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Kaycee On Law & Order?
April 28, 2002 8:51 PM   Subscribe

Kaycee On Law & Order? I just finished watching the new episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and there were some striking similarities between it and the whole Kaycee shebang last year. Little sick girl, nobody has met her, corresponds only through email and telephone. And then, *stunner* she's a fake. I mean, sure, there was a big nasty murder in this version, but I think the Law & Order writing crew has been reading Metafilter. Did you see the episode? Am I wrong? And does this mean that *gasp* web logs are having an effect on pop culture?
posted by benbrown (23 comments total)

 
Personally, I think its much more likely that the script writers read the News Of The Weird type columns and picked up the story from there...
posted by benbrown at 8:52 PM on April 28, 2002


For what it's worth, I immediately thought of the whole Kaycee thing too as I watched. A lot of the details (though obviously not the bigger plot) reminded me of all that I had read here.

But Law & Order (at least the "original" version, seems to pride itself on episodes "ripped from the headlines."). What I can't remember is to what extent there were print headlines about the story...
posted by sueinnyc at 9:00 PM on April 28, 2002


Or maybe Styn & BWG are writing for NBC.
posted by animoller at 9:00 PM on April 28, 2002


I just watched it too, and I thought of Kaycee. L&O does this all the time, and I'm pretty sure they used the Kaycee story for source material.
posted by owillis at 9:04 PM on April 28, 2002


another kaycee story (found via cruel.)
posted by moz at 9:31 PM on April 28, 2002


actually, i write for MAD TV. i think Styn writes for Leno.
posted by bwg at 9:44 PM on April 28, 2002


the show description does sound familiar:

DOES PHANTOM TEEN AUTHOR REALLY EXIST? ONLY THE DEAD MIGHT KNOW FOR SURE -- The mysterious murder of a wealthy publisher perplexes Detectives Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio) and Eames (Kathryn Erbe) but their key link is Erica, an orphaned and elusive teenaged author whose Dickensian tragedies have spawned best-selling books and profitable charities -- but no one except for a few shady characters can say they've ever met "Erica." Jamey Sheridan and Courtney B. Vance star. TV-14
posted by mathowie at 9:53 PM on April 28, 2002


And does this mean that *gasp* web logs are having an effect on pop culture?

I can see it now...

....Rachel starts a blog and has a torrid affair with Kottke, next week on a very special Freinds
posted by jonmc at 9:54 PM on April 28, 2002


I dunno. I didnt see the Law & Order. But, could it be that they had picked up the "Tony" story that was published in the New Yorker?
posted by vacapinta at 10:04 PM on April 28, 2002


i think Styn writes for Leno.

No, John's funny.
posted by anildash at 10:29 PM on April 28, 2002


I don't remember where, but it was published months ago that L&O had discovered the Kaycee story and was planning on doing an episode about it. This was absolutely Kaycee-inspired.
posted by aaron at 11:13 PM on April 28, 2002


I was hoping at the end there'd be a dedication: "For KC" or something. It would have been a funny spin on the unusually apropos disclaimer that "Although inspired in part by a true incident, the following story does not depict any actual person or event." Alas, no.
posted by bumppo at 1:02 AM on April 29, 2002


Maybe the writers were inspired by Baron Munchausen, possibly the most imaginative prevaricator the world has ever known, or Jerzy Koszinsi, the hotshot author who was discovered to be a fraud. Or perhaps they were merely considering Jerry Falwell.

Personally, I can't buy the comparison. If the show had invovlved a girl who had kept up some kind of online presence, then I could see a potential case for influence. But liars and faux identities are nothing new.

Or are we to believe that any plotline that involves a man who wakes up and discovers that his world has transformed into a mammoth utopian community (Edward Bellamy predicting Matt Haughey's relationship to Metafilter more than a century earlier?), a white guy spending lots of time in the Far East (Neal Stephenson clearly ripping off BWG's life in Cryptonomicon for the present-day parts) or a friendly Canadian maintaining an admirable social network (Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables novels unequivocally anticipated Jish) is influenced by a weblog?
posted by ed at 1:12 AM on April 29, 2002


I think vacapinta's on target -- I saw the part of the episode and it resembled the whole Tony thing quite closely. That piece got more major media attention than Kaycee, because "Tony" was the Kaycee of television producers, in a way. In both that story and this story, the major figure was (a) in hiding and (b) a published writer.

As far as I saw, the Internet angle was strictly about the use of email to maintain the deception. Was there any mention of a weblog in the L & O episode? If so, then I'd presume they were maybe also thinking of Kaycee -- if not, then not.
posted by BT at 4:51 AM on April 29, 2002


Yeah, actually, they talked a lot about how she had a web site and how she brought people into the deception through the web site and associated chat room.

It's probably -- as most of these shows are -- a combination of a few different news stories.
posted by benbrown at 5:25 AM on April 29, 2002


Armistead Maupin wrote a book called The Night Listener and it was released about a year ago. If Law & Order ripped of anything, it was a combination of Maupin's book and Kaycee.
posted by pjdoland at 6:14 AM on April 29, 2002


And in turn, The Night Listener had to do with the true events surrounding the relationship between Maupin and Tony Johnson, author of the book A Rock and a Hard Place, a book supposedly written by a 15 year old "victim" of child abuse, AIDS, and all kinds of god-awful stuff that now seem to have never taken place. It's quite a story, and goes back a long time...... here's the story.
posted by bradth27 at 6:34 AM on April 29, 2002


jonmc: "....Rachel starts a blog and has a torrid affair with Kottke, next week on a very special Freinds.."

Actually it'd be more like this: Phoebe finds out by accident that the ugly fat guy they sometimes catch in front of his window across the street has an online presence, and she becomes curiously obsessed with reading his site. The other five notice this because Phoebe starts referring to things in his blog as if she expects all the rest of them to know. THEN she finds out that he wrote an entry where he referred to the cute one among the people that he catches staring at him from across the street, and naturally assumes she's the one he's talking about. She finds herself torn because it caters to her ego, but, well, it's the ugly fat guy!.

Wait... Didn't they DO this episode?
posted by ZachsMind at 9:41 AM on April 29, 2002


Hadn't caught the bit about the website/chat room -- that does seem like a Kaycee reference.

The whole Tony story is pretty fascinating; the levels of deception/self-deception for all the parties involved seem like KayceeX10.
posted by BT at 10:09 AM on April 29, 2002


anildash: what are you talking about? Leno is the most unfunny drivil on TV.
posted by delmoi at 3:38 PM on April 29, 2002


anildash: what are you talking about? Leno is the most unfunny drivil on TV.

Let's see:

i think Styn writes for Leno.

No, John's funny.


Exactly. BWG asserted that Styn writes for Leno. I disproved this theory by saying that couldn't be, as Halcyon is quite humorous. This meshes with your assertion that Leno is the most unfunny drivel on television.

We are as one.
posted by anildash at 4:27 PM on April 29, 2002


yes, i only mentioned leno because at one time john thought his globalgasm site had been mentioned on the tonight show.

an obscure reference, to be sure, so i'm not surprised that no one caught it.
posted by bwg at 11:29 PM on April 29, 2002


I have posted new info our our site about the Tony Johnson hoax after I read about the Law and Order episode. Thier is new evidence that it a total fraud.
posted by TeejNSF at 12:27 PM on May 1, 2002


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