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I think it's horrible that my baby brother killed a man.. but he did. And as much as you'd like to, you can't pin it on me.
~ Ray taunting Detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler.

Ray Gunther is the main antagonist of the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Bad Blood". He is a serial rapist who manipulates his younger brother into killing a man for his own amusement.

He was portrayed by Thomas Beach.


Early life

Ray and his younger brother Jesse were both raped as children by their father. Due to this, Ray took his rage out on his brother, telling Jesse that he liked what their father was doing to them.

Ray grew up to be a rapist himself, victimizing seven women, two of whom he beat so badly they needed reconstructive surgery. When he was finally caught and tried for the rapes, he tried to play on the jury's sympathy by telling them about the abuse he suffered from his father, who had died by then. When Jesse was called as a witness, however, he denied that their father had abused them, and said that Ray deserved to die for what he did.

Ray was imprisoned, and Jesse changed his last name and got married. Ray kept tabs on him, however, calling him from prison to harass him for lying at his trial, which Ray blamed for the length of his sentence. When Ray was released early because of prison overcrowding, he began terrorizing his brother and sister-in-law, showing up drunk at their apartment and telling Jesse that is only a matter of time before he gives in to the violence in their family's genes and hurts someone.

"Bad Blood"

Ray notices Jesse's neighbor Seth Langdon checking Jesse out at their gym, and decides to use him for a cruel practical joke on his brother. He gets himself invited to a party at Seth's apartment, and makes so much noise that Jesse knocks on the door and asks them to keep the noise down. Seth apologizes and invites him in, and Ray proceeds to get Jesse blind drunk. He then tells Seth that Jesse is interested in him, and to go meet him on the roof for sex. Seth begins giving Jesse oral sex while Ray watches, laughing. Enraged, Jesse attacks Seth, so inebriated that he believes he is fighting Ray. He bashes Seth's head into the concrete, killing him. When Jesse realizes what he has done, he starts crying, as Ray says, "Welcome to the family.".

Special Victims Unit detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler investigate Seth's murder, and question both Ray and Jesse. They believe that Ray is the killer at first, and arrest him as he is having sex with his girlfriend at a cheap motel. However, forensic examination of the DNA at the crime scene reveals that Jesse, not Ray, killed Seth. When Benson and Stabler question Ray at his construction job, he brags about setting up the "joke", but denies intending for Jesse to kill Seth.

The detectives arrest Jesse and question him, and he admits that their father did in fact rape them when they were children, and that he had not intended to kill Seth. SVU Captain Don Cragen thinks that Ray is truly responsible for the murder, and asks Assistant District Attorney Abbie Carmichael if she can charge him as well as Jesse. Carmichael replies that she will charge Ray with depraved indifference homicide and facilitating a murder, and that, with his prior offenses, he will be in prison longer than Jesse.

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