|"...Or Just Look Like One"|
|←||SVU, Episode 1.03||→|
|Production number: E0907|
First aired: 4 October 1999
| Written By|
Michael R. Perry
After teen model Jazmin Burgess is dumped, beaten, and raped in front of Roosevelt Hospital, Benson and Stabler investigate to find out why a sixteen-year-old girl was out alone after midnight. High levels of drugs in Jazmin's system lead them to take a look at not only the modeling agency with which Jazmin was signed, but also the photographer who was supervising her last shoot and had booted her out because she was 'too heavy'. Stabler's disgust with the whole issue is aggravated by his and Kathy's worry that their daughter Maureen, who has been refusing to eat lately, may be anorexic.
While EMT's and a Dr. Lock are tending to an elderly woman who had just arrived outside Roosevelt Hospital's entrance in an ambulance, they hear an SUV's obnoxious honking behind them. Dr. Lock asks an EMT to address it. As he begins approaching the vehicle, it drives off, leaving behind an unconscious girl laying on the pavement.
Detective Stabler joins Detective Benson in the unconscious girl's hopsital room. Stabler asks Benson if she has any information on the crime. Benson simply tells Stabler that the girl was dumped on the street outside the hospital. A uniformed officer then walks in with the girl's belongings and tells them her school ID identifies her as a Theresa Burgess. Dr. Lock walks in the room and informs them that Theresa was potentially attacked with the claw of a claw hammer, leaving over 30 wounds. She also tells them the girl was raped by wooden object, which left behind splinters that were removed. The problem that concerns the doctor most is an apparent drug overdose.
At a briefing in the SVU office, Captain Cragen tells the team Theresa is a 16-year-old model and asks Benson and Stabler to fill the team in on the rest. Stabler tells them she was dumped from a dark red or black late-model SUV at the hospital around 3:33 𝖠𝖬 and is comatose. Benson tells them she had prescription methamphetamine in her knapsack, which is consistent with her overdose symptoms. Detective Jeffries comes to the conclusion that since the face, breast and genitals sustained the most damage (indicating familiarity) and she was dropped off at the ER (indicating remorse), that the perp must know the victim. Benson believes it may be one-way familiarity, where the perpetrator fantasizes being in a relationship with the victim. Detectives Cassidy and Munch tell the group her face is everywhere in ads. Stabler tells them that the last appointment she had on the day of her attack, according to her daybook, was a photo shoot, at which at least 12 other named indviduals were present. When Cragen asks about the parents, he is told messages were left for the mother who lives upstate, and that the father claims he was at his home in Queens at the time of the incident. Cragen and Stabler want to know why a teenager was out on the streets at 3:00 𝖠𝖬 while her father was at home. Cragen sends Benson and Stabler back to the hospital to talk with the father, Munch and Cassidy to talk with the other models at the photo shoot, and Jeffries to court involving a comic book called Rape Man.
At the hospital, Detectives Benson and Stabler inform Theresa's father that a minor out anywhere at 3:00 𝖠𝖬 runs the risk of being attacked (not just in New York, as the father implies). He informs them his daughter's name has been changed to Jazmin for professional reasons. He tells them the last time he saw his daughter was when he dropped her off at the photo shoot at 6:00 𝖯𝖬. He says he was worried, but did not check on her because he did not want to be a troublemaker. He was told there was nothing to worry about by her modelling agent, Nina Laszlo.
At The Laszlo Agency, Nina Laszlo tells Benson and Stabler that she herself left the fated photo shoot around 10:00 𝖯𝖬, after she felt the shoot with the nine girls in attendance (including Jazmin) looked in order. When asked about Jazmin's use of amphetamines, Laszlo denied knowing anything about it. She states that after she left the shoot, she supposes that'd make the reamining adult, the photographer Carlo Parisi, "in charge" of the girls and their safety. When Benson asks her what kind of car she drives, she tells her it's a white Acura.
Benson and Stabler interrupt a photo shoot Parisi's conducting to ask him of Jazmin's whereabouts the night of her attack. He tells them he believes Jazmin arrived at the shoot at 6:00 𝖯𝖬 to start hair and makeup, but he is not sure because he was setting lights. The shoot started at around midnight and ran to around 3:00 𝖠𝖬 or 4:00 𝖠𝖬. He remembers finishing with Jazmin early, but he does not know what time she left. Stabler asks about the use of drugs on the set. Parisi tells him he has been sober for 17 months and four days, and deflects the question when asked about the girls' potential drug use. He then tells them he drives a Porsche Boxster. Benson turns around to see Parisi's assistant, who she recognizes as Deborah Latrell, a testifier against Ricky Blaine, "The Measuring Man." Benson and Latrell inform Stabler on how Blaine would pose as a modeling scout and tell young girls he needed their measurements. After he gained their trust, he sexually assaulted them. Latrell tells the detectives that she received a post card a couple weeks ago informing her that Blaine had been released from Creedmore.
At Ricky Blaine's current job, the detectives confiscate a hammer he has on him. He tells them he has not touched a piece of measuring tape in years. He claims he was watching a football game at a halfway house the night Jazmin was killed--"Jets and Steelers." Benson informs him the game was actually the Cowboys against the 49ers. Blaine starts sensuously reciting what he believes are Benson's body measurements as he goes to touch her face. Benson and Stabler then floor him and empty his pockets to see if he has measuring tape on him, which he doesn't. The detectives warn him to stay out of trouble.
At the SVU office, Munch and Cassidy report back on their conversations with the other models. Jazmin was reportedly booted from the photo shoot for failing a weigh-in conducted by Parisi (the photographer) at midnight. Jazmin only weighed 110 pounds at 5'7" and she was told she had to lose eight pounds. After making a few "weepy phone calls," she went into the photographer's office to apparently fight for her job. She came out crying and Parisi told her she no longer modelled for him. All of the girls deny drugs being on the set (which Munch interpreted as an admission that they're all using). The girls told the investigators that Jazmin left the set with another model, her friend Vanessa Wong.
When Benson and Stabler arrive at Wong's residence to get a testimony from a potential "star witness," they're surprised to run into Detectives Briscoe and Green coming out of the apartment. Benson and Stabler tell Briscoe and Green about their victim, only to find out their witness is Briscoe and Green's homicide victim. Just like Jazmin, Wong was suspected to also have been killed with a claw hammer in the early 𝖠𝖬.
While the Stabler family is sitting around the breakfast table, Stabler notices his daughter Maureen is not eating much. When he tries to force her to eat more, his wife Kathy pulls him aside to speak with him. Kathy tells him the "anorexic-in-training act" has been going on for a few weeks. He agrees to come home earlier so they can talk to her. Stabler tries to talk to Maureen about nutrition when he gets back to the table, but she refuses.
At the station, Detectives Briscoe and Green from the surprise encounter earlier join the squad's meeting. Stabler informs the group that Briscoe and Green's victim (Vanessa Wong) died in the same manner and about the same time as Jazmin, and that they were best friends. Stabler lets them know the results from the "PCR" DNA tests won't be in until the following week, but the rape kit conducted on her body came back positive for oral contact. There were also "huge amounts" of Benzedrine found in her system. Cragen informs them that "benny" (Benzedrine) abusers are paranoid and have a lot of time on their hands because they never sleep. Munch recounts a story about a paranoid speed user who blew himself up after triggering one of his many homemade booby traps. They had to make 3 piles: one for the bomb squad, one for the coroner, and some other one. Getting back to the business at hand, Benson recaps the crime's timeline: Jazmin stayed at the photo shoot until some time between 12:00 𝖠𝖬 and 1:00 𝖠𝖬, when she left with Wong. There's a time gap until 3:33 𝖠𝖬, when Jazmin was dumped at the hospital. Detective Green tells the group Wong was found two blocks from the hospital, and was presumably dumped there around the same time. Benson informs them "The Measuring Man" was indeed watching football the night of the incident, but just wasn't paying enough attention to know which teams were playing. Captain Cragen brings back up Benson's theory of "one-way familiarity," / "the star-stalker angle," but Jeffries doesn't buy it: Wong wasn't nearly as famous as Jazmin; she still thinks the attacker was an acquaintance. Stabler says they received Jazmin's call recrods to try to determine her whereabouts during the ~1:00 𝖠𝖬 to ~3:00 𝖠𝖬 time gap. Jazmin called her mother at 12:20 𝖠𝖬, and from 12:34 𝖠𝖬 and 1:02 𝖠𝖬, she placed four calls to an apartment owned by a Hampton Trill, a successful author. Cragen sends Munch and Cassidy to speak with Trill, and Stabler and Benson to speak with Jazmin's mother.
Back at the hospital, Benson asks Jazmin's mother, Sue Burgess, how Jazmin is doing. Mrs. Burgess responds by saying all they can do at this point is pray. She tells them that in Jazmin's 12:20 𝖠𝖬 call, Jazmin was shaken up by Parisi's mean comments and told her mother that she wanted to quit modelling altogether. Mrs. Burgess told her she could come home any time she wanted. Mrs. Burgess tells the detectives that Tom gained custody of their daughter in their divorce a couple years back because Mrs. Burgess was deemed unfit take care of her, due to working all day. Mrs. Burgess claims Tom is using Jazmin's modelling success as his ticket up.
In the New York Supreme Court, Detective Jeffries testifies she found sufficient evidence to charge a father of rape under the parental responsibility law, even though the father's 13-year-old son is the one who actually committed the act and the father was at work. Jeffries argues the father is responsible due to evidence they found when they searched the home, alluding to a home environment that condones rape. Specifically, they found a Japanese comic book called Rape Man, which is about a highschool boy who by night is a masked "superhero" who exacts revenge on women who've wronged him by raping them.
At Hampton Trill's apartment, Trill tells Munch and Cassidy he was having a party the night of Jazmin's attack, which is why he didn't answer her calls. He informs them Jazmin eventually showed up to the party herself, but arrived late and looked like a mess. When the detectives suggest Jazmin may have come to the party to get some methamphetamine, Trill agress that it's very possible. Trill met Jazmin in the elevator last Spring when she was scheduled for an appointment with one of the doctors on the first two floors of the complex. He says those doctors always show up to his parties. Munch gives Trill his card in case he thinks of anything else.
Benson and Stabler interrupt Parisi and his assistant Latrell at another of Parisi's photo shoots to inform them of Wong's death. When the detectives asked Parisi why Wong left with Jazmin after Jazmin failed Parisi's weigh-in, Parisi said they left together simply because they're friends. Latrell chimes in to say the girls left to go score drugs at Trill's party. Parisi said he left out thay fact because he didn't want to hurt Jazmin's family.
At the SVU office, Munch shows Benson and Stabler security pictures revealing Jazmin entering Trill's apartment building at 1:22 𝖠𝖬 to go to his party. Munch also gives them a list of the doctors that operate on the first two floors of Trill's building. At least one of them is writing prescriptions for Bennies. Trill and Jazmin met when Jazmin was on her way to get a new prescription. Benson and Stabler head off to Professional Licensing Services to see if they can identify one of these doctors as the doctor who had been prescribing bennies to Jazmin and Wong.
While at Professional Licensing Services, they find that Dr. Deke O'Connor has been handing out prescriptions for speed "like it's candy on Halloween." Stabler calls to check O'Connor's record finding an assault charge and a DUI.
Benson and Stabler go to NYU Downtown Hospital to speak with O'Connor only to find he has been paralyzed since '97 from a motorcycle accident.
At the station, Stabler takes an opportunity to discuss anorexia with Dr. Olivet. She tells him it is a way to gain control of their typically tumultuous lives. She also tells him if he notices self-induced vomiting, headaches, or the use of laxatives, he needs to get immediate help, but to watch until then. Realizing who he is talking about, she tells him he cannot always be his daughter's best friend.
Stabler arrives home to find Kathy at the table waiting for Maureen to eat. He tells her she looks healthy enough and invites Kathy to dinner at Scarentino's, making Maureen a little jealous.
At the pharmacy company, Benson and Stabler inform the pharmacy's director that a supposedly popular customer of theirs, Dr. O'Connor, is actually paralyzed and no longer practices. Benson looks over the list of prescriptions Dr. O'Connor had supposedly written, and notices that despite there being dozens of names listed, all the prescriptions get delivered to the same address. When Benson asks the pharmacy director why they didn't detect this pattern as odd, the directory sheepishly responded, "I guess we need to upgrade our software."
At the SVU office, Captain Cragen tells Benson and Stabler that Narcotics called him twice, claiming Benson and Stabler had "crash landed" in a controlled substance investigation Narcotics had been working on for some time. Stabler defends he and Benson by saying they're only looking into prescriptions to get to Jazmin and Wong's attacker. Cragen reminds them that if pills are involved in an investigation, they have to tell Narcotics. Benson reminds Cragen that when Narcotics gets involved, their 0-tolerance approach and frequent "crappy little posession busts" scare witnesses and keep them from talking. Furthermore, Stabler informs Cragen that they've already discovered where all the bogus prescriptions are being sent to and that Munch and Cassidy are at the adress looking into it at that very moment. Stabler asks for a little extra time before Narcotics gets involved. Cragen agrees to try to stall Narcotics for a couple of days.
The address the prescriptions had been getting mailed to is Box 732 at Privacy First Mail Services. The clerk there informs Munch and Cassidy that Box 732 is registered to a Bertram Small. He iforms them that only authorization a person needs to gain access to a box is the correct key, as long as the account is paid up. They inform him an officer will be stationed on-site until someone picks up mail from Box 732.
When a man comes to get mail from Box 732, he is brought to the station to be questioned by Benson and Stabler. Stabler shows him a bag full of pills found in an envelope from Box 732. The man claims he did not know what was in the envelopes. He claims he's simply a courier who gets paid $100 a week to repackage the envelopes with an inconspicuous return address and deliver them to the building that houses The Laszlo Agency.
Benson and Stabler return to Cragen's office to tell him that they changed their mind and actually want to get Narcotics involved now. They want to use Narcotics to conduct an intimidating bust at The Laszlo Agency to arrest Laszlo and her employees for her apparent drug-dealing side business.
At Laszlo's office, a team of officers, with the Narcotics Unit at the helm, storms in and arrests Laszlo's employees. Stabler and Benson personally approach Laszlo to arrest her. Stabler tells Laszlo that she probably doesn't want to be transported to the station with her employees because the press is waiting for her out front, likely eager to get a picture of "Nina Laszlo, drug dealer to the stars." Benson tells Laszlo that if she's ready to talk about Jazmin, they can instead transport her in their car out back, to which Laszlo reluctantly agrees.
Laszlo tells them the drugs keep the models in good shape; the drugs are like vitamins to them. Laszlo says agencies can't "raise a stink" or else they'll lose models to other agencies. Benson asks if that's why Jazmin was attacked: because she was raising a fuss over the drugs. Laszlo denies this and instead claims that Carlo Parisi's the one to blame for the attacks. According to Laszlo, Parisi has a private Polaroid collection of the girls performing sex acts on him. On the night of her attack, Jazmin had gone into Parisi's office after failing the weigh-in to perform oral sex on Parisi, at his request. In exchange for this, Jazmin hoped to be put back on the photo shoot. When Parisi still wouldn't let Jazmin be on the shoot, even after taking photos of her performing oral sex on him, Jazmin stole Parisi's Polaroid collection out of spite and told Laszlow that she would use the photos to make sure Parisi never worked again. The next thing Laszlow heard, Jazmin was in the emergency room.
At the SVU office, Briscoe and Green bring Benson and Stabler the claw hammer supposedly used for the attacks, before Cragen pulls them away for lunch. Cragen tells Benson and Stabler to take Munch and Cassidy with them to Parisi's to arrest him and conduct a search for any of his alleged pedophilic photographs.
While Benson and Stabler are questioning Parisi at his office, Munch and Cassidy begin searching for incriminating photos. Benson informs Parisi that they know about the private Polaroid collection that Jazmin allegedly stole from him. Benson then suggests that Parisi tracked Jazmin down, but Jazmin refused to give the photos back, so Parisi murdered her in response. Parisi dismissively invites them to search for any such private Polaroids and sarcastially says he'd "love to see them." Benson reminds him that, whether they find any incriminating Polaroids or not, they have semen on Jazmin's dress that they assume belongs to him, which would land him with a charge for statutory rape. Parisi argues the act was consensual. Stabler dismisses Parisi's defense and tells him that Parisi usfled his position of power to hire, fire, and exact sexual favors from minors, which is not consensual. When Benson and Stabler place Parisi under arrest, they have Munch and Cassidy take him to the station so they can finish the search. While searching through his papers, they discover that Deborah Latrell is not only his assistant, but also a felllow co-owner of Parisi Studios. While searching the file cabinet, Stabler finds a picture album in a hidden location that reveals Latrell was at one point engaged to Parisi. Benson speculates that Parisi stood Latrell up and hid the photo album afterwards. Benson thinks that Jazmin knew Latrell was once engaged to Parisi, so Jazmin showed Latrell the private Polaroids to get revenge on Parisi for the weigh-in and to ruin his career.
In an interrogation room at the SVU office, Benson and Stabler suggest to Latrell that she was at Trill's book release party, and that's how she knew Theresa and Wong were there. They tell her they believe she went to the party to get Parisi's private Polaroids back. When she denies it, they decide to see if Munch and Cassidy got anything out of Parisi. Upon hearing Parisi was not talking either, they decide to suggest to each of the suspects that the other already told them everything. With Parisi sitting at Munch's desk, Stabler and Benson escort Latrell through the squad room to another interrogation room. Latrell and Parisi yell at each other for ratting each other out.
In the other interrogation room, Latrell explains to them how she made his career by letting him ride on her successes from her beauty. She explains her career was abruptly ended by The Measuring Man's attacks, taking away her good looks. She admits that she was at Trill's book release party with Jazmin and Wong. She also admits that Jazmin showed her the Polaroids in Latrell's car. Latrell then lies to the detectives and says she "[doesn't] remember what happened after that." Stabler places the hammer in front of Latrell. After Latrell sees the hammer in front of her, she confesses: She was furious that Jazmin was so upset about failing a single weigh-in that she had to take away Latrell's last shred of dignity by showing Latrell the Polaroids. Latrell says she was high on speed when she hit Jazmin with the hammer. She then hit Wong to shut her up after she started screaming. When Latrell called Parisi for assistance, Parisi had the idea to stage the attacks to look like sexual assault. Parisi therefore raped the bodies, including with the hammer's shaft, leading to the splinters found on Jazmin. Benson asks why Latrell would still call Parisi, even after seeing the photo evidence of him raping the underage girls and betraying her trust. Latrell responds by saying Parisi was all she had left in life.
After Latrell is escorted to booking, Munch informs them Jazmin died at the hospital.
- Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler
- Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson
- Richard Belzer as Detective John Munch
- Dann Florek as Captain Donald Cragen
- Dean Winters as Detective Brian Cassidy
- Michelle Hurd as Detective Monique Jeffries
- Isabel Gillies as Kathy Stabler
- Erin Broderick as Maureen Stabler
- Holiday Segal as Kathleen Stabler
- Patricia Cook as Elizabeth Stabler
- Jeffrey Scaperrotta as Dickie Stabler
- Jerry Orbach as Detective Lennie Briscoe
- Jesse L. Martin as Detective Ed Green
- Carolyn McCormick as Dr. Elizabeth Olivet
- Chris Orbach as Detective Ken Briscoe
- Bebe Neuwirth as Nina Laszlo
- Catherine Dent as Deborah Latrell
- Ritchie Coster as Carlo Parisi
- Damian Young as Hampton Trill
- Todd Stashwick as Ricky Blaine
- Lianna Pai as A.D.A.
- Laura Poe as Sue Burgess
- Michael Mastro as Postal Medic
- Peter Marx as Tom Burgess
- Rica Martens as Mrs. Johnson
- Gary Klar as Lieutenant Joey Poole
- Saidah Arrika Ekulona as Dr. Lakhmajara
- Elizabeth Van Dyke as Attorney Harris
- Ray Virta as Schecter
- Felix Solis as Nick
- Rafael Ferrer as Mooney
- Frank Senger as Pampas
- Carl Palmer as EMT
- Nancy McDoniel as Nurse
- Lawrence Woshner as Dr. Sullivan
- Layla Alexander as Theresa Burgess (uncredited)
- Laszlo Agency
- Latham & Watkins
- Morgan Talent Management
- Roosevelt Hospital
People: Measuring Man
|“||Money, power, respect; supermodels are the Greek goddesses of our time, if you want to believe Camille Paglia.||”|
–Dr. Elizabeth Olivet
- Lennie Briscoe: You are looking at the fruits of four hours of dumpster diving along 59th Street. Nine dumpsters in all.
- Elliot Stabler: You trying to tell me the two of you went dumpster diving?
- Ed Green: Hell, no. We supervised a couple of uniforms. I don't do disposable diapers.
- Donald Cragen: Hey Lennie, c'mon. I haven't eaten in an hour. [He turns to Benson and Stabler.] You guys go ahead. These guys owe me lunch.
- Lennie Briscoe: I don't owe him anything! I'm just gonna supervise his doughnut withdrawal.
- Carlo Parisi: I have thousands of polaroids. I'm a photographer.
- John Munch: Yeah. And Larry Flynt's a publisher.
- Olivia Benson: So where does he hide his dirty pictures?
- Elliot Stabler: You got three choices: under the bed, in the back of the closet, or amongst boring and unappealing papers.
- Olivia Benson: I take it that's another guy thing?
- Elliot Stabler: Yeah.
|“||Beauty is power until you lose it and then you're garbage. Nobody gives a damn about you. You wouldn't understand that, Detective Benson, because you're still a beautiful woman.||”|
|“||Face, breasts, genitals? That says, "Bitch, I'm gonna erase you."||”|
Background information and notes
- Chris Orbach (Ken Briscoe) is the real-life son of Jerry Orbach (Lennie Briscoe). In the series Lennie portrays Ken's uncle. When they run into each other in the station, Lennie asks Ken to keep quiet that he is his uncle. The relationship is not referenced again.
- In this episode several cast members from Law & Order make their first appearance on Special Victims Unit. The characters of regular cast members Jesse L. Martin and Jerry Orbach help the Detectives with solving the murder, and Carolyn McCormick appears as psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Olivet.
- Actress Bebe Neuwirth later appeared in Law & Order: Trial by Jury as regular cast member A.D.A. Tracey Kibre.
- Layla Alexander plays the uncredited role of victim Theresa Burgess. She later returned in the first season finale "Slaves" as Ilena Condrescu.
- Ricky Blaine (the Measuring Man) gives Olivia's measurements as 34-25-36, A cup
- The real-life "Measuring Man", Albert DeSalvo (more commonly known as the "Boston Strangler"), had a similar MO to Blaine in the rape cases he committed before becoming the strangler, and was likely the inspiration for the character.
Episode scene cards
The Laszlo Agency
Tiburon Auto Repair
NYU Downtown Hospital
Special Victims Unit
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| "...Or Just Look Like One"|
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