Law and Order
SVU, Episode 3.09
Production number: E2317
First aired: 23 November 2001
  th of 502 produced in SVU  
th of 502 released in SVU
  th of 1271 released in all  
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Written By
Dawn DeNoon & Lisa Marie Petersen

Directed By
Gloria Muzio


After the beaten body of a five year-old girl in foster care is found, Detectives Benson and Stabler investigate her complicated family ties.


Five-year-old Cassie Adams is found murdered at a construction site and the detectives talk to her foster family: foster mom Jane and grandmother Dorothy Rudd, Cassie's younger sisters: Tanya and Whitley, and her foster brother, Glenn. The detectives soon discover that Glenn was at the construction site with Cassie and label him a suspect in her murder. It is soon discovered that Glenn's obsession with a medieval video game is because he was trying to protect Cassie from Dorothy, who had apparently been abusing her.

Glenn testifies that Dorothy beat Cassie to death because she wet the bed and threatened to tell. In the end, Dorothy dies of a heart attack in prison, Tayna and Whitley are given back to their biological mother while Glenn is taken to emergency foster care.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast



Fin: Why do we always get stuck with looking for the needle in the haystack?
Munch: Takes me back to the Easter egg hunts of my youth.
Fin: You're Jewish. Your parents hid eggs?
Munch: My point exactly. All those futile hours of searching.
Fin: You're a kid. What does that look like to you?
Munch: A death trap.
Fin: You're pathetic; that's the coolest fort ever.
Munch: You had a dramatic childhood, eh Sherlock?
Fin: Do you think this is sharp enough to cut a lop of hair?
Munch: Well if it is, you win the chocolate bunny.
Munch: Damn it.
Fin: Here give me that.
Captain Cragen: Maybe we should rethink the squadroom video arcade.
Dr. Huang: Glenn retreated into that video game.
Benson: What exactly is a gorgon?
Dr. Huang: Are you familiar with Medusa?
Stabler: Glenn's monster is a woman.
Benson: How long have you been playing that game?
Dr. Huang: Your captain has found his true calling.
Alex: Can I put Glenn on the stand?
Dr. Huang: He has no organic mental disease, but I don't think he's strong enough.
Alex: What if I prep the hell out of him?
Alex: Who died?
Stabler: Dorothy Rudd.
Alex: Please tell me you're kidding.
Munch: Just got a call from Rikers. Massive heart attack.
Fin: Bitch didn't even suffer.
Captain Cragen: Anyone else feel cheated?
Benson: Prosecution abated by death. Sucks

Background information and notes

  • Fin mentions a tattoo of a "Sword of Damascus". Unless this was supposed to be a fictional reference, it was probably a misspeak since the term "Sword of Damascus" only has esoteric references from an obscure video game and old Italian movie. He probably meant the "Sword of Damocles" from the well known Greek myth of Damocles. In some video games, particularly RPGs, Damocles-brand weapons are usually found in some fictional video games as a higher quality weapons, usually found later on in the end.
  • In her best known role, Piper Laurie plays another famous abusive parent in the Stephen King film Carrie (1976), where she portrays Margaret White, a crazed religious fanatic who justifies her extreme physical, mental, and psychological abuse of her daughter Carrie with religion and disdain of all things sexual. She routinely beats Carrie and locks her in a cupboard filled with religious imagery. Just like in this episode, eventually the child stands up to her and she dies, the main difference is that in the film Carrie crucifies her mother with kitchen utensils via her telekinetic powers. Coincidentally, in the novel, Margaret White dies of a heart attack that is triggered by her daughter's telekinesis after she stabs Carrie with a knife during an attempt to kill her.
  • Error: Munch says that all three Gorgons can turn people to stone by just looking at them. However, it is only Medusa who has the power of petrification; the other two lack such powers.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4

Rudd Residence
247 West 98th Street
Wednesday, June 20

Home of Duke Henry
432 West 129th Street
Wednesday, June 20

Deluca Middle School
619 West End Avenue
Thursday, June 21

Hillview Hospital
Psychiatric Unit
Friday, June 22

5 6 7 8

Bluebell Foster Agency
510 West 42nd Street
Friday, June 22

Hillview Hospital
Psychiatric Unit
Saturday, June 23

Trial Part 74
Monday, June 25

Hamilton Housing
210 West 142nd Street
Wednesday, June 27

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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 3
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