Law & Order (1990–2010)
2 user

Purple Heart 

When the man who killed and robbed a cabbie turns up dead, detectives uncover a connection between the victim's wife, the killer, and the murder weapon.


Arthur W. Forney


Dick Wolf (created by), Morgan Gendel | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Lennie Briscoe
Chris Noth ... Mike Logan
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... Jack McCoy
Jill Hennessy ... Claire Kincaid
Steven Hill ... Adam Schiff
Michael Beach ... Mr. Elliot
Mike Starr ... Steven Breck
Dominic Chianese ... Judge Paul Kaylin
Frank Pellegrino ... Mr. Contini
LisaGay Hamilton ... Denise Johnson
Gina Torres ... Charlene
Ed Wheeler ... Duane Johnson
Gabriel Casseus ... Dewey Lattimer
Donald Corren ... Medill


Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate the murder of a cabbie, Daniel Johnson, who is found shot to death behind the wheel of his car. Johnson's wife Denise is a successful restaurant owner though money is always tight. Daniel would often work extra hours but the police are puzzled why he would have been found where he was. They learn he was deep in debt to a loan shark and was there to meet him and make a payment. They also learn that Danny was a big spender who had dreams of making big business deals but was never very successful. When they find a connection between the gun and Denise Johnson they are certain she hired a killer to eliminate her husband. She likely eliminated the killer as well. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

3 May 1995 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Based on the Anthony Riggs case. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Michael Beach is the Reason to Watch
6 June 2018 | by Better_TVSee all my reviews

With a name like "Purple Heart" you might expect this episode to have something to do with the military. Instead, this one is about loan sharks and the wife of the victim, the latter of whom is briefly said to have fought in Operation Desert Storm. Soon there's a second murder too, and it's up to the prosecutor's office to link them.

The best part about this one is guest star Michael Beach; he really puts up a fight as the defense attorney, turning - as Steven Hill says in the episode - witnesses into suspects. The case gets even tougher when the judge (Dominic Chianese) rules that the prosecutors will have to make their case without hinting that the defendant was involved in her husband's murder.

This was a 7 for the been-there-done-that loan shark stuff, but Michael Beach's zealous performance raises it to an 8 for me - and LisaGay Hamilton is similarly excellent as Denise Johnson.

Good stuff.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed