Law and Order SVU: The real-life murder that inspired Law and Order spin-off

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Law and Order SVU (Special Victims Unit) has managed to outlive the original drama which came to an end in 2010. The NBC legal series shows no signs of stopping anytime soon either as it led to another spin-off Organized Crime starring none other than actor Christoper Meloni as Elliot Stabler. While the shows are entirely fictional, a real-life murder case is what got the wheels turning in the first place.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Law and Order SVU.

Law and Order creator Dick Wolf used a true story to inspire an episode in the original drama series called Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die.

He told The New York Times in 1999 that they decided to do a “variation” of what became known as the Preppy Killer case back in 1986.

The body of a young woman called Jennifer Levin was discovered in Central Park, New York.

She had been strangled to death and the post-mortem showed “clear marks of a violent struggle” on her body, according to Town and Country.

Robert Chambers was arrested for the murder of Levin just a few hours later.

Chambers claimed he accidentally killed her during consensual “rough sex”.

He became known as the Preppy Killer and pled guilty to manslaughter.

Chambers served 15 years in prison but in 2019, it was reported he was in jail once again, this time for a drug offence and assault conviction.

Wolf further explained to The New York Times that he had wanted to do more of these kinds of stories after portraying the familiar case in season one.

This is what inspired the creation of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

Wolf said: “I’ve wanted to get deeper into the psychology of crimes like that, the role of human sexuality.”

He originally wanted to call the show Law and Order: Sex Crimes.

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However, Studios USA and chairperson of IAC Barry Diller thought the name wouldn’t be appropriate for primetime TV.

So, instead, NBC named the show after the real-life NYPD unit that handles sex crimes.

Law and Order SVU will continue on Thursday, November 11, with the episode Nightmares in Drill City.

The synopsis simply reads: “Carisi asks the Special Victims Unit for help with a murder investigation when one of the witnesses shows signs of abuse.”

As of yet, it isn’t known how many episodes will make up season 23 of Law and Order SVU.

But one thing that is for sure is that fans won’t have to worry about the show’s future any time soon.

Law and Order SVU was given the go-ahead for series 24 in February 2020.

Law and Order SVU season 23 airs every Thursday on NBC in the USA. A UK  release date hasn’t been announced.

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