Law and Order
SVU, Episode 8.15
Production number: 08013
First aired: 20 February 2007
  {{{nNthProducedInSeries}}}th of 502 produced in SVU  
{{{nNthReleasedInSeries}}}th of 502 released in SVU
  {{{nNthReleasedInAll}}}th of 1271 released in all  
Ruben Morales Novak Warner Haystack.jpg
Written By
Amanda Green

Directed By
Peter Leto

The search for a missing baby is complicated when the child's mother commits suicide.


Elliot investigates the case of a missing baby, Kendall Kozlowski, after he is discovered missing from his home by his mother, Laura. After being questioned by overzealous TV reporter Cindy Marino, who accuses Laura of killing her child, Laura is pushed too far and commits suicide. The case soon leads to two different fathers who have a connection to Kendall. The man who the detectives believed kidnapped Kendall sues Stabler and Novak civilly for their interference and Judge Donnelly defends them. During the trial, something that the man says causes Stabler to find evidence of the kidnapping and they make a deal with him where he drops the suit and serves one to three years in prison in exchange for giving up his parental rights to Kendall. Kendall is then given to the man that Laura had wanted to have him, Dan Kozlowski.

The case leads questions for Olivia to find out about her own family history and soon discovers that she has a brother.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast




  • Captain Cragen: Ms. Marino must be here for the obligatory grieving-mother footage.
  • Elliot Stabler: Nothing like a parent's worst nightmare for must-see TV.

  • Captain Cragen [after seeing Cindy Marino's interview with Laura Kozlowski]: If we did that to Laura, we'd have every victim's rights group in the country picketing the station house.

  • Cindy Marino: Stabler! Did Laura leave a note? A confession? Is the Kendall case closed now that the prime suspect is dead?
  • Stabler: You are the devil, you know that?
  • Cindy Marino: Just doing my job. Someone has to ask the tough questions when the cops don't have the balls. [Stabler turns as if to hit her]
  • Captain Cragen [holding Stabler back]: Elliot. Come on. Let it go. Let it go. Come on.

  • Cindy Marino: Detective Stabler! Is it true that Kendall Kozlowski has been found?
  • Stabler: [to another reporter] You want an exclusive?
  • Reporter: You bet!
  • Stabler: Contrary to Channel Ten reporter Cindy Marino's libelous accusations, Laura Kozlowski did not kill her son Kendall. He's been found alive.

  • Judge Donnelly: Well, according to the suit, you conspired with Detective Stabler to deprive Paddy Kendall of his civil and constitutional rights. Did you?
  • Casey Novak: No.
  • Judge Donnelly: Pity. Guy sounds like a douchebag. But his suit has merit.
  • Casey Novak: So what are we supposed to do? Just sit back and let him take everything we've got?
  • Judge Donnelly: You get yourself a lawyer. Today.
  • Stabler: The city represents cops.
  • Judge Donnelly: You trust a civil servant to save your house and your pension?
  • Casey Novak: Well, what choice do we have? [Judge Donnelly smirks]

  • Judge Donnelly [to Paddy Kendall at Civil Court trial]: Congratulations on keeping your record clean. I'm sure you'll agree that just means you haven't been caught.
  • Judge Cutress: Elizabeth, you know better.

Background information and notes

  • This episode features Pablo Schreiber's first Law & Order: Special Victims Unit role as Dan Kozlowski. Schreiber would later go on to have a recurring role as serial rapist William Lewis in Seasons 14 and 15.
  • "Needle in a haystack" is an expression used to denote a hunt for a crucial item or piece of information amidst an entanglement of complications or uncanny, ordinary things that make it hard for the focus object to stand out. The phrase makes the analogy that a sewing needle is so small and thin that it can't easily be found deep in a pile of hay.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4

Apartment of
Laura Kozlowski
Brooklyn, New York
Sunday, February 4

Office of the
Medical Examiner
Sunday, February 4

Apartment of
Dan Kozlowski
423 West 44th Street
Sunday, February 4

Sing Sing Prison
Ossining, New York
Monday, February 5

5 6 7

Firehouse Number 51
Brooklyn, New York
Tuesday, February 6

Home of
Peggy Kendall
Brooklyn, New York
Wednesday, February 7

Civil Court
Part 44
Thursday, February 8

Previous episode:
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 8
Next episode:
Seasons 123456789101112131415161718192021222324