Steel-Eyed Death

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"Steel-Eyed Death"
Law & Order episode
Episode no. Season 20
Episode 13 (#446 overall)
Directed by Michael Pressman
Written by Christopher Ambrose
Julie Martin
Richard Sweren
Production code
  1. 20013
Original air date March 1, 2010
Guest appearance(s)

Emily Meade as Bonnie/Amanda Evans
Michael Oberholtzer as Justin Sachs
Kevin O'Rourke as Amanda's Attorney
Finnerty Steeves as Darlene Evans
Karen Young as Mrs. Sachs
Rebecca Creskoff as Veronica Masters
Fred Melamed as Judge Bertram Hill

Special Guest Star:
J. K. Simmons as Dr. Emil Skoda

Episode chronology
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"Boy on Fire"
List of Law & Order episodes

"Steel-Eyed Death" is the thirteenth episode of the twentieth season of NBC's long-running legal drama Law & Order.


A family of four is found murdered in their home by a boy experiencing symptoms of a type of post-traumatic stress disorder.

In this episode, Detective Lupo admits he had PTSD and a drinking problem after seeing a horrible crime scene on a past Christmas.


"Steel-Eyed Death" was directed by Michael Pressman and written by Christopher Ambrose, Julie Martin and Richard Sweren.

Cultural references[edit]

Music by the Australian horrorcore rap artist KidCrusher is featured in the episode, including the songs "Killin' Shit" and "A Dirty Fuckin' Murder". The artist said he was told the episode was based on a horrorcore festival when he allowed his music to be featured in "Steel-Eyed Death". Upon learning it was about Juggalos, he later claimed to be angry that his music was used. He said, "I am pretty pissed off to hear they based the episode on Juggalos and try to make us all look like criminals and real serial killers, and that we would kill kids."[1]

This episode is partially inspired by the Richard Alden Samuel McCroskey III case. McCroskey, an amateur horrorcore rapper who was heavily inspired by horrorcore rap artist Mars and went by the name "Syko Sam", is accused of murdering four people in Farmville, Virginia. The victims were a Presbyterian pastor, his estranged wife, their teenage daughter (who had been dating McCroskey), and one of their daughter's friends.


"Steel-Eyed Death" drew criticism from Juggalos and fans of horrorcore hip hop music, who felt the episode unfairly equated the music genre and its fans with violent crime and murder.[1]

In its original American broadcast on March 1, 2010, "Steel-Eyed Death" was watched by 7.58 million average households over the hour, and received 1.9/5 aged between 18 and 49, according to Nielsen ratings. The episode had outperformed Life Unexpected on The CW, which drew only 1.88 million households. "Steel-Eyed Death" had 0.98 million viewers less than the episode of 24 that aired on Fox that night which drew 8.56 million viewers.[2]


  1. ^ a b Haruch, Steve (March 2, 2010). "Is a Local Juggalo Community Tied to MURDER?". Nashville Scene. Retrieved March 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ Seidman, Robert (March 2, 2010). "TV Ratings: Back to Fourth Place for NBC; Big Numbers for The Bachelor and The Big Bang Theory". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 

External links[edit]