Cold Case (season 1)

Cold Case (season 1)
Cold Case Season 1
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 23
Original channel CBS
Original run September 28, 2003 – May 23, 2004
Season chronology
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Season 2

Season one of Cold Case, an American television series, began airing on September 28, 2003. Cold Case is a drama about Lilly Rush, an enigmatic and highly effective detective on the Philadelphia Homicide Squad. Rush's instinctive understanding of the criminal mind and her singular passion for uncovering the truth makes her the perfect fit for investigating cold cases, yester-crimes that have remained unsolved – some only a few months old, others going back decades. Rush and her team use their wits to take on aging evidence and witnesses with buried secrets, uncovering fresh clues, digging into old wounds and doggedly pursuing the truth. Joining Rush on her mission are a team of talented detectives: Scotty Valens, Rush's confident and street-smart partner; Nick Vera, rough around the edges but a sharp investigator; Will Jeffries, an experienced veteran who's been around the block; Kat Miller, no-nonsense and resourceful; and Lieutenant John Stillman, Rush's mentor and sometime father figure. With their assistance, Rush is able to take on the toughest cases, giving voice to victims unable to speak for themselves – making sure none is ever forgotten. Season one regular cast members include Kathryn Morris, Danny Pino, John Finn, Thom Barry and Jeremy Ratchford. In 3 episodes, Justin Chambers had played Chris Lassing, Lilly's partner on the Philadelphia Homicide Squad, but left the show to star as Alex Karev in ABC's hit drama show Grey's Anatomy.




  • Doug Spinuzza as Louie Amante


  • Kevin McCorkle as Det. Gil Sherman
  • Susan Chuang as Dr. Frannie Ching


# # Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(in millions)
1 1 "Look Again" Mark Pellington Meredith Stiehm September 28, 2003 (2003-09-28) 15.55[1]

Detective Lilly Rush from Philadelphia Homicide reopens a 1976 murder case involving two wealthy families when the former housekeeper, who is dying of cancer, comes forward claiming to have witnessed the murder.

  • Lilly sees the victim outside the station during the arrest.
  • Song featured in the intro: "More Than a Feeling", by Boston
  • Song featured in the finale: "Have You Ever Seen the Rain", by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
  • Loosely based upon the Martha Moxley case.
  • A homicide featured in an early scene in the episode is later investigated in the episode The Badlands.

Spoiler: The murderer was Todd. He hit Jill with a tennis racket after he called her names and she flipped him off in retaliation.

2 2 "Gleen" Paris Barclay Jan Oxenberg October 5, 2003 (2003-10-05) 13.96[2]

The team reinvestigates a 1983 murder in which a young mother was killed in an explosion shortly before she was to testify in court against a man who indecently exposed himself to her.

SPOILER: The murderer was the husband. He was able to make the untraceable calls and set up the bomb. He didn't like that he couldn't 'control' her.

3 3 "Our Boy Is Back" Bryan Spicer Stacy Kravetz October 12, 2003 (2003-10-12) 12.82[3]

When a serial rapist sends a letter to the squad announcing his return to Philadelphia after five years, the team reinvestigates the 1998 murder of a college student who was believed to be one of his victims.

  • Det. Vera sees the victim in the case room because he was the original investigator on the case.
  • Song featured in the intro: "How's It Going To Be", by Third Eye Blind
  • Song featured in the finale: "Heroes", by The Wallflowers.
  • Loosely based upon the real-life Philadelphia case of Troy Graves, the Center City Rapist.
  • Lassing does not appear in this episode.

SPOILER: Carl was the murderer...he wanted to date intellectual girls, but grew up white trash and ended up resenting them. He figured if the girl had a cat, she lived alone and so he raped them.

4 4 "Churchgoing People" Mark Pellington Meredith Stiehm October 19, 2003 (2003-10-19) 11.62[4]

The team reinvestigates the 1990 case of a murdered church organist when his Alzheimer's-stricken widow begins having flashbacks of the night in question.

SPOILER: Charlotte, the wife, killed Mitchell. She was upset about his affair and was a mean drunk. When he argued with her about taking their son to school, she stabbed him and made her son help dispose of the body.

5 5 "The Runner" David Straiton Veena Cabreros Sud October 26, 2003 (2003-10-26) 14.08[5]

After a drug addict brings in an audio tape in which a fatal shooting is heard, the team reopens a 1973 case involving the unsolved death of a young police officer murdered after responding to a call at a drug-infested housing project.

SPOILER: Runner was using Sammy to move drugs and Joe wanted to protect her by taking her home to his wife. Sammy was young when she first shot heroin (with Joe and Runner)...she OD'd and it scared Joe enough to go straight and then go back to save her from a life of drugs.

6 6 "Love Conquers Al" Greg Yaitanes Kim Newton November 9, 2003 (2003-11-09) 14.39[6]

A petty thief hoping to get a reduced sentence comes forward claiming to have seen a young man washing blood out of his car in 1981 on the same night a teen track runner was murdered. Detective Scotty Valens joins the Cold Case team.

  • Lilly sees the victim running on the track and she smiles at Lilly.
  • Song featured in the intro: "Keep on Loving You”, by REO Speedwagon
  • Song featured in the finale: "She's Got a Way", by Billy Joel.
  • Loosely based upon the 1995 murder of Adrienne Jones by Diane Zamora and David Graham.

SPOILER: The killers were Bennett and Jane together. Bennett had a fling with the victim and both of the 'lovers' wanted to make it right. Bennett lured Paige out for a date, then they strangled and shot her.

7 7 "A Time to Hate" Deran Sarafian Jan Oxenberg November 16, 2003 (2003-11-16) 13.95[7]

A 75-year-old woman comes to Lilly seeking justice for her dead son, a college baseball player who was beaten to death outside a gay bar in 1964.

  • Lilly, the victim's mother, the victim's lover, and the key witness to the crime who helped to solve the case see the victim at the crime scene. The victim and his mother exchange a smile while the victim and his lover share an embrace.
  • Song features in the intro: "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)", by Betty Everett
  • Song featured in the finale: "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)", by The Byrds.

SPOILER: O'Brien, the neighbor near the Hush Room and his friends killed Danny due to his sexual orientation. Officer Nelson and his partner looked the other way as the beating went down.

8 8 "Fly Away" James Whitmore, Jr. Veena Cabreros Sud November 30, 2003 (2003-11-30) 16.46[8]

After a woman emerges from a two-year coma with no memory of her identity or knowledge of her daughter's death in 2001, the detectives investigate the fall which killed the child.

  • The victim's mother sees her daughter on the fire escape of their apartment building.
  • No arrest, as the death was ruled an accident, although the mother goes to a mental hospital.
  • Song featured in the intro: "Sleep", by Azure Ray
  • Song featured in the finale: "Heaven (Candlelight Mix)", by DJ Sammy.

SPOILER: The social worker assigned to the mothers CPS case was abusing the daughter and when the mother heard the pizza delivery boy, she assumed it was the case worker coming to take her child and attemped a suicide with her daughter by jumping out the window. The daughter died, but mom survived. The CPS case worker is arrested for sexual abuse.

9 9 "Sherry Darlin'" Rachel Talalay Sean Whitesell December 7, 2003 (2003-12-07) 16.11[9]

When Lilly gets an anonymous phone call from a man who claims to have killed an elderly woman in 1989 and buried her body in the basement of a house, the team investigates the murder of a grandmother who disapproved of her grandson's lifestyle.

SPOILER: Sherry, the grandson's girlfriend was the murderer. Krystal was 'old and had lived a full life'...and she had a home and money in the bank that Sherry wanted.

10 10 "The Hitchhiker" Marita Grabiak Sean Whitesell December 21, 2003 (2003-12-21) 13.95[10]

When new evidence is uncovered that relates to a shooting death near Atlantic City in 1997, the team reopens the murder of a hitchhiker on his way back to Philadelphia.

  • The murderer sees the victim both as a teenager and as an adult as he is being arrested, a first in this series.
  • Song featured in the intro: "Walking on the Sun", by Smash Mouth
  • Song featured in the finale: "I Believe", by Blessid Union of Souls.

SPOILER: Blaine, Matt's cousin, killed him. Matt was scared straight after the bank job, but Blaine wanted one more robbery. He killed Matt after Matt backed out and took Matt's money.

11 11 "Hubris" Agnieszka Holland Stacy Kravetz & Kim Newton January 11, 2004 (2004-01-11) 15.20[11]

A college professor whose career ended in disgrace after being suspected of murdering one of his female students in 1995 leads the detectives into a reinvestigation which he hopes will clear his name.

SPOILER: The killer WAS the counselor. The victim was leaving him and he flew into a rage. The second victim is never seen.

12 12 "Glued" Peter Markle Tyler Bensinger January 18, 2004 (2004-01-18) 12.80[12]

Det. Stillman asks Lilly to reinvestigate one of his first cases as a homicide detective, the unsolved murder of an 8-year-old boy who was knocked out and left for dead in a snow drift in 1980.

SPOILER: Murphy, the racist store owner, murdered Tim. He didn't like the 'low life black kids' running down the property values by getting high.

13 13 "The Letter" Tim Hunter Veena Cabreros Sud January 25, 2004 (2004-01-25) 15.75[13]

The team reopens the case of a twenty-five-year-old black woman who was raped and murdered in 1939, after the woman's granddaughter comes forward with new information.

SPOILER: The murderer was the boyfriend, Jonesy. He wanted to run away to NYC with Sadie. She was a light skinned black, however her daughter was dark skinned and she would have to have been left behind. Sadie refused to pass as white OR leave her daughter; Jonesy got mad. Jonsey's friends took turns raping her, but hewas the one who covered her eyes and suffocated her with his bare hands.

14 14 "The Boy in the Box" Karen Gaviola Meredith Stiehm February 15, 2004 (2004-02-15) 17.33[14]

The team reopens the unsolved case of an unknown six-year-old boy, whose body was found in a cardboard box in a field in 1958.

  • Lilly sees the victim at the cemetery and the victim's friend imagines him at their meeting place.
  • No arrest in this episode, since the death was an accident.
  • Song featured in the intro: "You're The Nearest Thing To Heaven", by Johnny Cash
  • Song featured in the finale: "Sweeter Than You", by Rick Nelson.
  • This was based on the real-life case of "The Boy in the Box", a still-unsolved Philadelphia case.

SPOILER: Arnold was Sister Grace's son. She sent him to have electroshock therapy to control his acting out so that he could have a good home. He became ill and died. Sisters Grace and Vivian put him in the box and his mother, Sister Grace, was the woman in the green coat who visited his dump site each year.

15 15 "Disco Inferno" James Whitmore, Jr. Tyler Bensinger February 22, 2004 (2004-02-22) 15.33[15]

The team reinvestigates the circumstances of a fire that killed twenty-two people and destroyed a disco in 1978, when a new set of remains with a bullet hole in the skull is discovered at the site.

SPOILER: Paul, the disco owner's son, shot Bennie and then set the fire to cover his tracks. Doreen wanted to win and she told Paul if he hurt Bennie enough so that she could win...she'd do anything sexual he wanted with her.

16 16 "Volunteers" Allison Anders Jan Oxenberg March 7, 2004 (2004-03-07) 15.98[16]

Human remains found during an excavation at a construction site lead the team to investigate the unsolved deaths of two radicals in their mid-20s, who disappeared in 1969.

SPOILER: Adam, one of Julia's 'partners' in the commune was the killer. He was an informant for the FBI, but Julia and Gerard found out about it. He killed them to prevent them from talking...or calling him 'false'.

17 17 "The Lost Soul of Herman Lester" Tim Matheson Sean Whitesell March 14, 2004 (2004-03-14) 15.92[17]

When a teenager receives death threats over the phone, the team reopens the 1987 murder of his father, a Philadelphia high school basketball star who was found stabbed to death hours after leading his team to the State Championship.

SPOILER: The murderer was Mr. Berkenpass.

18 18 "Resolutions" Alex Zakrzewski Kim Newton March 28, 2004 (2004-03-28) 14.26[18]

The team reinvestigates a 2000 case involving the death of a man who was killed in a hit-and-run accident on New Year's Eve after a recovering alcoholic comes forward as the possible culprit.

  • Lilly sees the victim on the street.
  • The killer commits suicide, yet the person who accidentally hit the victim was arrested.
  • Song featured in the intro: "Save Tonight", by Eagle Eye Cherry.
  • Song featured in the finale: "Hands", by Jewel.

SPOILER: Mel, Greg's friend, slipped a drug into his drink and it made him ill. Mel loved Susan, Greg's wife and poisoned him so that he could marry her (she was an innocent). Greg left the bar when the drug started taking effect, claiming he was ill and was hit and killed by the car. Mel commits suicide while Lilly is trying to talk him down.

19 19 "Late Returns" David Straiton Jay Beattie & Dan Dworkin April 4, 2004 (2004-04-04) 14.25[19]

A current murder case leads the team to reopen a case involving a young, politically-involved woman who was killed on the night of the 1992 presidential election.

  • The killer is not arrested since the team have no evidence to charge him and his sister takes all responsibility for the crime, although he confesses to Valens.
  • Lilly sees the disappointed victim watching the scene from the balcony.
  • The current murder victim is only seen in a photograph; he turns out to be the main victim's biological father and he was shot to death by the killer's sister who is then arrested.
  • Loosely based on the Chandra Levy case.
  • Song featured in the intro: "Don't Stop", by Fleetwood Mac
  • Song featured in the finale: "Ordinary World", by Duran Duran.

SPOILER: Abbey, Lake's sister, claims to be the killer. Abbey sexually abused Lake when they were younger and she figured she could pave his way to success to make it up to him. The siblings were being blackmailed for their incest, and while discussing it, Vanessa overheard. Turns out Abbey killed Kleeman, her real father, but David DID kill Vanessa. He gets away with it, since Abbbey confessed.

20 20 "Greed" Karen Gaviola Stacy Kravetz April 18, 2004 (2004-04-18) 12.93[20]

The team reopens the 1985 murder of a wealthy stockbroker killed during an apparent carjacking gone wrong, and discovers that the victim may have been stealing from his clients.

21 21 "Maternal Instincts" Kevin Hooks Laurie Arent April 25, 2004 (2004-04-25) 14.83[21]

When a juvenile delinquent claims to remember witnessing his mother's death, the team reinvestigates the 1989 murder of the young single mother, who turns out not to be who she really is.

  • Lilly sees the victim looking somber as the boy is reunited with his family in the courthouse.
  • Based loosely on the Cathleen Krauseneck case.
  • Song featured in the intro: "Closer To Fine", by Indigo Girls
  • Song featured in the finale: "Eternal Flame", by The Bangles.
  • Loosely inspired by the movie Wall Street.

SPOILER: Kyle killed Rebecca (her real name was Linda Frandsen). Linda's husband Vic, kidnapped their son Sean since Linda was unable to have children. She ran from Vic and Kyle (Kyle broke off his and Rebecca's affair). When Kyle went after her to renew their relationship, he realized that Sean was an abducted child and gave her the choice to come away with him or lose Sean. She denied them both, so he killed her.

22 22 "The Plan" Agnieszka Holland Veena Cabreros Sud May 2, 2004 (2004-05-02) 14.39[22]

The 1999 drowning death of a military academy's strict swim coach, who turned out to be a pedophile, is reopened after the homicide division receives a note that suggests the death was not accidental, but murder.

  • Lilly and the principle of the military academy see the victim in the pool's reflection.
  • Song featured in the intro: "Machinehead", by Bush
  • Song featured in the finale: "Wise Up", by Aimee Mann.

SPOILER: The coach, Nash, was a pedophile. Creighton, who was the lifeguard on duty at the time of the murder, drowned him AFTER the other three boys beat Nash up in the pool area. Creighton realized that he also had pedophile like thoughts and DIDN'T want to be like Nash. Dominic survives his suicide by gun attempt.

23 23 "Lover's Lane" Nelson McCormick Meredith Stiehm May 23, 2004 (2004-05-23) 14.53[23]

When DNA evidence reveals a man was wrongfully convicted of murder, the team reopens the 1986 case of a fifteen-year-old girl who was murdered during a date at a popular lover's lane.

  • The victim's boyfriend sees her at the lake where the crime occurred.
  • Song featured in the intro: "And We Danced", by The Hooters.
  • Song featured in the finale: "Leather and Lace", by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley.

SPOILER: Wayne's father was the killer. Wayne's dad forced his son to bring girls home so that he could have sex with them. "Dad" was turned on by Eve, who called him filthy names when he tried to get her into his bedroom. He got mad, so he forced Wayne to take him to the spot where she and Mark had their date. Eve struggled, he raped and then murdered her, while Wayne waited in the car. He was supposed to have killed Mark, but Mark survived.

  • Loosely based upon the 1999 murder of Krystal Dawn Steadman at the hands of Thomas Soria Sr. and Jr. The location of the attack was based on the early attacks of the Zodiac Killer.


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  2. ^ "Big Three Networks Debate Second Week of Fall Season". TheFutonCritic. 2003-10-08. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  3. ^ "CBS Places a Competitive Second in a Week Dominated". CBS PressExpress. 2003-10-14. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  4. ^ "Against Six Nights of Baseball, CBS is a Solid Second". CBS PressExpress. 2003-10-21. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  5. ^ "CBS wins Sundays in viewers, households, adults 25–54". CBS PressExpress. 2003-10-27. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  6. ^ "A Week of Milestones for CBS!". CBS PressExpress. 2003-11-11. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  7. ^ "CBS is Sunday's Most Watched Network". CBS PressExpress. 2003-11-17. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  8. ^ "CBS keeps the post-sweeps Momentum going, Winning its fourth consecutive week in viewers, households and adults 25–54 while also placing first in adults 18–49". CBS PressExpress. 2003-12-02. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  9. ^ "CBS wins Sunday in viewers for the seventh consecutive week". CBS PressExpress. 2003-12-08. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  10. ^ "Ho, Ho, Ho, Jerry Bruckheimer steals the week's show". CBS PressExpress. 2003-12-23. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  11. ^ "CBS places first in viewers for the 12th time in 16 weeks". CBS PressExpress. 2004-01-13. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  12. ^ "CBS places first in households and strong second in viewers to football-driven FOX". CBS PressExpress. 2004-01-21. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
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  14. ^ "CBS enjoys a very Jerry Week". CBS PressExpress. 2004-02-18. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
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