Lisa Russo (L&O)
Lisa Russo
Name Lisa Russo
Title Lab supervisor (1982-2001)
Affiliation NYPD (1982-2001)
Division Crime Lab (1982-2001)
Precinct One Police Plaza (1982-2001)
Occupation NYPD Crime Lab fingerprint analyst (1982-2001)
Pathology Dirty cop
Proxy murderer
Status Imprisoned
Actor Diana Scarwid
First Appearance "Myth of Fingerprints"

Lisa Russo is fingerprint analyst convicted of manslaughter for lying about results in order to get convictions, ultimately leading to the death of an inmate she put in jail.


In 1989 Russo worked with Det. Anita Van Buren in the murder of a gangbanger named David Gale right outside city hall. Due to the public pressure Russo fabricated fingerprint evidence that implicated two innocent men, Larry Martin and Bobby Campbell after a prostitute Brenda Warren identified them. As a result they were both sent to prison and Larry was later shanked in prison. In 1998 Russo helped to convict Simon Garrison of murder after her other technicians refused to declare a match. She also helped to convict John Quilty and Danny Myer of murders they didn't commit after her other technicians refused to declare a match.

Myth of Fingerprints

After a man named James Foley, one of Gale's real killers, is himself killed by Bobby's brother, Luke, the case is revisited. Now Lt. Buren and ADA Serena Southerlyn pay her a visit to requisition the files and Russo informs them that the evidence was destroyed in an accident five years ago. Anita visits her again after they recover copies of the fingerprint analysis and Russo is under the impression they will do the tests. When Buren informs her the FBI will be conducting the tests she gets defensive and angrily hands the evidence back.

When it is shown that Russo lied about how many matching points there were the DA Nora Lewin ordered 20 of her cases be reexamined. The FBI fingerprint technician, Agent Foster, found seven that were falsified, including Garrison, Quilty, and Myer. He also eventually found more evidence in Gale's case that pointed to the other killer, Ray Gifford. More digging reveals the original eyewitness worked moving drugs for Gifford. Buren shows up with two of her detectives, Lennie Briscoe and Ed Green, and Russo calls them out on letting a "murderer" walk but is shocked when she is arrested for Larry Martin's death.

In a meeting with her attorney, EADA Jack McCoy, and Southerlyn her attorney claims they have no shot of a conviction after they explain the charge is Manslaughter Two with no plea deal. After McCoy explains her actions Russo continues to deny she did anything wrong and leaves with her attorney. She later listened to the testimony of Bobby and Agent Foster before she herself testified in her defense. McCoy revisits her other cases and angrily states those men were guilty but McCoy states that was only determined because she said the prints were a match. Lisa Russo is later found guilty of manslaughter in the second degree and sentenced to prison. Buren visits Russo in prison to ask her why Russo lied about the prints. Russo angrily states she did it because detectives wanted results and that she blames Buren for what she did. She claims it isn't right she is in here and not her and goes back to her cell.