I saw the little student, and she looked so sweet and cute, and I don't know why, but I asked if I could take her clothes off. She said no. That's when I got real mad.
~ Katie confessing her crime to Elliot Stabler

Katie Cavanaugh

Katie Cavanaugh is the secondary villainess from "Totem," episode 12.20 of Law & Order: SVU.

She was played by Agatha Nowicki.


Katie Cavanaugh is the younger daughter of Elaine Frye Cavanaugh and the half-sister of piano teacher June Frye (Elaine's daughter from her first marriage). Both half-siblings were victims of Elaine's sexual abuse; though in the case of Katie, it was ongoing into adulthood, as she and Elaine not only lived together, they shared a bedroom. The abuse affected both women; Katie more so than June, as Katie became traumatized throughout her childhood and into adulthood.


As a result of the abuse, Katie followed in her mother's footsteps and became a molester herself, and in the episode, she approached Marnie (one of June's students) and attempted to undress her, only for Marnie to refuse. In a rage, Katie took June's sleeping pills and drugged Marnie, and later used a wooden spoon to sodomize her victim--after which, Katie suffocated Marnie to death with a pillow. After seeing what her sister had done, June took Marnie's body and placed it in a duffel bag, with a doll inside; while also taking the rap to protect Katie.

SVU detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler interviewed Elaine at her home, where they first saw Katie. Katie became nervous while devising an alibi for Elaine, and ran into the bedroom and hid in the closet. After learning of the abuse she suffered at Elaine's hands, they take her in for questioning. Later on, Katie confessed everything to Stabler, while June watched. Benson informed June that Katie would be sent to a psychiatric facility and Elaine would be sent to prison. At the end of the episode, Katie told June that she loved her and would always be her little sister.


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