‘Law & Order: SVU’: A Journalist Once Went To Prison To Protect Olivia Benson

In the history of Law & Order: SVU, there have been a number of cases that have kept fans thinking about the outcomes long after the credits rolled. In one of those cases, a journalist actually goes to prison for protecting Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). Don’t recall the episode? We have all the details as well as what fans have recently been saying about it.

Season 7, Episode 10 ‘Storm’

Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay | Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

The 2005 episode is a highly detailed one full of twists and turns. It starts with three young girls trying to run away from a man after riding on a carousel in a park. One of them, Tasha Wright (Keke Palmer), the oldest, runs out in the street and gets hit by a car while holding her sister girl, Lola. The man runs away with the other sister, Nicki Wright (Nickayla Tucker), once he sees Sasha and Lola laying in the street.

Benson and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) learn the man kidnapped Tasha and her sisters after Hurricane Katrina hit and they were holding onto the roof of their house after their mother and grandmother drowned.

The man brought the girls to New York City, and he’s a pedophile. The detectives release a fake story to the media to try and locate Lola, saying a girl who couldn’t be identified was hit by a car and is in a coma and they’re trying to locate her family. The cops hope they can get pictures from witnesses at the park to identify the man and find Lola.

Jackson Zane (Matthew Settle) a reporter for The New York Ledger, gets involved, and Benson meets him early on. He’s suspicious of the situation, and he learns that Tasha isn’t really in a coma and she left with a detective. So Stabler tempts him with an exclusive if he doesn’t run the story.

Tasha identifies the man in a video sent in from that day at the park, and they track down the man by the name of Clark Corman through the Hurricane Help Center. But Jackson, the reporter, accosts them on the street in front of the suspect, and he runs, still without answers as to where Nicki is. They catch him though, and determine his real name is Alvin Dutch (Russell Hornsby), a sex offender who has served time in prison. He dies from Anthrax poisoning while in custody, making things even more complicated.

With the journalist’s help, Benson talks to Alvin’s old cellmate, and they eventually locate Nicki after finding out about Alvin’s aunt. The detectives learn that Nicki’s been infected with Anthrax as well, but they get to her in time, and she survives. They find the anthrax, which was military grade, in Alvin’s home in his aunt’s house.

Olivia Benson leaks information

Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay | Heidi Gutman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

RELATED: ‘Law & Order: SVU’: Olivia Benson Once Slapped a Suspect in the Face

The FBI takes all the information from the case involving the anthrax, brushing the whole thing under the rug. They even take the Wright girls. The feds warn them that any leaks will be prosecuted as a federal offense. Dr. Melina Warner (Tamara Tunie) reveals that she learned that the anthrax came from a research facility lab in Louisiana that was using it in bioweapons engineering and “developing vaccines against bioterror weapons.”

It’s unclear where Alvin got the anthrax from. But Benson decides to divulge the information to Jackson, including a photo of the girls, and he publishes it. 

The girls are released by the FBI after the story runs, and they learn from Nicki the anthrax came from a van that drove them all to New York and that she took one vial. There were multiple vials of it in the van, and Benson learns someone name Michael Delpit (Leo Marks) drove them. Warner uses her connections and helps the detectives find him. Everything they learn from Michael they allow Jackson to hear too in a recording, and he publishes the story about how Michael smuggled the anthrax out for cash.

Benson wants the truth to come out, and Jackson promises not to reveal Benson as his source. So when the FBI comes calling, he’s true to his word. Consequently, he must serve time in prison for “obstruction of justice” according to the character’s Fandom page, for not revealing his source. Although Benson wants him to come clean, he refuses to do it, and he does five years.

“I give them your name, they win,” he tells her. “There’s no freedom without free press. Now I chose to write this story. And I’ll take the consequences.”

Fans discuss the situation

On Reddit, fans recently talked about the episode and the whole situation. A fan posted screenshots from Benson and Jackson’s last conversation. “This guy is probably still in jail 15 years later for not naming Olivia as his source,” the post is titled.

One fan doesn’t think Benson would have made it through the ranks so far if the truth came out. “I’m guessing she wouldn’t have made captain and lieutenant if it were known she leaked this info. Or still be on the force,” they said.

“I’ve thought about this exactly so many times lol,” a fan said about Jackson.

A fan would like to see him return. “I feel like they should make him come back somehow,” they said.

“I’ve thought often about this poor b******. I’d love to have an update on his situation,” another fan weighed in.

One fan found the ending “sad,” and we’d have to agree. “Ugh, the ending of this episode was so sad,” they said.

The journalist went to prison for not revealing Olivia Benson as a source in the early days of Law & Order: SVU. It’s an episode fans still remember and discuss.