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'Law & Order: SVU' takes on the Elliot Rodger case



"Law & Order: SVU" has been on a ripped-from-the-headlines run in the early part of the season, and Wednesday's (Oct. 15) episode is maybe the most eerily true-to-life of the bunch.

The episode is called "Holden's Manifesto," and it's clearly taking cues from the Elliot Rodger shootings in Santa Barbara, Calif., in May in telling the story of a young man, Holden March (guest star John Karna), taking out his rage on the women he believes have ignored him. Rodger, however, is not the only model for Karna's character, executive producer Warren Leight says.

"There were elements of that guy -- and weirdly, and this is the disturbing thing, there were about seven or eight of these in the last year, where people left manifestos or videos," Leight tells Zap2it.

In researching real-life cases for possible stories, it's not uncommon for the "SVU" writers to come across multiple similar, but less publicized, crimes, Leight notes. "Very often the pathology is extremely similar," he says. "We'll talk to our psychiatric adviser, and he'll say, Yeah, this kid is this. ... What's sad is it happens often and it does follow certain distinct patterns."

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Tags: law and order (nbc), mariska hargitay
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