Thursday, September 24, 2015
Law & Order SVU “Devil’s Dissections/Criminal Pathology” Recap & Review
Season 17 of Law & Order SVU begins with a grisly discovery, and the case becomes more gruesome as it progresses. Serial killer Greg Yates, locked up in prison, still seems to have an influence on the SVU as Rollins uses him to assist on this new murder case that has touches of Yates’ MO. Benson is less than happy with Rollins that she involved Yates in this case without her knowledge and that Rollins went to see Yates alone. It seems Benson still has questions about Rollin’s judgment. Even Barba seems a little hard on Rollins when she presents her ideas on the case. Pointing his finger at her like one scolding a petulant child, he warns she’d better be right about this. Later, Barba does a 180 and uses Rollins' connections with Yates to try to get even more information out of him, without any of the other detectives accompanying her and without Benson's knowledge. I was a little surprised this didn't come back to bite him, especially when Rollins was questioned about her visits to Yates while on the stand.
Rollins seems off, and it becomes obvious that she is not well. It’s creepy that Yates is the first one to know that she is pregnant. It seems he has a super sense of smell for these things. (Ick.) Carisi is the next in line to raise the issue; he’s noticed Rollins has been green lately and throwing up at a crime scene is a giveaway. Eventually Rollins must tell Benson, who is somewhat supportive but realistic, telling Rollins this will eventually have an effect on her work status. It’s refreshing to have them work Kelli’s real pregnancy into the story line; the last time a real pregnancy was written in on a Law & Order brand show was Katherine Erbe’s in Law & Order Criminal Intent. Rollins was quick to say that it is not Amaro's baby, so we are left to guess who is the baby daddy? Rollins also tells Benson her mom is coming to New York, and I am not sure if Rollins is happy about this or not.
Along with the opening credits being updated to remove Danny Pino, the squad room has been renovated and, based on the glimpses seen, it looks more like a real squad room than a set for a TV show. I like it.
Barba seems to be showing more visible signs that he is under pressure. He was more testy than normal and, at one point in the squad room, he looks like he is going to completely lose it. He also appeared slightly unshaven at times, which is not like him at all. The nature of this case, and even the possibility of Yates gaining an inch on an appeals case, makes it understandable that Barba is showing some cracks in his veneer. The fact that the Medical Examiner is also a murderer doesn’t help matters. Lucky for Barba, bringing ME Rudnick in to his office for questioning and recording the encounter saved the day. And also lucky for Barba: Carisi listened to the whole recording, and hearing Rudnick incriminate himself was the icing on the cake.
I may take some heat for saying this, but I did not miss Amaro at all. It may be because I think Carisi is fitting in very well, even though he borders on being a little annoying. The chemistry with the team seems to click. It will be interesting to see how things will work when Benson gets promoted to Lieutenant and a new Sergeant comes in. (This is not in the episode but unless you have been living under a rock, you know this has already been reported. )
Maybe this is the first I heard this, but until it was mentioned in this episode, I did not realize that ME Warner had been passed over for a promotion and that ME Rudnick was her boss. Maybe Warner will get that promotion now.
I wonder...just what was Bronwyn Freed, a carryover from the William Lewis days, doing in the courtroom gallery?
All in all, this was an excellent season premiere and a nice continuation of the Greg Yates saga. I suspect this isn’t the last we’ve seen of him. If the season premiere is any indication, it looks like season 17 will be quite interesting!
Here is the recap:
Mariska Hargitay – Sergeant Olivia Benson
Ice-T – Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba
Peter Scanavino - Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr.
Tamara Tunie – ME Melinda Warner
Dallas Roberts – Greg Yates
Mary Bacon - Susie Frain
Jefferson Mays - M. E. Rudnick
Elizabeth Marvel - Counselor Rita Calhoun
Cody Lindquist - Rachel Groves/ Brooke Groves Norwalk
Bronwyn Reed – Lucy Huston
Delaney Williams - Counselor John Buchanan
Vincent Curatola – Judge Al Bertuccio
Karen Tsen Lee – DNA Tech Susan Chung
Max Baker -
Dan Daily –
Denny Dillon –
Purva Bedi –
Stephen Bradbury – Judge Colin McNamara
Anthony Mangano – Sergeant
Edelen McWilliams - CSU Tech
Stephen Tenner – Corrections Officer
Bradley Durow – Noah Porter Benson
Derek Kelly – Syracuse Sergeant
Julia Coffey - Syracuse Uni
Samantha Steinmetz – Flo
Lauren Noble – Carmen
Sarah Bisman Storm – Bronwyn Freed
The episode opens with clips of the SVU’s previous encounters with serial killer Greg Yates.
A decomposing body is seen floating in the water and later, police are seen carrying it onto the shore where Rollins and Carisi are waiting. Carisi asks if she was dismembered of if she came apart in the water. CSU Tech Chung says there are no obvious tears or cutting marks in the bones and tendons. Benson comments it is another body found here in Yates’ burial ground. Carisi states that some skinny dipping teenagers ditching class kicked up the vic; the local precinct gave them a heads up thinking it was one they missed. Benson questions how, they covered the whole island. Rollins says that Yates buried his bodies and this one they found floating in the water. Carisi observes it just happens to coincide with where Yates dumped Nadia. Rollins challenges that Yates buried Nadia and goes back out to Queens and assaults two flight attendants, has lunch with his fiancée and finds time for a fourth assault? Fin suggests maybe Yates was on a spree. Benson states they were brunettes and this is a red head, not Yates’ type. Fin states they have nine dead bodies found here, all by the same killer. Carisi thinks now they have the tenth – citing “Occam’s Razor.” Benson says no, says they have two options; one is bad, the other one is worse: either they missed one, or Yates has a copycat.
At the morgue, M.E. Rudnick, recording the autopsy, states the victim is a Caucasian female, late 20s, and the probable cause of death is a fractured skull. The right arm was severed surgically at the shoulder. Carisi and Rollins enter and Rollins asks if they are interrupting. He replies not at all, he is just notating his initial findings. He comments she was found in Pelham Bay so either she floated up as the water warmed or CSU missed her in April. Carisi asks if Rudnick thinks Yates did this, and Rudnick replies he can’t say definitively but there are findings consistent with Yates’ MO. There is evidence consistent with rape, and Rollins questions even after this long in the water? As Rudnick photographs the body, he says there is no question the skull was fractured, just like those of the two flight attendants and Nadia. Rollins reminds him the body was dismembered which is not part of Yates’ MO. Rudnick acknowledges this but says the cuts were made by someone with surgical training. He adds that there was microscopic traces of green nail polish under two fingernails. Rollins looks stunned and Carisi asks her with mild sarcasm if this is just another coincidence. She reminds him that was public record, and Carisi says dismissively, “If you say so.”
At Green Haven Corrections in the visitor’s room on Wednesday, June 3, Rollins questions Yates, showing him photos of the body and implying Yates did it. But Yates thinks someone piggybacked on to his crimes. He prefers brunettes and not dismembering. His creepy response is that he is really sorry, she has her work cut out for her. He gives her a look and as she moves to leave, he comments if he can stew on it for a couple days, he may have something for her.
As Benson, Rollins, and Fin walk into the squad room and to Benson’s office, Benson questions Rollins that Yates told her it wasn’t him, saying that she bets he still says that Nadia wasn't him. Rollins argues that the timeline is too tight; this girl was a redhead and he has never dismembered a body before. Fin counters they found skulls last time, but Rollins continues to dispute that was skeletal remains of decomped corpses, this is different. She adds his victims were never prostitutes, this is a Jane Doe. Benson closes her office door and tells Rollins she doesn’t know what she is doing, but this isn’t police work. Rollins states she is cultivating a source; Yates hinted he might know who the killer is. Benson says, “Hinted. But didn’t say.” She testily asks if Rollins has to go back there again and then he will tell her? Fin comments that Yates is a psychopath. Benson adds that Rollins went up there without clearing it with her, she is not trusting her judgment right now. Rollins admits maybe they are right, and say if it is Yates, let her keep building a rapport and maybe they can finally get an ID on this girl. Carisi barges in and says he got hit from the DNA from a military database. The vic’s name is Brook Groves, 28, ROTC from SUNY Plattsburgh. Fin comments that the ME said she was a working girl, but Carisi says before that she had another life. Her last home address is in Larchmont. As Carisi moved to head there, Rollins says she will go with. But Benson tells her to stay at SVU with Fin, and, as Benson races past Rollins to leave, looking annoyed, she tells Rollins she will let them know what they find out. Rollins looks less than happy.
Later, Fin approaches Rollins at the vending machines. She comments that they spend all this money renovating the squad room and there is still nothing to eat. He asks how she is feeling but she is just tires, she has been taking too many shift since Amaro left. She mentions he is happy and is doing physical therapy in Laguna Beach and has a lead with US Park police. Fin thinks she misses him but she dismisses that, saying she is pissed off Benson took her off the case, saying she knows Yates better than Carisi. Fin says Benson is looking out for her, Rollins is good in getting inside these guys’ heads, don’t let him get inside hers.
At the residence of Brooke Groves in Larchmont, New York in Wednesday June 3, Benson and Carisi are stunned to find that Brook Groves is now Brooke Norwalk, and that she is a twin. The body is her sister Rachel, who had problems with drinking and drugs after their mother died. A few months ago she called and was high, and Brooke said she was done enabling her.
Later, Brooke is at the ME’s with Benson and Carisi and she is horrified to see her sister Rachel. She sobs and hangs on to Rudnick, who says he is sorry for her loss.
At the Midtown Mission at 302 West 43rd Street on Wednesday, June 3, Carisi and Fin speak with a worker there who confirms that Rachel was troubled and a woman who she thought was her mother came to get her in maybe March or April. She takes them to their security cameras.
Back at SVU, they review the footage and Carisi explains that Brooke does not know who this woman is. Rollins says it is not Yates and they realize the time code is all wrong. When Benson tells Carisi to recheck the machine to help get the correct video time code, he explains the mission reset it once they realized it was out of whack. Fin says he will have TARU take a look. When Rollins says Yates called her and says he has more info, Benson tells her to go, but not by herself.
Later, Yates enters the prison visitors room to a waiting Fin and Rollins. Rollins explains the vic had a twin and he says that is a real bond. He says he was reminded of an incident from 2002 when he was becoming a senior resident. He got a call from an attending who needed stitches, and he called Yates because he was embarrassed. The man had bruising and cuts and a human bite mark. The man assured Yates his partner was fine and that she had left. But Yates saw a clump of red hair on the floor. He said he could smell her, he could smell her fear which has a real scent like ammonia. He doesn’t want to give the name, but then says he recalls the street, it was Convent Avenue in Harlem, the townhouse has a lovely Juliet balcony.
At 397 Convent Avenue on Thursday, June 4, Carisi explains that the owners renovated the house 4 years ago and before that it had fallen into disrepair…as he rattled off the house history Benson tries to get him back on track. They are still looking into who owned the house in 2002 and they wonder if Yates is pulling their chain. Rollins rushes out and tells them to come look at what they found. Inside the house, she explains the CSU techs used GPR – ground penetrating radar – and found a chimney behind the wall. Benson tells Carisi to tell the owners the non-invasive search just became invasive.
Benson, Fin, and Rollins watch as CSU cuts into the drywall. As CSU pulls off the drywall, they see it covered over a fireplace with a suitcase in it. Benson instructs them to get it out, and they open it to find a mummified body. Carisi makes the sign of the cross and Benson shakes her head.
At a later time as Benson and Barba walk outside, they discuss this latest information. Benson says Rollins is working him but Yates and he swears it isn’t him, but Barba is skeptical.
Back at the morgue, Rudnick explains to Rollins how the body was dissected and Rollins gets squeamish. Benson and Barba enter and Rudnick explains the body was cut and tied to fit in the suitcase and it had to be uncurled and rehydrated. He adds she was a white female about 25, 5’6” in good physical health. The skull was fractured but the cause of death was strangulation. He goes on to say the body was mummified from the dry heat and smoke from the common chimney. He noted no nail polish as in Yates’ other killings but the incisions show medical technique. Rollins says strangulation and the red head is inconsistent with Yates’ MO. So far he has found no trace of the killer’s DNA which is not inconsistent with Yates’ MO.
As they leave, Barba comments that last comment was ME talk for Yates’ doing it. Rollins wonders why Yates would tip them off, saying he is sick but not stupid. Barba, annoyed, retorts “all due respect” and she tells him not to start a sentence that way. He asks if Yates didn’t do it, how did he know that body was there? She scoffs, gives him a look, and walks off.
Back at the prison, Benson and Rollins show this new info to Yates and he hears Barba thinks he did it. He knows who the woman is and who killed her, but wants to talk about how they can help him.
Benson and Rollins are in Barba’s office, who is disgusted that Yates wants to touch his fiancée Susie Frain, asking hasn’t Yates touched enough women already? Benson replies they have been together 20 years and he has never hurt Susie. Barba questions that Susie is okay with conjugal visits, and Benson replies that Susie has called about it twice. When Rollins comments that every pot has a lid, Barba says “Lovely. You do realize how this would look if word got out, right? Yates is already on the hook for multiple rapes and murder. Now he wants to trade crime tips for conjugal visits.” Irritated, he slams down the laptop lid and Rollins suggests that if Yates is telling the truth, there could be another serial killer out there. Benson tells Barba to pick his poison, and he tells them to bring the fiancée upstate and let them conjugate, and interrogate them both afterward. He points his finger at Rollins and warns her she’d better be right about this. She looks stunned at his comment and gets up and leaves.
Later. Benson, Carisi, Fin, and Rollins wait outside a trailer listening to Yates’ and Susie “conjugate.” The guard ends it, and as Susie leaves, Benson tells her they have questions for her, and Yates says it is alright, just tell the truth. They also want to question Yates and he brings them into the trailer.
Susie tells Fin and Carisi that she knew Yates is not capable of these crimes and that he was framed. She mentions they well all friends with Lena Grunwald, and the detectives are shocked to hear a name of the victim. She thought she went home to Switzerland but she must have never left.
Meanwhile, Benson and Rollins get this information from Yates and find that Lena’s fiancée – the man that Yates stitched up – was Carl Rudnick who was an attending. He called him a strange, delicate man. Benson, in disbelief, says they are done and Rollins voices her anger to Yates, who seems shocked at what they are saying and that Rudnick liked cutting. He asks if Rudnick did the autopsies on any of the girls they found, saying that is a trigger that Rudnick would get off on and he would want to do another for himself – the girl at Pelham Bay. He tells them to have another ME check the body. Yates bets that Rudnick cut that girl up while she was still alive.
In Barba’s office, he is annoyed at this turn of events. They all discuss the matter and Carisi says if Yates is taking a flier for an appeal, they have to rule this out. As Rudnick never mentioned going to med school with Yates but Benson says Yates still killed Nadia and is only bringing up conflicting evidence for his appeal. Carisi states if they knew each other, Rudnick should have recused himself. Barba tells them to confirm that and see if Rudnick has a connection to the townhouse in Harlem or if he even knew Lena.
At the residence of Susie Frain in Elmhurst Queens on Saturday, June 6, Susie shows them pictures of them all together and they went on vacation together often. She had a tempestuous relationship with Rudnick. She last saw Lena when she left, Rudnick said Lena had broken off their engagement and went to Switzerland in early February 2002. Lena told her if anything ever happened to her, Carl did it. She got a note from Lena from her village – Grindelwald – and she said she just had to get away. She thought it was her. She thinks she still has the note and photo.
Back at SVU, they have academic transcripts showing Yates and Rudnick were in med school and Lena was in business school. They recap what they just heard and Benson reminds them that Yates and an opportunist. Rollins says at the house, the Con Ed and phone bills went to a Manon Favreau, but the cable bill went to Carl Rudnick. Carisi thinks Rudnick was house sitting, Manon’s maiden name was Rudnick, she was Carl’s great aunt. Benson said Rudnick failed to mention he was living in the house when the body was plastered in the wall. Fin says Rudnick autopsied his own fiancée, and Rollins adds 13 years after he killed her. Benson reminds them they don’t know that yet and they don’t know if the body is Lena. The photo Susie says she has may be the last trace of Lena. Fin states he called ME Warner who said according to Rudnick there is no way to ID her. Benson will try to get the okay for Warner to independently redo both autopsies, preferably when Rudnick is not there.
Later, at the morgue, Warner tells Benson, Rollins and Fin that Rudnick’s time of death may be mistaken and she thinks it is more likely early May. She think Rudnick is too meticulous. She thinks he is obsessed with this work and has family money. He may be overworked. Warner adds his reports fails to mention the dismemberment took place anti-mortem, Rachel was alive. She confirms an ME would not leave this information out, and demands them to tell her what this is about. But Benson says she can’t, it is an active investigation. Warner asks before she autopsies the mummified body is there anything she should know, and Rollins explains that she may be a Swiss national. Fin tells Warner to watch her back with Rudnick.
Later, Rollins, Fin and Carisi explain to Barba they have proof that body in the wall was Lena – gold dental overlays which are specific to German-Swiss dentists. Fin adds they confirmed with Switzerland it is her body. Carisi shows Lena left from JFK on February 11, 2002 but there is no record of her coming but Rudnick came back but never left. He thinks Rudnick left New York as Lena and came back as himself. They remind him about Rachel leaving the shelter with a woman or someone dressed like one. They are using facial recognition software and Benson is on her way to One PP to get the OK to bring Rudnick in. Barba tells Fin to call her off, and they will ask for forgiveness later and he will find a pretext to get Rudnick to his office. Rollins asks for a warrant for his house.
Later, Barba brings in Rudnick and uses Yates’ conviction appeal as the pretext. He adds this is discoverable and he is recording it, and Rudnick comments he also records everything. Benson enters and they begin to question him about the Jane Doe autopsy. As they continue to question him, he realizes the address was his great aunt’s and the recognizes Lena. Meanwhile, the detectives search his apartment. He seems surprised the body is Lena’s, and did not know she was dead, he thought she was in Switzerland, thinking she came back and fell in with Yates. He says they all knew each other and entertained at that home, and says it is public knowledge they were colleagues. He broke up with Lena in 2002 and thinks Yates did this to hurt him. He is shocked they think he did this. Meanwhile, the detectives find a room at Rudnick’s with women’s outfits and wigs. Benson asks him to work through some of the other inconsistencies they found, and he comments that given the tenor of the conversation, he is contacting his lawyer. Barba tells him to feel free and they will wait to question him until his lawyer arrives.
Outside the room, Benson comments to Barba that if Rudnick is guilty, then any case he’s testified in…Barba finishes and adds any autopsies he has performed….he doesn’t want to think about it. Counselor Rita Calhoun arrives – she is his attorney. She says Rudnick is coming with her but when Barba sees a photo Benson received of the women's attire at Rudnick's place, he says Rudnick will not be leaving. When Calhoun enters the room, she tells Rudnick she has some bad news. Benson arrests him for Rachel and Lena’s murders and she reads him his rights.
At arraignment, Calhoun pleads Rudnick not guilty. She asks for ROR but Barba outlines the murders and the possible cover-up and his money and his international travel. Calhoun argues that the accusation by serial killer Greg Yates is false, but she loses the argument and Judge McNamara orders Rudnick to surrender his passport and sets bail at $2 million.
Back at SVU, Fin is surprised that Rudnick had bail and Rollins comments it is family money. Carisi comes in showing the latest newspaper headlines. Meanwhile, Lucy takes Noah from Benson’s office, and she says to Noah they will have time later. Rollins calls Benson over and says the facial recognition came back it is not Lena, it is clearly Rudnick but Benson says Barba wants proof. They need the photo Lena sent from Switzerland from Susie and Carisi says he has been trying to reach her but no luck. Benson tells Rollins to call Yates.
Yates, on the phone with Rollins and Benson from Benson’s office, is saying Susie was supposed to call him this morning and she would never forget. He says he spoke to her last night and she said she had found the photo that Lena supposedly sent from Switzerland and it looked like Rudnick in drag. He does not think she would have told Rudnick that but asks if he is still in custody. Benson looks concerned and Rollins tells Yates that Rudnick made bail last night. Yates deadpans, “Oh no.”
Benson and Fin arrive at Susie’s home with police already on scene. She enters and it is in disarray and there is dried blood everywhere. She tells Fin to get a BOLO out on Rudnick and get Real Time Crime to get a task force and TARU, TSA, etc. An officer says they just got a report of freshly cut body parts coming in with the tide.
On the beach, Carisi and Rollins are on the scene when Benson arrives. Body parts are spread out on a tarp, and as one bag is unwrapped it has a head which is clearly Susie’s. Benson shakes her head in disbelief.
Later, as they try to break into Rudnick’s home with officers, Benson is stopped by Rita Calhoun, and despite Benson’s protests, she will not allow them to enter until they get a new warrant. Meanwhile, more of her body parts are laid out on the beach. A part of the thigh is missing. Carisi tells Rollins there is no sign of Rudnick and he is in the wind. As they bring out more body parts, Rollins gets sick and moves away and throws up. She tells Carisi she is fine and she is going to drive them back.
Later, Barba rushes in to the SVU squad room, very testy about this latest turn of events. The detectives tell him the last they have of Rudnick is when he posted bond at 8PM (on June 7) and that an Uber driver confirmed he dropped him off at his Harlem town home. Carisi outlines a timeline of when Rudnick dumped the body at Fort Tilden. They have been no hits on his car or bank cards. Barba asks if everyone knows Rudnick dresses in drag, and Benson comments they alerted state troopers and the FBI. Barba angrily says “Oh, THEY already know.” He begins to rant about how everyone up to the mayor’s office is pointing fingers, and Benson says she gets it, it is a mess. He cuts he off and on the phone, says he will hold for the governor. He tells Benson to find Rudnick, and she says okay. As Barba walks off Carisi wisecracks that somebody needs a vacation. Benson replies you can’t blame him, they guy jumps bail and kills their witness. Benson says this is not a priority he will find out on the news. Rollins knows that he will, but the photo that Rudnick sent as Lena was not in her apartment. Benson tells them to check her phone records to see if she called Rudnick, and Carisi said if she was using it as blackmail, she did not come up with that idea on her own. Rollins says this is why she needs to talk to Yates and he is more open when it is just the two of them. Benson tells her nice try and walks off.
At Green Haven Corrections in the visitor’s room on Monday June 8, Yates asks to see Susie’s body and Benson declines. They press him for information on his last call with Susie and Yates asks for the ME to test for Susie’s HCG levels, he thinks she was pregnant; she took a pregnancy test when they had the conjugal and he thinks Rudnick took that from him.
Back at SVU, Rollins tells Benson that Fin and TARU were going through Rudnick’s finances and Carisi says they found Rudnick has been wiring money to four different accounts under 4 different names – Terry Fish, Ryan Dunn, Ellie Howard, and Jen Brown. The only known address is PO boxes and Benson thinks they are fronts. Rollins gets info from the DMV on an Theresa Fish and brings up the photo and it is Rudnick in a blonde wig. She got her license in October of last year. Benson will get out a BOLO and tells them to get to that apartment and maybe he will be hiding there.
As they leave the building, Carisi asks Rollins if she is alright, usually she is two steps ahead of him and he has never seen her queasy at a crime scene. She says she had a bad bagel yesterday and hands him the car keys.
At the apartment of Theresa Fish at 460 East 87th street on Tuesday, June 9, they walk up the stairs as the super tells them she hasn’t seen Terry and that Terry was deaf and mute and paid her rent a year in advance. She knocks on the door and then calls, and then realizes she can’t hear her and simply opens the door. They enter the apartment and Rollins notes the new floor and the super thinks Terry put it in herself. Carisi finds a closet of wigs and Rollins, pulling up a floor tile, finds red hair, just like Rachel’s, along with cut marks. Carisi says he will call CSU.
At the morgue with Benson, Warner says after getting the info on Rudnick’s aliases, she checked Rudnick’s Jane Doe autopsies and found the last one from October. A 50 year old homeless woman was never ID’d and there was no match on fingerprints or DNA, but she got a hit – Theresa Fish. Rudnick is an identity thief and a killer. Benson adds they brought him up from Dade County and should have given Warner the promotion. Benson suggests Warner re-apply, and Warner says before she does that, she needs to run DNA and prints on everybody Rudnick has sent to Potter’s field. Benson sighs and thanks her.
Back at the apartment, CSU looks over the scene and thinks the cut marks are from a cleaver. Rudnick may have tried to bleach it, and they find dried blood under another section of tile. Carisi walks in and asks Rollins if she is up for a flight, and when Rollins says no not really, Carisi says tough luck, their plane leaves in 40 minutes. Rudnick just got picked up in Syracuse for shoplifting.
Later, at the Syracuse Police Precinct at 720 South Bay Road in Syracuse on Tuesday, June 9, an officer explains by the time they ran the prints, Rudnick was gone and said he was leaving in an hour on a flight. Rollins is agitated they let him walk and another officer comments they thought they had a 50 year old cross dresser whose mother was dying in Canada. He only stole coffee nips. The female officer says they did give him a desk ticket, and Rollins snaps “good for you!" Carisi tries to calm her. The female officer adds that no one with that name got on a plane, train, or rented a car. The male officer says they also checked his other aliases and they have the town locked down. Carisi asks if they checked buses – one left for Buffalo an hour ago and it will be there in 2-1/2 hours. Rollins asks for a squad car now.
Later, at the bus station, Carisi and Rollins are waiting and are met by a detective. He explains troopers picked up the bus on I-90 an hour ago and followed at a discreet distance. The bus made no stops from Rochester and here. The spot Rudnick getting off the bus and he tries to keep up the disguise but to no avail. The other detective arrests him.
At the Buffalo precinct, the sergeant says when they searched Rudnick he had on a money belt with $64,000 in cash.
Back in the morgue, Benson discusses the autopsy Warner is doing on Susie and the body was cut post mortem. She can’t find the initial wound, and it may be on the missing left thigh. Her tox screen was clean but her HCG levels were high, she was pregnant.
Later, Carisi and Rollins are driving back to New York with Rudnick in the back seat. He says he ran because they were charging him with two murders. Carisi gets a call from Benson and says they should be home around noon. He says they found Rudnick’s car and he says to give themselves a gold star.
At the scene, Benson hears they got the car’s VIN off the engine block and the car was close to the trains to the planes. Benson thinks Rudnick was trying to divert them to checking JFK while he got away by bus. But Rudnick left a trace of blood in the car.
Stopped at a restaurant, Rudnick tells Carisi he finds peace working in the morgue. Rudnick is eating light while Rollins and Carisi have huge plates of food and Rudnick tries to pass judgment about their diet. He asks to use the bathroom and Carisi waits outside for him. He walks in to check on him and hears Rudnick talking to himself about killing the woman and covering it up and he doesn’t understand why. He says they were offensive, He tells himself to be quiet and then he flushes. He asks Carisi for his phone so he can call his lawyer.
Back in Barba’s office, Calhoun walks in and tells Barba that Rudnick was out on bond taking in the sights of Buffalo. Barba says they have a DNA match on the floor of the apartment Rudnick leased and Calhoun argues it could be cross contamination. Barba reminds her he did not autopsy Susie Frain and they found her blood in his car. Calhoun says they were old friends and he gave her rides and she bled from a paper cut and it is circumstantial. She tells him not to get started on a 13 year old body in a wall. She says they have and ME accused of being a serial killer and the last thing his bosses want is a long drawn out trial. She said the headlines will give him migraines. Barba glances at them and asks what is her solution? She suggest Rudnick plead to one count of tampering with evidence and one count of unlawful disposal of a body, and this goes away quietly. Barba offers manslaughter, 20 on each, served concurrently. Calhoun argues a public defender can get as much and Rudnick is paying for more than that. Barba counters he hopes there is enough money in the world, he really does. She says he’d better hope he doesn’t get a conviction because if he does, every case that Rudnick touched will be subject to appeal, starting with Greg Yates. Barba looks concerned.
At SVU, Rollins gets a call from Barba who asks if she still has a back door to Yates. He wants her to open it and go back to Greenhaven to talk to him. Rollins explains Benson doesn’t want her to do that unless she or Fin come along, and Yates won’t talk to her if they do. Barba tells her not to tell Benson. She asks what does he want? Barba wants more; Rudnick’s legal team will claim all of the murders are circumstantial. Rollins says he cut up Susie Frain, but Barba says there were no witnesses and no left thigh, and no clear motive. Rollins argues Yates had Susie call Rudnick and that’s why he killed her. Barba responds to tell Yates that she need his help to put Rudnick away and see if he has anything they can use.
Rollins visits Yates who says he was worried about Susie as she was so trusting. He said Susie firmly believed that if she asked Rudnick he would set her free for the photo. He thinks she wanted him to be out for the birth but admits Susie did not tell him she was pregnant, she had a slightly different scent. He gives Rollins a creepy look, and then adds, “Like you do.” She looks stunned as he asks how far along is she. She doesn’t answer and looks stunned.
Later, Rollins takes pregnancy tests and sees the positive results. She holds her head in her hands and then shakes her head.
At arraignment court part 12 on Thursday June 11, Barba add that they have added to the two standing charges of murder one the charge of the murder of Susie Frain. But John Buchanan arrives and apologizes for being late, saying his client is pleading not guilty. Calhoun is taken aback. The judge says he knows who he is and does not like courtroom theatrics and asks Calhoun what is going on. She asks for a moment to confer with her client. Buchanan says Rudnick has retained them both. Rudnick explains the state saw fit to double down so he thought it was prudent to do the same. The judge asks to proceed and Barba asks for remand, citing Rudnick murdered and dismembered a prosecution witness. Buchanan calls it a wild accusation and Calhoun said he is free to travel within the state and has violated no court order. The judge revokes his bail and remands him to Rikers. Calhoun and Buchanan both bring out motions but Calhoun gets hers in first to separate these three charges, and Buchanan also has the same. The judge tells them to coordinate and he will let the presiding judge know what he is in for.
Back at SVU, Rollins stares at the vending machines as Carisi walks in and says he missed her at the arraignment. He says she looks green and tells her to have a ginger ale, and he selects one, she says she is good. He asks if she has told anybody yet, and she looks at him with surprise and says nope. She just found out. She says not that it is his business but it is not Amaro’s. He asks what is she going to do, and she is not going to do anything. He suggest she tell the sarge.
At a bar, Benson approaches Barba and notes he is drinking whiskey, asking if it means bad news. He said Rudnick’s dream team got their motion to separate the 3 charges. There is no real pattern, the murders were spread out and the situations different. The judge thought linking them together would be more prejudicial than probative. She asks what does he need from her, and he says a thigh and an established cause of death; Susie is their strongest case. Benson says the thigh is gone but he cut her up and when a jury sees what he did to that woman, he is done.
At Supreme Court Part 14 on June 12, Barba questions Benson who describes Susie’s crime scene. Buchanan objects, saying this is prejudicial. Judge Al Berluccio overrules it and reminds the jury to determine the facts of the murder. Buchanan cross examines Benson and tries to paint Susie as having a pathological desire to clear Yates and the events that lead to her death. The judge allows it. Benson testifies that Susie knew that Rudnick was the ME on the deaths Yates was tried for and also brings up the conjugal visit. She admits they did. Buchanan thinks the two of them colluded to incriminate Rudnick and bolder Yates’ chances for appear. Barba objects but Buchanan withdraws the question.
Rollins is on the stand and discusses Susie’s cooperation about the photos and they could not be found in her home. They bring up the crime scene photos and Buchanan objects. Barba states these are crime scene photos and the judge overrules. Rollins shows the scattered memento boxes and security footage from her storage locker showing Susie with the boxes. She says she believes the killer took the photos. Calhoun objects as this is speculation and the judge sustains. Calhoun cross examines and Rollins says that Yates told them Susie found the photos. Calhoun brings up the number of visits Rollins made to Yates, and Rollins says she was hoping Yates could help he with a number of unsolved cases. Calhoun comments two of those visits were on her own, asking her if this is common for the NYPD. Barba looks a little concerned an Rollins says Yates was more open to her that way. Calhoun asks if Yates enlisted her to get him a conjugal visit, and Rollins says sure. Calhoun states that Rollins had a relationship with Yates, and Rollins replies she does not know what she means. Calhoun asks if anyone in her squad thought Yates was toying with her to implicate Rudnick in an effort to exonerate himself. Rollins says all informants have an agenda and when Calhoun says her answer is yes then, Barba objects. Calhoun withdraws the question, adding she will quit while she is ahead. Rollins looks stunned.
Outside the courthouse, Benson approaches Rollins and asks if she is okay. Rollins comments she thought Rudnick not Yates or her. Benson says there is a lot of pressure up there. Rollins says it is, and then tells Benson she is pregnant, and it is not Amaro’s. Benson. surprised, thanks her for telling her. Rollins says she knows with the squad being short handed it is not the best time, but she will promise this will not affect her ability to do her job. Benson says actually it is, Benson knows Rollins will fight her on this but as soon as the department hears they will put her on restricted duty. Rollins asks if they can wait to tell them, and Benson knows what a hard worker she is. She says that is a good thing because being a single mom is not easy. She says she may not be on her own, her mom may move up to New York. Benson says she is happy for her and if she wants or need to talk about anything, she is there. Rollins walks off.
Later, ME Warner testifies about her findings with the autopsy of Susie Frain and that the initial cause of death is in the piece of Susie’s body that is missing – the thigh. Warner said the manner of death is homicide; nobody gets cut up like this from a natural cause of death. Buchanan cross examines Warner and he shows that Rudnick had defensive wounds on him when she examined him but Warner does not know how he got them. Warner says Rudnick walked out of that house and Susie did not. Buchanan reminds him she can’t determine how she was killed. He brings up that Rudnick was hired to be her supervisor two years ago and asks if she applied for the position. When she says yes and tried to elaborate, he withdraws the question. Barba asks to redirect, and asks Warner if Rudnick’s injuries could have been self inflicted after he killed Susie. Warner states yes and Barba rests the prosecution’s case.
As Barba gets into the elevator, Carisi complements him on the case and Barba says he will feel better when it is over. He thinks the defense is being too cocky and he has never seen so much hubris. Carisi says they are not digging up any character witnesses and there is no way Rudnick takes the stand.
In Supreme Court part 13 in Friday, June 12, Calhoun calls Rudnick to the stand. He testifies that the night he went to Susie, she attacked him with a kitchen knife and he killed her accidentally in the struggle, in self defense. Barba shoots a look back to Benson who is sitting in the gallery. Rudnick says Yates brainwashed Susie into thinking he had been setting him up and tampered with the autopsy. He made the mistake of laughing and she attacked him. Calhoun asks him to step down and show him how he got the wounds, and Barba objects, saying this is prejudicial. Rudnick asks how will the jury know what happen if he can’t demonstrate? Calhoun thinks the demonstration could be informative. The judge allows it but tells him not to milk it. Rudnick rolls up his sleeves and the cuts are visible. Calhoun comes at him with something like a knife and Rudnick demonstrates how it happened and how she was stabbed in the thigh. He seems to get upset and Calhoun asks if he needs a moment. He says he is fine and then thanks the jury. Meanwhile, Bronwyn Freed, from the William Lewis cases, watches from the gallery. He sits back down and says he knew he hit the femoral artery and blacked out and when he came to it was too late. He stitches his own cuts as he was afraid to go to the hospital. He felt if he went in bleeding no one would believe him. He panicked and this is why he got rid of her body. He felt the system was against him so he dressed as a woman and fled, and they would not be looking for a woman.
Under cross, Barba counters that Rudnick, as Deputy Chief ME for Manhattan, knows how to mimic defensive wounds. He admits he would, and would know how to cut up and dispose of a body. Barba asks if he used a reciprocating saw and bolt cutter to do so, and shows the jury receipts where Rudnick purchased these items from Home Depot, purchased at 11:50 the night Susie was murdered. Barba says it is no accident her left thigh is missing, and Rudnick thinks Barba thinks he can control the tides. He wanted her limb to be found to prove that he didn’t kill her, the angle would show it was self inflicted. He admits he dismembered her, he didn’t know any other way to get her out of there.
Afterwards, as Benson, Carisi, Rollins, and Barba walk outside the courthouse, Barba thinks it was brutal and the longer Rudnick was up there the more the jury liked him. Benson asks how that is possible, Carisi says Rudnick is peculiar but there is something interesting about him. Carisi mentions how Rudnick went into the bathroom while on the road trip and he was alone in the stall and he was talking to himself. Rollins says he also talks a lot during the autopsies and records everything. Rollins wonders if they should go through them and see if he let something slip, they are city property and public record. Carisi comments it is worth a shot and asks Rollins if she wants to make a night of it.
Later, in the squad room, Rollins and Carisi listen to Rudnick’s’ recording. He mentions that red heads are less susceptible to anesthesia and she felt everything that was being done to her. Carisi says he thinks he has something, and says it is video, not from the morgue. He brings over the headphones for Rollins to hear.
In the judge’s chambers, a recording from the initial meeting with Barba and Benson is playing where Rudnick comments he wants to call his lawyer. Rudnick watches, with Barba, Calhoun, and Buchanan present. In the recording, after Barba and Benson leave the room, Rudnick talks to himself, saying they can’t pin these on him, adding Rachel was a crack whore and the green nail polish with Yates victims points to reasonable doubt. Nobody will buy Yates’ word but worries that Susie, despite being dumb as a post, may put it together. He says he supposes he has to kill her just like the others. He says to kill them all, whatever it takes. Benson shuts off the tape when Calhoun enters the room on the recording. Buchanan says this is clearly inadmissible, and the judge asks Barba to walk him through the provenance and chain of evidence and asks how this feel into their hands. Barba explains they asked Rudnick to come in for an interview and he gave permission for them to record it. Calhoun reminds them Rudnick asked for counsel, and Barba states when he did they stopped questioning him and left the room. Benson states Rudnick knew he was being recorded; they weren’t interrogating him and this was a spontaneous admission; Rudnick talks to himself. Buchanan says not only is this inadmissible under Miranda but it is also Brady material that should have been made available to them. Barba reminds Buchanan that a copy of this video has been in his possession since day 1, he must have stopped watching when they stopped questioning. The judge tells Buchanan if he turned it off, this is on him, it is admissible. Rudnick pipes up and says he was thinking out loud. The judge said they will let the jury determine that. Rudnick stands up and chastises his counsel for having the video the whole time and not knowing it. Calhoun cautions him but he approaches the judge and says he wants new counsel on the basis of incompetent defense. The judge scoffs, saying it is his right, but cautions him that this material is admissible no matter who defends him.
In Supreme Court part 15 on Monday June 15, Rudnick changes his plea to guilty of murder in the first degree of Susie Frain. On the outstanding charge of murder in the first degree of Rachel Groves, he pleads guilty as well. Barba withdraws his charge of murder in the first degree of Lena Grunwald. The judge agrees and adjourns the court.
Later, in the prison visitor’s room, Yates is appalled that Rudnick gets away with Lena’s murder. Rollins says he will still get 25 to life for the other two charges and maybe they will be roommates one day. Yates says Rudnick strangled Lena to death, and Rollins reminds him her skull was fractured. Yates argues that the cause of death was strangulation, the skull fracture was post mortem. Rollins says he sounds pretty sure about that. Yates says he is just piecing it together but if he had to guess, Lena was his first time and when he screwed up, he had to call someone with more experience to help him finish. Rollins asks how did this person help? Yates says he probably advised Rudnick to keep Lena alive for as long as possible, such a waste to have her die so quickly. Rollins asks why he is telling her this now, that he believes when one life ends, another begins, and she is bringing life into this world. Rollins leaps up from her chair as Yates says just as he lost his wife and child, he feels a connection to her. She walks quickly to the exit and Yates says she will be back, he will be here. The gate buzzes open and Rollins races out.
Later, in the prison dining hall, Yates sits at a table alone. A man walks up and calls his name, and Yates looks up to see Rudnick, who asks if he can join him. Yates nods and says he supposes so. Rudnick sits down and Yates sighs, saying it has been a while. Rudnick, with a stone face, says yes, they have a lot to catch up on. Yates smiles as we fade to black.
All Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) Copyright © allthingslawandorder.blogspot.com unless otherwise noted
Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.
Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.