"Family Values"
CI, Episode 8.09
Production number:
First aired: 21 June 2009
  th of 195 produced in CI  
th of 195 released in CI
  th of 1229 released in all  
Goren Eames Ross Family Values
Teleplay By
Walon Green & Antoinette Stella

Story By
Walon Green

Directed By
Jean de Segonzac


A man disturbed by the imagery of a girl wearing a low-cut costume in a school play walks out and drives to a house reciting religious scripture. He sips a mug while wearing rubber gloves. A dead woman lies on the floor next to his table. The man of the house returns and the assailant ambushes him with a hammer. Eames and Goren are called to the scene in the morning. They note that the case is peculiar because of the woman's apparent familiarity with her killer but nothing of value, even $1,000 in cash was taken, nor did any sexual assault take place during the home invasion.

It turns out the killer, Paul Devildis, and his wife Mary are the victims' relatives. He is extremely socially-conservative, even having used a towel to cover the chest of his sister-in-law after killing her. Paul learns from his daughter Katherine that she will next be performing in a Tennessee Williams play, which he disapproves of, because of Williams's homosexuality. Paul confronts her drama teacher Vilma over this. He later walks out of an alley, dropping his hammer in a dumpster. She is found dead the next morning, having been killed with a hammer.

It is revealed that despite being a lesbian, Vilma taught at a conservative Christian school and not every parent approved of the drama program, of which Paul was one. Paul builds a pipe bomb, which is delivered to and detonated by the boss who fired him from his bank job at which he was pretending to work for the past five months. The body count continues to escalate as Paul's wife and pet dog are found dead in his house, but he has absconded with his daughter. Goren theorizes that Paul's mother will be next. Listening to the radio, Katherine discovers what her father has done and unsuccessfully attempts to escape. After apprehending Paul near his mother's retirement home, Eames and Goren now must race to look for the now-missing daughter before hypothermia sets in. Goren manages to use Paul's fanaticism against him to reveal Katherine's location in time.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast


Queens Drama Academy; Morriltown; Chautaqua Savings; Hills of Zion Retirement Community; Tennessee Williams; Sweet Bird of Youth; Book of Revelations


Paul Devildis: (muttering to himself) Seeing her, I heard the Revelations. Bedecked in scarlet, wearing stones of gold... offering abominations, the filth of fornication... But I'll save her. I'll save them all...

Vilma: Come on in, I'll make a pot of coffee. See if I can sell you on sending Kathy to Yale Drama.
Paul Devildis: (laughs) That's a big order.
Vilma: Well, she's a big talent.

(Goren has asked Devildis about his resistance to his daughter's participation in theatre)
Paul Devildis: Yes, there was some resistance at first. Kathy is Daddy's little girl, and well, uh... (chuckle) it's hard to imagine her not ten years younger than she actually is.
Kathy Devildis: Unfortunately.

Paul Devildis: I am giving you eternal life.
Kathy Devildis: (horrified) You really... (starts to cry) you really believe that?
Paul Devildis: I know it.

Paul Devildis: I see... (choked up) I've served Evil.
Robert Goren: Then break your servitude and put your God above all else.

Background information and notes

  • This was originally the last Goren and Eames episode for the season, but was replaced with "Alpha Dog".
  • Based on the case of John List

Previous episode:
"The Glory That Was"
"Family Values"
Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Season 8
Next episode:
"Salome in Manhattan"
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