Rose Granville (Shirley Knight) is the hidden villainess of "Tragedy", the Season 5 premiere episode of Law & Order: SVU (airdate September 23, 2003).
She was the wealthy mother of Melinda Granville, raising her alone ver since Melinda's father cheated on Rose with her secretary and walked out on her with half of her savings. Following the events, Melinda grew to believe that all men were the same and vowed not to let the same thing that happened to her happen to her daughter. When Rose learned that Melinda's fiancee Daniel Lester had impregnated his ex girlfriend Annika Bergeron through a one-night stand, she became convinced that Daniel would take Melinda's money and go back to her and plotted to stop that from happening--by getting rid of Annika.
Rose went about doing this by having convict and former mailroom worker Sam Marlett (who was also an old friend of Daniel's) arrange for his cellmate Greg Jezic to stalk and kidnap Annika. To deflect suspicions, Rose put on an act of concern for Annika and her unborn child, offering a sizable reward for information leading to her safe return. Greg was silenced when a money exchange between him and Daniel went wrong and led to him being fatally struck by a car and Sam refused to cooperate with the police due to his loyalty to Daniel. All of this led the SVU detectives to believe Daniel was the mastermind behind Annika's kidnapping, thinking he did so to get her out of the way so he could marry into Melinda's wealth. After hearing about how Jezic's payments came from an account from the Cayman Islands, Daniel confessed to the crime under the belief that Melinda was the culprit and wanting to protect her.
Rose was revealed as the true villainess near the end of the episode, after Annika had been found in the beachside shack Jezic kept her trapped in, giving birth to her baby before dying of complications. Daniel finally confessed his innocence and the detectives confronted Melinda, who revealed that she had recently discovered her mother's nefarious secret after realizing only she had a Cayman Island bank account instead of Daniel. When confronted by Melinda, Rose revealed her misandrist motivation for arranging Annika's kidnapping and eventual death, breaking down and shouting about how she had done it all to help Melinda. Detective Benson then led Rose away, arresting her for Annika's kidnapping and murder.
- Interestingly, Shirley Knight also portrayed villainous therapist Dr. Wharton in the Season 3 premiere of SVU, "Repression"
- Shirley Knight also appeared in Crossing Jordan as the evil Frances Littleton, and later appeared in 2011's Elevator as vengeful villainess Jane Redding.
- (Melinda: "Why did you do this!?") Why? I-I had no other choice. You love Daniel. You deserve a wonderful life together. That baby would've ruined everything! (Melinda: "I told you that didn't matter to me!") Oh...you've always been so trusting....but I know men. Daniel would've taken your money and gone back to that woman and her baby. I did this for you! I wanted you to be happy! That's all I ever wanted!" (Rose's callous and misandrist justification for orchestrating Annika's kidnapping and murder)