Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–…): Season 13, Episode 7 - Russian Brides - full transcript

When a young woman is found brutally murdered, the SVU detectives use her distinctive tattoos to identify her as a recently engaged Russian mail-order bride. Upon questioning her distraught fiancé, they learn that she was kidnapped and held for ransom the night of their engagement party. While the detectives follow the money to a deadly blackmail scam run by the Russian Mafia, Captain Cragen goes undercover as a sad and lonely suitor to lure out a killer.

In the Criminal Justice system,

sexually based offenses are
considered especially heinous.

In New York City,
the dedicated detectives

who investigate
these vicious felonies

are members of an elite squad

known as the
Special Victims Unit.

These are their stories.

Angel, stop, angel.

Where do you go, little girl?

Come back here!

Don't run away!
My angel, stop!

Get in car!
Get in car now!

Come back here!

So, you know how,
in the summertime,

you're drinkin' outside

and gotta put your beer
in a paper bag?

Yeah, so you don't
get a summons--yeah.

Yeah, so how 'bout this?
Designer beer bags.

In suede, leather, velour--
all blinged out.

That's hot, right?

Gonna get me paid for sure.

Yeah, they already
have those.


You're kidding me.

Oh, man.

So let's see what we got.

No purse, no I.D.

Butterfly tattoo.

The bus boys say the body
wasn't here an hour ago.

No one heard any screams.
No one saw anything.

But she was raped?

Bruising on the thighs.
Blood on the panties.

Blunt force trauma
to the head.

Let's flip her.

On three.

One, two, three.

Damn it.

Doc, is that acid?

I mean, her face is gone.

It looks mechanical,
not chemical.

Pulled her teeth,
roots and all.

No fingertips, either.

These butchers
knew their business.

There's another tat here.

What is that?

Either one of you read Russian?

- I wish.
- No dental records.

No fingerprints.
No face.

But they leave the tattoos.

Well, they didn't want us
to know who she was.

But they wanted to make sure
somebody got the message.

Sync by Adriano_CSI, corrections by Alice

What do we got?

Our Jane Doe
is female, white.

Late 20s to early 30s.
Raped and murdered.

We canvassed the neighborhood.
No one saw or heard a thing.

It's like the body
materialized out of thin air.

Well, they did
some number on her.

What about these tattoos?

I had a buddy in the gang unit
take a look at them.

The butterfly is generic.

Could have been inked
by anyone, anywhere.

But this one's specific
to the Russian mafia.

Most likely done
in the motherland.

It's the mark
of a prostitute.

What do those words mean?

"Mother, forgive me."

Gettin' an idea
of who we're dealing with here.

The prelim autopsy report
just came in.

Sand was found in the rectum
and vaginal canal of the victim.

There were also cuts
from bits of glass and debris.

M.E. Fix the time of death?

Um, yeah, eight to ten hours
before discovery.

So she was murdered
on a beach,

and then dumped
at the restaurant.

It's usually
the other way around.

They wanted the body found.

Hold on, didn't the ME's
office collect sand samples

after the Gilgo Beach

Yeah, they wanted to see
if any of the victims

had been moved
from other sites.

All right,
we got lucky here.

The sand was made up
of fine particle

and white mason...

Indicating that it's
from a repaired beach,

meaning that the city
spread the sand.

So there's only three repaired
beaches in the area.

Rockaway, Brighton,
or Coney Island.

Well, Brighton Beach is still
almost exclusively Russian.

They call it
the Odessa by the sea.

So it's a good place
to start.

All right, look,
if this is Russian mob,

this one's gonna
scare people off.

So start with the butterfly.

Maybe we can find out
who this poor woman was.


Thank you.

A lot of these people
are illegal.

The last thing they wanna do
is talk to the cops.

Girl disappears,
it's not their problem.

Especially when they don't
know who wanted her gone.

Good thing is,

witnesses are like children--

they respond
to bribes and threats.

And they're easy to trick.

I'll look
for the manager.


Shush! Huh?

Excuse me, miss.


Detective Tutuola, SVU.

I'm trying to I.D. somebody
from the neighborhood.

Do any of your customers
have this tattoo?

No. Don't know.


How 'bout this girl?

Well, you must know her.
You have her up on your wall.

Uh, no English.

She doesn't speak English.
Call INS.

They'll send
some translators down here.

On it. We'll have
to shut this place down

till they get here.

No, wait.
We have a big party coming in.

Now she speaks English.

Last chance.

Who's the girl?

Who's she with?


That is Lena,
and the man is Daniel.

They had their engagement party
here last Friday.

- I go now?
- Engagement party.

They pay with a credit card?

You get the I.D.?

Oh, just the first name
on our vic.

That's Lena.

She had a fiance,
Daniel Carter.

48, widowed,
two kids in college.

Runs a nonprofit,
NYC habitation.

Lives in Kips Bay.

Finn and Rollins
are on their way there.

Any connection
to the Russian mob?

Not on paper.

There's no record.

Now, I know you're
not a romantic,

but... they just
got engaged.

Look, you know the stats.

When a woman is murdered--

You start with
the man in her life.

See... that's why
I'm a firm believer

in divorce.

When you feel
that... thing building,

you just gotta
get the hell out.

Your parents split.


Yeah, my pop,
he, uh...

Liked to bounce my mom
off the walls.

The day he left,

we had a party.

It was one of the happiest
moments of my life.

You ever talk to him?

Last I heard,
he got into some trouble.

Went back down to Miami.

Adios y hasta nunca.

This TMI?


What about your father?

Uh, that's a long story.

Sorry to keep you waiting.

They worked her over.

Aside from the head wound
that caused her death,

she was raped vaginally
and anally.

How'd they do that
to her face?

Power tools.

Sanded off her face,
sawed off her fingertips.

She was dead before
the worst of it.

Small favors.

Thanks, Melinda.

What did you say
that he did again?

He runs a nonprofit.
Builds houses for the homeless.

That would give him
access to power tools.

Mr. Carter works from home.
He should be here.

Something wrong?

How well do you know him?

We play chess together.

One move every day.

So you know Lena's fiance?

Lena... pretty girl.

What's going on,

You're making me nervous.

We ask the questions here,
okay, hon?

Mr. Carter, open up!

It's Luis!

Must have stepped out.

Super has keys, right?

Or we can knock it down.
It's up to you.


All clear.

Come on.

Come on.

Give me a heart attack.

So is this Lena?

You got a last name
on her?

Something Russian.

The man was, uh,
definitely smitten.

Older man, younger woman.

Daniel the jealous type?


You think he hurt her?

No way.

Lena is his sunshine.

Did something
happen to her?

We need you
to call Daniel.

On his cell phone.

What's this about?

We think Daniel might be
in a little bit of trouble.

We think he might be
running scared.

But he'll
talk to you, right?

- Yeah.
- Call him up.

Find out where he is.

Put it on speaker.


Yo, Mr. Carter.
Where are you?

Luis? Why--
why are you--

is Lena there?

Tell him
you have a package for him.

I got a package
for you, boss.

Uh, UPS won't let me sign.

Can you pop home quick?

Package, what--
what kind of package?

They won't say.
You gotta come home.

Ah, I can't--
I can't leave where I am.

You okay, man?
Tell me where you are.

Mr. Carter...

- No, I can't.
- What's going on?

Mr. Carter!

He sounds scared.

That music?
A kids' party?

I'll have TARU
trace that number.

I need to borrow your phone.

Thank you.

There's no GPS
in this phone.

They triangulated the signal.
It's too wide an area.

If he's even still here.

Rollins said they heard
kids on the phone

and music.

There's a carousel
right at the end of the pier.

We found a body there
last fall.

All units converge.

Chelsea Piers Park,
carousel area.

I've got him.

We're moving in.

Come on!

Daniel Carter.

Go away. Go away.
I didn't call you.

- They'll kill her.
- Kill who? Kill who?

Daniel, who would they kill?

- Lena?
- Yes! You have to go away.

Where is she?

Is she dead?

They said
they'd bring her here!

Who, Daniel?

That was the deal!
I paid!

I--I paid.

I paid, I paid, I paid.

I paid!

This way, Mr. Carter.

- Why don't you have a seat?
- Thank you.

- Detective.
- Counselor.

Look, Daniel's a friend.

I've advised him
to cooperate fully,

but can I ask you
to go easy on him?

- We're investigating a murder.
- I know, I understand.

But he lost his wife
three years ago--cancer.

Lena brought him
back to life.

He wasn't prepared
for this.

Are you a criminal attorney?

Tax law, primarily.

Some estate planning.

Then, counselor,
I would suggest

you go in...

And tell your client
to tell the truth.

Do you recognize these?

This one's
on Lena's hip.

The butterfly's
on her shoulder blade.

Why can't I just ID
The body?


How did you two meet?

Just tell them
everything, Danny.

Ah, it's gonna
sound cheap.

Well, it is cheap.

We met on a Russian bride
web site,

We've seen some scams
run through those sites.

This wasn't like that.

My buddy told me about it.

He used to go to Russia
on business,

meet eight to ten girls
from the site,

sleep with them all
and marry none.

He was divorced.
It was like a sex trip for him.

What about you?

it was his fiancee.

I was going through
a lonely time.

I started trolling.

Nothing serious.

And then I saw
Lena's profile,

and there was just
something about her right away.

So you two Skyped or...

Skyping wasn't allowed.

We chatted online
a few times, IMing.

I had to fly to Moscow
to meet her.

She--she took me

Even St. Petersburg...

Where my family
was originally from.

We talked and talked.

She wanted to know
everything about me.

And this was all platonic?

Well, no.

But it isn't what you think.

We had a real
soul connection.

Did it go both ways?

Did she introduce you to her--
her friends, her family?

No, she was careful.

She had been in
an abusive relationship, her--

She was scared of her ex.

He was stalking her.

That what she told you?

Well, I saw him.

He was following us.

One night, he made a big scene
outside the hotel

about how he wanted
her back.

I would see how terrified
she was.

And that's when
you convinced her to move

to New York City?


It was like a fairy tale.

I was--I was getting
a second chance.

And how long did you
live together

before she disappeared?

Two months.

The night after
the engagement party,

I got a call the kidnappers
wanted $100,000.

All I had was $80,000.
It was my life savings.

But I never hesitated.

And you didn't
notify the police?

They told him
not to call anyone.

They said
they were gonna kill her.

Now, where'd you
drop the money?

A garbage can.

Brighton Beach.

Then they were supposed
to bring Lena to the carousel.

I gave them
everything I had,

and they still killed her.

Look, uh--
your cell phone.

You have any other photos
of your Russian trip on there?

Uh, hundreds.

And video.

I-I didn't take any pictures
of her ex.

He was stalking us.

So just focus on
the people in the background.

No, no. No.

Hi, sweetie.

- Hi.
- Baby doll.

Wake up.

Wake up.

I've got some coffee for you.

Come back to bed.


Look at the crowd, Daniel,
not your girl.

Right there.

Everyone else is looking
at the musicians.

That guy is
taking pictures of you.

Wait, I'll zoom in.

That's her ex.
I'd know that face anywhere.

Good, Daniel.

Give us a second.

You're sure
that's the guy, right?

Let's get this to Real Time's
Facial Recognition database.

NCIC, Interpol too.

Hey, so I got something

You find out who owns it?

Bet their hands
aren't clean.

Well, they are hosted
by a rogue provider.

They've got an office
here in Manhattan.

They claim to do
Internet security.

It's called QuickSecure.

What are you waiting for?


Well, I have
nothing on file

other than that

someone wired in some money
from offshore.

That's all I got.

Okay, then give us
the IP address

and the wire info,
and we'll take it from there.

Uh, I can't do that

because our clients
pay us top dollar

to maintain their privacy.

So if you want
that information,

you gotta come back in
with a search warrant, okay?

I don't think
you understand.

Let's get
something straight.

First, spit
that lollipop out,

before I smack it
out your mouth.

You're not a five-year-old.

You make us get a warrant,
we're gonna call the feds.

Uh, well, we're not
doing anything illegal here.

This place here is a front,
your server is illegal.

We're gonna hold you

for all of the crimes
on all of the sites.

We're gonna shut
this toilet down

and put your little ass
in jail.

You understand me? Jail.

Where you're gonna be
suckin' on somethin' else.

Now, what you wanna do?

- You want that?
- No, no!

I don't want that.
So I'm gonna help you out.

But can we not
call in the feds on this?

Is that cool?

We don't like them anyway.

Great, so we're
on the same page.

Um, this is
the physical address.

Uh, the last place
that the website

was logged into
and changed.

Okay. So that's the best
that I can do for you.

So are we cool now?

Yeah, yeah.

- We're done here.
- Great.

FBI, hands up now!

Move away
from your keyboards.

Come on, you lied to me?!

- Yeah.
- Ain't life a bitch?

You never heard

then why is their web site
being run

off one of your computers?

This is a travel agency.

I give you flight, hotel.

You have to find
the bride yourself.

Look, check my computer.

My records,
whatever you want.

We run
a legitimate business here.

You give us permission
to search the premises?

Yes! Yes, if you need to.
I have nothing to hide.

Hey, man.


Hey! Hey, stop!


Hey, you...

Hey, agh!

What you
running from, man?

Travel agent.

That's a good cover
for the yourczarina webmaster.

I-I just book flights.

Well, one of the girls
you flew in got murdered.

So if you just book flights,
tell us who you're working for.

You know who this man is?

You have no idea
who you're dealing with, do you?

No. Why don't you tell us?

Well, you already
know he's a killer.

But this one,
he lives by the code.

The code?

He's vor v zakone.

He's Russian mafia.

If I talk,
he'll kill my family,

my friends, my dog,

as sure
as we're sitting here.

You know what
your problem is?

You're scared
of the wrong people.

Let's release him.

I don't understand.

You see, everybody
in Brighton Beach

saw you getting picked up
and talking to the cops.

So we're gonna
drop you off

right back
on that same boardwalk.

Yeah, and everybody's
gonna know you cooperated.

So I'm screwed,
no matter what!

You help us,
we help you.

I'm thinking
that's the best you got.

We got a name.

Liev Bodrov.

"The Butcher."

He's wanted on multiple
charges of murder,

and racketeering.

He did ten years
in Vorkuta Gulag

in Siberia in the '90s.

He escaped.
They haven't caught him since.

Well, I got something too.

We heard back from Interpol.

Four other murders
fit our MO.

Moscow, Johannesburg,
Vancouver, and Munich.

So the Butcher is running

an international
prostitution kidnapping ring?

That's just great.

And each case,

our vic was found
with no face,

the teeth removed,

and her fingertips cut off.

No way for us to trace.


they all had the "Mother,
forgive me" tattoo.

He's branding them
so the mark knows

his czarina is dead.

Thanks for meeting me here.

Something you didn't want
to say in front of my partner?

I couldn't risk
coming to the precinct.

Why? What's going on?

I did my own search

And I found this.

Different name, Irene.

Different haircut.

Different color.

But that's Lena.

I'd know here anywhere.
She's alive.

We don't know that.

We don't know when
this photo was taken.

It was taken
after she was kidnapped.

That necklace,
I gave it to Lena

at our engagement party.

She disappeared
the next morning.

I loved her.

I grieved for her.

She was playing me
the whole time.

I mean, those people faked

We have a body in our morgue.
They didn't fake that.

Daniel... I need you
to show me how

to set up a date
on a web site like this.

what are you proposing?

We want to wire up
an undercover,

send him out on a date
with Lena,

AKA Irene.

Our UC
Needs to be her type.

Lonely, mature, with money.

Are you sure you need
the wire?

A suspect can say something

I have seen it backfire.

These are dangerous people,

If our UC
gets lured somewhere,

we need to be able
to protect him.

How quickly
do you need the warrant?

these are career criminals

with a global network.

Okay, I'll see if any
of the DA's investigators

fit your profile.

Well, actually, uh...

We got it covered.

I'm gonna take it.

When was the last time
you were undercover?

Probably before
either of you were born.

Remember, Captain,

no matter how tempting
it might be,

you cannot get intimate
with the suspect.

It will undermine
your credibility at trial.

I'll try to control myself,

Captain, TARU set up
a laptop in your office

so you can IM Lena
and it won't trace back here.

You want us to come
in there with you?

Not a chance.

Now, I did a lot
of undercover work

in narcotics.

I know Finn did too.
The key is--

is to choose an identity

as close to your own
as possible.

I know the drill,

Sorry, Captain.

I just didn't know they had,
you know,

tape recorders when you
graduated the academy.

At least we didn't have
to inflate his bank account,

'cause he hasn't spent
a dollar of his captain's pay

on his wardrobe.

Thank you very much
for your help, fellas.

But I've got to prepare
for my cyber date.

Knock it out, killa.

I heard that!

Uh, Lena's getting
out of the cab now.

She arrived alone,
but we made two guys

at the end of the bar.

So, um, definitely get her
up to your room.

We'll move in
once you're there.

You'll do fine.

You look good.

- Irene?
- Yes.


You are, uh,

much prettier
than your picture.

Oh, thank you.

- And you are handsome.
- Please.

They say I have
a face for radio.

Don't say that.

Your eyes are very kind.


What are you having?

Club soda.

I'm, uh, not
a drinking man anymore.

But don't let that
spoil your fun.

A man who doesn't drink.

You're new for me already.

Um, an orange juice,

Children's Rights Coalition?

What do you do?

Well, actually,
it's, uh...

Just what it says.

We advocate for the rights
of children worldwide.

There are horrible abuses
out there.

How'd you get
involved with that?

Probably started during
the war, Vietnam.

I saw some conditions
in the villages

that truly shocked me.

Such sadness.

Must be very hard
to deal with it every day.

No, it--
people think that,

but you're standing up
for victims

who have no voice.

I mean, I worry
more about my staff.

The--the work really
takes a toll on them.

You worry about children.

You worry about your staff.

Who worries about you?

Have you ever been married,


I'm a widower.

Marge, my wife,

I lost her
a long time ago.

Any children?

Well, there
was a miscarriage.

And, uh...

we tried...

to adopt.

I guess I was just
too busy all the time.

my biggest regret.

You're a man.

It's not too late.

Okay. Enough
of my violins.

All right?
I wanna know about you.

Were you ever married?


Who are you, Irene?

You hear sad stories
every day.

Tonight, I just want
to enjoy.

I hope you're
enjoying it too.

I think you know I am.

Thank you.


As my favorite bartender
used to say,

uh, we don't
have to go home,

but we can't stay here.

I don't want to go home.

I have a room upstairs.

It's a beautiful view.

- Okay?
- Thank you.

Have you done this before?

Me? No, never.

Is something wrong?

I'm just a little bit

But you got a room.

I will be a gentleman.
I promise.

Maybe we should
wait for a second date.

Len--Lena, wait.
Wai--damn it.

She's on the move.
Go! Go! Go!

- Freeze!
- No!

Up against the wall.

- Up against the wall!
- No, no, no.

Turn around.
Get your hands behind your back.

No, you can't arrest me!

You can't!
You don't understand.

You don't understand.

you have to help me.

Whoever you are.


- Don't do it, Captain.
- What's that?

Have a drink.
I know you want one.

Look, we caught her.
That's what's important.

She made me...
at the end, she made me.

Come on.
Did a good job, captain.

It's not you
that we really want.

It's Liev.

But we need your help.

There's no reason
for you

to spend the rest
of your life in jail.

Look, we understand
he has you scared,

but we can relocate you.

Put you in Witness Protection.

They won't get to you
or your family.

That, we can promise.

I only have one daughter.

And Liev already has her.


He has my baby,

and he's going to kill her
if he finds out

I'm with the police.

This is how
he controls people.

Do you think
I wanna do these things?

What things, Lena?

You need to tell us

Liev runs mail-order
bride sites,

here and in Russia.

Which is just a front
for his blackmail operation.

And prostitution.

So tell us
how the scam works.

I meet wealthy men
through the site,

and I make them
fall for me.

I tell them
I have a jealous ex.

I get kidnapped and...

Liev just
takes all their money.

You left out the part
where he kills and disfigures

a girl who's
supposed to be you.


But at first, I didn't know
he was killing these girls.

I swear!
Lena, whose bodies are they?

Prostitutes who--

who work for Liev, just...

No family, illegal.

No one to miss them.

No mothers
to forgive them.

What do you mean?

All the bodies had
"Mother, forgive me"

tattooed on their hip

and a butterfly
on their shoulder.

The Russian one
is his brand.

The butterfly...

I had that tattooed before
I met Liev.

He said it
made me special.

Well, you are special,
aren't you?

They die and you live.

You don't understand.

I beg to stop.

But he won't let me!

He says I'm--
I'm the best at this job.

He has me trapped.

Because of your daughter?

He moves her
from country to country,

and I never know
where she is.

Does he ever
let you see her?

Every once in a while,

for a few hours.

In a safe house.

And then he just...

he just takes her from me.

Can you give me my phone?

I show you.

My baby girl.

Her name is Anna.

Captain, I did a quick check
on Lena's ID.

She is in the states
on an expired work visa,

but she doesn't have
a criminal record in Russia.

Does she even
have a daughter?

Yeah, she does.

One--one daughter
that's four years old.

All right,
so that checks out.

Okay, so we use Lena
to get to Liev.

If he's not already spooked.

As far as Liev knows,

she's still in the room
with you...

hooking her mark.

How do we draw him out?

She'll know.

We got it, captain.

No, no. No.
I'll handle it.

Uh, you two
give us the room.

No offense.

And send Lena in.

Right now, we have to consider
you part of a conspiracy

to commit extortion
and murder.

- Liev forced me!
- Listen to me!

You're in big trouble
here, Lena.

Now, help yourself
by helping us to get Liev.

I want my daughter back.

Well, we'll do what we can.

But, Lena,
you need to cooperate.

Do you understand that?

If you want to make a deal,

you have to tell us everything
about Liev's operation.

names, victims,

dates, places.

You'll have to testify.



After our date,

what was going to be
the next step with me?

I would call Liev...

and I would tell him I have
a big fish on the hook.

And then I would
set up another date.

And Liev would be watching,

Yes, he always watches.

Call him.

Set it up.

I know what
you think of me.

But we need to look
like we're lovers.

Come closer, captain.


I'm gonna kiss you.

he'll know, okay?

Thank you.

Thank you for helping me
get my Anna back.

Police, drop your weapon.

No! Stop!

No! No!

- Okay, back up.
- Liev!

- No, Lena, back up!
- No. Liev.

Where is she?
Where is she?

Where is she?!

Where's Anna?!

He's gone, Lena.
Come on.



We'll never find her!

We'll never
find her!

His soldiers will kill her!

Do you understand?!

They will kill Anna!

This text just came in
in Russian.

What does that mean?

It's--it's one
of Liev's people

asking where
to meet him after.

He's got Anna!

Do you know the location
of any of the safe houses?

Yes, yes, one.

Um, in Brighton Beach.

I'm scared.

- One, two, three.
- It's gonna be okay.

Hands up!

Watch out!


Officer down!
Officer down!

- My daughter's--
- Stay here!

My daughter's in there.

We're clear, captain.
They're down.

- Get your hands off me!
- Take it easy.

Who got hit?

I'm okay, captain.

Vest got it.

He's lucky as hell.

Captain, I just searched
the house room by room.

I couldn't find
the daughter anywhere.

Shots fired!
Shots fired!

- You ready?
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I got it.



Son of a bitch.

- I got her.
- Amaro, she's got his gun!

Central, be advised
that the perp is female,

blonde, in her 20s,
with an officer's gun.

I want this bitch
caught now!

Don't move!

Don't move, or I'll blow
your damn head off right now!

Don't shoot! Don't shoot!
Don't shoot!


Get up.

The DA says
she wants me to testify.

Do I have to?
I'll look like a fool.

No, no.
This woman is very,

very good
at what she does.

Any man
would fall for her.

The newspapers say
she walked you into a trap.

Claimed she
had a daughter?

Well, turns out
that she did have a daughter.

Four years ago, the child
was abducted and murdered

in St. Petersburg.

Liev found the killers
and took them out.

So since then, she has
been in Liev's debt.

They work together
as a team.

Maybe not.

He might have made her
do these things.

She shot a 22-year-old officer
at point blank range.

Now, Liev maybe brought her
into his world,

but she has since
crossed over.

another side of her.

I know you don't believe it,
but there really is.


I believe you.


I'll do what you want.

Okay. Thank you.


About that stuff
I said on the wire...

What stuff?


Sync by Adriano_CSI, corrections by Alice