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TRUE STORIES OF LAW & ORDER

Introduction


Chapter 1
Law & Order : "Hands Free." An eccentric cross-dresser is accused of murdering three people, one of whom was his wife.

True Story: Acquitted of murdering a neighbor, transvestite Robert Durst remains a suspect in his wife's disappearance.


Chapter 2
Law & Order : "Purple Heart." The wife of a war veteran hires a hit man to kill her husband.

True Story: Weeks after returning from combat duty in the Gulf War, Anthony Riggs was killed in a life-insurance scheme hatched by his wife and brother in law.


Chapter 3
Law & Order : "Forgiveness." A well-meaning but misguided priest comes to the aid of a poor college student accused of murdering his wealthy girlfriend.

True Story: Bonnie Garland, a student at Yale University, was murdered in her Scarsdale home by fellow student and ex-boyfriend Richard Herrin; the Catholic church spoke out in Herrin's defense.


Chapter 4
Law & Order : "Thin Ice." Sports Rage is offered up as a defense in the murder of a hockey coach.

True Story: Hockey dad Thomas Junta beats Michael Costin to death after their kids' practice game in Massachusetts.


Chapter 5
Law & Order
: "Genius." The murder of a taxi driver is linked to a famous author and the brilliant ex-con he has taken under his wing.

True Story: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Norman Mailer helped get Jack Abbott, a convict with literary promise, paroled. Six weeks later, Abbott killed a man and was sent back to prison.


Chapter 6
Law & Order
: "Remand." Neighbors look on as a woman is viciously attacked on the street. Years later, the woman must relive her ordeal when new questions surface about the guilt of her rapist.

True Story: Kitty Genovese was repeatedly stabbed on a street in a Queens, NY, neighborhood. No one called the police until after she had been killed.


Chapter 7
Law & Order
: "Killerz." A sweet-faced preteen and her slow-witted friend kill a little boy.

True Story: Two British ten-year-olds were charged with the abduction and murder of two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool.


Chapter 8
Law & Order
: "Privilege." The prime suspect in a brutal murder argues his innocence based on the fact that he was in an alcoholic blackout while committing the crime.

True Story: The murder of a married couple went unsolved for four years until Paul Cox confessed to the crime during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.


Chapter 9
Law & Order
: "Star Struck." A soap opera star is attacked and left for dead by an obsessed fan.

True Story: Hollywood starlet Rebecca Schaeffer is murdered outside her home by a fan who had been stalking her for several years.


Chapter 10
Law & Order
: "Subterranean Homeboy Blues." A white former ballerina is charged with shooting three black teenagers on the subway.

True Story: On a winter day in 1984, Bernie Goetz, a white man, shot four black teenagers when they approached him on the subway demanding money. Was it self defense or vigilantism?


Chapter 11
Law & Order
: "Bad Girl." A police officer is stabbed to death in the park by a killer who finds religion after she's apprehended.

True Story: Death row inmate Karla Faye Tucker underwent a religious transformation and lobbied to have her death sentence commuted. Despite the support of Newt Gingrich and Pat Roberston, she was executed in 1998.


Chapter 12
Law & Order
: "Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die." A woman dies at the hands of a privileged preppie with a penchant for rough sex.

True Story: Robert Chambers strangled Jennifer Levin in New York City's Central Park in what the press quickly dubbed “The Preppie Murder.”


Chapter 13
Law & Order
: "Hate." The leader of a Neo-Nazi organization is charged for a murder his members committed.

True Story: Skinhead leader Thomas Metzger was tried for the slaying of Ethiopian immigrant Mulageta Sera, even though he wasn't present during the murder.


Chapter 14
Law & Order
: "Born Again." A young girl is killed during an unconventional psychological treatment session.

True Story: Candace Newmaker, a ten-year-old Colorado girl, was smothered to death during a rebirthing session with her therapists.


Chapter 15
Law & Order
: "Everybody Loves Raimondos." Two men are executed in a trendy Italian restaurant after someone insults a patron as she's singing.

True Story: Mafia wise guy Louis “Louie Lump” Barone, a regular at the exclusive Harlem eatery Rao's, shot and killed a fellow patron for insulting him.


Chapter 16
Law & Order
: "Disciple." An exorcism performed on a troubled teen causes the young girl's death.

True Story: In Milwaukee, eight-year-old Terrance Cottrell was smothered during a church exorcism intended to cure his autism.


Chapter 17
Law & Order
: "In Memory." The repressed memory of an emotionally fragile woman holds the key to a thirty-one-year-old murder.

True Story: Californian George Franklin was tried and convicted of the murder of an eight-year-old girl based on his daughter's recovered memory of the crime.


Chapter 18
Law & Order
: "Brother's Keeper." A gangster is the number one suspect in the murder of a businessman, but the FBI stymies the cops' investigation.

True Story: Whitey Bulger, head of Boston's Winter Hill Gang, spent decades murdering, robbing and extorting his neighbors at will, thanks an old neighbor in the FBI.


Chapter 19
Law & Order
: "Thrill." Two punks commit a random murder, leaving ADA Jack McCoy searching for a motive.

True Story: New Jersey teens Thomas Kosovich and Jason Vreeland ambushed and killed a pizza delivery man for the “thrill” of it.


Chapter 20
Law & Order
: "Return." A young Jewish man flees to Israel to avoid a murder prosecution.

True Story: The Israeli government refused to extradite Samuel Sheinbein, an American teenager charged with murder in Maryland.


Chapter 21
Law & Order
: "Who Let the Dogs Out." A pit bull bred to be aggressive kills a woman and her dog in the park.

True Story: Diane Whipple, a popular lacrosse coach, was mauled to death by her neighbor's dogs in San Francisco.


Chapter 22
Law & Order
: "Heaven." A fire in a Dominican night club leaves dozens of patrons dead.

True Story: Cuban boatlift refugee Julio Gonzalez committed the worst mass murder in American history when he set fire to the Happy Land night club in the Bronx, killing 87 people.


Chapter 23
Law & Order: "The Myth of Fingerprints." Shoddy forensic science leads a homicide to be wrongly classified as a suicide.

True Story: Oklahoma City police chemist Joyce Gilchrist's faulty forensic work sent innocent men and women to prison—and cost one man his life.


Chapter 24
Law & Order
: "Gunshow." An unbalanced young man with a grudge against women goes on a shooting spree in Central Park.

True Story: Misogynist Marc Lépine killed fourteen women in an anti-feminist tear through a Canadian engineering school armed with a semi-automatic rifle.


Chapter 25
Law & Order
: "Absentia." A witness to a robbery turns out to be a fugitive running from a twenty-year-old murder conviction.

True Story: Sixties radical Ira “Unicorn” Einhorn fled the country after police discovered his girlfriend's badly decomposed body inside a trunk in his closet.

 

©2007 Kevin Dwyer and Juré Fiorillo