SVU, Episode 4.20
Production number: E3123
First aired: 4 April 2003
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
th of 476 released in SVU
  th of 1229 released in all  
Dave Duethorn Fin Dominance
Written By
Robert F. Campbell & Jonathan Greene

Directed By
Steve Shill

Several couples are beaten, raped, and murdered. The body count rises fast so homicide Detective Duethorn teams up with SVU to catch the spree killer.


When an engagement celebration dinner ends in sexual assault and a gruesome quadruple homicide, the search is on for a violent killer looking for revenge through the domination of his victims.


A couple on their way to their friend Evan's dinner party argues about why they're late. They walk inside and discover the entire dinner party is dead.

Homicide Detective Duethorn calls in Stabler and Fin. They examine the crime scene and discuss possibilities. The medical examiner exclaims that the men were raped, not just the woman.

In the medical examiners office, Warner says that the DNA suggests the perp forced the men to rape the women and then each other before killing them. Back at the precinct, Huang gives some insight and confirms he'll likely kill again.

After confirming that there was a missing party guest, Fin and Duethorn talk to Evan's father Earl to identify the missing guest, Paul Dumont. The editor at the magazine company Paul works for says he received a call from Paul's mother that he was in an accident and is at the hospital. The doctor is suspicious of the circumstances of his accident and says Paul's injuries are more consistent with an attack and not a drunken fall like the responding officers thought. Fin says Dumont was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and the perp attacked him to gain access to the house. Munch gets off the phone and says 2 more bodies were discovered at a park, just like the attacks at Evan's dinner party. Fin says they have a serial killer on their hands.

At the precinct, Olivia says the hospital called and Paul Dumont died. Huang suggests that the killer is taking trophies of sentimental value because he has a poor home life. Duethorn and Fin revisit the crime scene at the park and have trouble finding witnesses until a woman comes up to them on the sidewalk saying she saw a man and a woman standing next to a car and saw the man in the drivers seat follow the couple into the park. She remembers the color and the last two numbers of the license plate. At the precinct the woman is working with someone to identify the make and model of the car. She confirms it is a Contour and Fin finds the car because it was reported stolen.

The car belongs to Al Baker, a building superintendent. Fin and Duethorn ask him about the circumstances of the cars theft. They say they'll keep investigating and get back to him. In the hallway they catch up with Al's sons Charlie and Billy and ask about the car but Charlie and Billy don't seem to care about it. Fin receives a call, they found the car and 2 more bodies. This time 2 men. Cragen thinks the perp got spooked and left in his victims car, an SUV. They find out that one of the victims had 2 women with him, who are missing. At the precinct, Stabler receives a call saying that the lab found something. At the crime lab, the tech tells Fin and Duethorn the perps shoe size and height and type of boot he's been wearing. She also tells them she found traces of metal shavings and lumber which suggests the perp works around home improvement items on a daily basis. The lab tech then receives word that the missing SUV was found with a drunk man sleeping inside of it.

Back at the precinct, Olivia gets a description of the suspect from the drunk found in the back of the missing SUV. They go to a home improvement store and find out that one of Al's son, Billy works there. They deduce that the Contour was never stolen, Billy just took it and then ditched it in the park when he no longer needed it.

They get the car back to the Bakers and stake out their home. They follow Billy to an ATM where they find him using a stolen ATM card. They get a warrant to the Baker's home and Charlie says that Billy has been spending a lot of time in the basement. The detectives search the basement and find the trophies and the boots.

In the interrogation room, Fin and Duethorn confront Billy with the evidence. Duethorn is trying to get him to tell them where the girls are but he just wants to see his brother. Charlie goes in to talk to Billy. Charlie tells Billy that the cops want to know where the girls are but Billy says he can't. Charlie then tells Billy to do the right thing, be strong and be a man and that he's always there for him. Charlie leaves the interrogation room and apologizes for not being able to get anything out of him. Cragen comes in right as Charlie leaves and says they found 2 more bodies.

They examine the crime scene and notice that the MO is way off and think it may be a copycat or a partner. Duethorn confirms the partner theory by checking the footprints which suggest the perp walked with a limp, just like Charlie. Fin and Duethorn go to talk to Al to try and find Charlie. Al points them in the direction of Charlie's girlfriend who turns out to be his ex-girlfriend. She says she broke up with him 6 months ago because he was weird and Charlie asked her to have sex with his brother. At one point they had a threesome that turned into a twosome with just Charlie and his brother. Billy didn't want to, but Charlie forced him. Al came in and caught them but Charlie threatened to kill them all if they ever told anyone.

They question Al and Al confirms that Charlie raped Billy and that Charlie has been beating him. Al also points the detectives to an empty apartment in his building where he thinks Charlie might be. The detectives get there and Charlie tries to run but they catch up to him and cuff him. Charlie callously says they'll "never find those bitches". Fin and Duethorn are interrogating Charlie, trying to get him to tell them where the girls are. But Charlie won’t budge until Billy enters the interrogation room where Fin and Duethorn tell Billy that Charlie set him up by planting the evidence in a place that would incriminate Billy. Billy feels betrayed by Charlie so he tells the detectives where the girls are. In a water tower on the roof. Duethorn asks Fin what they should do now. Fin says "Go to the hospital, get their statements, get some sleep."


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast


20th Precinct; Adam Darling; Tenafly, New Jersey; Parkplace Apartments; Daniel Braverman; Iris Braverman; Hava Java Cafe; David Berkowitz


Dave Duethorn: This city's a three-ring circus, and SVU's the freak show.
Odafin Tutuola: And you want to be the ringmaster.
Dave Duethorn: I want to know what makes them freaks.

Odafin Tutuola: You had a threesome?
Maria: Yeah, until it became a twosome... and I wasn't one of the two.

Charlie Baker: You told them where I was. You bastard! I'll kill you!

Al Baker: I should have killed you. For what you did to Billy.

Charlie: Billy hates you more than I do!!

Background information and notes

  • This episode was originally scheduled to air on March 28, 2003.
  • This episode opens with an advisory for adult content.
  • Detective Deuthorn mentions that he's from Yonkers during a conversation. Erik Palladino was in fact born and raised in Yonkers, New York.
  • Detective Deuthorn spent five years in the 48th precinct as a patrol officer prior to becoming a homicide detective.
  • Jason Ritter is the son of television legend John Ritter, whose sole appearance in the Law & Order franchise was also in a Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode, "Monogamy."

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4 5

Residence of Earl Briggs
113 West 86th Street
Tuesday, March 18

Parkplace Apartments
220 Central Park West
Thursday, March 20

Central Park
Thursday, March 20

G & C
Home Improvement Center
107 Amsterdam Avenue
Friday, March 21

Hava Java Cafe
2023 Broadway
Saturday, March 22

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