Leah Coleman (Elizabeth Connors) is the main villainess from "Angel," episode 6.08 of Law & Order (airdate November 29, 1995). She is the wife of Keith Coleman and the mother of their eight-month-old daughter, Rachel.
The episode began with Leah at confession, only for Leah to suddenly panic when she sees her empty baby carriage and screams that Rachel was abducted. During the couple's interview with police, Leah stated that she saw a young Puerto Rican man at the church on her way to confession, suggesting that he took Rachel. Leah and Keith were shown at a press conference pleading for Rachel to be returned, and she appeared to be shaken while attempting to identify Rachel's abductor.
Later in the episode, detective Reynaldo Curtis decided to talk to Leah alone, with the conversation turning to them at church discussing Rachel. Curtis' comment and belief that Rachel should have a Christian burial if she is found deceased lead to Leah telling Curtis that Rachel is in heaven, and that she killed her daughter and cremated her, adding that she "deserved the best." Curtis arrested Leah after he confession, and the trial's progression revealed the events that led to the murder, as well as Leah's true demeanor.
Leah had been a regular member of her church's congregation, but she began acting strangely after learning about the real-life case involving Susan Smith, who killed her two children. She asked Father Carner how a mother could kill her own children, and Carner responded that everything happens for the best and that Susan's children were with God. On the morning in question, Leah ate breakfast with Rachel, and later took her infant daughter down to the basement. Leah turned heel shortly afterwards by smothering Rachel with a pillow, with Rachel screaming throughout the ordeal until she was suffocated and killed, after which the villainess placed her deceased daughter into the furnace. The psychotic mother cooked up the kidnapping claim to cover up her actions until she confessed to Curtis, and during her trial, Ross Fineman (Leah's defense attorney) decided to proclaim that God made Leah kill her daughter in his closing statement.
Following Jack McCoy's interview with Father Carner, Leah testified in the episode's climax, stating to Fineman that after seeing all of the horrors of the world, she couldn't allow Rachel to live in such an environment, and added that she's in Heaven with God. While being cross-examined by McCoy, Leah claimed that she was suffering for what she did, while also taking responsibility for killing Rachel. She repeated this in response to McCoy stating God made her kill Rachel, and added that Rachel's screaming didn't stop her from killing her daughter before breaking down. At episode's end, the evil Leah ended up convicted of second-degree murder.
- For her appearance in the episode, Elizabeth Connors was credited as Elizabeth Hanly Rice.
- "I go to the store, and somebody tries to steal my pocketbook. My neighbor, Mrs. Gorfitz on the third floor, they killed her for her Social Security check. She was 76 years old, and they raped her, and they killed her. And the police caught the men, and they couldn't even put them in jail. I once saw a boy, he was no more than 14, slash another boy's throat for an ounce of dope. Terrorists are trying to blow up the World Trade Center. Schools have metal detectors. Families are stocking their own weapons and forming their own armies. What kind of a world do we live in? There's so much hate and suffering and distrust. It's not gonna go away. (Fineman: "Is that what you meant when you told Detective Curtis that Rachel deserves the best?") Why should she have to see this? Now she's in heaven with God." (Leah Coleman's delusional rationale for killing her daughter, Rachel)