STORIES OF LAW & ORDER
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.
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.
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.
Law & Order : "Thin Ice."
Sports Rage is offered up as a defense in the murder of a hockey
True Story: Hockey dad Thomas Junta beats Michael
Costin to death after their kids' practice game in Massachusetts.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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
Law & Order: "In Memory." The repressed memory
of an emotionally fragile woman holds the key to a thirty-one-year-old
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.
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.
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.
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.
Law & Order: "Who Let the Dogs Out."
A pit bull bred to be aggressive kills a woman and her dog in the
True Story: Diane Whipple, a popular lacrosse coach,
was mauled to death by her neighbor's dogs in San Francisco.
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.
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.
Law & Order: "Gunshow." An unbalanced
young man with a grudge against women goes on a shooting spree in
True Story: Misogynist Marc Lépine killed
fourteen women in an anti-feminist tear through a Canadian engineering
school armed with a semi-automatic rifle.
Law & Order: "Absentia." A witness
to a robbery turns out to be a fugitive running from a twenty-year-old
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.