10 Law & Order: SVU Villains so Evil They Drove Fans Away From the Show

Law & Order: SVU has had many dangerous and evil villains. But from Delia Wilson to Darius Parker, which ones pushed fans away from the show?

Currently airing its 25th season, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is easily one of the best crime TV shows of all time. Throughout the years, the series has portrayed some exceptional detectives who are the true heart of the long-running procedural. Even when some episodes and seasons failed to impress dedicated fans, audiences kept coming back for the beloved Olivia Benson (portrayed by Mariska Hargitay) and her team.

While the team of detectives keeps the fans coming back, it’s the dark aspects of the show that have turned viewers away. Considering the series’ uncomfortable, disturbing, and upsetting focal point, viewers know what they’re getting into when watching an episode of Law & Order: SVU. Despite this knowledge, some villains were so infuriating or sickening that fans were driven from finishing the episode or even continuing the show.

Delia Wilson’s Arrogance Was Infuriating

Delia Williams in Law & Order SVU

In Season 13 of Law & Order: SVU, Delia Wilson is a powerful crime boss who tries to take down other organizations to monopolize prostitution in the city. She goes to great lengths, including framing Captain Don Cragen for homicide and manipulating ADA Paula Foster.

Viewers were disgusted with Delia’s arrogance when bribing an ADA, who was financially unstable due to a sick child, to take down the respectable and beloved Cragen. The depravity of this crime boss was nauseating, marking her as one of the most despicable SVU villains.

Sheila Porter Targeted Olivia’s Family

Noah Porter-Benson, played by Ryan Buggle, sits with Olivia Benson, played by Mariska Hargitay, in their kitchen on Law & Order: SVU.
  • Shelia Porter was portrayed by Brooke Shields.
  • She is the maternal grandmother of Olivia’s adopted son, Noah.

When Olivia Benson learns her son has one surviving biological family member, she makes an effort to include Sheila Porter and allows the woman to get to know her grandson. This takes a dark turn when Sheila kidnaps Noah and attempts to send the SVU team on a wild goose chase to throw them off.

Olivia is one of the best-written female characters in a procedural and is therefore adored by SVU fans. Viewers were disgusted that Sheila thought she was entitled to take Noah from his loving mother simply for their biological relation. Treating Olivia like she wasn’t a real mother for not birthing Noah was outrageous, placing Shelia among the most disliked villains ever.

Merritt Rook Blamed the World For His Tragic Life

Robin Williams as Merritt Rook in Law and Order: SVU
  • Merritt Rook was portrayed by Robin Williams.
  • He lost his pregnant wife and unborn child due to a doctor’s negligence.

In Season 9, Episode 17, “Authority”, Merritt Rook orchestrates a sexual assault but gets off by representing himself in court. Later, he kidnaps Olivia and tries to manipulate Elliot in order to show them how he felt to be out of control when he lost his wife and unborn child.

Though Rook’s anti-authoritarian perspective is understandable given his past, it was outrageous that he would cause the suffering of innocent people to prove that citizens are “sheep” being led by society’s systems. This extremist behavior was too much, even considering his traumatic past.

Darius Parker Hurt Others Because of His Own Grudge

Ice-T as Fin Tutuola stands with Ludacris as Darius Parker in SVU's Screwed
  • Darius Parker is portrayed by Chris Bridges (Ludacris).
  • He is the child of Teresa Randall’s incestuous sexual assault and half-brother of Finn’s son, Ken.

Darius Parker murders a young woman and her infant because he thinks his victim is a bad parent. The audience later learns he has contempt for all mothers because his biological mother, Teresa, refused to raise him and never revealed he was her son.

Darius is another loathsome villain who uses his own pain as justification for a horrendous act. Viewers were even more disgusted with his actions after learning of his mother’s abused past and why she chose not to raise him, which discredited his whole claim that his actions were due to her neglect.

Henry Mesner is a Killer Kid

Henry Mesner standing in a dark room in Law & Order: SVU
  • Henry Mesner is portrayed by Ethan Cutkowsky.
  • He first appeared in Season 14 and then reemerged in Season 22.

Henry Mesner was a villain in Season 14 who abused his little sister and then nearly killed her. At 10, he was sent to a mental health facility. In Season 22, he’s released at 18 and murders his father, stepmother, and young step-brother, but once again fails to kill his sister, Ruby.

Henry is one of the most terrifying villains in Law & Order: SVU because he’s a seeming “born killer” with a psychopathic diagnosis who cannot control his violent urges. Viewers were driven away by Henry due to the uncomfortable narrative of “inherently evil”.

Victor Gitano Committed Multiple Heinous Acts

  • Victor Gitano is portrayed by Lou Diamond Phillips.
  • He had a long history of violence, sexual assault, and murder.Gitano is a sex offender who kidnaps two children and ultimately ends up killing one of them. He seriously injures Olivia when he attempts to escape arrest. When Olivia and Elliot show up to save the surviving child, he holds Elliot hostage.

    Victor Gitano made many fans extremely uncomfortable because he was a depraved individual who saw nothing wrong with the countless offenses he committed. His entitlement is more than disturbing, to the point of making viewers question the depravity people are capable of.

    Lowell Harris Abused Incarcerated Women

    Johnny Messner as Lowell Harris with Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson in SVU's Undercover
    • Lowell Harris is portrayed by Johnny Messner.
    • He was a captain of the prison guard in Sealview Corrections Facility.

    In an effort to find out who assaulted a teenage girl and murdered her mother in prison, Olivia goes undercover at Sealview. Lowell Harris assaults Olivia in the basement of the prison. It’s later revealed that Harris hates women and uses his position of power to abuse them.

    Lowell Harris is a misogynistic offender who used the suppression of incarcerated women to his own sick advantage. His terrifying mindset and assault on Olivia were too much for fans.

    Rob Miller Was Power Hungry

    Rob Miller in Law & Order SVU
    • Rob Miller is portrayed by Titus Welliver.
    • He was a powerful attorney in New York City.Rob Miller is an attorney who is involved in sex trafficking young girls. He assaults another attorney and then later murders a young girl to cover up his own heinous acts. Thinking he’s above the law, he uses his connections to threaten the SVU team.

      There are many power-hungry villains throughout Law & Order: SVU. However, Rob Miller is arguably the worst of them all. He doesn’t just do terrible things because he believes he’s entitled, but he believes he’s above the law and is untouchable. Some viewers consider Miller the representation of classism and elitism, which makes him easily one of the most evil villains.

      Greg Yates Had no Impulse Control

      Gregory Yates looms in the shadows in Chicago PD
      • Greg Yates is portrayed by Dallas Roberts.
      • Dallas Roberts has played 6 different roles in the Law & Order Franchise.

      Greg Yates was a serial murderer and rapist that taunted the police, believing he was too intelligent to be caught. After being convicted of his crimes, Yates manipulates another prisoner, whom he has a history with, to help him escape.

      Despite Yates being the focal point of an epic crossover between Law & Order: SVU and Chicago PD, his storyline was shocking even for die-hard fans of the procedural. The episodes featuring Yates outlined his gruesome mindset and his violent acts, disgusting viewers with a grotesque level of vileness.

      William Lewis is the #1 SVU Villain

      William Lewis in court in Law & Order SVU

      • William Lewis is portrayed by Pablo Schreiber.
      • He had a long criminal history, including kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder.

      William Lewis develops an obsession with Olivia Benson after being a target of the SVU team due to his various criminal acts. He kidnaps Olivia and tortures her before she gets the upper hand, and he ends up incarcerated. Later, he escapes prison, lures Olivia with a kidnapped child, and attempts to set her up for his murder after taking his own life.

      Lewis does all of these things simply because he finds pleasure in causing pain, suffering, and death. He’s considered the ultimate evil of the SVU villains because of his complete absence of morals. Some viewers turned away from the series after Lewis’ arc, finding the details of his actions too unsettling despite the show’s focal point.

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