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NBC Insider Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

How There Was Nearly a Romance Between Chicago P.D.'s Voight & SVU's Benson

Law & Order: SVU and Chicago P.D. joined forces for an epic 2015 crossover event to track down a serial killer based on Ted Bundy.

By Jackie Manno

We're taking a look back at a nail-biting crossover event.

How to Watch

Watch the Season 26 premiere of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Thursday, October 3 at 9/8c on NBC.

In 2015 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit characters Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Detective Fin Tutuola (Ice T) traveled to The Windy City to team up with Chicago P.D. characters Hank Voight (Jason Beghe), Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer), and Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda) when a Chicago murder is strikingly similar to cases Benson handled 10 years ago. The special crossover episodes took place in Season 2, Episode 20 of Chicago P.D. ("Number of Rats") and Season 16, Episode 20 of SVU ("Daydream Believer").

The storyline followed the teams combining forces to track down a serial killer named Gregory Yates.

According to the SVU Showrunner at the time, Warren Leight, the character of Yates was based on Ted Bundy, who was "A guy who got away with dozens of crimes in multiple locations for a long period of time because no one could believe he could do something like this and no one put the pieces together,” Leight told Entertainment Weekly. “I want to make sure there’s a compelling reason for P.D. to be wandering around the SVU squad, so if one of their own is taken hostage by this guy, after we’ve seen how horrible he is, we understand their pursuit across the timezone,” he added. 

Benson works with Halstead and Voight for 2015 Chicago P.D.-SVU crossover event

Images of Jay Halstead, Olivia Benson, and Hank Voight.

In a gripping throwback clip, we see Benson and team attempting to uncover the identity of the killer by examining the patterns of his victims. 

The first victim, Alice Whitlock, was killed by blunt force trauma to the back of the skull, and she was a nurse at Columbia Presbyterian. 

"The second vic, Lisa Hoffman, she was raped and killed in the same fashion as Whitlock. But she was found completely burned in her own car along the Harlem River." Benson explained to the P.D. team. 

Then, Benson dropped some crucial information. "Green nail polish was applied to both of these victims at some point during the crime," she said. 

The third victim's name was a nurse at Mount Sinai named Deborah McCullough, who "was last seen exiting a bar on 53rd and 3rd."

Recapping, all three murders happened in New York in 2004. As for the killer? Witnesses all described the same thing: "They all saw a man in medical clothing and his arm in a sling approaching these women."

At this point, it was unknown if Hoffman also had green nail polish applied to her fingers, as her hands were severely burned at the time of her death. 

RELATED: 23 Heart-Pounding Law & Order: SVU Episodes Fans Will Never Forget

Jay Halstead and Olivia Benson appear during a scene in Chicago P.D.

"Also, there was no DNA at either of the New York crime scenes," Benson explained. 

"Any theories why he stopped for 10 years?" Halstead inquired. 

"Sadly, we don't know that he has," Benson responded. 

The suspect? A white male, 5'9', around 40 years old, average looking with little distinguishing features. "He's either in the medical field or obviously posing as somebody who is," Benson said. 

While the team immediately jumps on their intense investigating, they get the call that the most recent victim, Victoria, has died from her injuries. 

Unfortunately, in this episode, CPD administrative assistant Nadia gets kidnapped by who turns out to be the killer Gregory Yates, and then is brutally tortured and murdered while he drives to NYC. The team attempts to track down his location to save Nadia, but are too late. 

“It’s not just, let’s find this guy. Being the Ted Bundy nature of it, he’s very smart and we don’t really have him enough to prosecute him so we’re playing a cat and mouse [game],” Beghe also said to The Hollywood Reporter

RELATED: Surprise! Mariska Hargitay Reunited with This SVU Alum Who Was Tragically Killed Off

Did Benson and Voight nearly get together during the crossover?

Hank Voight and Olivia Benson appear during a scene in Chicago P.D.

The SVU and P.D. teams also clashed heads multiple times in the episode. “Sometimes Voight goes a little rogue and [Benson] basically tells him, ‘Watch yourself. I don’t want this case blown because of police misconduct,’ So we wrote to the fact that one department plays more loosely than the other when it comes to constitutional protections. Our guys get a little tense about that; a little more protective of the system,” Leight told The Hollywood Reporter

There were also some potentially romantic moments between Benson and Voight during the episodes, as the two had previously shared a drink together the last time Benson was in Chicago. But the dark situation made things take a quick turn.

"There was a lot of warmth, maybe even could be construed as flirtation,” Beghe said. “Things get so serious and rough by the time we’re back in New York that we don’t have a lot of time for the lighter enjoyment of things. It’s a very distressing and personally wrenching experience particularly for the characters in Chicago."