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I did it for you! She was going to destroy you, have you fired! My own daughter... I killed her for you! My savior!
~ Gillian Booth confessing her crime to Philip.

Gillian Booth is the main antagonist of the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Dramma Giocoso". She is a terminally ill opera singer who murders her own daughter to make sure that her boyfriend, the symphony's conductor, stays employed so he can care for her as she dies.

She was portrayed by Alice Krige, who also portrayed Christabella in Silent Hill, Mary Brady in Sleepwalkers, Morgana le Fay in The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Holda in Gretl & Hansel, and the Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Contact.

Biography

Early life

Gillian is a famous opera singer renowned throughout New York City for her beautiful soprano. Her clout in the opera world is such that she is able to get her daughter, Laura, a job as a violinist at the New York City Symphony. She is also in a relationship with the symphony's conductor, Philip Reinhardt, even though he is a narcissistic womanizer who ignores and cheats on her.

Gillian started experiencing episodes of confusion and memory loss, and went to a doctor, who diagnosed her with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a human variant of mad cow disease that also killed her father and uncle. Meanwhile, Reinhardt made an unwelcome pass at Laura, who threatened to go to the symphony's board of directors and have him fired. Gillian begged Laura not to go through with it, terrified of facing her last few agonizingly painful years alone, but Laura refused. Desperate, Gillian followed Laura to the roof during an intermission and hit her over the head with a bottle, killing her.

"Dramma Giocoso"

NYPD homicide detectives Mike Logan and Carolyn Barek investigate Laura's death, and find that her hands are covered with cocaine residue, a result of one of the costume designers smuggling the drug into the U.S. in the costumes. This leads them to question Gillian and Reinhardt, who deny knowing anything about the drugs, but admit to their relationship. When Logan and Barek learn that Reinhardt had sexually harassed Laura, they at first suspect him, but widen their suspect pool to include Gillian because of her unusually fierce loyalty to him, even marrying him while he is out on bail, despite strong circumstantial evidence linking him to the murder of her child.

Logan and Barek look into Gillian's personal life, and eventually find out about her diagnosis, which promises a grim, painful death in three years or less. The detectives put that in the context of the sexual harassment charges against Reinhardt, and realize what happened, Gillian, fearing dying alone in poverty without Reinhardt and his high salary, killed her own daughter to keep him from getting fired.

Determined to get a confession from Gillian, they allow her to listen in while they let Reinhardt see her medical records in order to show her the kind of man she killed her daughter for. Sure enough, when shown proof of Gillian's condition, Reinhardt is disgusted, and announces that he will have their marriage annulled. Gillian runs to him, begging him not to leave, and saying that she killed Laura to protect him. In response, Reinhardt contemptuously calls her a "mad cow" and leaves her. Gillian tries to run after him, but her already atrophying legs give out on her. As a sobbing Gillian is taken into custody, Logan remarks that she is crying for herself, not her daughter.

Gillian is imprisoned in the hospital ward of Bedford Hills Women's Prison, where she presumably dies of her illness.

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