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What I learned from 8 seasons of Law and Order: Special Victim's Unit

For reasons that are beyond me, I watched 8 seasons of L&O:SVU over Christmas.  Here is what I have learned.

That white Christian extremists are the most satisfying bad guy.
That just about everyone has a hit in codis.
That most episodes will have a 'let's dispell a fallacy' section is the form of an info dump.
That the coroner always has perfect hair.
That Jeremy Irons and Robin Williams guested in it.
That Olivia Benson will never be happy in her life.  Every time someone so much as smiles as her they due for a good old fashioned smiting/killing/jailing/suiciding.  Bloody hell girl get out of the job 'cos misery is all that's in the post.
That her partner Elliot finds it hard to pass an episode without at least two accusations of police brutality.  Possibly that's why he gets shot about twice a season and has two emotions.
That ICE T can act, as long as he's playing a street wise thug with a limited emotion range and vocabularly.
That Munch gets all the best lines.
That the majority of perps or humps get 25 to life up in Sing Sing and nobody nice ever goes to central booking.

But most of all it hit me as I walked home through Birmingham tonight and saw an advert for a movie on the side of a bus:


So in the spirit of ICE-T: Gramps the Five Oh gonna bust yo skanky ass to supermax.

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perhaps less so in SVU than other L&O shows and especially CSI, but any unmarried couple looking for a venue for illicit sex (especially teenagers!) will almost invariably stumble over a corpse. We have long suspected there are sneakily pro-abstinence scriptwriters out there...

Oh yes. And if you ever have an argument then you're bound to trip over a corpse.

I've only ever watched Sports Utility Vehicle a couple of times, but a lifetime of watching cop shows has taught me a vital fact that should be more widely used by investigators:

Murderers never lie! If someone looks the cop in the face and says "I know it looks bad, I admit I hated him, but I swear I never killed him" then they are always telling the truth. Any flat out, words of one syllable, definitive statement of innocence always means you can rule that suspect off your list. The actual murderer will lie about their motives, their whereabouts, and everything else, but will never be asked "did you do it?" and will never volunteer a denial.

I think this represents deep held cultural taboos about flat out lying that we don't even recognise in ourselves. I also think this explains the otherwise inexplicable James Hanratty case in which many many people fought for years to exonerate a rapist/murderer with a whole pile of evidence against him, and in some cases continued even after definitive DNA evidence turned up, purely because he was prepared to protest his innocence with a totally straight face.

Yup - hating the victim makes you innocent...

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