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Mostly girls. Runaways. A couple, I snatched. None of them put up much of a fight, though. So, you want me to go in order? List them from front to last?
~ Grafton talking about his victims

Adam Grafton is the main antagonist of the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Pursuit". He is a serial killer of young girls who begins stalking Alicia Harding, the sister of one of his first victims.

He was portrayed by Christian Hoff.

Biography

Grafton is a violent sociopath who takes sadistic pleasure in raping, torturing, and murdering adolescent girls. He first stabs them in the spine so they are paralyzed and helpless as he rapes and tortures them, and then finally stabs them to death. It is implied that he revisits their burial sites to sexually abuse their corpses. He kills in "clumps" of several victims during a short time period, followed by years-long "cooling off" periods. By the time of the episode, he had murdered 43 girls.

In 1986, Grafton murdered 13-year-old Vanessa Harding. Vanessa's murder, which goes unsolved for 25 years, inspired Vanessa's sister Alicia to become a television journalist specializing in exposing sexual predators. Harding became obsessed with finding Vanessa's murderer, and was aided by Assistant District Attorney Sonya Paxton, who eventually became the ADA for the NYPD's Special Victims Unit. Grafton, meanwhile, was just as obsessed with Harding, and in 2011 began stalking her.

Posing as physician's assistant David Adams, Grafton began dating Harding's personal assistant, Rachel Gray, using her to access Harding's personal information.

"Pursuit"

After Harding hosts a TV special about the 25th anniversary of her sister's disappearance, Grafton mails her one of her own scarves, taken from Gray, which is covered in blood. Harding is convinced that her stalker killed Vanessa, and enlists Paxton and SVU detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler in helping her track him down.

Grafton grows increasingly aggressive and depraved, at one point breaking into Harding's apartment while she is away and masturbating in her underwear. When she does not give him the attention he wants, Grafton sends her an anonymous email with an image file of one of the sites where he has buried five victims. Harding takes the bait, and films a live special report at the site, at one point addressing the killer, calling him pathetic, and insinuating that he is impotent.

Enraged, Grafton retaliates by attacking Paxton at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and slitting her throat. Grafton escapes, but before Paxton dies she manages to bite him, getting his DNA. While Benson and Stabler wait for the DNA analysis, they check the sign-in logs at Harding's office and find that Gray's boyfriend "David Adams", one of the most frequent visitors, has no records of his existence anywhere; they realize that "Adams" is in fact the killer using an alias. Finally, the DNA on Paxton's body identifies Grafton as the killer, so Benson and Stabler devise a plan to use Harding as bait to draw him out.

The detectives stake out Harding's apartment for anyone following her, and see a man, none other than Grafton, coming toward her with a knife. When they emerge with weapons drawn, Grafton takes Harding hostage by holding a knife to her throat. Ultimately, however, Benson manages to incapacitate him by shooting him with a taser.

While Grafton awaits trial, Benson arranges a meeting between him and Harding in the hopes that he will reveal where he buried his other victims. Grafton refuses to admit to killing Vanessa, but brags about killing Paxton, deriding her as a "meat sack" and blaming Harding for her death. He also laughs aside Benson's assertion that he will be executed, saying that he will die in prison of old age before the state has a chance to kill him. When Harding offers to interview him on TV, however, Grafton jumps at the chance, and begins describing his murders in lurid detail.

Trivia

  • Grafton is loosely based upon real-life serial killer Gary Ridgway, also known as the "Green River Killer", who also raped and murdered women in "clumps" and revisited the bodies for purposes of necrophilia.

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