Law & Order: Criminal Intent - Friday March 23

law & order: criminal intent collective (12/23) 22.00–23.00

The third franchise of the stylish crime drama starring Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe continues tonight. This episode sees the detectives drawn into the world of fantasy conventions as they track down the killers of a female con artist.

Police officers respond to a commotion at the apartment of Arnold Pierce. Hearing a woman’s cries and what they believe to be gunshots, the cops storm the building and are confronted by Pierce who seems to be holding a gun. After he refuses to drop the weapon, the officers are forced to shoot him dead. They realise that any hostage being held in the apartment must have fled via the fire escape. They are shocked to discover, however, that the firearm Pierce was brandishing was merely a toy gun.

Goren and Eames arrive on the scene and swiftly ascertain that Pierce was a sci-fi obsessive who collected rare memorabilia. They find bubble wrap that had contained the toy gun on the floor, and realise that the ‘gunshots’ the cops heard were actually the sound of a woman stamping on the packaging before fleeing. They begin to consider the possibility that the shooting could have been a set-up, engineered by whoever escaped down the fire escape.

The detectives learn from Pierce’s brother that Pierce spent all of his time and money collecting toys from sci-fi programmes of the 1950s. According to his brother, a rare toy robot head that had taken pride of place on the shelf in his apartment, is now missing. The detectives realise that the missing woman must have stolen the robot with the intention of selling it on for cash. Pierce must have realised what she had done and confronted her about it, leading her to engineer his accidental shooting by the police officers.

After further investigation, cops locate a PO Box that the missing woman was using and find dozens of flyers for sci-fi and fantasy conventions. “That’s what this woman does,” concludes Goren. “She trawls these conventions looking for men like Arnold Pierce.” “These robots had more heart than the woman of his dreams,” retorts Eames.

The detectives find that the woman had costumes specially made for her so she could entice men at the conventions she attended. The designer, who knows the woman as Jocelyn Shapiro, had recently made a costume for her for a forthcoming convention celebrating the work of vampyric horror writer Carlotta Francis. Goren and Eames visit the convention undercover, where they are treated with suspicion by the organisers, Ronnie and Parker. The detectives cannot find their woman and suspect that she was supposed to be at the party. They eventually trace her to a hotel room, where they find her locked in a coffin-like box, dead from asphyxiation. The box was inspired by a Carlotta Francis novel and was designed to be an erotic toy. However, the box is normally fitted with a safety device preventing any serious harm – somebody, it seems, had tampered with this one. The woman had been locked inside with a block of dry ice, which filled the box with carbon dioxide and quickened her death.

The detectives are led to Recovered Relics, the store which made the coffin. They discover that the store’s owners are Ronnie and Parker, who ran the Francis convention. They point the detectives to Jocelyn’s boyfriend Dorian Cavanagh, who had given Jocelyn lots of money and lent her his priceless Carlotta Francis first editions. Was Dorian Jocelyn’s latest scam? And, more significantly, did he discover he was being used?

About the author

  • Anonymous

    is carlotta francis a real author?

  • Anonymous

    That’s what I have been trying to figure out but I can’t find anything.

  • Anonymous

    haven’t been able to find anything on Carlotta Francis either but will continue looking

  • Anonymous

    They are Anne Rice books – they just have different names – It is the vampire chronicles series.

  • Total Geek

    No, Carlotta Francis is not a real author. I did a name search on both Google and Amazon. Besides, if they wanted another name for Anne Rice’s books, then using a real author’s name would not be a good idea.

    Further, If you like Anne Rice, Barbara Hambly did everything Rice did (except
    maybe the soft core p.*.r.n) but she did it better.

  • walter

    Go to:

    They used, at least partially, Fantomas (a.k.a.”the lord of terror”), a french novel that inspired films and comics books, to come up with the fictitious vampire stories writer “Carlotta Francis”. Fantomas is not really about vampires, instead it is a series of crime stories about an evil character (Fantomas) whose goal is to “spread terror”.
    The existentialist writer Julio Cortzar, inpired in one of the comic books about fantomas wrote “Fantomas against the multinational vampires”, a book about human-right abuses in Latin America (again, not about vampires).

    The rest might be taken from Anne Rice books as someone pointed out already…

  • Anonymous

    When I saw this Law & Order episode I was sure it was a knock off from the Twilight books. Especially as soon as they mentioned Rosalie and the civil war. In the book the character Jasper was a soldier in the confederate army when he was turned into a vampire by a young girl.

  • Anonymous

    I can see some similarities between this episode and some of the Anne Rice novels, however I don’t think that this episode has been baised on them. And no, Carlotta Francis is not a “real” author.

  • Anonymous

    The books discussed on CI have a lot in common with both Twilight and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. they are very dark for Twilight but the love and the Characters sound like those of Twilight. I noticed many similarities to Anne Rice with the characters time period and the traveling. However i suppose it us hard to base a show off one book or the other without finding similarities in both. Anne Rice is older of an Author and twilight is recent in peoples minds (with the movie being in theaters) so stands to reason that there are similarities.

  • A book I love (and I’m sure you do too) is “Twilight” by Stephanie Meyer(here I downloaded Twilight by Stephanie Meyer for free).
    I love this book because of the amazing details and description. One of my favorite parts is when Edward, an amazingly handsome vampire, brings Bella, a regular teenager, to the school prom.
    The description is so detailed that it does not let go of you. It makes you pick up the book and never let go.
    Twilight is part of a saga of four books, “Twilight,” “New Moon,” “Eclipse” and “Breaking Dawn.” Out of these four books, “Twilight” is my favorite.
    Stephanie Meyer is amazing at descriptive writing. She is awesome at grabbing ahold of someone’s heart and does not let it go.

  • Anonymous

    This episode reminded me of the Anne Rice novels, because there is a young girl named Claudia who is turned into a vampire. Everyone should stop saying the episode is a rip off of Twilight, because Twilight is a rip off. It’s horribly written and there is actually an entire book in the series devoted to Bella waiting to have sex with Edward. Read the Vampire Chronicles.

  • ladeeda

    ok so i loved this episode just casuse i’m big into L&O but the vampire thing was a pretty nice twist. I’m kinda sad that Carlotta isn’t a real author though cause the books sounded pretty good. Oh and i would just like to say that “Twilight” is not a rip off…if you don’t like the series don’t read it but realize that ur part of a very small population that doesn’t like the books.
    antways CI rocks! SVU is awesome!! and the producer is a genius.

  • Emma Linh

    I enjoyed this episode too – however, I’m more inclined to believe the inspiration for Carlotta Francis is Anne Rice rather than Stephanie Meyer. This episode originally aired January of 2005 (probably filmed in 2004) and Twilight was first published in October of 2005.

    I read Twilight – I’m part of the minority who didn’t really love it, though I thought it had potential. I think I would have enjoyed it more had I read it in junior high…I kind of felt like the writing was geared more towards that audience.

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