"Breeder"
L&O, Episode 4.13
Production number: 69023
First aired: 19 January 1994
  th of 456 produced in L&O  
th of 456 released in L&O
  th of 1229 released in all  
Les Savitt.jpg
Written By
René Balcer & Michael S. Chernuchin

Directed By
Arthur W. Forney

After a woman claims that her last memory is of being pregnant and in the back of a taxi, the Detectives have to find a missing baby.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Emergency room doctors save Debbie Elkins' life after she hemorrhages. She has just given birth but there is no sign of her baby. Debbie says the last thing she remembers is passing out in a taxi. Logan and Briscoe trace the driver and find out that Debbie gave birth in a hotel with her boyfriend, which contradicts the story she previously gave the detectives. They further learn she had an adoption arrangement with a wealthy couple named the Savitts, but backed out at the last minute after they'd spent a lot of money on her. Logan and Briscoe track down Debbie's boyfriend and the baby.

It then emerges Debbie had discussed adoption with two other couples, the Baxters and Cushmans. All of them had paid her large sums of money, believing they were the sole prospective parents. In total, she has received over $60,000; with her lawyer guiding her on what to do and say so that she never explicitly promised anyone the baby. Debbie can be charged with grand larceny if the DAs can prove she never intended to give her baby to any of the couples. However, the Savitts have now adopted the baby; they refuse to co-operate. Upon discovering that Debbie threatened to have an abortion if the Cushmans didn't pay her, Stone presses for extortion charges.

Mr. Savitt initially testifies in Debbie's defense; but later, he and his wife come to Stone wanting to change his testimony. They claim that not only did Debbie repeatedly threaten abortion, but her boyfriend is now demanding they pay him not to contest the adoption. Despite earlier claims that the child was not his and was the result of a rape. He hastily agrees to testify against her so he can avoid jail. Debbie snaps and yells that it's only fair for her to take advantage of wealthy couples - the only time anyone has ever cared about her was when they thought she was going to give them a baby. Her lawyer is shaken by this confession and agrees on a twelve-year sentence. The Savitts plan to leave New York with the baby and Stone muses that they're probably worried about what will happen when Debbie gets out of jail.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main cast[edit | edit source]

Recurring cast[edit | edit source]

Guest cast[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Quotes

Background information and notes[edit | edit source]

  • According to Law & Order: The Unofficial Companion, Michael Moriarty suffered a manic episode during the shooting of this episode. Director Arthur W. Forney said Moriarty began muttering to himself. When approaching the witness, Moriarty would laugh at each of his lines. Forney described him as having a vacant look in his eyes, and his wife was summoned to take him to a doctor. This incident came a week after Moriarty and Dick Wolf met with Attorney General Janet Reno to discuss violence on television. Moriarty's impression of the meeting was that Reno wanted Law & Order banned and his career ruined. This incident was the beginning of the end of Moriarty's time on the show. The episode Mayhem was subsequently rewritten to break format, following Logan and Briscoe for nearly the entire show, and to give Moriarty some time to recover, Stone appeared in only two scenes.

Episode scene cards[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4

Madison Taxi Service
4367 10th Avenue
Monday, September 27

Home of
Les & Gwen Savitt
151 Grammercy Park North
Tuesday, September 28

Foundling Hospital
505 Saint Marks Place
Thursday, September 30

27th Precinct
Interrogation Room
Friday, October 1

5 6 7 8

Rikers Island
Correctional Facility
Monday, October 4

Supreme Court
Trial Part 69
Allocution Hearing
Tuesday, November 9

Home of
Ric & Mary Cushman
Chappaqua, New York
Thursday, November 11

Supreme Court
Trial Part 69
Thursday, January 7


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"Snatched"
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Law & Order
Season 4
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