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|“||She was my first. A perfect little princess... sweet as could be.||„|
|~ Clayton Mills reliving the memory of his first murder.|
Clayton Mills is the main antagonist of the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Countdown". He is a pedophile and serial killer who kidnaps, rapes, and murders pre-pubescent girls.
He was portrayed by Jonathan Fried.
Mill is a pedophile who preys on little girls, and began killing them as early as 1996.
He works as a school photographer, a job he uses to troll for potential victims. Once he has decided on a victim, he lures her by promising her she can see his puppy if she comes with him. Once she is in his power, he grabs her and throws her in his van, driving her to a preselected, secluded spot. He keeps her for three days, making her dress in different costumes (fairy princess, cowgirl, etc.) and feeding her cupcakes, fruit punch, and candy corn. On the third day of her captivity, her "special day", he forces her to take a bubble bath, and then rapes and murders her. By the time the episode takes place, he has raped and murdered six little girls.
After Mills' latest victim, ten-year-old Sophie Douglas, gets away on her "special day" after he rapes her, she is found and taken to a hospital, where Special Victims Unit detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler ask her about what Mills did to her. While they question Sophie as gently as they can, however, her mother stops the interview after the girl starts crying.
Mills soon kidnaps another girl, Kristen Guzek, and the SVU detectives theorize that they have seventy-two hours to find her before she is murdered. They go over the evidence and testimony from Sophie, and link the killer to five unsolved homicides in the area dating back to 1996. When a victim's mother gives Stabler a picture of her daughter taken against a familiar backdrop, he realizes that another such picture was found with an earlier victim. He and Benson go the photography studio where the photo originated, and the owner tells them that the picture was taken for a grade school's picture day by a freelance photographer named Clayton Mills.
The detectives trace Mills to a boarding house run by an elderly woman named Mrs. Rappoport. When they arrive there, they find that Mills has murdered her and fled. They question a pawn shop owner whom Mills frequently sells to and threaten him with criminal charges, and he reluctantly agrees to help them catch him. He arranges with Mills to buy Mrs. Rappoport's furniture at his store, where police and FBI agents swarm in and arrest him. Benson and Stabler find Kristen, traumatized but physically unharmed, in the back of Mills' truck.
Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cabot seeks the death penalty for Mills, who offers to reveal the location of his first victim's body in return for his life. Cabot reluctantly agrees after Sophie's mother tells her that the first victim's mother needs and deserves closure. Mills is last seen showing Benson and Stabler the burial site before being led away to begin serving his life sentence.