the better episodes. The plot was very intresting and ultimately very entertaining. I hope the final two episodes of the season are as good as this one was. Really you should watch Law and Order.moreless
  • Liam Aiken is a freakingly talented kid.

    I enjoyed this episode. Sometimes with these "ripped from th headline" episodes, it's like the writers just wanted to see how dramatic and exciting they can make a real headline. This time, I like what they did. We've all wondered why a child who was kidnapped has chosen to stay with his captor for years, even though he had ample opportunity to escape. And the media's kindness in actually allowing the family some privacy has only fueled our curiousity. This episode allowed us one possible answer, one possible "why." Liam Aiken did a great job with the mian guest starring role as both the victim and the criminal. Long way from Lemony Snicket here.moreless
Liam Aiken

Liam Aiken

Tory Quinlann

Guest Star

Joseph Barbara

Joseph Barbara

E.S.U. Sgt. Delgado

Guest Star

David Warshofsky

David Warshofsky

Roger Kraslow

Guest Star

Carolyn McCormick

Carolyn McCormick

Dr. Elizabeth Olivet

Recurring Role

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

J.C. Montgomery

J.C. Montgomery

Judge Everett Mason

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Connie Rubirosa describes her sister having a physically abusive boyfriend; having a family member in an abusive relationship is something she has in common with Jack McCoy, whose father physically abused his mother.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Connie Rubirosa: Tory keeps dusting something off his jacket and in the courtroom I thought he was wearing makeup, like my sister used to wear after a rough night with her abusive boyfriend.
      Jack McCoy: How thoroughly did we look into the Quinlann family?
      Connie Rubirosa: Not that thoroughly, they weren't suspects.

    • Connie Rubirosa: What if Tory was a well-adjusted kid from a good family?
      Jack McCoy: Not our facts. (pauses) I hope we never have to try that case.

    • Dr. Elizabeth Olivet: Tory is not an automaton who was programmed to do Roger Kraslow's bidding. He had free will, and he certainly knew right from wrong.

    • Connie Rubirosa: We're getting our ass kicked.
      Jack McCoy: Thanks for sugar coating it. Any suggestions?

    • Dr. Elizabeth Olivet (about Tory): I think he viewed Kevin as a rival for Kraslow's affections, as twisted as that was.

    • Jack McCoy (to Roger Kraslow): Enough of your treacly mea culpas!

    • Roger Kraslow: I know you think I'm a monster, but I loved [him] like a son.
      Connie Rubirosa: Like a son you sexually abused.
      Roger Kraslow: At first, yes.
      Jack McCoy: I'm not in any mood for a sob story! You're a predator, Mr. Kraslow!

    • Roger Kraslow (as he's being arrested): I need to get home to my son!

    • (Watching Tory on a talk show)
      Jack McCoy: The last thing that kid needs is to be trotted around like a circus freak.

    • Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: The boy was smothered to death between 7 and 9, night before last.
      Nina Cassady: While we were busy collaring a burglar.

    • Anita Van Buren: We've got a hostage team on the way.
      Nina Cassady: Let's hope there is a hostage and Kevin's still alive.

  • NOTES (1)


    • Nina Cassady: (of quiet neighborhoods) Blue Velvet -- white picket fences, with a severed ear on the lawn.
      The opening sequence of the film Blue Velvet is just like Detective Cassady describes. After observing a normal suburb, the camera pans down to show us a human ear hidden in the grass. After the main character finds it, he's drawn into a seedy underworld he never knew existed in his hometown.

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Michael J. Devlin case. Michael J. Devlin on January 12, 2007, was arrested and charged for the abduction four days earlier of 13-year-old William 'Ben' Ownby. The boy was found on January 12 and, upon this discovery, the police found another missing boy, Shawn Hornbeck, who disappeared on October 6, 2002, at age 11 while riding his bike to a friend's house in Richwoods, Missouri.