A young boy is found outside an NYC apartment eating from the family's garbage. When SVU is called in, they find out the boy, Jacob, isn't homeless, but is actually from a nearby home and ... See full summary »


Rick Wallace


Dick Wolf (created by), Amanda Green


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Meloni ... Detective Elliot Stabler
Mariska Hargitay ... Olivia Benson
Richard Belzer ... John Munch
Diane Neal ... Casey Novak
Ice-T ... Odafin Tutuola
BD Wong ... Dr. George Huang (as B.D. Wong)
Dann Florek ... Donald Cragen
Marlo Thomas ... Judge Mary Clark
Diane Venora ... Marilyn Nesbit
Joseph Cross ... Adam Nesbit
Isabel Gillies ... Kathy Stabler
Kevin Thoms ... Daniel Nesbit
Audrie Neenan ... Judge Lois Preston
Luna Lauren Velez ... Attorney Shamal (as Lauren Velez)
Beth Ehlers Beth Ehlers ... Mrs. Kester


A young boy is found outside an NYC apartment eating from the family's garbage. When SVU is called in, they find out the boy, Jacob, isn't homeless, but is actually from a nearby home and lives with his mother and older brother, Adam. Troubled by the fact that a child eating garbage has a home in a decent neighborhood, Elliot and Olivia investigate further only to find the mother's ideals on raising her children radical and abusive. Unable to legally remove the children, SVU is forced to send Jacob back home, but Elliot is uneasy the whole time. Later that night Elliot gets a call and suspects it's Jacob calling for help. He goes to check on the little boy only to find him dead. Now SVU has to figure out what led to the tragedy.

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Plot Keywords:

butt slap | See All (1) »


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 February 2004 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


At the shopping mall, the camera crew is reflected in the car door when Olivia opens it. See more »


Elise: I'm taking Rachel to a dance audition, so you'll have to pick Eli up from soccer.
Sam: Mmmm hmmm.
Elise: The Westers asked if we could come to dinner Friday night.
Sam: Sounds great, hun.
Elise: And I'm gonna run off to Belize with the paper boy.
Sam: Mmmm hmmm. The hell was that?
Elise: It's a miracle. He can hear.
See more »

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User Reviews

Absolutely heartbreaking
17 February 2019 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

This is one of the most heartbreaking episodes ever done in the history of SVU. Young Jerome Schwartz is found eating out of garbage cans and the SVU squad gets the case. With no obvious signs of physical abuse he's returned to his mom Diana Venora who it is obvious has some issues.

That turns out to be a bad move when the kid is found shot to death and his older brother Joseph Cross who's a teen is taken in. How this all plays out is for you to watch the episode for.

Diana Venora as the story progresses becomes more and more unwound.. Even her attorney Dixie Carter isn't quite sure what to make of her. Carter is involved because Venora home schools her kids and she's an attorney on retainer for the home school association.

It turns out a lot of secrets are being kept by Venora including one real big one from her surviving kid.

I dare you to have a dry eye after seeing this story.

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