These 16 Law & Order Episodes Were Shockingly Based On True Stories

Photo: Chris Haston/ NBC/ Getty.
Note: This story was originally published on Feb. 2, 2016.
If you're not a big fan of classic Law & Order: Special Victims Unit or Law & Order , then you probably know someone who is. No lazy day off is complete without a mini-marathon. Thanks USA, Hulu, and Netflix for the never-ending reruns!

But how much do they, or you, really know about the show, other than the obvious relationship goals that are Detective Olivia Benson and Detective Elliott Stabler?

For instance, did you know that a good chunk of the primetime crime show is based on real-life crimes?

We're walking you through 16 of the craziest episodes ripped straight from the headlines, starting with Season 1. There are a few spoilers, but we tried not to reveal any of the best plot twists. Consider this your “Fact or Fiction” guide for your next binge-watching spree.

And to that whole beginning spiel, “The following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event,” we say LOL. We all know that truth is stranger than fiction, so why shouldn’t the writers use some true crime reports to inspire the fictionalized crimes, and the offenders who perform them?

Warning: Some of these real-life crimes are not for the faint of heart.

These are their stories. Dun-dun.