Home    Casebook: "Countdown"
Episode 2-15 (# 37)     Original Airdate: 2.23.01
Written by Dawn DeNoon & Lisa Marie Petersen
Directed by Steve Shill
Guest Stars
Jim Gaffigan (Oliver Tunney) Patricia Cook (Elizabeth Stabler) Debbon Ayer (Mrs. Douglas) Joanna Merlin (Judge Lena Petrovsky) Andrea Bowen (Sophie Douglas) Jonathan Fried (Clayton Mills) Ray Iannicelli (Saul Garner) Jeffrey Scaperrotta (Dickie Stabler) Jeffrey DeMunn (Senior Assistant District Attorney Charlie Phillips) Ann Talman (Mrs. Lehr) Ted Sutton (Robert) Thomas Schall (Dawson) Kia Goodwin (Shari) Uzi Parnes (Joe Hayes) Kristin Rohde (Queens Detective Becker) Jonathan F. McClain (Isaac Yarbrough) Christine Toy Johnson (Dr. Anderson) Ramsey Faragallah (Market Owner) Frank Deal (Attorney Tom Newvine) Lou Carbonneau (CSU Technician) Brian Liam Cahill (Uniform Policeman) Rafael Ferrer (Detective Trainor) Timothy Shew (Charles Guzek) Tracie Higgins (Jeanne Guzek) Kent Cassella (Detective Palmieri) Alicia Sedwick (Sheila) Lisa Summerdur (Defense Attorney Dylan) Isabel Gillies (Kathy Stabler) Dylan Price (Queens Detective Danny Tatum) Lisa Roberts Gillan (Mrs. Simmons)
The streets of New York City, at night -- a traffic jam, caused by a roadwork crew. A man and woman are sitting in a car behind a white van. They're late for an event, and bickering; she chides him for taking a "shortcut", he makes a snide comment about if they could just once get out of the house on time; she asks him why he's in a hurry -- is one of his girlfriends going to be there? "God, I hope so," he mutters. At that moment the door of the van opens, a large sack falls out onto the road. The woman sees it, the man doesn't. The van speeds away, tires screeching. The man is about to drive forward when a hand appears above the hood. A pair of workmen come running....
Detectives Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson arrive at a hospital to be informed by another detective that the victim is Sophie Douglas, age 8. She'd gone missing several days earlier but as the mother had been convinced her ex-husband was to blame, and there was no ransom note, detectives had assumed it was a custodial snatch. Instead, she'd been grabbed by a total stranger, and had finally managed to escape. Stabler and Benson enter an examination room, where a doctor is applying the rape kit. While Benson recruits Sophie to help her fill the room with bubbles, Stabler waits for the doctor's verdict. It's not long in coming. Sophie has been raped.
In the squad room, Stabler and Benson report to Captain Donald Cragen, with Detectives John Munch and Odafin Tutuola also present. Stabler tells them that a tox screen on Sophie Douglas came back positive; they know the perpetrator owns a white van, but they don't have a make or model. Benson comments on the fact that two witnesses sat behind the van for twenty minutes and couldn't remember a single number on the license plate. Cragen tells Munch and Tutuola to check known pedophiles for van owners, and assigns Stabler and Benson the task of interviewing the victim. Benson tells him Sophie's mother thinks she is too traumatized for an interview. Cragen urges Benson to inform Mrs. Douglas that if they're going to catch the perp every second counts.
It's Monday, February 19 -- ADA Alexandra Cabot arrives at the Child Advocates Center of Manhattan at 552 E. 81st Street; she's running late, and is surprised to find Stabler and Benson still there. Stabler explains that they're having trouble separating mother and daughter. Cabot says Mrs. Douglas can join them in the viewing room.
In the interview room, Benson and Sophie sit at a small table. Benson inquires of the little girl if it's okay to ask her a few questions about the man who took her. She learns that the man is white, but Sophie isn't sure of his hair color. She says he has scary teeth, like a monster's. When Benson tries to find out where and how Sophie came to meet this man, the girl gets upset, and says she doesn't want to talk anymore.
In the viewing room, Stabler, Cabot and Mrs. Douglas are watching the interview via a closed-circuit TV system overseen by a technician.Mrs. Douglas wants them to stop, claiming it's too painful for Sophie. Cabot explains that it's going to take some time. Mrs. Douglas pleads with them to let her bring Sophie back in a couple of days, when she'll be more up to it. Stabler communicates with Benson, who has a receiver in her ear, telling her they're in a time crunch, and need the location now.
In the interview room, Benson tries to get Sophie to talk about the van -- could she see any street signs? Did the man speak to her in the van? Sophie replies that the man didn't talk until they got to the room. He told her it was her party day; there were a lot of balloons. But it wasn't a real party -- nobody else was there. She had cupcakes and punch, and fell asleep. When she woke up the man told her it was time to get ready for picture day. He made her wear costumes -- a fairy princess, a mermaid, a ballerina. He helped her get dressed....
In the viewing room, Mrs. Douglas heads for the door, claiming Sophie needs her. Stabler blocks her path, assuring her that Sophie is in good hands; Det. Benson knows what she's doing. Cabot sternly informs her that Sophie needs to focus, which she won't be able to do with her mother present. Stabler asks Mrs. Douglas if she wants to catch the man responsible. Sobbing, Mrs. Douglas says she wants him dead. Cabot hits the intercom, tells Benson to get to day three....
In the interview room, Benson asks Sophie if the man had a name for the third day of her captivity. It was her "special day." The man told her she had to be very clean, and had to take a bubble bath. Crying, Sophie gets up and goes to a corner, saying it's all her fault. Benson assures her that it isn't. Sophie says the man told her he had puppies in his van. She begs Benson not to tell her mom. Benson tells Sophie that her mom isn't mad at her; everyone knows the man tricked her. Sophie says she broke the rule (to go straight home) -- all she wanted was to see the puppies. Mrs. Douglas barges in. Stabler and Cabot come in after her. Mrs. Douglas embraces Sophie, tells her it's okay, and informs the others that she's taking her daughter home.
Back in the viewing room, Benson expresses the opinion that Mrs. Douglas won't be bringing Sophie back any time soon. Cabot tells her and Stabler that if the mother continues to be uncooperative they still have legal recourse. Stabler comments that he wouldn't put his girls through such an ordeal. He suggests they recanvass, starting where the abduction took place. Benson says that maybe Munch and Tutuola are having better luck with the van.
Staking out a parking garage, Munch and Tutuola are sitting in a car, eating Chinese takeout; Munch reviews what they know about Oliver Tunney, aka Jolly Olly, aka Squiggles the Clown, a pedophile who molests the kids he was paid to entertain, and who owns a white van. As he speaks, a white van bearing a sign that reads Leonbone Painting & Remodeling pulls into the garage entrance. The detectives approach the driver as he emerges, identify themselves. Tutuola asks Tunney if he's been keeping his nose clean, and Munch wants to know where he's been all day. Tunney replies that he's been in Connecticut, painting a house. He owns his own business now. Tutuola notices that the sign is a magnetic one; he peels it off the side of the van, asks Tunney if he can look inside. Tunney says he minds, and tells Munch he learned his lesson. "Sing Sing taught me impulse control." Munch notices clown paint on Tunney's neck. Tunney claims it's house paint. Tutuola says it looks like probable cause -- and opens the back of the van, to find a clown suit inside. He tells Tunney he has violated his parole.
In the SVU interrogation room, Munch predicts that after a little dusting they'll find the little girl's fingerprints in Tunney's van. Tutuola tells Tunney that she's ready to pick him out of a lineup. Tunney insists he didn't give a girl a party. Tutuola wonders why, then, he isn't giving them an alibi. Benson and Stabler enter. Benson shows Tunney part of a newspaper, with certain entries circled. "Interesting," she says. "Only the children's events are circled." Witnesses claim they saw Tunney at the county fair in Norwalk. Tunney tells them that proves he didn't do what they picked him up for, and prepares to leave. Stabler tells him not so fast -- those same witnesses filed complaints about the "touchy feely" games he played with the kids at the fair. Benson announces that Connecticut authorities want to talk to him.
Benson and Stabler arrive back in the SVU squadroom to tell Munch that their recanvassing turned up nothing. Tutuola gives Benson a message; Mrs. Douglas returned her call, said Sophie needs more healing time. Benson suggests they call it a day. Stabler realizes he has enough time to get to the toy store -- his wife will faint when she finds out he got the twins' birthday present two days early. Benson gets on her cellphone to make a date for dinner. As they file out, Munch asks her how Mr. Perfect is turning out. Benson says she's only seen him once, and the only time she gets to talk to him is when she's cancelling plans. Tutuola asks Munch if he's got any plans. Munch says no, "but the night is young and the world is full of endless possibilities." They get into an elevator. The doors begin to close. Cragen appears, pushes the doors back open, and informs them that they're all staying. A man in a white van grabbed another girl.
At a convenience store, Munch learns that the suspect bought a six pack of beer. Right after he came and went, Mrs. Guzek arrived. All the owner can tell the detective is that the man was American, six feet, with very "unfortunate" teeth, like Austin Powers. Munch notices a surveillance camera; the owner explains it was broken when he bought it, but he figured it was better than nothing. "No chance this guy salvaged my crapfest of a day by using a credit card, is there?" asks Munch. The owner recalls he paid with a twenty, the last one he got; the man asked for two dollars in quarters. Munch tells a CSU tech to write out a receipt for the top twenty in the cash register and see if the lab can lift a print off it.
Outside, Tutuola questions a man cradling a violin case in his arms. The man says he heard a bottle smash. All he saw was the back door of a white van slam shut and the van peel out seconds later. He didn't see the driver of the van, but thinks the license plate started with H -- or it might have been B. Munch arrives, tells Tutuola that the guy asked for quarters inside, but he doesn't see an arcade or laundromat in the area. Maybe he needed to make some calls. He saw Mrs. Guzek go into the store, leaving Kyrsten alone in the car; he grabbed the girl, took her to the back of the van. Tutuola says he dropped the beer in the struggle. Munch speculates he closed the door behind them, cuffed her to the bar, jumped in the front and took off. Tutuola suggests they pull the records for the pay phone in front of the convenience store. He tells the CSU tech to dust the phone, and Munch says they should also pop the box and dust the quarters, too.
It's Monday, February 19, 10:42 PM. Stabler and Benson interview Charles and Jeanne Guzek at their apartment at 317 West 93rd. A distraught Mrs. Guzek says the car was parked right out front of the market, and she was only inside for a minute. She let Kyrsten wait in the car because it was so cold out. She didn't see anyone in the vicinity of the white van. Benson asks for Kyrsten's most recent photo. While Mr. Guzek gets up to fetch a photo, Mrs. Guzek comments that it's past her daughter's bedtime -- and, sobbing, asks God to protect her baby. Stabler assures her they'll do everything they can to get Kyrsten back. Benson asks if she saw anything when she came out of the store. Mrs. Guzek only saw the open car door; "it was like a live wire hit me. I kept screaming her name. But I knew...." Mr. Guzek hands Stabler a framed photo, says it was taken during their last vacation. Kyrsten had just turned eight.
At the SVU squadroom, Benson asks Munch if they're positive the same guy that took Sophie abducted Kyrsten. "Unless there's a white van-driving, dentally-challenged pedophile convention in town," replies Munch, "I'd say yes." Benson wonders why he would risk another grab so soon. Tutuola reminds them that the storeowner said he was intoxicated. Munch speculates that after the first day the perp figures he's safe and ventures back out. Stabler says they have two different approaches. With Sophie it was organized, using puppies as a lure. With Kyrsten it was impulse, a blitz attack. Munch says there's no way he is a first-timer. Benson wants to know why they haven't yet received the city-wide open cases from the past five years. Stabler says that if the perp is holding to the same schedule, Kyrsten's "picture day" starts in about eight hours.
Capt. Cragen checks with Tutuola a little after three in the morning; the latter is checking mugshots on a computer. He tells Cragen there are a lot of "bad-mouthed mothers"; the only additional info the storeowner gave them was approximate height, and that didn't narrow it down much. Cragen tells him to keep doing what he's doing.
Cragen arrives in the squadroom in time to catch Stabler taking a sip of coffee -- and then spitting it out. Munch remarks that he made it -- nineteen hours ago. Stabler complains that Munch always puts the top back on an empty coffee can. He tells the others he's going out to get coffee. Cragen asks for two-percent latte. Munch orders a double espresso and a pastrami on rye. Stabler doesn't get very far before he runs into a man delivering a stack of boxes -- the files ordered by Det. Benson. Stabler calls out to Cragen that they need an incident room. Then he goes into an adjacent room where Benson is sleeping on a cot and wakes her to inform her that the files just arrived.
In the incident room, Munch and Benson sit at a table piled high with files. Benson admits she's read the same paragraph five times and can't remember what it says. Munch notes that it's eight a.m. -- they've been on for 24 hours. Kyrsten was grabbed 12 hours ago. Stabler tells Benson that they're just spinning their wheels here. As he heads out of the room, she asks what he has in mind. Stabler says they have to talk to Sophie now. Benson reminds him that Mrs. Douglas was adamant about giving her daughter more time. Stabler says that was before the perp grabbed another girl.
A little after 9 AM on Tuesday, February 20, Stabler and Benson show up at the door to the Douglas residence at 247 East 25th. Mrs. Douglas is still adamant. Sophie has told them everything she remembers. Last night she woke up crying every hour. Mrs. Douglas won't let her daughter live through it again. Stabler says there's another girl living through it right now. Mrs. Douglas still won't budge. Stabler warns her that they can get a judge to compel her to let them talk to Sophie. Mrs. Douglas tells him that's what he'll have to do -- and closes the door.
At 11.45 AM, in the chambers of Judge Lena Petrovsky, Cabot insists they might be able to find the perp before he rapes Kyrsten Guzak. Mrs. Douglas and her attorney are present; the latter says Sophie has no further information. Cabot argues that Mrs. Douglas prematurely terminated the first session with Sophie, and a lot of ground was left uncovered. The attorney expresses concern about traumatizing the girl. Cabot counters that SVU detectives have experience in the area. Mrs. Douglas begs Judge Petrovsky not to let the detectives question her daughter again. Judge Petrovsky understands her concern for her child, but she has to weigh that against the welfare of another -- and grants the application, ordering Mrs. Douglas to produce her daughter.
A little before two p.m. at the Child Advocates Center, Benson interviews Sophie. She asks the girl if she had any takeout food or pizza with the man. Sophie tells her that all she ever had to eat were cupcakes and fruit punch and corn candy. Benson asks if the man ever wore a shirt with his name on it. Sophie says no. Does she remember anything with a name on it? A streamer at the party had her name on it. There were balloons at the party too; the man blew them up with a big machine.
Walking back to the car with Stabler, Benson says that if the perp had a banner with Sophie's name on it, it means he went shopping after he abducted her. Stabler says a thousand stores sell party supplies. Benson asks how many rent helium tanks. That will narrow it down considerably, concedes Stabler. He asks Benson to remind him to get decorations for the twins' birthday party.
At 4:20 PM, Munch and Tutuola speak to a sales clerk at Aladdin's Party Supplies, 167-31 Crossbay Boulevard, Queens, who looks at a sketch and tells them they're way off on the face. She says when he smiles it requires a real effort not to flinch. She doesn't know if he came here yesterday -- she wasn't working -- but he was here Friday. He bought a helium tank and paid cash. He comes in every few weeks for the seasonal candy -- like the bag of candy corn Munch removes from a rack.
Back at The SVU squadroom, Tutuola is on the phone, saying he wants two men on the party shop around the clock, "every day until the end of creation." Benson fields a call from Michael, apologizing for breaking their date. Stabler's on the phone with his wife, telling her he knows how important the twins' birthday is. Munch announces he extended the parameters and got back three autopsy reports showing stomach contents that included cupcakes, candy corn and fruit punch. A girl from the Bronx in 1998, one in Brooklyn in '99 and a Long Island girl in 2000. All three were strangled, killed three days after they went missing, all three found in water. Since they were from different boroughs, no pattern was spotted. Stabler points out that Sophie escaped on her third day. Benson adds that it happened six blocks from the East River. Kyrsten, says Stabler, begins her third day in the morning. "I take it we're all staying," says Munch.
In the SVU squadroom, the detectives are gathered around a lighted map of New York City. Benson puts a girl's photo on the map -- 8-year-old Rhonda Simmons, abducted three years ago in the Bronx, raped, strangled and dumped in the East River. Stabler puts up a photo of Sheila Wells, 7, grabbed at Greenpoint, raped, strangled. Munch has the photo and file of Kyra Blye, murdered a year later, same M.O. Tutuola puts up the photos of Sophie - six months later -- and Kyrsten. No DNA found in any of the cases. "Water washes away all sins -- or at least all DNA," says Munch. Benson notes that all five victims were white, between the ages of 7 and 9, from working class families. Tutuola says the guy is probably a loner. Munch adds that he's impulsive, socially marginized. Stabler points out he seems to move around -- Benson notes that the first was in the Bronx, the next in Brooklyn North, the third on Long Island, the last two in Manhattan. Another detective arrives to tell them that One P.P. (One Police Plaza) needs to release a press statement.
The detectives are waiting for Capt. Cragen when he comes out of a bathroom stall. "I'm not tipping all of you," he says.Benson tells him the brass wants to go public; she wants to hold back the van, their only solid lead, and once it gets out the perp will dump it. Tutuola says if he dumps it they get a van full of new evidence. Munch thinks the perp will leave town. Stabler says someone might see him, turn him in. Tutuola says they should release the composite. They all agree they might be deluged with false leads. Cragen reminds them that in a few hours Kyrsten begins her "special day." He tells them to release the composite and a description of the van, but hold back on the timeclock. Another detective tells Cragen that a woman standing nearby is Mrs. Simmons, mother of one of victims. It's Stabler's turn to deal with a family member.
Stabler takes Mrs. Simmons to a quiet place (a balcony overlooking the squadroom). She insists on giving him a picture of her daughter, her last school photo, that came in the mail three weeks after she was murdered. Mrs. Simmons tells Stabler she wants it in his pocket when he catches the person responsible.
Tempers are short in the SVU -- Benson complains about not getting the latents on the pay phone near where Kiersten Guzak was grabbed; Cragen complains that the squadroom is turning into a pig sty. Munch announces they've hit paydirt -- there was a ten second local call just prior to a 9-1-1 made from the pay phone. The local call was to a Saul Garner. Tutuola suggests they go wake him up.
When Munch and Tutuola arrive at Saul Garner's apartment, the latter says he wasn't home Monday night when the call came; he tells Munch that he looks like he slept on a sewer grate last night. Garner speculates that maybe the ten second call was a wrong number, or his girlfriend checking up on him. But he wasn't home and nobody left a message.
Stabler, Benson, Munch and Tutuola are handling phone calls -- the newspapers are running front page stories on the kidnappings. Benson informs the others that her last call was from a psychic in California who couldn't help with the case but did predict half of Manhattan would slip into the river tomorrow following an earthquake. Cragen tells them to put down the phones; the crime lab ran DNA from Sophie through the cold cases and came up with another victim, five years ago -- Bonnie Weathers, a ten-year-old from Queens, raped and strangled and dumped in an abandoned warehouse. Her stomach remains included corn candy. Benson notes that pedophiles usually start close to home. Munch says the first crime is always the sloppiest. Cragen wants them to re-interview everyone involved, including the cops who caught the case.
Walking a Queens sidewalk in a light rain with Benson, Stabler mutters a curse -- it's the twins' birthday and he never picked up their present. Benson says he has a good excuse. They enter a diner where Queens Detectives Tatum and Becker are having lunch. Stabler addresses them, but Tatum asks Becker if she heard anything. Stabler tells them that pulling the case file was a boss-to-boss thing, it's not how he and Benson operate. "We're here now because we know the important stuff is not in the file." Sarcastic, Tatum says he's right, it's in their heads, but they were just too lazy to pick the guy up. Benson slams a fist into Tatum's sandwich. She informs him that she came in fully intending to schmooze because she knows this is their turf, and she would be prickly about it, too. But she and Stabler have been on the case for three days and are too tired to get into a pissing match. They're running out of time. Tatum asks what she wants to know. Stabler reminds him they interviewed over 200 people in the Weathers case; there isn't time to re-interview them all. They need a shortcut. Benson asks who Tatum and Becker liked for the crime. Going through the files Benson has brought along, Becker says they gave the janitor at the school a hard look. Benson asks if he had bad teeth. Tatum says no, but the guy who lived down the street did -- Clayton Mills. Becker says Joe Hayes had bad teeth, too; he was dating the babysitter, and did a stint in Attica for assault.    
Munch and Tutuola find Joe Hayes working as a welder at a shipyard. When questioned, Hayes says he doesn't own a white van. He knows why they've looked him up -- they think he killed those little girls. He claims he didn't rape a grade-schooler five years ago and he hasn't done anyone now, either. As they walk away, Munch gets on his cell phone, requesting a 24-hour detail on Hayes.
It's 10:27 AM on Wednesday, February 21 when Stabler and Benson arrive at Dawson's Photo Studio located at 88-07 153rd Street in Queens. They learn that Clayton Mills works for Dawson as a backup photographer. Noticing school group photos on the studio wall, Stabler asks Dawson if he works at the schools in the area. Dawson says they keep him busy year-round. Clayton Mills goes on those shoots, setting up the lights, carrying equipment. As Dawson pulls down a background of clouds against a blue sky, Stabler turns, taking the photo of Rhonda Simmons out of his pocket and shows it to Benson. The same background is in the photo. Dawson admits it's his work. He tells the detectives Mills called in sick today, and confirms that an address Benson has written on her notepad is Clayton's address. He rents a room from a Mrs. Rapaport.
At the Rapaport house, Tutuola uses a crowbar to bust the lock on the front door. He and Munch, guns drawn, head upstairs while Stabler and Benson, their guns also drawn, check downstairs. As Munch and Tutuola come down to give the all-clear, they find Stabler and Benson in a room adorned with balloons and a streamer with Kyrsten's name on it. Stabler sees blood on the linoleum floor and mutters that they're too late. They open a pantry door and find an old lady, dead, inside. Munch invites them to say hello to Mrs. Rapaport. Benson speculates that Mrs. Rapaport must have walked in on Mills. "I guess Clayton doesn't like surprises," says Stabler.
The SVU squadroom is a beehive of activity, with every available person working the phone bank. Stabler tells Cragen that the landlady took a junket to Atlantic City last Friday -- the day Sophie was grabbed. She was supposed to be gone four days but ran out of money and came back early. Neighbors say she went to Atlantic City a few times a year. These were the times Clayton Mills committed his crimes. Stabler reminds them that Kyrsten has four hours to live. Benson replies that she's already dead -- Mills is on the run, he's not sticking to his time clock. Stabler insists they proceed on the assumption that she's still alive. Cragen tells them both to get some rack time. Stabler tells Benson to take a nap -- he'll let her know how it turns out. "Screw you," says Benson. Cragen orders Benson to get some fresh air, and tells Stabler to talk to his wife. Stabler turns to see Cathy and the twins.
Trying to get candy from a machine, Stabler asks the twins if they're five years old today. They correct him -- they're eight. He apologizes to his wife, says he has two seconds. "We'll take them," says Cathy cheerfully. The twins give Stabler his present -- a new shirt and a toothbrush. Stabler tells them it's the best present a guy has ever had -- just as Benson calls to him that they've got something. Stabler gives Cathy a quick kiss, hands her the shirt, and hurries off.
Benson tells him Tutuola has just called in. Saul Garner -- the man Kyrsten's abductor called from a pay phone -- was visited by Munch and Tutuola, at his place of business, a pawn shop. Garner admitted that Mills called him back. Afraid to drive into New York City, Mills wants Garner to meet him in Brooklyn. Stabler speculates that Mills needs money to make a run for it. Cragen hands him a note with an address on it.
It's 3:07 PM, Wednesday, February 21. Stabler is on a walkie talkie with police sharpshooters on the rooftops of the Redhook Warehouse District in Brooklyn. Telling Benson they're all set, he crosses to the other side of the alley, passing in front of a brown van. Saul Garner is behind the wheel. Munch is hidden in back. Garner tells Munch that Mills is selling some "old broad's" attic-full of antiques. Munch informs Garner that the old broad is the landlady Mills bludgeoned to death. Garner swears he thought Mills might be a thief, but never a kid-raping killer. Munch warns him that if he does anything to tip Mills off, he'll go down as a kid-raping accomplice. "What if he shoots me?" asks Garner, nervously. "I'll live," says Munch. He assures Garner every sharpshooter in the city is out there. Garner sees a white van turn into the alley. He tells Munch that Mills is getting closer; Munch orders him not to look back at him, and not to talk -- if Mills see him talking he'll know it's a set-up. Garner continues to stammer, and Mills tells him that if his lips keep moving "I'll kill you myself." Mills stops the white van a car's length ahead of Garner's van; he leans out the window and calls out for Garner to "bring it over here." Garner hesitates -- and Mills abruptly puts the white van in reverse. But the entrance to the alley is blocked by patrol cars, and he accelerates forward, past the brown van, past Stabler's and Benson's places of concealment. The exit is blocked by patrol cars that appear out of nowhere, and Mills veers off into a side-alley, only to find himself in a dead-end. Benson and Tutuola, guns drawn, run up to the driver's side of the van. As they drag Mills out, Stabler throws open the rear doors and climbs inside. He finds Kyrsten under some garbage sacks, searches for a pulse. Kyrsten moans, comes to. He picks her up and carries her out, telling her it's all over. She's going home.
Riker's Island, Thursday, February 22....ADA Alexandra Cabot is in a room with Clayton Mills, guarded by a uniformed officer, and his attorney, Dylan, who informs Cabot that his client wants a deal. Cabot replies that the only deal Mills will get is a free last meal. She knows about all four of the girls Mills killed. Mills says there were five. Dylan adds that apparently the body of the fifth victim was never recovered. Mills speculates that the mother would like closure. He won't divulge the victim's name, only that she was his first, "a perfect little princess, sweet as can be." He insists that Cabot take the death penalty off the table.
Cabot visits Senior ADA Charlie Phillips in a conference room at the DA's office. Phillips balks at authorizing a deal with Mills. The public, he says, doesn't want "this boil on the butt of humanity living to a ripe old age." The mothers of his victims want him dead, as does the city -- even protesters against the death penalty want to see Mills dead. Cabot tells him that he can't know all the other mothers want Mills dead; she opens a door and invites Mrs. Douglas into the room. Mrs. Douglas tells Phillips that it's true, she wants Mills dead -- he raped her daughter, killed her childhood. Not knowing where her daughter was, or if she was alive, for three days nearly killed her. But she can't even begin to imagine what the mother of Mills' first victim has endured, all these years, and begs Phillips not to let it go on the rest of her life.
On a cold gray day in a remote stretch of woods, Benson and Stabler watch an officer digging a hole in the snow-covered ground. Clayton Mills, clad in an orange D.O.C. outfit, shackled and guarded, stands nearby. The man stops digging and holds up a small red shoe....
In a residential neighborhood, Stabler and Benson stand for a moment on a sidewalk in front of a house. Bracing themselves, they walk up to the door. Before they can knock, a dark-haired woman opens the door. "Mrs. Laird?" asks Stabler.
[Summary by Jason Manning, October 2002]