Cold Case - Season 3

Cold Case

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Summary

Cold Case  Season 3

Smart, driven Detective Lilly Rush reopens dormant, unsolved homicides that occurred years or even decades ago. Previously, Rush had used her instinctive understanding of the criminal mind to crack current murder cases.

Now, this experienced detective is intrigued by new challenges, such as interrogating witnesses to old crimes whose lives and circumstances have since changed, making use of today's new science and finding fresh clues to cases once thought unsolvable.

Episode guide

  1. 01 - Family

    Smart, driven Detective Lilly Rush (series star KATHRYN MORRIS), the lone female detective in the Philadelphia homicide squad, works on "cold cases" - crimes that have never been solved.  She reopens dormant, unsolved homicides that occurred years or even decades ago.  Previously, Rush had used her instinctive understanding of the criminal mind to crack current murder cases.  Now, this experienced detective is intrigued by new challenges, such as interrogating witnesses to old crimes whose lives and circumstances have since changed, making use of today's new science and finding fresh clues to cases once thought unsolvable.  At the same time, she is prepared for certain consequences, namely that her work will open old wounds and may lead suspects to commit new crimes.  Nonetheless, Rush makes it her business to ensure that no victim is ever forgotten.
  2. 02 - The Promise

    Rush discovers a photo of Laurie (LINDSAY HOLLISTER), a reclusive, overweight college freshman, who died in a fraternity house fire.  The picture, e-mailed from Laurie's cell phone just before she died, shows the young woman being held down and forced to drink alcohol.  Although her death was ruled an "accident", the haunting image inspires Rush to reopen the case.  On the night she died, Laurie attended a party at the frat house where her best friend was pledging.  The party was led by a fraternity leader who loved to humiliate overweight female students to entertain members.  Rush is able to identify one of the people in the photo, and the team searches for the only person who might have witnessed Laurie's death.
  3. 03 - Bad Night

    Rush and Jeffries reopen the 1978 murder of 21-year-old Angus Bistrong (JONATHAN MURPHY) after his mother finds a letter that suggests he was killed by someone he knew and was not a random victim of copycat killings inspired by the movie "Halloween".  The letter, dated the day of his death, was from Angus' friend Vicky (HILLARY TUCK, 1978; CARYN WEST, present), who wrote that he should keep his wedding proposal to her a secret because he could be in danger if anyone found out.  Six months earlier, Angus and Vicki had been involved in a car accident that left Vicky permanently paralyzed, and everyone blamed Angus.  Vicki's boyfriend at the time, Craig (DAVE POWER, 1978; DAN WARNER, present), is first on the list of potential suspects but denies any wrongdoing.
  4. 04 - Colors

    Rush and Jeffries investigate a 1945 case involving baseball great Clyde "The Glide" Taylor (ARLEN ESCARPETA - "American Dreams"), who was beaten to death with his own bat after a game.  The only evidence Rush and Jeffries have is the victim's bloodstained jersey with tobacco juice smudges on the chest.  The suspect list includes Clyde's closest friend, his girlfriend and a racist major league pitcher - none of whom are talking or providing any clues to help detain a killer.  With no leads, Rush and the team are forced to retrace their steps.
  5. 05 - Committed

    Rush reopens a case involving an elderly woman who died of natural causes but had been using the identity of another woman who disappeared in 1954.  The team searches for clues to find out what happened to the woman whose identity was stolen.  The missing woman's son, Otis Petrowski (JAKE JOHNSON, 1954; AL PUGLIESE, 2005), last saw his mother when he was 9 years old and visited her at a local mental institution where she had been committed after being diagnosed as bipolar.  When Rush interviews former patients and staff from the facility, she gets a disturbing picture of the way mental patients were treated in the 1950s, as well as how easily women were "diagnosed" as mentally ill.  Golden Globe Award winner DIANE LADD ("Alice") guest stars as Zelda.
  6. 06 - Saving Patrick Bubley

    A recent gang shooting reconnects Rush to her first homicide case.  The latest victim is the brother of the first murder victim whose case Rush worked.  The mother of the victims, Maeve (APRIL GRACE - "Constantine"), has lost four out of five sons to gang violence, and Rush is determined to stop the cycle and save Patrick (ANDRE JAMAL KINNEY, present; CJ SANDERS, 9-year-old - "Ray", "Six Feet Under"), Maeve's youngest.  If members of the team can solve the most recent murder, they will likely solve all four murders.  After careful investigation, they conclude that gang leader Miguel Maldonado (LUIS GARCIA) is responsible for the killings; however, they must figure out the motive and make their case against him even though no one will testify, out of fear.  Rush and the team compromise and dangle the hope of a "regime change" to Jesus Maldonado (RIGO SANCHEZ) in order to get him to testify against his cousin, Miguel, for the murder.
  7. 07 - Start Up

    When a diary containing information about a woman's death is discovered on a recycled computer, Rush and the team reopen the 1999 case of a healthy young woman, Amy Lind (SARAH JANE MORRIS), who died of a stress-induced heart attack after her dot-com company crashed.  Amy was a self-described workaholic who devoted her life to her company and was, for a brief moment, a millionaire.  Despite Amy's ability, she made poor business decisions, and her business partner spent all the money.  Her main programmer, who was in love with her, had a motive to kill her because she spurned his attentions, but his alibi is airtight.  Rush must sort fact from fiction to close the case.
  8. 08 - Honor

    Prisoner of war (POW) identification tags found in an abandoned drug house lead Rush and the team to reopen the 1972 shooting of Carl Burton (JOHN ALLSOPP), a former Vietnam POW.  Rush learns from Carl's wife, Janet (WHITNEY ALLEN, 1972 - "Oz"; BRYNN THAYER, 2005 - "Matlock"), that he was having trouble adjusting to being home after fighting in Vietnam.  When the detectives question Carl and Janet's son, Ned (SKYLER GISONDO, 1972; CHRISTOPHER COUSINS, 2005), who was 7 years old when Carl was murdered, they learn that Janet had been having an affair while Carl was away at war.  Ken Westin (LARRY DORF, 1972; MICHAEL MANTELL, 2005), Janet's boyfriend at the time, tells Rush that he suspects Daniel (MICHAEL WELCH, 1972 - "Joan of Arcadia"; WILLIAM R. MOSES, 2005 - "Jane Doe" telefilms, "Falcon Crest"), a local teenager, might have killed Carl.  Daniel, the son of a fellow POW, had been pestering Carl about Daniel's father and wondering why Carl had returned home, but Daniel's dad hadn't.
  9. 09 - A Perfect Day

    When evidence of the death of aa 4-year-old girl washes up on the New Jersey shore, Rush and the team reopen a 1965 case.  A clue leads Rush to inspect hospital records, and the detective discovers the child, Vivian (ZOE SCHLAGEL), was the victim of abuse; however, Vivian was treated under a false name.  Luckily, Vivian's doctor remembers the case and gives Rush some valuable information about the child's mother.  The team suspects the mother but has a hard time locating her and an even harder time proving abuse because child abuse records weren't kept in the 1960s.
  10. 10 - Franks Best

    Rush and Valens reopen the 2001 case involving a well-liked local deli owner, Frank Dicenzio (JAMES DiSTEFANO, who was apparently beaten to death by his employee.  Valens is contacted by the brother of a convicted murderer and is persuaded to reopen the case that left a local neighborhood shocked.  Everyone loved Frank, and no one could imagine someone taking his life.  All of the evidence points to Frank's top employee - until someone finally tells the true story.
  11. 11 - 8 Years

    Nine songs by rock superstar Bruce Springsteen are featured throughout this episode.  In 1980, four high school friends went off to pursue their futures, but nothing ended up as planned, and one was murdered in 1988.  Now, Rush and Valens get a tip about the murder that reveals how these friends' hopes and dreams unraveled as they faced the harsh realities of life.
  12. 12 - Detention

    When a small piece of a note is found, Rush and the team reopen the 1994 death of a teenager that was previously classified as a suicide.  After several interviews with local neighbors and childhood friends, it seems the teenager jumped off the roof of his school to his death.  The depressed teen was obsessed with Kurt Cobain's suicide and had called into a crisis hotline for help numerous times, all pointing to a clear suicide.  However, Rush pursues a new angle that she won't relinquish.
  13. 13 - Debut

    When a frazzled mother, Lillian (PRISCILLA POINTER, 2006; KELLY MILLER, 1968), bursts into the Philadelphia Police Department claiming to know who might have killed her daughter at a 1968 debutante ball, Rush reopens the case.  Lillian begs Rush and the team to search for her daughter's killer when a newspaper story reports on a man pushing his wife down the stairs.  The circumstances of that death seem eerily similar to her daughter's, and the same man was the girl's escort to the 1968 ball.  Remorsefully, Lillian explains that back then, her desire for social status led her to make her daughter a debutante, and now she fears she may have started a chain of events that led to her daughter's murder.
  14. 14 - Dog Day Afternoons

    After a string of bank robberies involving thieves wearing Johnny Cash masks, Rush finds a link that may provide new information on the 2000 murder of a young bank teller who was killed during an almost identical robbery.  However, when Rush's clues run out, the team must retrace each step of the 2000 case in order to find the killer, who is still at large.
  15. 15 - Sanctuary

    When a 1998 drug case is reopened, Valens becomes the focal point.  He had worked undercover on the high-profile case, and now he must face the demons that have been haunting him for the past 8 years.  At the time, he got too close to a lady friend who was being used to courier drugs - and it might have cost her life.  Everyone on the squad is shocked to learn that Valens had gone undercover and never mentioned it since.
  16. 16 - One Night

    Rush and her colleagues must use their unique expertise and interrogation skills to solve a killer's demented puzzle and save a young boy's life.  In the course of one night, the team members are pushed to their wits' ends trying to crack the code and rescue the boy, who has been left to die at an undisclosed location.  Ultimately, the answer lies in one man's past - and the only way for Rush and the others to figure it out is to delve deeply into their own pasts.
  17. 17 - Superstar

    Rush receives new evidence in the 1973 murder of a female college tennis phenomenon, Andi (ALICIA ZIEGLER), who beat the school's best male player, Fritz (ERIK EIDEM, 1973; PEPPER SWEENEY, present), in a high-profile match.  Fritz had always been the main suspect since he had no solid alibi, and his loss not only embarrassed him but also cost him major endorsement deals.  Fritz was also known to lend towels to Andi, and the evidence of her murder includes a towel soaked in sodium nitrate.  However, Andi's huge success bothered several people, and the suspect list grows.
  18. 18 - Willkommen

    When a theater owner discovers a gun in a piece of prop furniture, Rush and Jeffries reinvestigate the 2002 shooting of an aspiring actor/singer, Dennis Hofferman (ADAM PASCAL - "Rent").  Dennis had gotten a part in a community production of the musical "Cabaret", but on opening night he was shot to death outside the backstage door.  His murder was thought to be one of several shootings and muggings committed by local robbers who were never caught.  However, evidence points to someone involved with the theater.
  19. 19 - Beautiful Little Fool

    A pregnant woman researching her family history realizes that her great-grandmother, Violet Holley (ALLISON MILLER), died in an unsolved murder.  Rush tackles the 1929 case, her oldest to date, but she finds only a few notes revealing that underprivileged Violet had become pregnant by a wealthy man, Nick Bartleby (TOMMY DEWEY).  The recollections of those suspects who are still alive cannot be considered reliable, but Rush does locate Nick's great-grandson and discovers recordings that might lead her in the direction of the murderer.  Meanwhile, Rush's mother, Ellen (MEREDITH BAXTER - "Family Ties"), announces that she is engaged and wants Rush to attend the wedding.  June Lockhart ("Lassie", "Lost in Space") guest stars as Caroline Bartleby, Nick's younger sister.
  20. 20 - Death Penalty - Final Appeal

    Rush and the team reopen a case originally investigated by Jeffries years ago.  When a corrupt policeman commits suicide, questions are raised about the guilt of a death-row inmate convicted of murdering a girl.  As evidence that was misplaced during the original trial indicates that the wrong man was implicated, the detectives race to determine the real culprit before the convict is executed.
  21. 21 - The Hen House

    Rush reopens the 1945 case of the death of a talented female journalist at a Philadelphia newspaper.  Upon learning that the victim left a note telling someone to meet her at the train station where she eventually died, Rush and the team investigate and discover that she was dating a man who claimed to be a Jew who escaped the Nazis and came to America.  But the truth about her lover shocks everyone involved and ultimately leads to a solution to the mystery.  Meanwhile, Jeffries is demoted for losing his temper on a prior case.
  22. 22 - The River

    When a new witness to the 1984 shooting of a respected emergency room physician comes forward, Rush reopens the case.  The original suspect was a mentally ill homeless man who was convicted of the crime based on circumstantial evidence and who eventually died in prison.  However, the new witness states that the doctor was beloved by his family, friends and patients - but he had a secret gambling addiction.  Now, Rush must delve into the world of gambling to search for a killer.

  23. 23 - Joseph

    When a man's debit card is used one year after his death, Rush and the team reopen the 2005 case.  During the investigation, Rush is strangely drawn to the victim, Joseph Shaw (KENNETH JOHNSON), a popular drug counselor who was killed two days before he was set to testify against one of his students.  Rush becomes so fixated on Joseph that she takes a photo of him from the evidence and places it on her nightstand at home.  Normally a "by-the-book" investigator, the enthralled Rush breaks procedural rules, putting herself and the other investigators in danger.