L&O, Episode 8.13
Production number: K2512
First aired: 28 January 1998
  th of 456 produced in L&O  
th of 456 released in L&O
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Written By
David Black & Harold Schecter

Directed By
Gloria Muzio


McCoy faces off against a charismatic serial killer and his slick defense attorney, who claims that violent television shows made his client a killer.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast


Stuart Steiner; Sojourner Truth Community Center; National Advisory Council on Television Violence; Crimson Law Review; Harvard University; Pleasure Quest; Leslie Densch; Chicago; Aspen; Spencer Lee Artiss


Chandler: In those S&M scenes, they were rehearsing what happened to them.
Presssman: [amused] He's something, isn't he?
McCoy: So was Ted Bundy.

Maxwell: I would rather see Eddie Chandler go free if it would stem the tide of violence and depravity in our culture.
McCoy: Mr. Pressman is right: This is not a First Amendment issue. We can all agree that what we see powerfully affects us, but that doesn't excuse us from being decent human beings, or from making moral choices. What we choose to watch, and how we react, is up to us. The baby boom generation, to which Congressman Maxwell and I both belong, grew up watching hundreds of hours of violent TV. We dressed up like Davy Crockett, with his trusty rifle, Old Betsy. Like Hopalong Cassidy, with his pearl-handled six-shooters. And what was the result of all this make-believe TV-inspired violence? We grew up to be a generation that marched against war, and preached peace, love, and flower power. And yes, Mr. Pressman watched the Vietnam War on TV, and how did that change him? I looked up his record. He became a conscientious objector, and a Harvard Law professor. Dangerous guy, huh? We are creatures of free will and moral choice. No matter what we see, read, or hear, we still make choices. Eddie Chandler, a man who murdered and tortured two innocent people, chose evil.

Background information and notes

  • This episode is based on the Andrew Cunanan case. Cunanan was a gigolo who eventually snapped and began murdering his various lovers and clients during the course of a killing spree, which culminated with the 1997 murder of the notorious Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace

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