is a second season
episode of the television series Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
In this episode, Detectives Goren and Eames are called in to investigate the mysterious murder of a homeless man.
During the investigation, the team discover the seemingly random murders of several homeless people, using the same pattern, tracing them to an expensive hotel and uncovering a fraud involving a crooked insurance agent and foreign executives. It is clear that when the poor men turn up murdered, the suspects collect on lucrative life-insurance policies.
Then, Goren calls in an extremely peculiar industry fraud expert, who diligently helps him profile the culprits. But when the chief suspect is found dead in his apartment, with no sign of the money he stole, the detectives must call on all their experience to find out who really is pulling the strings.
What's in a name:
- "Probability" is a reference to the actuarial theme of the episode. The mastermind of the plot to kill homeless persons would select manner and location of death, as well as other details about them, in a seemingly random pattern in order to prevent detection by actuarial algorhythms or law enforcement. However, Goren is quick to notice that the "pattern" is too random, and when he investigates further he discovers that the mastermind, who has Asperger's Syndrome, is obsessed with groupings of 5 in a specific configuration. Goren finds a hidden pattern in the order in time and location of the murders, thus solving the case.
- Wally Stevens, the name of the insurance-fraud investigator character, is an inside joke: The name is taken from Wallace Stevens, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who also worked as vice president of The Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company.
Eames: I didn't realize you had an older, geekier
brother (to Goren, in reference to the insurance-fraud investigator