Henry mesner
I wasn't mad. It was an experiment. I wanted to see if she'd roll all the way down, or just stop.
~ Henry about trying to kill his sister.

Henry Mesner is the main antagonist of the Law & Order: SVU episode "Born Psychopath". He is a boy with antisocial personality disorder who abuses, and eventually tries to kill, his own sister.

He was portrayed by Ethan Cutkosky.


The Manhattan SVU squad gets involved with the Mesner family after their 5-year-old daughter Ruby ends up in the emergency room after her school nurse reported bruises on her stomach & a bump on her head. When Ruby is asked who hurt her, she said that "a monster" did it.

When Henry is questioned by the detectives about what happened to Ruby, he says that he saw the family nanny, Irina push Ruby down the stairs. When Irina is interrogated, she tells the detectives that it was Henry who pushed Ruby and that he is "the monster".

When Henry is questioned again, he says that he pushed Ruby down the stairs as an "experiment" and thinks that Ruby wasn't hurt that badly because she didn't cry as much. Henry's mother, Viola admits that Henry has some resentment towards Ruby while his father, Tom thinks that his behavior is normal & he'll outgrow it.

ADA Pippa Cox tells the SVU squad that Henry won't be charged with hurting Ruby if the Mesners agree to get Henry psychiatric help, but they refuse because they're afraid of their son getting labeled. When Viola tries to get Henry to go to bed, Henry refuses to do so and ends up slashing her hand with a knife.

When psychiatrist Dr. George Huang evaluates Henry, he diagnoses him as a psychopath because he has no emotions and lacks any sympathy or empathy for others. He recommends that Henry should be sent to a facility in Vermont for treatment. At first, Viola and Tom refuse to institutionalize their son, but eventually agree to do so.

When Viola tells Henry about the facility, Henry throws a tantrum and after Tom leaves for work, he traps Viola in the laundry room, ties Ruby to her bed and sets their apartment on fire. After that, he goes over to his friend Toby's apartment where he steals a gun owned by Toby's father, locks Toby in a closet and drowns his family's dog in a bathtub.

When Detective Amaro finds Henry in the play area of the apartment building, Henry is shown holding a 5-year-old boy named Sam hostage at gunpoint. Amaro is able to convince Henry to let the boy go, but Henry points the gun at Amaro. He ends up shooting Amaro in the stomach, but because Amaro was wearing a protective vest, he only sustains minor injuries.

In the end, ADA Cox tells the Mesners that Henry will be charged with juvenile delinquency and incarcerated until the age of 18. When his parents tell Henry the news, Henry cries to his parents & hugs his dad, but as the episode ends, his face goes blank, showing that he is not scared at all.

List of Victims

Unknown dates:

  • Several unnamed classmates (all assaulted)

2012-March of 2013

  • Ruby Mesner (his sister; abused repeatedly; later attempted to suffocate)

March 15–16, 2013

  • Viola Mesner (his mother; cut her hand with a knife)

March 16, 2013

  • Toby Burke (threatened to shoot him & then tied up and left alive in a closet)
  • Snowball (drowned her in a tub)
  • Sam (held at gunpoint)
  • Detective Olivia Benson (held at gunpoint)
  • Detective Nick Amaro (shot in the abdomen with Adam Burke's antique handgun, but was protected by a bulletproof vest and survived)
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