|←||SVU, Episode 3.05||→|
|Production number: E2312|
First aired: 26 October 2001
| Written By|
Dawn DeNoon & Lisa Marie Petersen
Jean de Segonzac
When a prominent doctor is murdered and his wife is raped, Detectives Benson and Stabler look to the dead man's estranged and troubled son from a previous marriage and a disgruntled former patient as likely suspects.
Party guests of Dr. Max Kleberg and his wife, Peyton find the couple in the dining room where Max is found dead, gagged and bound to a chair with duct tape. Peyton is found raped, gagged as well, and tied to a table. During Dr. Kleberg's autopsy, Dr. Warner finds out that he was pistol-whipped to death and she also discovers animal hairs on him as well. She also notes that Max had heart surgery within the past year.
When Elliot and Olivia talk to Peyton at the hospital, she tells that she and Max never made it to the restaurant for dinner where they were going to celebrate Peyton's birthday. Peyton tells them Max took out the garbage before they left and the gunman came in. He gave Peyton duct tape and forced her to bound and gag her husband. After that, the gunman tied her to the table and raped her repeatedly while beating Max to death for two hours. When Elliot asks Peyton about the lock-box that was broken into, Peyton tells him that there was $10,000-15,000 in cash along with her grandmother's jewelry.
When Munch and Fin talk to the Klebergs' apartment doorman, he tells that that a man came to see Max and accused him of ruining his life. At the hospital where Dr. Kleberg worked, Elliot and Olivia talk to his secretary, Lara Todd. She tells the detectives about an unhappy patient from Dr. Kleberg's research trials on impotency and offers to look up his file for them.
When Dr. Carr, the chief of urology talks to Elliot and Olivia, he tells them about how Peyton took care of Max after his heart surgery and about Dr. Kleberg's impotency research trials. When the detectives question about the patient that was apparently unhappy with Dr. Kleberg, Dr. Carr refuses to comment on it. As they leave, Lara gives them the file on the patient whose name is Martin Welker.
The detectives discover that Martin was in Dr. Kleberg's trial, but he dropped out after he was arrested for attempted rape. When Munch and Fin talk to Martin, Martin tells them that he didn't hurt Max or Peyton and that Dr. Kleberg didn't tell him about the side effects from the experimental impotency cream that was given to him. At his trial, Dr. Kleberg said that Martin's violent tendencies (and not the impotency cream) were responsible for the attempted rape. Martin had sued the hospital and the pharmaceutical company, but not Dr. Kleberg because he was broke.
Dr. Kleberg's accountant tells Fin and Munch that because of Max's heart condition, no malpractice insurer would cover him and in order for Dr. Kleberg to keep practicing medicine, he moved all of his assets into Peyton's name. When the detectives ask if anyone else could be after Dr. Kleberg's assets, the accountant tells about Dr. Kleberg's son, Jesse (from his previous marriage) didn't get along with Max. Max cut Jesse off after he caught him in their apartment, stealing Peyton's jewelry. When the detectives bring Jesse in for questioning, it is apparent that he has a gambling problem. Jesse admits to stealing Peyton's jewelry because he was in debt with his bookie and his parents didn't believe him, thinking he was on drugs, but Jesse says he didn’t hurt them.
Jesse’s biological mother, Marilyn arrives at the SVU precinct with a lawyer. Marilyn tells the detectives that after Max recovered from heart surgery, he started hitting on women, especially his secretary, Lara Todd. Lara tells Olivia and Elliot that she had a fling with Dr. Kleberg, but it ended months ago. She tells them that after Lara, Dr. Kleberg had another fling with Judy Trahill from Radiology. Judy tells the detectives how Peyton cared too much about Max and made him feel like an invalid. After his little fling with Judy, he moved onto a nurse, but it ended after Peyton arrived at the hospital, caught Max with the nurse, and "bitch-slapped" her.
The detectives later discover that Dr. Kleberg and Lara Todd were making a lot of calls to each other. When Olivia and Elliot arrive at Lara's apartment, they discover Lara tied up, beaten, and raped just like Peyton was. At the hospital, Lara reveals that she lied about ending her affair with Dr. Kleberg. Peyton didn't know about her husband's affair with Lara until the end of it. Three days before Max was killed, Peyton threatened Lara, saying that if she didn't stop seeing her husband, she would ruin both their lives.
There were animal hairs found on Lara belonging to a tabby cat, just like Max. The detectives now wonder if Peyton hired someone to kill Max and rape Lara. None of her jewelry has turned up at any pawn shop, suggesting she still has it. Needing a warrant to search for the jewelry Captain Cragen suggests pursuing her for insurance fraud if she filed a claim. He asks ADA Alex Cabot to get Max's financial records for evidence in order to get a warrant to search Peyton's apartment. A bank official tells Munch and Fin that Peyton took out some of her jewelry before her husband was killed and she took money out eight days ago: $10,000 in cash.
While the detectives search Peyton's apartment, they find her missing jewelry in a cigar box. Peyton tells Captain Cragen that she doesn't know how the jewelry got in the box, but she admits to taking the $10,000 to pay for a private investigator, which is how she found about Max’s affair with Lara.
When Munch and Fin talk to the private investigator Peyton hired, he gives them photographs of Dr. Kleberg and Lara that he took. While looking at the photos, the detectives discover a man in the background of two of the photos which appear like the man was stalking Max. Lara identifies the man in the pictures as her downstairs neighbor, Vincent. When Olivia and Elliot visit Vincent's apartment, he refuses to talk to them, but they discover that Vincent has a tabby cat.
The detectives discover that Vincent has a criminal record for robbery and assault, and also find out that the same man who raped Peyton raped Lara as well based on the DNA from their rape kits. The only thing in the case connecting Max, Peyton, Lara, and Vincent together is Vincent's tabby cat, which was found at Lara and Peyton's rape scenes. While Munch and Fin search for Vincent's cat, Olivia and Elliot visit Lara and discover that she is bruised on her face. Olivia convinces Lara to go to a shelter for her own safety.
When the lab confirms the cat hairs from Vincent's tabby cat match Peyton and Lara's rape scenes, Elliot and Olivia go to Vincent's apartment to arrest him, but they hear a gunshot from inside. When they open the door, they see Lara holding Vincent's gun and standing over his body. Lara tells Olivia and Elliot about how Vincent became abusive and possessive towards her. Max was about to leave Peyton to be with Lara and then one night, Vincent told Lara that Max was dead. Lara says that Vincent spotted her at the shelter and forced her to come back to the apartment. He attempted to rape her again, but Lara grabbed Vincent's gun and shot him.
Cabot says that since Vincent killed Max, a jury could interpret Lara killing Vincent as an act of revenge. It is discovered that the gun Lara used to shoot Vincent was used when Vincent killed Max and DNA proves that he raped both Peyton and Lara. Munch and Fin go over to Vincent's apartment to search for evidence against Vincent that would have imprisoned him if he wasn't dead. In Cabot's office, she has Lara sign her statement and then Cabot plays a videotape found at Vincent's apartment which shows Lara paying Vincent $15,000 to kill Peyton Kleberg. When Vincent realized that Max and Lara were going to be together, he killed Max instead of Peyton because in his mind, he wanted himself and Lara to be together. Lara reveals that it was Max’s idea to kill Peyton. When Elliot and Olivia tell Peyton about Max's plan to kill her, she is shocked.
- Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler
- Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson
- Richard Belzer as Detective John Munch
- Stephanie March as A.D.A. Alexandra Cabot
- Ice-T as Detective Odafin Tutuola
- Dann Florek as Captain Donald Cragen
- Lisa Eichhorn as Peyton Kleberg
- Tuck Milligan as Dr. Phillip Karr
- Geoff Wigdor as Jesse Kleberg
- Justin Hagan as Vincent Boyd
- Lisby Larson as Bank Manager
- Liza Weil as Lara Todd
- Ciarán O'Reilly as Doorman
- Vincent Smith as Mr. Dunlap
- Tracy Sallows as Judy Trahill
- Jennifer Dorr White as Sharon Filmore
- Paul Geier as Warner Mason
- Steve Pickering as Private Investigator Voltz
- Joe Gonzalez as OTB Teller
- Elisabeth Noone as Marilyn Dunlap
- Lauren Mufson as Diane
- John-Luke Montias as Martin Welker
- Kevin Carolan as Officer Farlow
- Ann Kittredge as Vicki
- Mark Hofmaier as Rick
- Jordan Gelber as Fritz Kestler
- Edmund C. Davys as Ed
- Matt Stinton as Steve Callahan
- Warner: Multiple orbital fractures, clean breaks through the zygoma, shattered mandible. Seems your perp had a real problem with the way this guy looked.
- Stabler: Pistol whipped, huh?
- Warner: A few dozen times. Perp goes through the trouble of bringing a semi-automatic with him, why not just shoot the guy?
- Benson: Where'd the fun be in that?
- Munch: Civil liberties, good. Lawyers, bad.
- Munch to Kleberg's roommate: Actually the 1st Amendment gives him the right to ask, the 5th Amendment gives you the right not to answer.
- Huang: Do you gamble, Elliot?
- Stabler: Only with birth control.
- Tutuola: Here pussy, pussy, pussy.
- Munch: Eh, you're kidding, right?
- Tutuola: This is not my area of expertise.
- Munch: Oh, come on. Where is this cat? Oh, there you are, you demonic little furball.
- Cragen: As it stands now, all we've got is he said, she said, he's dead.
Background information and notes
- This is actor Jordan Gelber's first appearance in an episode from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In this episode he appears as Fritz Kestler, but in later episodes he returns as recurring CSU Technician Layton. He also appears in different roles in episodes from Law & Order and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
- The Law & Order episode "Happily Ever After" was also based on the Charles "Chuck" Stuart case.
- Munch mentions the M.O. from the episode "Taken" when the team discusses the possibility that Peyton staged her rape and arranged the murder of her husband.
Episode scene cards
St. Paul's Hospital
Office of Warner Mason, CPA
Sutton Place Bank
Vincent Boyd's Apartment
Police Crime Lab
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit