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"Law & Order" Startles Friends of Harveys


In the episode, "To the Bone," a rampage of brutal machete murders targeting hip art owners begins with a scenario that strikes close to home.

The show opens with children at a pajama party. The morning after, the parents who hosted the party take a child home. When they arrive, the father asks if he can use the bathroom. Oddly, he's turned away. A haggard-looking mom stands in the door and explains that the pipes in the house are backed up. She then makes a gesture as if to say how crazy things are around the house. Her child runs past her inside and disappears.

Later, the entire family is found dead inside the house, and the home has apparently been robbed. When cops interview the couple who took the child home, the wife tells officers that the now-murdered woman saved their lives by not letting them come inside. Kathryn Harvey is reported to have acted and gestured similarly to a friend when her daughter, Stella, 9, was dropped off after a sleepover the morning of the massacre.

"Law & Order" and its many offshoots — "Criminal Intent," "Special Victims Unit," etc. — routinely offer a disclaimer at the outset of the shows stating that the people and events depicted are fictional. The programs are known for gripping crimes that set the stage for how investigations and prosecutions proceed.

But for some Richmonders still grieving for the Harveys, the show's premise seemed tasteless and insensitive. "It was unexpected, awful and sad — like a scab being ripped off," says one acquaintance of the Harveys who saw the show.

At present, two suspects are awaiting trial in connection with the case. Ray Joseph Dandridge is set for trial Sept. 18 in Chesterfield on three capital-murder charges in the slayings of the Tucker-Baskerville family, killed Jan. 6. Ricky Javon Gray will face trial Aug. 14 in Richmond on five capital-murder charges stemming from the Harvey slayings.


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