Law and Order
"Tragedy on Rye"
L&O, Episode 13.04
Production number: E3303
First aired: 30 October 2002
  th of 456 produced in L&O  
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Written By
William N. Fordes

Directed By
David Platt


Lucy Dolan, a struggling actress, is murdered in an apparent robbery-homicide where a video tape filmed by tourists confirms the ID of three suspects. The suspects are ultimately convicted, but McCoy decides to take another look at the evidence in the case even after winning despite his prior eagerness to put the three men behind bars. While looking over the report of the defense's forensic accountant, McCoy discovers that amongst the enormous volume of phone activity is one person who called every couple of days for months and then never once after Lucy was murdered rather than continuing to call until word got out about Lucy's murder. McCoy realizes that the man, Ernest Borges, knew Lucy was dead and contacts Lieutenant Van Buren.

Borges is arrested by Briscoe and Green who find drugs in his apartment during the arrest. A gun is also found that ballistics confirms is the murder weapon. Borges has no connection to the three men who were convicted, proving that they really are innocent. McCoy begins the process to release the three men from prison while Borges' attorney is eager to discuss a deal. McCoy realizes that the defense was so busy slandering the victim, they forgot to check into the evidence and missed the clue that could've proved their clients' innocence. Serena is left concerned with finding a way to ensure such a thing never happens again.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast


Fremont Downs Raceway; Finkle (Judge);



Background information and notes

  • Goofs:
    • In the opening act, the guitar in Lucy Dolan's apartment is a bass, but the amplifier beside it was not for a bass, it was a regular six string guitar amp.
    • Detective Ed Green tells Lenny that the Rickenbacker bass was good enough for Elvis Costello. Elvis Costello's main instrument was a regular six-string (electric) guitar.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

Home of
Mr. & Mrs. Walter Dolan
Morristown, New Jersey
Thursday, September 20

Laff Riot Comedy Club
St. George, Staten Island
Thursday, September 20

Supreme Court
Motion Hearing
Friday, September 21

4 5 6

Office of Dale Franks
814 Eighth Avenue
Monday, October 8

Supreme Court
Trial Part 73
Tuesday, November 13

Supreme Court
Trial Part 73
Friday, November 16

Previous episode:
"True Crime"
"Tragedy on Rye"
Law & Order
Season 13
Next episode:
"The Ring"
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