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I sheltered them. I protect them. It is a hard world, Mr. Stone, and I didn't want to watch my babies be swallowed up by it!
~ Anna Mill justifying murdering her family.

Anna Mill is the main antagonist of the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Caretaker". She is a narcissist who is caught embezzling from her company, and then murders her husband and children because she believes they cannot survive without her.

She was portrayed by Sasha Alexander.

Biography

Early life

Anna grew up poor in New York City, and as an adult, got a job as an executive at a law firm, working her way up the corporate ladder to afford the high-class lifestyle she wanted. She married a poet named Julian, with whom she had two children, Charlie and Rachel.

Anna was the family breadwinner, and eventually began embezzling from her company to pay for her family's upper-class lifestyle. She stole millions before she was caught, and knew she would be facing prison and crippling financial sanctions that would leave her penniless. Convinced that her family could not survive without her, she stabbed her husband and children to death, and then went to work as though nothing had happened.

"Caretaker"

After the Special Victims Unit is called to the murder scene, detectives Amanda Rollins and Dominic Carisi Jr. go to Anna's work to give her the bad news. Anna's grief-stricken reaction seems genuine, so at first they do not suspect her. After they discover that Anna had been embezzling from her company, however, they investigate her more thoroughly, and find that her running shoes are stained with her children's blood. Captain Olivia Benson asks Anna point-blank if she murdered her family; Anna tearfully replies that she had to kill them, and that they are "better off".

Anna is charged with the murders of her husband and children, and her lawyer, Billy Boyle, enters an insanity plea on her behalf, claiming that Anna had snapped under the pressure of having to be the perfect wife, mother, and provider. Clinical psychiatrist Dr. Lisa Abernathy examines Anna and reports that she fits the profile of a "family annihilator", a narcissist who kills their spouse and children, usually following a financial setback, because they cannot conceive of their family members surviving, or even existing, without them.

During the ensuing trial, Boyle asks Anna what had been going through her mind when she killed her family. She replies that it seemed to her as if someone else was committing the crime while she watched. When Assistant District Attorney Peter Stone cross-examines her and asks why she felt her family had to die, she replies that she could not stand to let her family go on without her; disgusted, Stone asks why she did not just kill herself. During his closing argument to the jury, Boyle says that society's expectations of women, to "have it all" and be perfect at all times, put so much pressure on Anna that it was only a matter of time before she lost her mind.

The argument works, in part: the jury finds Anna guilty of murdering Julian, but not guilty of murdering Charlie and Rachel, apparently unable to accept that a sane woman would murder her children. That night, Anna commits suicide in her cell by hanging herself with a bedsheet.

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