Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–…): Season 4, Episode 1 - Chameleon - full transcript

Benson and Stabler investigate the death of a prostitute but then find their main suspect has in turn been killed. Is the woman who shot him acting in self-defense or is she a murderer?

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.

Is there anyone
sitting here?

Want to go somewhere
a little more private?

Lead the way.

Police! Everybody,
stay right where you are.


All right, all right,
all right, all right!


Everybody remain
where you are!

Hey! Hey! That means
you don't move, sir.

Police! Everybody zip up
and stand against the wall.

Where you going,

I swear, she just
brought me back here.

I'm having
a bachelor party.


We have a warrant to
search the premises

and to arrest anybody engaged
in illegal activities.

That's all of you.

You gonna fine that guy? How come
you're not arresting him, too?

What's the problem?
Says some guy attacked her.

He tried to rape me.

Sweetheart, when they don't
pay you, it's not rape,

it's theft of services.

Look, I'm not lying, okay?
That guy was nuts.

Point him out, and I'll
haul his ass in with yours.

He tried to rape me. I'm not
moving until I make a report.

This is a huge mistake. I had no
idea what kind of a club this was.

Fly's down.

Eddie, what's happening?

Hit a little snag
in our raid.

Gal here says her name is
Chantilly. Claims she was raped.

Almost raped.

Almost raped.

You know the policy. She
cries rape, she's all yours.

Thanks, Eddie.
You're welcome.

Look, this guy
tried to attack me.

Miss Chantilly,
first things first.

Look, why don't we work
with your real name.

Lisa Perez.

Lisa Perez, me and you
are gonna have a problem

if you're making something up
to avoid charges.

He tried to strangle me.

I don't see anything

and if you weren't raped and
there's no evidence of assault,

then there's not
a lot we can do.

What do you mean
there's no evidence...

Detectives, you better
come see this.

Oh, my God.

That's Randy.

I told you guys.
I told you.

Why are you making me
sit through 10 lineups?

Dude was gone when the
storm troopers busted in.

I told you that 300 times.

Tell us 300 more times. We
love the sound of your voice.

Hey, I am a victim.

Why are you gonna
disrespect me?

Now, look, Detectives Munch and Tutuola

are gonna get you coffee while
you wait for the sketch artist.

That's your answer?
Coffee is your answer?

If you get something
in your mouth,

maybe you'll shut up
for five seconds.

Okay, you know what? I want
everybody's name and badge number.

Hey, don't touch me
like that!

She's spunky.

You get an I. D.
On the victim?

Yeah, Randy Colligan,

a. k. a. Godiva, 23, worked at
the club a little over a year.

Two prostitution priors.

Anything conclusive
from the rape kit?

No fluids from
the preliminary.

Our guy probably used a condom,
and it looks like she was strangled.

Trace evidence at the crime
scene is gonna be a joke.

I don't even want to know how many different
DNA strands are on that bathroom floor.

Well, this guy was ballsy.

Public place, plenty
of potential witnesses.

He tries to
rape one woman.

When she's too much trouble,
he just finds another.

My friends are getting killed
all over the place

and y'all are
taking a break?

Somebody please
find the sketch artist

and set her up as far away
from me as possible.

No, no, no, no, no, no. You
got the eyes all messed up.

Miss, can you please
stop knocking my arm?

Sit down, Lisa.

Forget this. You're not
gonna try to find this guy.

You don't care about me.

Okay, okay, the persecution
rant, it's getting really old.

My friends get
raped all the time.

Who's investigating that?

Nobody, if your friends
don't report the crime.

We get punished because we don't act
like society's version of a woman.

We're at risk,
and nobody cares.

You're at risk because
you put yourself at risk.

So do you, Detective.

Yes, to help
people like you.

Oh, no. The only people
who help us is us.

And Sister Peg.

I should've
listened to her.

She told us some whack job
was trying to choke girls.

The nun who hands out
clean needles to junkies?

How did Sister Peg
know about this?

I thought you were the cop
with all the answers.

That's good enough.
We done?

Sister Peg?

Morning, Detectives.

Special Victims. Stabler.
This is Benson.

That must go over
well with the church.

We've settled on a "Don't
ask, don't tell" policy.

You investigating a rape?

Rape-homicide of a sex worker
at a nightclub called Onyx.

Did you warn Lisa Perez about a man
who was trying to strangle prostitutes?

How'd you hear about him?

Some of my girls.

I keep a bad trick list.

Sort of an internal memo
about johns to avoid.

"White guy goes
by Jack Psycho.

"Black guy, scar over his
eye, tried to kill me. "

This is the bad trick list?

It's better than nothing.

They're traumatized.
I don't interrogate.

Well, do you
call the police?

My policy is no cops.
No offense.

None taken. This look like
the guy you heard about?

Well, I'll show it around,
let you know. Got a card?

Probably be better if we
talked to them ourselves.

I can't do that.

Well, we're not
gonna arrest them.

I believe you,
but they won't.

I start handing them over
to police, they stop coming,

and I can't do my job.

What exactly
is your job?

Trying to keep them smart
and safe, like you.

Well, your homicide victim was a
long-time sex worker, that's most evident.

Hep B, hep C, PID.

Twenty-three years old, probably
would've been infertile had she lived.

How'd she die?

Hanging her with the belt
was done post-mortem.

Cause of death was strangulation,
but there's no fingerprint bruising.

Looks like he used
his forearm.

How can you tell?

Check out this crescent-shaped
indentation on her neck.

He must wear a jacket with a
flat metal button on the cuff.

Pins her against
the wall or the floor,

presses down with the forearm,
leaves an imprint behind.

Once rigor sets in,
the indentation remains.

A rapist who wears a jacket.
That ought to narrow it down.

Best I can do for now.

Rape kit was negative for
fluids. No blood under the nails,

found three distinct hairs
other than her own.

She's a pro. All that
proves is she had sex.

That was the captain.
They found another body.

How fortuitous.

How'd you like to ride to the crime scene
with two handsome members of the NYPD?

My lucky day.

This is a real party zone. Needles,
pipes, condom wrappers, empty forties.

a known track.

She was probably a pro
just doing some business.

Nobody cares
if you scream.


Got something?

Give me a boost, will you?

I'm light as a feather.

Thank you.

Is that lipstick?


And a nicely
preserved thumbprint.

Shawn Becker.

Convicted of assault
and attempted rape in '94,

released from Attica
three weeks ago.

His PO has been out of contact
with him for the past four days.

We got a radio car
sitting on his residence.

Didn't take him long
to get back in the saddle.

Key witness against him
was an ex-girlfriend.

She's since moved
out of state.

And yes, you guessed it,
she's a blonde.

So he's looking for a
surrogate to take it out on.

She hung him out to dry, and
he's doing the same thing.

You've all
gotta be so literal.

While Vice is handing out
his mug to the working girls,

I want you all
to do the same.

You know where
we're heading off to?

Sister Peg.

Guy is on a mission.

Maybe now she'll be willing to break
their confidence to save their lives.

Thanks, this will
be a big help.

And now we need yours.

We need to talk to the women who've seen him.

Can't do that.
I'm sorry.

And you care
about these girls, huh?

In the past year I was mugged
four times, once at knifepoint.

You tell me, Detective.
Do I care about them enough?

What you're doing is great, but
explain how you're helping anybody

by preventing us
from arresting this guy.

I have to keep my word.

But when he kills five,
10, 20 more times,

what's your word
gonna mean then?

Just give us
a location.

We don't even
need a name.

A few of the girls used to work
out of a hotel on 37th and 10th.

They don't anymore.

They said a guy hanging out around
there was getting rough with them.


That was quick.
I just called you guys.

Why? Somebody heard a gun go off.

Room 502.

Have you seen him? That's
him, that's the guy.

Had a lady with him.

Shots fired,
detectives on scene,

send units to 515
West 37th Street.

NYPD, open up!

I shot him.

Ma'am, drop the gun now!

Put down the gun!

Shawn Becker.

He's dead.

Couldn't happen
to a nicer guy.

I didn't intend to kill him.
I just wanted him to stop.

The guy was scum, so don't
worry about that. Okay?

Thank you for helping me.

Can you tell us
what happened?

Look, we know that this guy
was targeting prostitutes.

So we're not here
to jam you up for that.

Well, I was working in
the bar next to the hotel,

and he came in, and he sat down next to me.

But to tell you the truth,

I had warning bells going off
the minute that he sat down.

But I needed the money.

Well, guess I was
asking for this, right?

Nobody asks to get raped.

You don't have to
patronize me, Detective.

I mean, I appreciate
the support and everything,

but I know the risks.

Occupational hazard, right?

Debra, what happened when
you got up to that hotel room?

Well, I told him that we needed
to settle up before we got started

and then he just hit me.

Like that was
his plan all along.

And he kept hitting me.

And then he threw me
on the bed,

and he raped me.

And then he pulled out a gun.

And what did you do?

I just kept fighting.

And then he dropped the gun,
and I picked it up

and I just pulled
the trigger three times.

And then the cavalry arrived.

You are very lucky.

I know. I know that.

So then you probably know that you
might not be so lucky next time, right?

Isn't this the part where you try to
convince the seasoned hooker to mend her ways

and become a contributing
member of society?

My card.

On the back is a number
for victims' services.

Thank you.

Everything confirms

Guy beat the crap out of her so hard the
hospital admitted her with a concussion.

The tearing and the contusions
from Debra's rape kit

are consistent
with sexual assault.

We know for a fact that Becker
was a rapist and a killer.

So as far as we're concerned,
killing him was a public service.

I'm inclined to agree.

Anything else?

Just tying up
loose ends.

Nothing came up when we ran
her name through the system.

Munch and Fin are running
the ballistics on the gun.

I'll make my recommendation
not to press charges.

Nice work.

Well, you know the gun
you gave me off

your rapist-homicide
has another body on it.

What body?

Unsolved homicide
from last December.

Are you sure?

Firing pin impressions
and breech face marks

on the slugs are exact
matches in both homicides.

This gotta be an unregistered
H&K P7 M8 auto.

Probably a dealer gun.

Any prints on
the unfired bullets?

Magazine was empty.

Captain, we may have
a small problem.

Problem? What problem?
This is a good thing.

Now we know your dead guy capped
somebody else about six months ago.

Our dead guy was in
Attica six months ago.

Previous victim
was Leonard Graves.

Had quite a nice rap sheet.

Possession with intent to distribute,
carrying a concealed weapon.

Three shots to
the head and robbed,

22 ruled it
a drug-related homicide.

Aside from the gun, there's no immediate
connection between Becker and Graves.

Well, maybe there is none.
Dealer guns get passed around.

Graves had it first,
got shot by his own piece.

Becker bought it off
the street six months later.

And he gets killed with it,
too? That's a big coincidence.

You know the statistics on
people killed by their own weapon?

Look, this gun could've been
making the rounds for years,

and I'm not all that
interested in chasing after it.

Now, what is the
straight-line explanation here?

Debra Weldon owned the gun all along,
and she killed the both of them.

Why do we think it was
Becker's gun in the first place?

'Cause that's
what she told us.

And she's the one
who shot him.

Guys, we have
a big problem.

Debra Weldon was
raped by Becker.

She didn't make that up.

All right, then let's concentrate
on who killed Leonard Graves.

I want a fresh look at that
case with our new theory.

We're not gonna get it from Debra
Weldon or whatever her name is.

Why not?

Hospital says our hooker took off
minutes after talking to the police.

Fake name, fake address, fake social.

The fake name's no surprise.
It's typical pro behavior.

It's also the behavior of
somebody with something to hide.

Olivia, Elliot,
get on homicide at the 22.

Find out who looked good
for the Graves murder.

John, Fin, check with cab
companies, dump the E. R. Phones,

and find our
mystery hooker.

Graves was just a bad guy.

Plenty of reasons someone
would want to kill him.

What's this
credit card statement?

It came about a month after he kicked.

We pulled the receipts, every one
of them signed Mrs. Leonard Graves.

There is no
Mrs. Leonard Graves.

Only description we got from
the merchants, she was a blonde.

She was smart.

Only kept it
a couple of days,

didn't charge up enough to
alert the credit card company.

She's running all over town
with this credit card,

no one once
asks for I. D?

You gave me your credit card
to buy Kathy's birthday present,

nobody asked me for I. D.

It's 'cause you
look like a cop.

What'd she spend
the money on?

I do not look
like a cop.

40 bucks on groceries,
15 bucks at the nail salon...

Make-up counter at Saks, $150
at the Porter Hotel, Midtown.

Treating herself.

And somebody else.

Biggest expenditure,
$400 at FAO Schwarz.

Mrs. Kerber, we traced
a call from Mercy Hospital

to your residence at 3:25 this
morning. Did you take that call?

Yes, from Maggie.

She was mugged, is that
what you're investigating?

How'd you know Maggie?

Oh, I baby-sit
her son, nights.

Is this her?

Oh, yes.

Isn't it awful how
that man beat her?

What'd she
call you about?

Well, she wanted
to pick up Joey early.

Came over about 5:00 this
morning, paid me, and they left.

Where to?

Oh, they're going
on a little vacation.

You know, Maggie's always doing that.

She's such
a wonderful mother.

Full name's
Margaret Peterson.

We got her address, but like
we expected, nobody home.

Mrs. Kerber actually believes that
Maggie works nights in a diner.

What diner waitress can afford
$100 a night for a babysitter?

Did a little
research on VICAP.

Looked at murders in known prostitute
areas where a credit card was stolen.

From those we pulled
only the cases

whose charges included hotel
rooms and children's items.

Philip Malakowski
in Manhattan,

Michael O'Connell
in Queens,

John Donatov, Brad Horton
in New Jersey.

All of them
unsolved homicides.

We can pin all of these
on Maggie Peterson?

That's what
it's looking like.

One self-defense
murder I can buy.

But six of them?

This lady's
a serial killer, Captain.

Three of these victims
fall under our jurisdiction.

Becker, Graves
and Malakowski.

But it looks like we've got
a bigger picture to consider,

so let's hear
about everybody.

Well, other than the credit card
purchases, there's not much of a pattern.

Both Becker and Graves
did time.

Donatov had a soliciting
collar in Jersey four years ago.

The other three were clean.

Cause of death varies.

Two were bludgeoned,
one was stabbed,

one had his throat slit,
the last two were shot.

Now, most serial killers
use one method.

She's either using weapons of opportunity
or trying to throw us off her trail.

I'm not entirely comfortable
labeling the suspect a serial killer.

Well, how many guys she got to
whack to make you comfortable?

I'm just not sure that she
fits the typical profile.

There is no profile
for the female serial killer.

The FBI studied 36 guys,
like, 20 years ago.

Historians now believe that many
unsolved murders were committed by women

who got away with it simply because
no one thought a girl could kill.

Maggie Peterson certainly
is a multiple killer,

but there's one fact
that nobody's mentioning.

She was raped.

Her actions could be the product
of pronounced rape trauma syndrome.

What, you're saying she has a
flashback and cuts a guy's throat?

It could be more
about a trigger.

The guy does something that
reminds her of a past assault,

and it provokes the same feelings
of fear, anger, helplessness...

So whether or not the guy's
going to attack her,

she thinks that she's in
danger, and she fights back.

Then goes on
a shopping spree. No.

She's celebrating
her kills.

All right, these are
all great theories,

but we know nothing
until we find her.

So let's follow the money.

Shawn Becker was
her last victim.

Did he have any cards?

No one's given a recent
con a Visa. We checked.

Which means
sooner or later

she's got to find herself
another source of income.

Special Victims. We took
the call about your homicide.

Well, we got a victim,
but he ain't that special.

Got a report about somebody bleeding
all over the inside of his Seville.

Appearance paints a nice
picture of how it went down.

Pants undone.
Rolled by a pro.

She rolled him good, too.

Looks like about
six stab wounds.

No cash.
Lots of credit cards.

We know she only
likes to take one.

Name's Vincent Bertram,
lived on West End.

We get his credit report,
find out which one's missing.

Hope Maggie's in the mood
for another hotel getaway.

Vincent Bertram's
credit report.

The guy was carrying more debt
than all of our salaries combined.

Spends all his cash
getting service in his car.

Now, it says that he owns
five credit cards.

We only found four
in his wallet, right?

Here. American Express
is missing.

That's a wise choice. You get
frequent flyer miles with that.

What did the M. E.
Have to say?

The cause of death was
between two and four hours ago.


Is that significant?

No. That's just cold.

30 minutes ago, $400 charge on
the Amex to the Lancaster Hotel.

Go on. I'll tell ESU
to meet you there.

Margaret Peterson! Police!
Get your hands up. Get them up.

Stay right there, ma'am.
All right, clear.

Put the baby down.

No. No guns, please.
No guns.

Okay? Okay.
You're scaring him.

Hand him over to me,
nice and easy.

I'm not
gonna do it.

Maggie, no one will get hurt
if you hand him over.

Hand him
over to me, Maggie.

No, no. Don't hurt him!
Don't hurt him!

Maggie Peterson, you're under arrest
for the murder of Vincent Bertram.

Joey! Joey!

You have the right
to remain silent,

anything you do
or say can be held...

Where's ACS?

They can't pick the kid up
for a couple of hours.

She keeps asking for him.

Might make her more amenable to a confession.

Let's find out.

Could I make
a suggestion?

I'd just like to
speak with her first.


To do a mental
status exam.

Just do it

If she thinks we're concerned
about her mental state,

we lose an advantage.

We want her scared.

I disagree.

Who knows how
traumatized she is.

If she feels like
she's being ganged up on,

then she could just
shut down completely.

I'll just do
a brief exam

and then the two of you'll be better
equipped to question her once I'm done.

This is new territory for
everybody. I agree with the doc.

Do the recon, let us know where she's at.

Let's talk a little
about your relationships.

Did you get along
with your parents?

No. No, I didn't.

Either of them?

My mother died
when I was six,

and my father was
not a very nice man.

How so?

He was abusive.

After my mother...

He started drinking.

When he drank,
he got violent.

Have you ever had

Saw things that weren't
there or heard voices?

No, nothing like that.

Have you ever felt
someone was out to get you?

No. Well, yes,

but then again, I was
right about that, wasn't I?

Have you ever felt that someone
could put thoughts into your head

or take away
your own thoughts?

God, do people
really think that?

No, I've never
felt that way.

Have you ever experienced a
situation in which you found yourself

in another place and you couldn't
remember how you got there?

Yes, often.

How did you know that?

When have you
experienced this?

When I go with these men.

I'll be in a...

A hotel room or someplace

and, I don't know,
I just blank out,

and the next thing I know, I'm
on the street, walking home.

Can you remember the first
time that you blacked out?

Yeah. I was a kid.

That's what I'd do when my
dad would start hitting me.

I'd just float away

and pretend
I wasn't there.

I never thought
about this before.

About what?

How I keep doing it.
How I...

I meet these men,
and I let them hurt me.

And then I...

Keep coming back
for more.

Why do I do that?

So what's your diagnosis?

She's not psychotic.

But she does seem to suffer from
PTSD and dissociative episodes.

So you're still thinking
it's a rape trauma?

No. She's lying.

She's just telling me
what I want to hear.

Why don't you
go in next.


I need to see her interacting
with one other person,

not being interrogated
by both of you.

Keep her talking. Just let
her direct the conversation.

And give her just enough
rope to hang herself.

So did Dr. Huang
tell you about me?

He says you act like
you've been traumatized.

You disagree?


Well, what about your rape?

It happened.
I can't change that.

You're a cop.

Don't things happen to you that
other people might find traumatic?

I guess.

So you deal with it
and you move on.

Like me.

You know, Maggie, there are an awful
lot of dead bodies connected to you.

I heard.

You cut out of the hospital,
you give everybody a false name.

Well, I thought you guys were
gonna arrest me for hooking.

Let's talk about
Vincent Bertram.

How'd that happen?

You really want
to talk about that?

Or maybe you're more interested in
all the moments leading right up to it.

So you get in his car.

You get paid. You go to work,
and you stab him to death.

Am I...
What am I missing here?

Do we really have to
talk about this? Really?

It is getting warm in here.

What do you want
to talk about?

Whatever you
wanna talk about.

Although guys like you, you
don't usually like me to talk.

Guys like me?

I am a professional,
Detective Stabler.

I know men.

Why don't you sit
back down over there.

But you...

You're different
from most of the others.

Am I now?
And how am I different?

Well, you try to be
nice and normal.

But there's a part of you
that will never be that guy.

I mean, look at your body.

Who are you
trying to impress?

Maybe my wife.
Oh, no.

No. That entire package
is for everyone else.

You're a tease,
Detective Stabler.

Everything about you says, "Look at
me, look at what you can't have. "

Well, I... I like that.

I aspire to that.

You should listen to yourself.
You sound just like a shrink.

Like I said, I know men.

So you must enjoy your job.

I'm good at it.

You're not afraid
of getting hurt?

You walk around afraid, you're
never gonna get what you want.

I'm not afraid, Detective.

Are you?


Thought we'd call you out of there
before she took all her clothes off.

What is she playing at, some kind
of multiple personality defense?

Well, not quite. It's called
a cocktail personality.

She senses other
people's vulnerabilities,

she reads their personalities

and then she performs

It's the classic
sign of a sociopath.

So she reads my personality
and decides to seduce me?

Well, for her, it's all about how
to best manipulate the situation.

You're the virile cop, and so she's
trying to appeal to your physical nature.

I'm the good doctor

and so she's trying to appeal
to my desire to help her.

But she was raped.

Are you saying she
manipulated that situation?

In a sense. She might be
targeting these violent men

in order to make herself
the sympathetic victim.

But she never
feels like the victim

because she always feels like
she can control every man.

So let's take away
her control.

You're right.

And the best way to do that
is by exposing her lies.

That way, she'll have
nowhere to hide.

Tell her what we know.

Sit down on the chair,

Where's Elliot?

Just us girls now.


That act of yours was a
whole lot of fun to watch,

but you should know that
it's not gonna work with me.

What act?

You can pretend
to be a victim,

you can pretend
to be a whore,

you can pretend to be
whatever it is you want to be.

It's a joke.
Maggie, you're done.

Where's my son?

No. See, that's not
gonna work either.

I do not believe that you
are talking to me this way.

I was raped. More times than I can remember.

Right. And your mom died,
and your dad beat you.

Your mom's alive.

No dad on the birth certificate.
You never knew him, did you?

Was your mom a pro, too?

Where's my son?
I need to see him.

Your son?

You're never gonna
see that kid again.

You murdered seven men for
a hotel room and a manicure.

They raped me!

You want the whole world
to think that you're a victim?

Well, Maggie,
you're getting your wish,

because the state's
gonna kill you.

Don't touch me.

Maggie Peterson's DNA
was found in trace evidence

in both the Malakowski
and Bertram murders.

We also exhumed the
remains of Leonard Graves.

Got a match
on two hairs.

Well, it sounds like
a tight case.

But I'm guessing you
didn't ask me here to brag.

I'm making my recommendation
to the capital committee.

Seeking the death penalty against a woman
for the first time in New York State.

That ought to get
some headlines.

Well, just based
on the evidence,

it is clear to me that this
is a death penalty case.

And you want
my blessing?

You know my position
on capital punishment, Alex.

you evaluated her.

I want your opinion
as a psychiatrist.

Do you honestly believe
that all these men raped her,

and each murder
was in self-defense?

No, I don't.

Do you think she is
legally insane?

She may have any number
of psychiatric disorders,

but she knew what she was doing
was wrong. She just didn't care.

And if given the chance,
will she kill again?

In a second.

She is a calculating predator.

I love a good fight.

I can't believe that turned
into a women's rights debate.

We don't have the right to execute
a woman just because she's a woman?

The majority of the Capital Committee
agreed with your recommendation.

We get Lewin to sign it, we
make the world a safer place.

And you're labeled
the enemy of feminism.

Hey, as far as
I'm concerned,

this is a coup for women's
rights everywhere.

Maggie Peterson has the right
to a needle in the arm

just like any other
cold-blooded killer.

So she should just
take it like a man.

Gender has nothing
to do with it.

The fact that she murdered four
people in this jurisdiction alone does.

But she's only
charged with three.

Yeah. The fourth was
ruled self-defense

against a known
rapist and murderer.

I have a real
problem with this.

That one incident does not change the
circumstances of the other murders.

Do you think that the first
woman New York State executes

should be a single mother,
prostitute, rape victim?

Serial killer.

She knew those guys were violent.
That's why she chose them.

To feel morally justified.

You're saying
she asked for it.

Being the victim of a violent crime
does not mitigate capital punishment.

Neither does being a woman
or being a mother.

If this was a man we were talking
about, who was abused as a child

and then murdered
four women,

would we even be
having this discussion?

If you were seeking
the death penalty?

Of course we would.

I don't think so, Nora.

Because executing a man wouldn't
offend the female constituents

who put you in office.

Whom we choose to execute is
always a political decision.

But I'm not gonna kill
anyone, male or female,

if there's a possibility that
they acted in self-defense.

You don't like it,

you can always run
against me next term.

Dr. Erica Olsen.

I'm the chief of emergency
services at St. Andrew's.

This is a medical chart you completed
after treating Maggie Peterson in the E. R.

Defense one.

Will you read the first
highlighted portion?

"Fractured cheekbone, facial
lacs, multiple contusions. "

And please read the highlighted
portion of your physician's notes.

"Bilateral bruising, injuries
consistent with an assault.

"Patient refused
police notification. "


Why are we hearing about the
defendant's medical history?

I'd like to know that,
too, Miss Greer.

What is the date on
that chart, Dr. Olsen?

March 12, 2000.

Defense directs the court's attention
to People's four, already in evidence,

the document which clearly
establishes the discovery

of Mr. Philip Malakowski's
body by police,

also dated
March 12, 2000.

So now we know.

Your objection's overruled,
Miss Cabot.

I wasn't surprised
when the police told me

Vincent may have been
killed by a prostitute.

That was somewhat
of a hobby for him.

It didn't bother you?

If it meant he'd stay
away from me? Honestly, no.


Because I got tired of explaining
the black eyes to my friends.

Objection. Vincent Bertram isn't
on trial here, his murderer is.

My client maintains that she killed these men

to keep them from
raping or killing her.

Now if they have a history of violent
behavior, the jury should hear it.


Defense three.

A domestic incidence report filed by
Mrs. Bertram in August of last year.

Now, you called the police
on your husband.

What did he do?

That night was
unusually bad.

He'd been drinking.

He pulled me out of bed
and started to hit me,

then tear off my nightgown.

Somehow I got away
and got to the phone.

The police showed
up just in time.

He would have raped me

or killed me. I know it.

So, Maggie,
you're a prostitute?


And you admit to being responsible
for ending the lives of Leonard Graves,

Philip Malakowski
and Vincent Bertram.


How do you feel
about all that, Maggie?

About being a prostitute?

Well, I'm not proud of it.

But I do what I have to in order to
make a life for myself and my son.

About killing those men,
I am sorry they died.

But if I hadn't
protected myself,

they would have killed me.

And my son would be alone.

I thought about him.

It was the only thing
that I could do.

Nothing further,
Your Honor.

You're not proud of
being a prostitute.

But you do it anyway in spite
of these alleged attacks.

I don't have a choice.

I didn't grow up privileged,

with parents who'd
send me to law school.

I'm simply trying
to survive.

You say you were
in danger with these men,

that your life
was threatened.


But the threat wasn't so great it stopped
you from stealing their credit cards.

You still found
time to do that.

Well, I was only
thinking of my son.

Of how I could
make his life better.

Everything you do
is for your son?

He's the most
important thing in my life.

He's the only good thing
that I've ever done.

He's my little prince.

So every day
you wake up,

you drop your son off
at the babysitter's,

and you go to work.

You knowingly put
yourself in danger.

You knowingly place yourself in
situations you cannot control,

where you admit
you could be killed.

Is that how you
love your son?

Is that how you take care of the
most important thing in your life?

I accept the risk.

I accept it on
behalf of that boy.

I would die for him.

You can question my past,

you can question my life
and my profession,

but do not ever question
how much I love my son.

How the hell did you miss
the domestic incidence report?

It wasn't on
his rap sheet.

The wife never
filed charges.

Being a batterer does
not make him a rapist.

Don't count on the jury
to make that distinction.

Look, we've got the weekend
to poke holes in this defense.

Please tell me the E. R. Doc's got
a history of lying on the stand.


Well, not unless she lied about it
for Maggie's charts from two years ago.

Okay. So we offer

one count, man two,

No way.

Are you paying attention,

We are screwed.

Do you honestly believe she killed
all of those men in self-defense?

Who cares what
I believe if she walks?

We just give her
exactly what she wants.

She convinces the world
she's the victim,

she's the perfect mother,

she's everybody's
favorite hooker...

How old did she say
that her son was?

She said he turned
two-and-a-half. Why?

Which means that he would've
been born in April 2000.


So look at
the medical report.

It's dated
March 2000.

Para zero,
grav zero.

No pregnancies.
No children.

Doctor would've known if she'd
been eight months pregnant.

Unless she wasn't.

We have her DNA
from the rape kit.

The child is
in ACS custody.

They'll give us
permission for a sample.

Where the hell did
she get this kid?

She kills to get
what she wants, right?

She wanted to be
a mother.

Meeting on a Sunday? Level of
desperation must be pretty high.

Not desperate.

Simply fulfilling
my Rosario obligation.

So the kid's not hers.
Why does it matter?

Do you want to tell her how you
got your child, Maggie, or should I?

I don't know what
you're talking about.

Let me jog your memory.

Eighteen months ago, 26-year-old
Erin Byers went grocery shopping.

Her body was found in the
store parking lot, strangled.

Her stolen car turned
up a week later, intact.

Her six-month-old
son was never found.

You'll never be able
to introduce this.

Actually, it was your client
who opened the door.

Everything she does
is for her child.


The judge will
call a mistrial.

Fine. I'll just re-file and
tack on the kidnapping charges,

plus the murder
of the mother.

Do you think a jury
is going to believe

your "I kill men because
they beat me" story now?

Do you think the D. A. Is going to give you
another pass on the death penalty? Try it.

Where's Joey?

With his father who
thought he was dead.

Is there
an offer on the table?

Murder two on all counts,
concurrent sentences, 15-to-20.

What about
the new charges?

We'll talk about
that after I file.

You'll never get
a better deal than this.

I'm not pleading guilty.
I did not kill that woman.

I found Joey.
She threw him away.

It's over.

This whole motherhood facade,
this lie you have told yourself

and the whole world
is going to be exposed.

I have to think about it.

Fine, you can think
about it all you like.

But if you don't tell me
by tomorrow morning at 9:00,

I'm gonna make up
your mind for you.

Is Corrections producing
the defendant,

or are we making the jury
wait all day?

We may have a plea,
Your Honor.

Call down to the pens

and see when Miss Peterson will
be gracing us with her presence.

Yes. Waiting on
Defendant Peterson.

There's a problem.

We didn't leave
her alone that long.

She used her stockings like a noose,
and just sat down till she died.

"Last will and testament. I
leave all my worldly belongings

"to my beloved son.
Without him, I am nothing. "

There's a number for
a safety deposit box.

Says there's
10 grand in there.

Her last act, and this is when
she decides to be selfless?

Look at her.

Every hair in place,
perfect make-up.

She gets to go out
like a beauty queen,

and everybody thinks
she's sacrificing herself.

It's a performance.

Performance of her life.