‘Law & Order’ Fans Agree These Are the Franchise’s Most Bizarre Cases

by Suzanne Halliburton

Law & Order creator Dick Wolf likes to lean into current headlines when he oversees plots for his shows and spinoffs.

And fans of Law & Order, who are ecstatic about the relaunch, are discussing their favorite cases from years ago, back when the OG ran from 1990-2010.

One fan suggested the episode Fools for Love, an hour featuring future Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo. And while Pompeo is a fan favorite as Meredith Grey, she played anything but a loveable character on Law & Order.

Here’s the synopsis of the creepy crime. The bodies of two teenage girls were found in an abandoned building. Police suspected a man named Peter. In addition, cops feared that Peter assaulted Laura (Pompeo), whose sister was one of the victims. Both victims also had been raped. Peter denies hurting Laura. She’s his girlfriend. Prosecutors give Laura immunity to testify. Peter testified that one girl died accidentally, while Laura killed the other to keep her quiet. He’s still found guilty. Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) gets Laura to admit, under oath, that she enjoyed raping the girls. The judge threw out her plea deal.

Another fan favorite is the episode Patsy, which ran Nov. 24, 1999. (Nothing like this sort of crime to celebrate Thanksgiving.) A woman named Cecilia tries to frame a man who police thought had murdered her sister. But she ends up in a coma. The man was her sister’s boyfriend. McCoy tries the case against the boyfriend, but a judge declares a mistrial. That was because the defense attorney claimed that Cecelia murdered her own sister. Then after the trial, a strand of the sister’s hair was discovered in Cecilia’s trunk.

George Napolitano/FilmMagic

Another Law & Order Fan Favorite Case Involved One of the Final Appearances By Jerry Orbach

Other favorite Law & Order cases? How about Hands Free. This episode, which ran in March 2004, was one of the final ones for Jerry Orbach’s Lennie Briscoe. The cops find dismembered body parts in trash cans. As they try to piece the body together, police figure out it’s a man named Roger Barry. Cops found blood in the girlfriend’s apartment. But the girlfriend is actually a man (Eli Madison) disguised as a woman. Madison, who inherited all his wealth, said he wore the disguise because there was too much media attention after the disappearance of his wife. Wait, his wife? Where’s her body?

Madison claimed that Barry died from a heart attack, so he dismembered the body. But since Barry’s head and heart were never found, there was no way to establish death. However, McCoy decides to prosecute Madison because three of his loved ones disappeared, but Madison never called the police. The jury convicts Madison of his wife’s murder.

Real estate Robert Durst inspired this case. Durst died earlier this month. He wasn’t convicted of anything until last year when a jury found him guilty of killing a friend.

Law & Order relaunches, Feb. 24. Production on the series began last month. And good news. Sam Waterston, as Jack McCoy, is back to try all these bizarre cases.

If you want to get into a Law & Order kind of mood — it is Friday, after all — you can check out NBC’s new tease and all the Outsider info about it.