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You always think the worst of me. The only reason I married Lennie was so you wouldn't think I was a slut for sleeping with him. You never cared what I wanted. Well, now I've got what I want, Ma, and I'm not gonna let you spoil it for me!
~ Trudy Pomeranski attacking her mother.

Getrude Pomeranski is the main antagonist of the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Poison". She is a serial killer who poisons six people with cyanide in order to cover up her initial crime, the murder of her husband.

She was portrayed by J. Smith-Cameron.

Biography

Pomeranski is a middle-aged woman who is disappointed in her life, working a menial job in a department store, unhappily married to her husband, Lennie, and spending most of her free time dealing with her ailing, domineering mother, Loretta Marlon. She dreams of starting her own franchise for Cutie Bear, a baby's clothing line, but does not have enough money. To that end, she decides to kill Lennie to collect on his life insurance policy. She fatally poisons Lennie by giving him Necedrol, a headache medication, that she spiked with cyanide. In order to draw suspicion away from herself, she begins poisoning patients in the hospital where Loretta is recovering from surgery so that the police will think that his death was the work of a serial killer.

"Poison"

By the time of the episode, Pomeranski has poisoned seven people, but allays suspicion by buying the Necedrol at a store miles away from where she lives. NYPD Major Case detectives Robert Goren and Alexandra Eames suspect that the murders are being committed by a product tamperer, and briefly suspect Colleen Braxton, a nurse with Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome who induces non-fatal heart attacks in her patients in order to get attention for herself. However, Goren believes that someone else is responsible, as Braxton does not fit the profile of an "Angel of Death"-type serial killer.

Pomeranski has Lennie's body exhumed in order to prove that he had taken poisoned Necedrol, part of her scheme to get a settlement from the manufacturer on top of her husband's insurance. This attracts Goren's attention, and he and Eames question Pomeranski, whose total lack of grief for her husband and possible financial motive make them both suspicious. With further investigation, they learn that someone ordered a large shipment of cyanide from Oklahoma for a defunct camera store two weeks before the murders began; the store turns out to have been owned by Pomeranski's late father.

Goren and Eames interrogate Marlon, telling her that her daughter used the cyanide to taint bottles of Necedrol, but she refuses to believe it. Goren has Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver indict Marlon for murder in order to trigger the morals clause of Pomeranski's franchisee contract, which would terminate her agreement with the company and draw her out of hiding.

Sure enough, Cutie Bear revokes Pomeranski's contract after Marlon is indicted, provoking her to meet with Goren and Eames to protest her mother's innocence. Goren baits her by saying that Marlon will go to prison unless someone else claims credit for the murders. Pomeranski then writes an anonymous letter to the media claiming responsibility for the poisonings, complete with a sample of the cyanide, in order to vindicate her mother and get the franchise back. Goren and Eames surveil her as she mails the letter, and follow her to her franchise, where they arrest her.

Trivia

  • Pomeranski is loosely based upon the unidentified serial killer dubbed the "Tylenol Killer", who murdered seven people in Chicago in 1982 by injecting cyanide into Tylenol capsules.

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