Law & Order SVU - 21x06 - Murdered at a Bad Address
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.
So are you ready to teach me some of those dance moves?
Can we get ice cream?
We're right by the cart.
- Before dinner?
- I won't have dessert after.
- Hello, I'm Simon.
- Hi, I'm Noah.
Yeah, go ahead.
Go pick a flavor, run along.
Uh, Noah is my son.
I have a nephew and you didn't tell me?
Well, that's on me.
I haven't exactly been in touch.
Simon, what are you doing here?
I moved back to Jersey a few years ago, working at the Carpet King.
How is your family, your your children?
I don't know.
Tracy took the kids, so I haven't seen her or them since I last saw you.
I thought about asking you to help me track them down but I always end up making more trouble for you.
Look, Olivia, I just I just want to make it up to you.
Maybe I can I can take you and Noah out to lunch?
Simon, I don't think that's such a good Just don't don't say no.
All right, look, I've been clean five years.
Look at this.
You're my only family.
I wanna get to know my nephew.
It's my day off.
You pick the place, the time.
I can be anywhere.
Eight Bronx Science grads have won Nobel Prizes.
I'm gonna be the ninth.
Good for you, Lupe.
That's a lucky ice cream.
She's a herb, but smart's hot, too.
Well, the word is definitely on the street.
Hey, move aside, folks, please.
Five-oh, always five-oh minutes late.
No city cameras to protect our girls, but plenty for mug shots of our boys.
We're SVU, ma'am, not the Warrant Squad.
Lupe Perez, 14, assaulted in the stairwell.
She's still in shock, but she didn't want to leave her little sister upstairs alone, so I put a uni with her.
- You got here fast.
- Two train.
Faster than lights and sirens every time.
CSU is on the way.
And the girl's parents?
Her mom works the night shift, at the Double Dutch Donuts on 125th.
Busted, like the elevator.
Wait a minute, you're a former projects kid?
And no such thing as a former projects kid.
Is the girl comfortable with you?
Why don't you ride with her to CAC?
The doctor was nice, but the exam hurt.
Teenage girl assaulted in the projects?
Fin's still canvassing, but there's nothing on the rape kit, no semen or hairs.
So we're looking at a pro.
But we really want to catch this guy.
You're letting Kat take the lead?
We're giving her a shot.
She was first on scene, she rode with her, and she took the disclosure And I'm right here if she needs me.
Kat doesn't miss a trick.
Somebody must've stolen her lunch money once.
Or tried to.
I tried to scratch him for DNA, but he choked me with my headphone cord.
Did you see his hands?
Big, white maybe.
They smelled bad.
What kind of smells?
Like a woody smell.
Good, like, like a park?
No, pencil sharpener smell.
Did you hear his voice?
He said "Okay, chiquita, do it nice for Papi.
" My real papi died.
I'm so sorry, Lupe.
You were saying that he He said if I didn't You know he would go upstairs to my little sister Gizelle.
So the rapist knew Lupe; they knew her family.
It's why he didn't let her get a look at him.
He pulled down my pants Please, I don't want anyone to know that.
Hey you don't have to worry about that.
Lupe's mom is here.
I was working, um My husband died two years ago, that 9/11 cancer, so I work extra if I had been there You were working for your family.
Listen to me, this is not your fault.
Perez, we think whoever did this to Lupe knew her.
So can you think of anyone a neighbor, a teacher that maybe pays too much attention?
No um Lupe's always in the library or at the school lab or babysitting her little sister.
Please, I need to see Lupe.
Last one, I cleared all the registered s*x offenders near Lupe's projects.
And no leads on the canvass.
Do we have anything?
Lupe said the perp's hands were calloused, smelled like wood shavings.
Maybe a projects worker?
Okay, give me a list of the maintenance guys from the Jacob Lawrence Houses.
I just got a weird hit on the touch DNA from Lupe's headphones.
It matches a double homicide in the Wave View projects in Far Rockaway from 2003.
You have a closed rape and double murder from 16 years ago?
And they had the DNA - and never tested it?
- It was tested by mistake, swept up while they were going through the backlog.
And the touch DNA on Lupe's headphones, matched the DNA found under the fingernails of which victim?
Both, Nydia Hernandez, strangled with an electric cord and her daughter, Jacinta.
She was sexually assaulted and then strangled.
Two teenagers confessed.
Ricardo Torres, 15 at the time.
He turned state's on Carlos Hernandez, 18, the son and brother of the vics.
And which of their DNA matches Lupe's?
That's the thing.
What does that mean?
That we're looking at a third accomplice?
Someone who was never caught.
Okay, so we're gonna need to talk with Ricardo and Carlos.
Where are they now?
Hernandez is still serving 25 to life in Green Haven.
25 to life, and he never gave up the third guy?
- He's not talking.
- So take Carisi with you.
If he sees a DA, maybe he'll think that he can cut a deal.
And what about Ricardo?
Finished his 15 a year ago.
Last known, Wave View Houses in Far Rock.
Parole officer's on vacay.
So Rollins, Kat, lean on him, hard.
Just to be clear, we've got a guy doing life for murdering his mother and his sister and there was someone else's DNA on the victim?
Why check DNA?
They had confessions.
Yeah, and it's the projects.
They were murdered at a bad address.
I'm gonna ask you again, Carlos, 'cause we know there was a third person who helped kill your mama and your kid sis.
What you mean you know?
- We found DNA of a third man.
- You did?
So you know you know who did it.
You arrest him?
If we knew who did it, we wouldn't be asking.
Man, I don't know who killed them.
All I know is that Ricky and me didn't do it, I swear.
I could never hurt my mommy or little Jacinta.
That night, Ricky and me, we was just hanging.
That's not what he said.
This is his handwritten confession.
Says that the whole thing was your idea - and he just went along.
- Ricky was just a kid.
Detective Monte convinced him if he turned state's on me, he'd get man two and out in 15.
Then why'd you fess up?
Because Monte and the DA told me if I didn't confess, that I'd get the sayonara syringe.
Man, I was 18.
I didn't have no mommy no more to help me.
Look, Carlos, I don't know what went down then, but if you work with us now, you give up your accomplice, when you come up for parole, I will go to the board.
Why do you keep saying accomplice, man?
I told you I wasn't even there.
Come on, man, everybody in here says they're innocent.
It's been 16 years.
That's almost half your life.
Why are you covering for this guy?
I swear to God, I came home, and I saw them lying there like that.
It's all I've ever thought about since.
Carisi, this is a waste of time.
Carlos, you said that that you and Ricky were, uh, you were hanging.
That I can't say.
I told you this was a waste of time.
Look, I'm not lying, okay?
After he was released, Ricky sent me this.
He apologized for putting me away.
He said he was just saving himself and back then In Far Rock, we weren't angels.
All right, but my mommy?
She was all I had.
Okay, you got an alibi for that night?
Or this goes nowhere.
Thank you for your visit, gentlemen.
You are Savannah Baker?
Well, the kids call me "Moms," Moms Baker.
Don't tell me another child has died from them dopey-oids.
No, ma'am, we're here looking for Ricardo Torrez.
The captain of the housing unit thought you might know where he is.
He paid his debt.
No, no, we just want to ask a few questions.
No way he would hurt a June bug, let alone his family.
You know about the murders.
I know he was a mama's boy.
Never raised a hand to hurt another child.
And what about Ricardo?
If Ricky threw himself on the floor, he'd've missed.
But they both confessed.
Down home we call that "railroading," right, honey?
Detective Monte that prosecutor They had the wrong boys, but they didn't care.
Well, that's why we want to talk to Ricardo.
Ricky lit right back here from prison.
He was so skinny.
I knew he had the bug.
He caught that while inside.
He cried on my shoulder.
He had lied on Carlos to save his own skin.
Moms, you know where we can find Ricky?
He just passed.
He asked me to, uh, scatter him out there where he and Carlos skipped stones.
I'm so sorry.
Do you know who killed Ricky?
Talk to him.
You're retiring to Florida?
Pension will go a lot further down there, that's for sure.
I'm out on three quarters.
After collaring skells like Hernandez and Torres, I don't wanna die shoveling snow here in the stepchild borough.
I hear that.
- Carisi, huh?
You related to Tony "No Toes" Carisi up on Todt Hill?
My mother says all Carisis are related.
But about Hernandez and Torres you wrapped that case up pretty quick.
Listen, Counselor, you're not on the job.
Any cop who saw that scene, knew right away it had to be banjos or bongos.
The vics were PRs, the mother was a crack putan, and the daughter was 13, built like she was 23.
Her son, Carlos, yeah, he was a big dopey stroonz, horny as a bag of cats.
For his own sister, really?
An hour under the lamp and the other one, Torres, flipped like an acrobat.
A double homicide cleared off the radio.
Why do you two care?
We're working a rape case, a young girl, and we got a DNA hit, that matches DNA from your crime scene.
It's gotta be Hernandez.
He was the doer.
Must've been a third man there.
Do you remember any other suspects?
Not a chance.
And let me tell you something.
Those two it's not their first time.
They were hitting other projects.
Three or four rapes, teenage girls.
Cases we couldn't make.
I just thank God that they were stupid enough to hit their own home.
Carisi sent us cannolis from his favorite bakery in Staten Island.
I'll make an exception.
So, aside from the baked goods, did we get anything out there?
Pretty much what we suspected.
Detective Monte wasn't interested in any other suspects and Carisi thinks both confessions were coerced.
So we're not looking for the third guy in, we're looking for the only guy.
The one that got away with it.
You know, I thought he was just trying to justify what he did, but Monte Monte did say that there'd been other rapes in the projects around the same time.
So we could be looking at a serial who's been out there for 16 years.
Okay, let's go back to unsolved project rapes, check M. O. 's.
Kat, you got the records of maintenance workers at Lupe's projects, - Right?
So cross check them and see if anybody who worked there also worked at Wave View 16 years ago.
So we found 12 housing project rapes, but these two most closely fit the pattern.
Maria Negron, 13.
Angela Lopez, 12.
Both lived at the Jersey Street projects.
One happened in 2010, the other in 2011.
No DNA on either?
No, they were both assaulted from behind, strangled with a cord, and neither one of them saw his face.
That's his M. O.
So there was 18, maintenance workers that worked at all three, of these projects that fit the timeline.
Seven are black, two are deceased, one is disabled.
So we're gonna need DNA warrants on these eight guys.
Why not make it nine?
Make it a ball team.
Come on, no judge is gonna sign off on this.
You gotta narrow it down for me.
All right, so we can ask them to volunteer for exclusion, if they're innocent, then they shouldn't have a problem with that.
Okay, anybody balks, I'll get you a warrant.
- You're leaving us again?
- Got a pretrial motion.
Feel free to stay as long as you want.
All right, so coordinate with Fin and Kat and make sure that you talk to all eight guys.
- Copy that.
- I'll meet you back in the squadroom.
I have a lunch with my brother, Simon.
Wow, it's been a while.
What does he want?
He says that he wants to get to know Noah.
You believe him?
Can we talk to you for a minute?
Uh, they keep me pretty busy.
Yeah, well, we're here investigating the assault from the other night.
- You heard about that?
- Yeah, horrible.
You're the maintenance guy.
You been working here for a long time?
They send me where they need me.
Okay, well, you noticed anybody that doesn't belong?
Trying doors, checking out the stairwell?
All the time.
Bangers, homeless, dealers.
Hey, got guys on the registry in this neighborhood.
We're all over that.
Just hoping maybe you could come check out some mug shots.
Shouldn't the girl do that?
She didn't get a good look at him.
Ah, that's too bad.
Listen, I'd do anything to help, but I don't have a head for faces.
There's something else you could do.
We need your DNA to exclude you from the investigation.
My DNA put in the system?
That ain't happening.
Who knows what the government does with that?
We're just asking you for a little help.
Look, I feel sorry for the girl, but I got places to be.
You need anything else from me let me know.
First guy to say no.
I'm calling Carisi for a warrant.
Yeah, save him the trouble.
In that case, I'll call Liv.
Great, and the lab knows that it's a rush?
When's your friend going to get here?
I don't know, honey.
I don't wanna be late for dance class.
Okay, sweetie, I'm sorry.
I'll find out.
I'll find out.
Hi, excuse me.
Oh, did you want to go ahead and order?
Actually, we're still waiting for our third.
Um, you're sure that you didn't see a man, he had dark hair, light eyes The reservation was under Benson?
- I'll check again.
- Thank you.
You know what, Noah, give me a second.
Simon, it's me and Noah, and we are here waiting for you.
Listen, uh, I knew that this was a bad idea, so uh, don't don't bother calling me back, okay?
As a matter of fact, Simon, don't don't ever call me.
- Good morning.
We got a match on Tim Stanton.
The lab confirms that his DNA matches the touch DNA on Lupe's headphones and the DNA found under the nails of Jacinta and Nydia.
I was ready to arrest that guy right there.
Hold on, let's wait.
Touch DNA on headphones I'd like to see Lupe make a positive ID Where did you leave it with Stanton?
He pretended like he wanted to help.
So tell him that we've collared a s*x offender that we know is good for this and we just need help with the lineup.
You think he'll go for that?
I think that he let Hernandez and Torres take the fall before.
He's just gonna think that we've screwed up again.
See if Lupe is up for a lineup.
So Lupe said she didn't see him, but she did hear his voice.
So if she can't do a lineup, see if she can do a voice ID.
Yeah, copy that.
Um listen, I was out of line what I said about your brother.
No, you weren't.
Noah doesn't need any more confusion about his life.
That door's that door stays closed.
Take your time.
I didn't really see his face.
But you heard his voice, right?
Would you be okay hearing something that he said to you again?
Okay, number one.
Okay, chiquita, do it nice for Papi.
I'm not comfortable saying this.
- It's him.
- Just read the words.
Do I have to say this?
Okay, chiquita, do it nice for Papi.
It's him, it's him, it's him.
- It's him.
- It's okay.
Yeah, well, see, I did some work, on Lupe's mom's bathroom recently, so I moved the kid's headphones out of the way.
I didn't didn't want to get no water on 'em.
That makes sense.
- So I'm good to go?
- More like good to go away.
We got another hit on your DNA, from a 16-year-old attack in Far Rock.
The double murder?
No, the son and his buddy confessed.
It can't be me.
That's, uh, like, double jeopardy or something.
Besides, even if my DNA was there I probably worked on that apartment, too.
That's how your blood and skin got under the victim's fingernails?
All due respect, I think it's time for me to shut down and lawyer up.
Well, he's right.
It's gonna be pretty hard to pin a double murder on him when there's somebody still sitting in prison for it.
- Lupe made a voice ID?
- She did.
All right, arrest Stanton, keep him in holding.
I'm gonna go up and see Carlos Hernandez.
See if he can ID this scumbag.
You just swipe.
What I remember is, those maintenance guys hardly ever came around.
Him we waited over a year for him to fix Mommy's kitchen cabinet.
- He was in your apartment, you're sure?
There was a family of mice living under the sink, and I was scared to open it.
Now I live with rats.
This guy came, plugs mice holes, fixes the cabinet.
He even asked Jacinta to teach him her Shakira dance moves.
You think he killed them?
Well, there's no sign of forced entry.
Do you think your sister would have let him in?
Any time any of those guys came around, you let them in.
You might not see someone again for six months.
Why would he kill them?
He's raping your sister, your mother comes home He'd've had to kill her.
- He confess?
But with his DNA, right, and if Ricky testifies Ricky won't be testifying.
- When did he pass?
- A few days ago.
He felt bad about what he did to me, and to himself.
He's at peace now.
And we still have his letter.
Plus the new DNA.
I'm confident when the Queens DA Queens DA?
Is it still Keane?
16 years, like the mummy's hand.
Man, that guy he got himself elected Queens DA, off of putting me away.
Listen, Carlos, I'm not gonna promise you anything.
But I do know somebody that works in that office.
A high ranking ADA.
I trust him.
He's a good guy.
Why's he working for Keane?
- So you did it?
From detective to ADA.
How's it going?
Oh, I miss my gun and the pay cut's no fun, but I still remember what you said, my first year at Fordham Law.
Yeah, what was that?
Better 100 guilty men go free than one innocent man be condemned.
You know I was quoting Voltaire.
Of course, but it was the way the way you said it.
It was like you believed in it.
That's why I brought this to you.
Did you get a chance to go over the case file?
Carlos Hernandez had a terrible lawyer.
He and Ricky, they were kids.
They had their whole lives taken from them.
So you can help Carlos get out?
Look, it's tough to get any DA to overturn a case, let alone over here in Queens.
But a rape and double murder my boss built his career on?
There's no DNA.
Manhattan SVU has matched it to a guy, who's good for a series of housing projects rapes.
Did he confess to this?
Why would he?
He knows it's a closed case, two confessions.
They both recanted.
Ricky in a dying declaration.
Yeah, I read that, too.
I know this was Keane's case, but once he hears the preponderance of exculpatory evidence You haven't heard about Keane.
DA Keane is ready for you now.
Mr. Keane, this is Manhattan ADA Carisi.
- Nice to meet you, sir.
- You, too, Mr. Keane.
Sir, I don't know if you've had a chance to look over the What case are you here about?
The double homicide of Nydia and Jacinta Hernandez in Far Rockaway.
You know why it's called Far Rockaway?
No, sir, actually, I don't.
Because it's way far out.
It was also the scene of a brutal double murder.
It was your case, Mr.
The victim's son confessed, but his lawyer knew that there was DNA at the scene.
He didn't ask for it to be tested.
Lawyers do you know that Shea Stadium was named because of a lawyer?
Yes, William Shea.
It's still Shea Stadium.
I did know that one, sir.
Um, now I know you're very busy, Mr.
Keane, but the reason I'm here is about getting justice for Carlos Hernandez.
Hernandez, what a good first baseman.
You know the Mets couldn't have won anything in '86 without him.
I believe that was Keith, sir.
I have some paperwork here I'd like you to consider signing, agreeing to vacate the conviction of Carlos Hernandez Put it over there on the table.
I'm very, very busy.
I'll do my best.
I want to impress upon you both not to leave law school.
It can be a rewarding career.
DA Keane won't let this go?
No, it was worse.
He had no idea what I was asking him to do.
What does that mean?
For years, Keane's deputies have covered up the fact that he's suffering from dementia.
Well, how bad is it?
I mean, good days, bad days?
Well, he thought Carlos Hernandez played first base for the '86 Mets, so Okay, well, what about his deputies?
Can't they step up?
'Cause we have three more rape kit hits from Stanton's DNA.
Plus an eye-witness.
Keane can't even undo his tie, never mind a 16-year-old double homicide.
One of my former law professors, he works in the Queens DA's office, he said he could try to get Carlos a retrial.
Sorry to interrupt, Captain.
Stanton's lawyer's here.
He needs a word.
My client will agree to forcible touching on the girl from Jacob Lawrence Houses.
- He raped her.
- Says who?
She didn't see her attacker and DNA on headphones?
Probative of nothing.
- We have a voice ID.
No eye witnesses, only an ear witness.
I'll convince the jury that little Lupe is deaf and blind.
Little Lupe is tougher than you think.
Juries love me and they don't like cops.
And that goes double for cops who turned into prosecutors.
- They're gonna hate you.
- Well, maybe not After they find out your client's DNA was at three different rape scenes.
And we have three projects-strong girls, just like Lupe, who will follow her to the stand.
We're going after your client for all six rapes, including the Far Rockaway rape and the double murder.
You're chasing a 16-year-old murder case with two confessions?
And a district attorney who's playing poker with tarot cards.
You wanna cut a deal?
Your client allocutes to the Hernandez murders and maybe I can swing criminally negligent homicide and rape two on the other six.
I ain't 'fessing to no crack ho murders, and I ain't copping to no pedo rapes.
No short-eye pleas like those 'mos Torres and Hernandez did.
What do you know about that?
I got no idea how Carlos has lasted 16 years in Green Haven.
Everyone knows he's a fag.
All right, that's okay, Tim.
Look, we're done here.
I'll be taking my client back to processing.
Get him out of here.
You insist to murders and child rapes, we'll go to the mat in my ring.
Don't let him get to you.
He he didn't.
There's something Stanton said.
now Carlos told me that he had an alibi for the night of the murders, but he wouldn't talk about it.
Now I know why.
I can't have no DA asking me questions, man.
Okay, Carlos about that.
Could we get a few minutes?
Carlos, whatever you say here does not leave this room if you don't want it to, I swear.
Where were you that night?
I was at the beach.
Plumb Beach in Brooklyn.
That's the boy-meets-boy beach off the Belt Parkway?
That Plumb Beach, right?
Okay, so you and Ricky hooked up?
That was the first time.
Beautiful night Until I got home and I found my mommy and Jacinta dead on the floor.
Carlos, a lot of people have come out of the closet since then.
- Times have changed.
- Not in here.
Out of the closet means into a casket.
The other inmates find out I'm gay?
Gangs will turn me into a Maytag.
Washing socks and spit-shining.
Yeah, we get it.
I'd get bitched out until I got the bug.
I know I'll never walk again as a free man, but can I ask you a favor?
What's that, Carlos?
At night I still get the horrors, wondering where my mommy and my little sister are buried.
Thinking that they're in an even worse place than me.
I don't know Potter's field or unmarked graves just lost souls.
Find out where my family's buried.
So Carlos and Ricky were gay lovers and he can't give that alibi because he'll be raped inside.
And you brought this happy news to me because - I'm gay.
- No, but it doesn't hurt.
I also know that you have a justice gen, buried under that jaded Queens Boulevard veneer.
Look, maybe we can get him protective custody while he's awaiting trial.
Protective custody with his history?
PTSD, depression he could suicide.
Look, I'm I'm asking you to help me spring an innocent man.
Give me a night's sleep to figure out what Voltaire would do - Lupe would have to testify?
- I'm sorry, she would.
She's been through enough already.
And the lawyers?
They'll trick her.
No one can catch me in a lie if I just tell the truth.
And she'd be prepped.
We'd be with her every step of the way.
Lupe, you don't need to do this.
Mama, if he goes free, next time he might just go after Gizelle.
And thank you.
Okay, we'll be in touch.
Yeah, I'm on my way.
Um just have a family thing.
Um, can you get back to the precinct on your own?
That's my brother.
It was an OD?
Heroin laced with fentanyl.
Found the body in a motel room, no signs of foul play.
He was using, he He told me that he was sober.
He was telling you the truth.
If I had to guess, he'd been clean for quite a while.
So it was not a suicide?
Dosage wasn't large enough.
He just got his hands on the wrong stuff.
Okay Well, thank you.
You two were close.
Not really, but, um He was my only family.
Simon Hey the transport van just dropped Carlos off outside of the courthouse.
You wanna tell me what's going on, Counselor?
Keane signed the vacate order.
H-how'd you get him to to do that?
He may have thought he was graciously signing a letter of recommendation for my law school application.
All right, I didn't hear that and you did not say that, but thank you.
Welcome to Queens.
Let's go do this before the ink dries or any of his deputies find out.
It's all right.
Counselor, you're representing the defendant, Carlos Hernandez?
Yes, Your Honor.
- I understand you have a motion?
- I do.
Based on new exculpatory evidence, defense moves to vacate the sentence of Carlos Hernandez.
The People believe there's been a miscarriage of justice in this case, Your Honor.
Due to newly discovered DNA evidence implicating a serial predator in these crimes, the People ask that this verdict be vacated.
Mr. Hernandez, please stand.
Carlos Hernandez, I apologize on behalf of the state of New York for your wrongful imprisonment that has cost you 16 years of your life.
It is my duty today to vacate this unjust conviction.
You are free to go.
Bailiffs, take off those chains.
You can walk like a man now, Carlos.
A free man.
I don't understand.
Stanton's pleading guilty?
To two murders.
But not for Lupe's rape?
Well, either way, he's going far away for a very long time.
And Lupe she won't have to testify.
Okay that's good.
Can I give you a lift home?
Liv, are you okay?
No I haven't told anyone, but my brother, Simon He died.
When he didn't show for lunch, I left him a message and I told him not to call me.
What if my message Is the last thing that he heard?
You don't know that.
The life he led more likely it was Just his time.
That stone looks new.
Some people read about your case.
There was a GoFundMe.
Folks chipped in.
How can I ever thank you?