Law and Order
Law and Order
CI, Episode 3.20
Production number: E45
First aired: 16 May 2004
  th of 195 produced in CI  
th of 195 released in CI
  th of 1229 released in all  
Edwin Lindgard.jpg
Teleplay By
René Balcer

Story By
René Balcer & Warren Leight

Directed By
Frank Prinzi

Detectives Goren and Eames investigate the mysterious death of a woman killed in a hit-and-run incident.


When an elderly woman passes, her heroin-addicted adult daughter, Danielle, is drugged and murdered in what is supposed to look like an hit-and-run accident. Detectives Goren and Eames quickly conclude that the victim was drugged to make it seem like she overdosed and accidentally drove into traffic. The Detectives question the victim's sister and brother-in-law, who were in a heated dispute over a misplaced ring that belonged to her mother. Major Case then follows up with Robbery Detective Norris, who did not investigate the victim's claims because of her junkie-like appearance. Nearly at a dead end, Major Case turns to the suspicious death and quick cremation of the victim's mother, which they believe to be the real reason for the victim's death. Their investigation leads them to the woman's doctor, Dr. Edwin Lindgard, who claims that her death is routine. Goren and Eames find his behavior odd and begin looking into his background, and focus their investigation on him.

The detectives find that Dr. Lindgard's girlfriend is a recovering alcoholic and she badly evades mentioning his drug history when asked by Goren. They also notice her expensive jewellery, which she explains are custom-made gifts from Dr. Lindgard. The detectives then research Dr. Lindgard’s past and discover he had been writing many opiate prescriptions, but had abruptly resigned at that previous employment. They also find out he is paying alimony to his wife, who is a pharmacist.

Upon interviewing Dr. Lindgard’s ex-wife, she admits that even after the divorce, she is still supplying him once a month with an opiate drug for his personal use. Dr. Lindgard is an opiate addict. As a quid pro quo, he gives her alimony unreported on tax forms and she in turn gives him opiates.

The detective discover that as a teenager, Dr. Lindgard had watched his mother die of bone marrow cancer. The home attendant taught him how to inject his mother with morphine to comfort her.

Goren realizes that such an ego-maniacal person cannot be stopped unless he is publicly humiliated. Goren decides the ultimate confrontation would be at a free dinner sponsored by a pharmaceutical drug representative, with Dr. Lindgard’s girlfriend, other physicians, and their spouses also present. When Dr. Lindgard arrives outside the restaurant, the detectives have the ex-wife unexpectedly appear and hand him an envelope of opiate drugs and with his girlfriend noticing the handover from afar.

The detectives appear as the main course is being served. Goren publicly exposes Dr. Lindgard's drug addiction by opening the envelope and revealing the powdered opiate drug. Goren exposes the jewel thievery by pointing to the girlfriend's brooch and then showing a photo of the same jewels set in a ring of a deceased elderly patient whose wake was attended by Dr. Lindgard and his girlfriend - the missing ring which Danielle was searching for. As Goren denigrates and exposes more of his wrongdoing, Dr. Lindgard finally cracks and justifies that he has the power of life and death. Dr. Lindgard then grabs a dinner knife and attempts to stab himself to death, but Goren wrestles the knife away.


Main cast[]

Guest cast[]





Background information and notes[]

A dinner guest with a remarkable resemblance to Harold Shipman.

  • The title of this episode, "D.A.W.", is a word play in reference to dispense as written (DAW), a term used in the medical prescription context.
  • The story is based on the case of Harold Frederick Shipman, who murdered up to 200 of his patients in Hyde, Greater Manchester, UK, between the mid 1970s and his arrest in 1998. Many features of the story are directly based on the Shipman case, such as his drug addiction, previous forgery conviction and taking of jewelry and money. (Source: Harold Shipman at Wikipedia) Whether it is a deliberate nod to the Shipman case, at the dinner party at the end, there is a man sitting at the table who is a dead ringer for the real-life doctor.

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