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Dana Lewis

Dana Lewis

I mean, I came to, I looked down, there was a body lying right in front of me, and she looked so pretty. And I remember thinking, God, until that one moment, I bet that little girl never had anything go wrong in her whole life.
~ Dana Lewis confessing to murdering Kira.

Dana Lewis is a recurring character from Law & Order: SVU, appearing in three episodes of the series before serving as the main antagonist in episode 14.14 "Secrets Exhumed".

She was portrayed by Marcia Gay Harden.

Early Appearances

Dana Lewis was originally introduced in episode 7.06 "Raw", as Star Morrison, a member of the Revolutionary Aryan Warriors, a white supremacist group. In actuality, Dana infiltrated the group as part of her undercover sting and investigation of the murder of African-American child Jeffrey Whitlock, which was committed by RAW member Brandon Lee Redding under the order of Jeffrey's adoptive parents, Mark and Janice. She revealed herself as an FBI Agent when she shot and killed Kyle Ackerman, the son of the group's leader Brian Ackerman, to save SVU detective Elliot Stabler during a shooting rampage in a courtroom.

Dana returned in the eighth season opener "Informed" during detective Olivia Benson's investigation into a woman named Haley Kerns, who was revealed as an informant for Dana. The episode had Haley informing Dana and Benson that there was a planned attack against Gen-Eng foods, but following Haley's reveal as the villainous mastermind behind the terrorist plot, Dana ended up shooting and killing Haley just as she was about to detonate a bomb inside a Gen-Eng office. Dana's undercover work in "Raw" served as a key role in her third appearance in episode 12.08 "Penetration", as she was raped by a member of the RAW faction, on orders from Ackerman, who was seeking revenge for Kyle's death.

Heel Turn & Arrest

Heel Dana
Dana's return in "Secrets Exhumed" had her being encountered by Benson and her partner Nick Amaro regarding the cold case of Kira Stanger, a kindergarten teacher who was murdered in 1987. The official suspect was imprisoned serial killer Brian Taymor, but he denied killing Kira. The denial was followed by Kira's parents also stating that Taymor did not kill their daughter, and after this, Dana later interrogated him herself and managed get a confession. However, after Kira's fiancée, Noah Bunning, appeared and revealed that he had dated Dana shortly before Kira's death, Amaro began to suspect that Dana was Kira's killer - suspicions that would be proven true in the episode's progression.

Dana had dated Noah for about 6 or 7 years and became pregnant by him by 1987, only for Noah to tell Dana to get an abortion, stating that he was not ready to be a father. However, just months later, Noah began a relationship with Kira, who also became pregnant by him, but this time, Noah proposed to her. He informed Dana of the news regarding him and Kira, and it sent Dana into a rage, leading to a confrontation with Kira at her home a week later. Dana attempted to convince Kira to end things with Noah, but Kira stated that she and Noah were deeply in love. In response, Dana strangled Kira to death. She used the same MO as Brian Traymor in an attempt to frame him (using athletic tape to commit the murder and stuffing latex gloves in Kira's mouth), and she worked the case and portrayed her actions as a break-in and fingering Brian as Kira's rapist and murderer. Dana became an FBI Agent in the years that passed, feeling that her position could make up for her murderous past. Despite this, however, Dana stole evidence that would connect her to the murder, committing the theft a decade before the episode's events.

In the episode, Dana told Benson that she had to recuse herself from the case, but after Amaro voiced his suspicions to Benson, Dana ended up in a conversation with Benson that turned into an interrogation. Benson and Amaro's superior Captain Don Cragen appeared and revealed Dana's deception regarding her role in the case by telling her that the original detective sends his best to her, and that led to Benson further grilling Dana. By this point, Dana's true demeanor is revealed, as she displayed arrogance towards Benson as well as Amanda Rollins, while continuing to deny killing Kira. Rollins would later reveal Dana's role in stealing the evidence, and also revealed that there was blood on Kira's fingernail clippings, but even then, Dana remained defiant. Meanwhile, Amaro was speaking with Noah, who revealed everything that happened in his relationship with Dana, including the fact that Dana was angry when he told her about him and Kira. After this, Amaro joined Benson and Dana in the interrogation room, where Dana's pregnancy and abortion was revealed. The villainess claimed that she had no intentions on starting a family, and even denigrated Kira by referring to her as a woman who was trying to "trap" Noah. Benson finally got to Dana when she revealed her true reason for her career: to make up for what she had done, feeling that she could atone for her crime by helping people through her work with the FBI. After breaking down, Dana finally confessed. Following her confession, Dana was then handcuffed and arrested by Amaro.

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