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One thing was young, ripe, begging for it. It had the most beautiful brown eyes, almost sleepy... until I went to work. Then they went big and round. First it pleaded. Then it bargained... The thing screamed in pain, yelled in fear. It was alive through every moment of it, even when I gutted it and blood sprayed over me like a warm shower. I can almost taste it!
~ Brodus describing one of his murders

Matthew Brodus is the main antagonist of the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Execution". He is a serial killer on death row whom Detective Elliot Stabler and FBI profiler George Huang interview in hopes of getting him to confess to the murder of a young girl.

He is portrayed by Nick Chinlund, who also portrayed Vice-Cardinal Ferdinand Daxus in Ultraviolet and McNeely in Walker: Texas Ranger.


Brodus' mother abandoned him when he was a child, leaving him in the care of his grandparents. When they died, she sent him to foster care, and years later left him behind when she moved away with his half-sister. When they did interact, she treated him with cruelty, even telling him that she wished she had aborted him. Brodus convinced himself that she loved him, but grew up to hate all other women.

He has violent sexual fantasies of rape, torture, disembowelment, and murder, to the point that he cannot perform sexually unless he is inflicting pain. He sees women as objects rather than people, and refers to his victims as "it" and "the thing".

He stalked, raped, tortured, and murdered 13 teenage girls - keeping them alive for as long as possible so they would feel the torture he inflicted on them - before he was caught and sentenced to death. However, he was never convicted of killing his 13th victim, Debbie Cooper.

He spends 12 years on death row before his appeals run out. After his execution date is set, he holds a press conference offering to sell tickets to his execution to fund his daughter's education at Our Lady of Light, the school Debbie attended. Since Brodus has no children, Debbie's parents suspect that he is toying with them by hinting at his guilt in a plausibly deniable way.

In "Execution"

The Coopers, who always suspected but could never prove that Brodus killed their daughter, contact SVU detective Elliot Stabler, who had worked on the case, and ask him to get Brodus to confess.

Stabler and FBI profiler George Huang interview Brodus hours before his execution in the guise of wanting him to help them profile another serial killer. He speaks in the abstract about a serial killer's need to degrade and dominate his victims before killing them, but balks when Huang mentions the possibility that the "suspect" had sexually violated his victims' corpses - which Debbie's killer had done to her. Brodus feigns disgust, and begins to suspect their real purpose in talking to him.

With time running out, Stabler tries another tactic: Confronting Brodus about his mother abandoning him in hopes that he would get angry enough to let something slip. Instead, Brodus waits for his guards to switch shifts, and attacks Stabler and Huang, slamming the latter into the wall. As he tries to strangle Stabler, Brodus says, "Debbie didn't fight back."

Guards rush in and beat him into a coma, and suddenly Stabler realizes that Brodus has been manipulating them all along: he started the fight so the guards would beat him, thus delaying the execution, as it is illegal to put a sick person to death. Brodus is then put on a ventilator, his execution delayed indefinitely.