Law & Order (1990–2010)
2 user

Blood Libel 

An anti-Semitic teen is accused of killing a Jewish teacher. His defense attorney argues that the accused is really the victim of a Jewish conspiracy.


Constantine Makris


Dick Wolf (created by), I.C. Rapoport (teleplay by) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Lennie Briscoe
Benjamin Bratt ... Rey Curtis
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... Jack McCoy
Jill Hennessy ... Claire Kincaid
Steven Hill ... Adam Schiff
Chris Cooper ... Roy Payne
Jeanne Ruskin Jeanne Ruskin ... Alice Marsdale
Jackey Vinson ... Matt Hastings (as Jack Vinson)
Lee Wilkof ... Dr. Alvin Sabloff
Mark Zeisler ... Richard Kovax
Zach Grenier ... Mr. Aronson
Douglas Santiago ... Eddie Camarillo
Mike Mearian Mike Mearian ... Judge Horace Busey
Liz Larsen ... Lana Halstead


Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the murder of Sarah Aronson, a high school art teacher who is found dead after hours in her classroom with the school locked and the alarm system on. The police initially focus on one of her colleagues, math teacher Richard Kovaks, after they learn Sarah had become aware Kovaks was selling higher grades to some of his students. When he has an alibi for her time of death they focus on four students who put a cryptic anti-Semitic slur in the high school yearbook. Student Matt Hastings is charged with murder and hires Roy Pane to defend him. Pane has defended white supremacists in the past and his defense is that there is a Jewish conspiracy to frame his client. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

3 January 1996 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Roy Payne comments that he wrote a few briefs for the KKK and their march in Skokie. As of 1981 Skokie, Illinois is the home of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education center. But in 1977 it was the proposed site for a march by the KKK and a group of Neo Nazis. At the time the community of Skokie, a suburb of Chicago, had a population of about 70,000, 40,000 of whom were Jewish. Approximately 5,000 of the Jewish residents were survivors of the Holocaust. The residents of Skokie were shocked and outraged upon learning the news of the proposed Nazi march and attempted to file an injunction to stop them. They filed it on the grounds that it would "incite or promote hatred against persons of Jewish faith or ancestry," that is was a "deliberate and willful attempt" to inflict severe emotional harm on the Jewish population in Skokie (and especially on the survivors of the Holocaust), and that it would incite an "uncontrollably" violent response and lead to serious "bloodshed." The Nazis, in a fairly unexpected and shocking turn of events, were represented by lawyers of the ACLU, who said that while they abhorred the message the KKK and the Nazis stood for that they would represent anyone in America whose civil rights were being violated and they argued, successfully, that to prevent the KKK and the Nazis from marching would violate their First Amendment right to free speech. The case was argued before the Illinois Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court, all three of which ruled that the KKK and the Nazi Party's right to conduct a peaceful march was protected by the First Amendment. The courts stated in their ruling that to censor a person(s) message simply because it was unpopular and offensive to the majority was not only a violation of their First Amendment rights, it was also a slippery slope that could lead the nation down the dark path to tyranny and oppression. See more »


Richard Kovax: I may not be God's gift to women, but I'm not surprised I'm a topic among the female staff here
Lennie Briscoe: Well, we got the impression that your animal magnetism wasn't on the agenda
See more »

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User Reviews

"Who'd want to murder an art teacher, who'd she ever hurt?"
21 February 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

That question is asked by Benjamin Bratt as he and Jerry Orbach catch a homicide involving an art teacher who was staying late and was found murdered in her classroom by the custodian.

That question is soon answered as the investigation leads to the fact that another teacher was selling grades and she was going to rat him out. The perpetrator turns out to be Jack Vinson who with his buddies had been writing some covert anti-Semitic messages in places like the Yearbook, etc.

Vinson's parents retain for a hefty fee Chris Cooper who is a lawyer for white supremacists. But he's good at what he does as he gets some forensic evidence thrown out which would have nailed Vinson to the wall. And he spreads enough manure around to suggest that there is some great Jewish conspiracy at work to frame his fine upstanding white client. Even Jerry Orbach comes in for it.

You'd think in New York City, in Manhattan of all places such things could not happen. But all Cooper has to do is get one juror to hold out and the the DA has to do it all over again.

I have no doubt that Sam Waterston will do it until it comes out right.

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