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

After the bones of a boy who disappeared in 1978 are found at a playground, a recovering Stabler teams up with Vizcarrando to determine the boy's identity, which leads them to a cold case involving four missing Puerto Rican boys whom were never found.

(male announcer)
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.

Hey, guys.

You excited
about the new playground?


It's gonna be really fun.

What happened
to the duckies?


Baby ducks live here.
Where'd they go?

Hey, look at this.


Go back to your mom.

Come on.
Stop the work!

Guys, come here.

I think it's human.

Sorry to add to your
case load, detectives,

but this one
belongs to you.

How can you tell?

Vic's a kid.

Still had a couple
of baby teeth left.

You have those till
age 12 or 13.

You find any more bones?

Just eight teeth
and the mandible.

Sand's from a quarry
in Rockland County.

Check this out.

Battlestar Galactica?

Answers one question.

Death probably occurred
in the late '70s.

I think I had
that lunch box.

Okay, I always wanted
to know this.


Do Twinkies last forever?

Give you 20 bucks,
take a bite.

Bottom line,
we have no indication

this is a homicide,

The kid could have fallen in.

Uh, detectives...
it is a homicide.

How you know?

That's a bullet hole.

They got you
back to work already.

Only 30-year-old cases.

How's the dig?

Not bad.

This quarry's been closed
since '76.

Just opened a year ago.

Narrowed our search area.

Got about half of them
so far.

Definitely a boy?

Found his pelvis.

Unfortunately, that's about all
the remains are gonna tell us.

No heel breaks,

no defects or abnormalities
that might help us ID him.

Any hair and tissue
are long gone.

Didn't find
any clothing remnants.

Wouldn't have disintegrated.

Clothes were either dragged
off by animals,

or he wasn't
wearing any.


This might be something.

The print's almost
completely faded off here.

"But he felt oppressed

by a vague sense
of impending calamity."

As do I.

Take a look at these.

Now we're talking.

Molitor, Trammell rookie cards.
These are worth some money.

They're in
amazing condition.

This held up
pretty well too.

All these little pieces
of his life.

They should be able to tell us
something about who he was.

"Go Dragons."

Pretty good artist.

Maybe he played
for the Dragons.

Could they
be a sports team?

Or a mascot.

Take a look at the number.

School 148.

[school bell ringing]

From that long ago?

Could be the desaparicion.

Well, who disappeared?

Four boys,
back in 1978.

Four boys went missing
from this school?

Never heard from again?

They were around my age,
12 or 13.

I remember it was early
in the school year

because it was still
light in the evenings.

They played baseball
after dinner.

That was the last time
anybody saw them.

Do you remember
their names?

I'll never forget.

Juan Alvarez.
Hector Padilla.

Esteban Morales.

And Michael Rodriguez.

Back then, this neighborhood
was in the three-seven.

That precinct's been closed
for 20 years.

Meaning the files would be
in a warehouse in Queens.

Assuming they can
dig them up.

You know, in '78,
all the New York papers

were on strike
in the fall.

That's probably the reason
we never heard of this.

Probably wouldn't have anyway.

To most people, they were
just four Puerto Rican thugs

who ran away.

What do you think
happened to them?

When I was a little girl,
my mother said it was a monster

who takes little boys that
don't listen to their parents.

For an unknown case,
it's sure popular.

Files aren't in
the warehouse anymore.

Somebody checked them out.


Hey, Millie--
Don't even bug me.

Whatever test results
you're looking for,

I don't have them.

How about case files
on four missing boys

from 1978?

Archives says
you checked them out.

Why do you want them?

We found remains.


Why'd you take the files?

I was looking
for something.

So am I, files.

Fine. Tomorrow,
I'll send them to you.

No, I need them now.

They're not here.

Where are they?

Look, I just don't want you
to think I'm weird.

Too late.

So I pulled a few cases.

A few?

50 or 60.

Any unsolved murder
or missing persons case

where the victim was
a Hispanic boy, ages 7 to 14.

Committed between
1960 to 1980.

Dad was a cop.

He was a fingerprint analyst
back in the day.

Before computers.

But this...
this is the case

that got him.

April of 1970,

a man walking his dog
near a vacant lot

calls the cops.

Says he sees
a hand sticking out

of an empty
water heater box.

Thought it was
a doll at first.

But it wasn't.


He was never identified.

The papers called him
the Boy in the Box.

He'd been dead
three to four days.

Moved at least twice

M.E. put him
around nine years old.

But the cause of death
was never determined.

Any suspects?


A witness said they saw
a man and a teenage boy

standing over an open trunk
of a car nearby.

But it didn't lead anywhere.

Pretty soon,
everyone forgot about him.

Not your dad.

Oh, no.

He worked on it
almost every night.

Every weekend.

It was a bottom drawer case.

One you can't let go.

He memorized these.

Kept checking
birth records,

just trying to find
an I.D.

Worked on it till the day
he died this past summer.

Now it's your turn.


Not like him.

Not give my whole life
to it.

But I would like
to give him a name.

Here. I think this is the case
you were looking for.


You think if it was
four white boys missing,

the case would still be open?

Probably not.

But at least now
we have remains.

That's my son's.

That's Juan's.

I'm sorry, ma'am.
You can't touch that.

[woman sobbing]

I told them.

I told the police.

Juan would not run away.

He wasn't that kind of boy.

They didn't believe me.

We're very sorry,
Mr. Alvarez.

And where are those men now?

I want to tell them

Well, the detectives
that handled your case

passed away
a long time ago.

Do you have any idea who might
have done this to your son?

We always suspected...
Robert Sawyer.

(Mr. Padilla)
He was a handyman
in the neighborhood.

Sometimes he'd hire the boys
for odd jobs.

Do you think he did this?

(Mrs. Morales)
He was always nice to Esteban.

That's what they do.

That's how they get
the kids to trust them.

The cops let him off
way too easy.

They gave him
a polygraph test,

and he wasn't lying.

People can fool those.

They do it all the time,

Their scientific accuracy
hasn't been totally proven.

(Mrs. Padilla)
I have a question.

Where is my son?

(Mrs. Padilla)
Is he dead?

We can't say for sure,
Mrs. Padilla.

(Mrs. Padilla)
But he probably is dead,
isn't he?

After all this time,

it's likely your sons died
when Juan Alvarez did.

But you can't find them.

That means there's
still a possibility.

I don't think so.

Your boys would have tried
to contact you.

Mrs. Morales,
I'm sorry.

I just don't want you
to get your hopes up.

Hope is all we've got,
Detective Stabler.

(Mrs. Alvarez)
It's supposed to be
better to know.

To not think every
phone call might be him.

To not look at crowds and wonder
if Juan could be in there.

But I think I'll miss it.

I'll miss the hope.

Mrs. Alvarez said
the handyman, Robert Sawyer,

was seen on the street
with Hector Padilla

and Michael Rodriguez
the night they disappeared.

But he was interviewed
seven times.

He passed the poly,
and he had an alibi.


One of his employees.

Carlos Guzman.

Employees aren't exactly
unimpeachable alibis.

Their livelihood depends
on their boss not going to jail.

They still cleared him.

We only found one body
in the quarry.

What if those three other boys
killed Juan Alvarez

or were somehow
responsible for his death?

They got scared and ran off.

27 years without a peep?

It's unlikely.

Hey, Millie, what kind
of box was your boy found in?

Water heater.

Sawyer listed as his
primary occupation "plumber."

Interesting coincidence.

You've gotta go
back over the evidence

of your Boy in the Box.

Oh, I've looked
at that stuff 1,000 times.

My dad, a million.

You never had a suspect.

Or another crime
to compare it to.

What's the story
with the blanket?

It was found near the body.

It's actually half a blanket,
cut with scissors.

That detail was kept
out of the papers, though,

in case the other half
was found.

This...this was really
all we had to go with.

See those marks?

Those marks
indicate the box

was dragged part of the way
through the lot.

This kind of water heater
was pretty common.

Several hundred sold
within city limits.

We were actually
able to track down

about 75% of the buyers,

Even the ones
who paid cash.

You keep saying "we."

"We tracked down
the buyers."


Don't be.
You grew up with the case.

This kid must be like
your long-lost brother.

Check this out.

What is that?


What if the first place
Sawyer tried to dump the body

was in the sand quarry?

Why not just
leave it there?

Maybe he thought it was
too dangerous?

Place was in operation
in 1970.

You can test it, right?

See if it's the same
kind of sand.

Sawyer had an alibi.

Carlos Guzman.

You know, that's the good thing
about old cases.

Time can change
an alibi's mind.

Test the sand.

Carlos Guzman!

Who are you?

Detective Stabler.
You got a minute?

What do you want?

I want to talk about
Robert Sawyer.

I don't know where he is.

You knew 30 years ago.

Real good of you
to help a guy out like that.

His alibi.

I just told the truth.

Who says you're lying?

I answered your questions, okay?
I'm busy.

You're doing real well
for yourself, I see.

Pool boy.

Kind of like plumbing,
isn't it?

I own my own business.

And you're looking
pretty ragged there, Carlos.

Like someone
who's been carrying around

a lot of guilt
for a long time.

Now listen to me...

you're not in trouble.

You were young and scared.

But I need to know
where Sawyer is right now.

I do not know.


Hey, we found
one of the boys.

It's only a matter of time
till we find the rest.

You can make this right.

The sand from
the evidence bag

and the sand from the quarry
are the same.

C-33 Concrete Sand.

However, it's pretty common.

It's found in playgrounds

and golf courses
all over the place.

Which means whoever killed
Juan Alvarez

probably killed
the Boy in the Box.

But that's not holding up
in court.

But it's enough for me.

We're both looking
for the same guy.

Yeah, but I don't think

Carlos Guzman's changing
his story

any time soon, so
Robert Sawyer's still out there

free and clear unless you and I
make some kind of connection.

Last known address
was Spanish Harlem.

Same neighborhood
as all four boys.

No idea where he lived
from '68 till '77.

He had a P.O. box.

I still think there are
too many similarities

for this to be a coincidence.

No parents, so siblings,
or spouses,

and no activity on his social

since he went underground
in '80.

Plumber, handyman.

That can be a cash-only game.

[cell phone ringing]
No tax records.

Stabler. Yeah?

Yeah, we're on it.

Munch got a call
from a psychiatrist

who claims one of her patients
reported a murder.

From 1970.

A boy whose body was stuffed
in a cardboard box.

I haven't seen Anna in years.

Not since she checked herself
out of a psychiatric facility

and vanished.

Out of the blue,
she calls me up this afternoon.

She won't say where she is,
she won't come in.

What time'd she call?

She use this line?

Should be able to find her.

What exactly
did she say, Dr. Singh?

It was difficult to follow,
but in a nutshell,

she says that when she was 12,

her father murdered her brother

and forced her to help him
dispose of the body.

They put the boy
in a cardboard box,

threw the box in the trunk
of the father's car.

And then left it
in an empty lot.

This doesn't make any sense.
Why is she reporting this now?

She says she had a dream
and suddenly remembered.

She must've known
we were investigating.

Was this case released
to the media?

Absolutely not.

I didn't want Sawyer to know
that we were looking for him.

Do you believe
your patient's story?

Anna's a disturbed woman.

Years of drug use have
severely damaged her brain.

But she was never prone
to vivid hallucinations.

Got it, pay phone at a park
in the Village.

She used to score ecstasy

in that neighborhood.

She must be using again.

I think she's gonna be

That park was cleaned up
years ago.

How could it be her brother?

One obvious problem
with her story

is that she's white and
the Boy in the Box is Hispanic.

Could've been adopted.

Or a foster kid.

It's been a while.

Maybe she realized
there's no drugs and bailed.

That her?

Oh, yeah.
What's left of her.

Anna Gable?

Dr. Singh sent us.

Are you okay?

Why don't you come with us?

You look like my brother.

Anna, what's your last name?

Do you know who
the president is?

Do you know what year it is?

It's okay, Anna, you don't have
to know the answers right now.

Do you remember talking
to Dr. Singh?


Tell me about your brother.


N--I don't have a brother.

You don't?

But you told Dr. Singh that
your brother had been killed.



Anna, what happened
to your brother?

The Boy in the Box.


I--they stole him...

From where?



A--a--a hospital.

A hospital.
Can you tell me--Anna?



The year.

Is she high?

I don't think so.

Long-term MDMA users often have
memory impairment

and a decreased attention span.

It's really hard work for her to
maintain a simple conversation.

Okay, so if her memory's

do we believe her brother was
stolen from a hospital

and then murdered?

Makes it really questionable.

I don't know if she's actually
had this experience,

or whether she's taking
a well-publicized case

from her childhood,
the Boy in the Box,

and incorporating it
into her memory.

I don't think
she invented this.

The details are too close.

A witness said they saw
a man and a teenage boy

standing over a trunk of a car
near where the body was dumped.

That could very easily have been
Anna and her father.

Except by that time,
Anna's father was already dead.

Anna's dad died in 1961,

nine years before the Boy
in the Box was murdered,

in 1970.

1977, Anna's mother died.

She left the farmhouse
in Rockland County to Anna.

Rockland County. Where
the quarry just happens to be.

Along with
a lovely shopping mall

and the bar where
the Lindbergh baby

kidnapping plot was hatched.

It doesn't mean they're
related to this case.

Look, Millie, the facts are,

her father was dead.

He couldn't have killed
any of these boys.

Plus, she's got a history
of drug arrests and psych holds.

That doesn't mean anything.

It means she's unreliable,

You're wasting your time.

Look, York Hospital was involved

in a black market baby scandal
in 1962.

That's just 30 miles away
from where Anna grew up.

And one of the babies stolen
was a Hispanic boy.

Let's go.

The kidnappings
were before my time.

They caught the nurse

but weren't able to track down
all the babies,

including this boy.

If the birth parents
are still alive,

you could test 'em against
your little guy's DNA.

Doesn't matter,
it's not him.

How do you know?

I just know. It's not him.

Well, I guess that's a relief

in a way.

I remember that Boy in the Box.

Hate to think he was taken
from here.

You memorized his prints too.

I need all birth records
from '60 to '65.


How many babies do you think
were stolen from this hospital?

Doesn't matter.
Do you have them?

In the basement somewhere.

You'd have to look
through them yourself.

Now, look, this is nuts.

Anna probably incorporated
this baby scandal

into her fantasies,

just like she incorporated
that boy.

Why now?

Why does Anna suddenly remember

the Boy in the Box case
at the exact same time

that you're investigating it?

Her dad didn't kill anyone.

Her brother was not stolen
from this hospital.

Now, I'm not gonna
spin my wheels

on some woman who's fried
every synapse in her head.

She was raised
not 20 minutes away

from where Juan Alvarez's
body was found.

She doesn't know anything
about that.

Is that the boy who's been
missing since the '70s?

I read it in the newspaper.

That's not possible.

No, I remember.
It was a few days ago.

Here. Here it is.

I'll be damned.

Maybe it triggered her memory.


Do you remember us?

We spoke at the police station.

Detective Stabler found you
in the park.

Hey, Anna?

Help me out here.
Do you recognize this blanket?

It's been cut in half,
and it was found...

with this boy here.

Now, you know him.

Who is he?

You saw Juan Alvarez's picture
in the newspaper.

And it helped you remember.

Helped you remember Hector.



Anna, what happened to them?

What happened to them?

I--I don't know.

You said this boy
was your brother.

Who is he?
Who killed him?

Who killed him, Anna?

No brother.

Anna, listen to me--


I don't know, Anna.

Maybe the only part
of your brain you've got left

just remembers the little
details about crimes

and pretends
that you were part of them.

He burned it.


with a cigarette.

He cut off the burned part.

It was a pretty blanket.

Who burned it, Anna?

Is this the man?

Was it him?


No, Anna.

Your father passed away
when you were very young.

He lived at my house.

When I was away.

Maybe Sawyer was Mom's
live-in boyfriend.

And then stayed there
after Mom died.

These boys were killed in '78.
Where was Anna at that time?

Committed to the state hospital
the entire year.

Leaving Sawyer alone
in Anna's farmhouse

in the middle of nowhere.

It's a perfect spot
to kill four boys.

Go around back.

Doesn't look like anyone's lived
here since Anna's mother died.

No basement
in a house like this.

There's probably a crawl space
underneath, though.

Could've ripped up
the floorboards.

Unless he didn't want
to exert the effort.

It's private.

Plenty of places
to hide bodies.

This is gonna take a while.

Looks like a trash bag.

At least we can prove
four little boys

didn't just vanish
into thin air.

Only took 30 years to do it.

Picture's not gonna
tell you anything.

You can stare at it every day
for the rest of your life.

And they're still just pictures
of dead kids.

I just thought
once we found them,

everything would fall
into place.

Who is he?

How'd Sawyer get him?

What, he steal him as a baby
and raise him?

Or did he kidnap him?

Was the boy the child

of undocumented immigrants

that were too afraid to report
his disappearance?

Maybe he worked for Sawyer
like the rest of the boys.

Why dump one boy in a box?

And another at a quarry,

then bury the rest
under his shed?

Why do you start to dump
the Boy in the Box at the quarry

then take him all the way
to Brooklyn

to finish the job, why?

He knew
about the vacant lot.

What if someone scared him
away from the quarry?

Okay, but eight years later,
he returns

to the same quarry to dump
Juan, but not the others.


How do you control
four adolescent boys?

You scare 'em.

You kill one,
and the others fall into line.

You have an accomplice.

Someone to help you
wrangle them.

Like with the Boy in the Box.

The witness saw the teenager
by the trunk of the car.

One of Sawyer's employees.


Why do we have to
go back through this?

Why? Because all
of these kids are dead.

They were all murdered

and then dumped like garbage.

You don't want
to talk about it?

It's too upsetting for you?

Maybe he doesn't want to talk

about it because Sawyer
didn't kill him.

Carlos did.

No, I didn't kill anybody.

Sawyer was cleared by the cops
years ago.

Who am I to argue?

You know that's not true.

Well, you alibied him,

Are you telling me you lied?

I didn't do anything.

Didn't do anything?
Yeah. Right.

You did nothing.

30 years went by, and
this little boy has no name

and four families had to
go through life not knowing

if their little boys
were dead or alive.


Because you did nothing.


He said he'd kill Anna.

Anna Gable?

How do you know her?

I loved her.

She was really messed up,

but I loved her.

I was visiting my grandma
in Brooklyn,

and he came by and he said
I had to help him.

And I was about 14.

There's this kid in the trunk.

In a box,
this dead kid.

So we're riding around,

and I'm freaking out.

He has to pull over
because I have to throw up.

And he's screaming at me,
he's hitting me.

And he makes me take this box

and leave it, and he says...

if I tell anyone,
he would kill Anna.

I'm sorry.

Okay, now tell me
about these boys.

What about these other boys?

I knew 'em.

But now I'm gonna tell you
the worst part.

I'm gonna tell you why

I deserve everything I get.

Anna and I stayed in contact

even after she ran away,

even after they locked her up
in that nuthouse.

When Rob killed these boys,
I called Anna

and I told her everything.

I told her about
the Boy in the Box,

I told her about
these other boys.

And about how
I was Rob's alibi.

And she said she didn't care.

She said she loved me anyway.

But why is that
the worst part, Carlos?

Because it's my fault!

Rob found out I told Anna,
he killed her!

Carlos, Anna's alive.

But Rob--

Rob said he killed her.

He said if I said anything,
he would do me too.

That's what I believed.

All these years,
that's what I believed,

and now you tell me
that's not true?


Anna, do you know me?

He did this to her.

Rob would go on jobs
in people's houses.

And raid their
medicine cabinets.

And he made Anna take
whatever he could find.

He thought it was funny.

And it made it easier...

to do things to her.

Carlos, if you know
where Sawyer is,

I promise you,
we'll make him pay.

I don't.

I spent most of my life

hiding from him.

It's...not Sawyer.

It's him, Anna.

We don't have to
protect him anymore.

His name isn't Sawyer.

He has a real name.

What's his real name, Anna?

He said he killed you.

Robert Sawyer.

Prints have been
in the system since 1964

for fare beating in the subway.

Social Security Administration
has no death record

of Robert Sawyer, but in 1968,

Mr. Sawyer had
a sudden career change.

He went from being an accountant
to a plumber.

Who does that?

No one.

Wait a minute.

What if his identity
was stolen?

We've been thinking
Robert Sawyer

took an alias.

Robert Sawyer is the alias.

No relatives, no marriages.

If he died--

Or was killed.

And no one reported him dead.

That's the perfect identity
to steal.

So the real Robert Sawyer
died in 1968.

That means the 1964 prints
we have in the system

belong to him.

But we've got our guy's.

The man we know as Sawyer
was polygraphed in '78,

but never formally arrested.

So they printed him and never
put him in the system.

Until now.

Sheldon Kerrick! NYPD!
Open the door!

Go ahead.


Bathroom, clear.

Kitchen, clear.

[Kerrick coughing]

Okay, let's keep this short
if we can.

My client has end-stage
pancreatic cancer.

Good. Hope it hurts.

Mr. Kerrick.

The evidence against you
is overwhelming.

The nature of your acts
is heinous.

A jury will not take pity on you
because of your illness.

You will be found guilty,

and you'll be
sentenced to prison

for the rest of your life.

However short that may be.

That's supposed to scare me?

I'm not trying to scare you.

I'm simply giving you
the lay of the land.

And then I'll offer you
some options.

In consideration
of your medical status,

and that your death
would likely occur

before the conclusion
of a trial.

I'm offering the following:

You will plead guilty

to all charges.

While you are in state custody,

I will personally arrange
for an oncologist

to take care of you.

And when your condition
worsens--and believe me,

your condition will worsen--

I will not oppose
your attorney's request

for compassionate release.

You would die a free man.

In return,

you will tell us
the name of this boy.

And in the event
that you do not know his name,

you will disclose everything
that you do know about him.

And if that information leads
to his identification,

same offer applies.

You jerk me around,

I will make sure
that you are locked up

in the prison ward of a hospital
until the day you die.

I don't remember.

Yes, you do,
you son of a bitch.

You remember every one

of those boys
that you murdered.

You remember every detail

'cause you play it over and over
in your head.

Now, don't you tell me
that you didn't kill him.

Don't tell me
you don't know him.

Answer her question.


I don't remember.


My father and a couple of
the other cops paid for this.

It's nice.


Better than a numbered grave,
I guess.

It's stupid.

I used to hate this kid
when I was growing up.

I even thought my father
loved him more than me.

That's why I know
I messed this up.

I jinxed it somehow.

Well, I think someday
we will be able to name him.

I also think you gotta
give yourself a break, Millie.

Your father
made a decision.

He spent his life...

on a dead child.

When he had a living child
at home.


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