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Headscratchers / Cold Case

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  • In s01e04 Churchgoing People, who made the second call from Judy's house?
  • They found out that the man who killed the girl in 1938 was her now Alzheimer-ridden, over-90-year-old husband. Yay them! What the hell is the justice system supposed to do with him?
    • That also happened in the episode Churchgoing People where the wife killed the husband.
    • Reminds me of that Columbo episode where the killer turns out to have a brain tumour that has caused her to lose memory of actually doing it, and Columbo is just about to arrest her when her friend confesses to spare her, and Columbo accepts because although the evidence will eventually show that he's innocent, by that time she'll be dead.
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    • Some of it has less to do with the fact that they actually can do anything about it and more to do with A. Getting the truth out, and B. Clearing out some of the administrative clogging from too many cold cases.
  • I've seen this happen at least three times. An attractive female is killed. A less attractive female is suspected of killing the attractive female out of jealousy. The detectives proceed to rub the less attractive female's unattractiveness in her face. ("Alice was pretty! You felt jealous because you were ugly and THAT IS WHY YOU KILLED HER! COLD CASE CLOSED!) The best part is that, two times out of three, the less attractive female was not the killer. The third time, the less attractive female let the victim die for unrelated reasons. This makes the behavior of the detectives seem unnecessarily mean-spirited and rather backwards.
    • Their cruelty is typically a tool used to coax information out of people who'd otherwise clam up. They've even been shown to outright lie to suspects, all to make them start talking and dish the dirt.
    • Well, they have many cases to do. Most of the time one with obvious motive is the killer. But this cases are not interested enough to show.
  • is it just me or are people killing eachother for the stupidest reasons in this show?
    • I assume we're supposed to see it as a "heat of the moment, done before they knew what they were doing" thing.
    • And besides, people in real life kill each other for the stupidest reasons as well.
  • At least two thirds of the cases seems to be related to they killed the victim because he or she was too enlightened or too different to be accepted that time, granted it's Truth in Television, sadly, but it has gotten tiresome.
    • The other 1/3 is divided between somebody getting killed because they invented the Internet or basketball 10 years before it came out in the real world and their best friend got jealous, completely lost their shit and cheated the world out of that revolutionary product or idea too early.
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  • Seriously what's with the "stoning the so-called wicked woman" motif? I've seen that subplot twice already in the few times I have watched it. It seems like some odd non-sexual Author Appeal.
  • Is everyone a ghostwatcher and or a schizophrenic? People see ghosts right-left and center, and nobody seems to care.
    • Well its ether normal in their world Philadelphia, ether they just imagining victim of the week.
      • This Troper always asumed it was an artistic way to tell us that the case was now closed.
      • It's the way to tell us that now the victim rests in peace, isn't it? (Even though not all the victims go in peace...)
  • The very premise of this show is mind-boggling: first, each episode is a case getting reopened from some out-of-the-blue new piece of evidence appearing out of nowhere. In the earlier seasons, the evidence was usually relevant to the murder itself but in later episodes, its a Red Herring used to get the ball rolling, like a suspect who threatened to kill the victim but is later found to have an alibi. Then they Hand Wave why the original investigators never turned up a single shred of evidence because they thought it was a robbery gone bad, as if the Philly PD were looking for a reason not to do any real follow-up on the victim's personal life to see if anyone wanted them dead. The family members are all contractually-obliged to withhold information and lie to the police when asked about last time they saw the victim or where they were, citing some half-assed crap-filled excuse that took priority over solving their loved one's murder. It makes for good TV and the flashbacks mitigate most of this but it makes it hard to feel sorry for the living victims who put their personal embarrassments over seeing justice done.
  • Why are the murderers on here (at least the ones that are still alive) shown cooperating w/ the police? While I know that if they didn't,it would slow the episode or kill the show...but NOBODY successfully stonewalls or asks for a lawyer BEFORE blurting out a confession?
    • I remember just one episode where lawyer come with suspect. Suspect, however, was innocent. Lawyer did it.
    • In one epsecially egregious case, the man who really raped and murdered a teenage girl confessed to Geoffreys right someone had just been executed for the crime. If his conscience was bothering him, he had horrible timing.
    • George Marks didn't confess. Other suspects do ask for a lawyer, then the cops convince them to confess anyway. Whether the confession still holds up in court is anyone's guess.
    • In another episode, just before his interrogation begins, a suspect (ultimately proven innocent) makes it clear that he knows he can walk out at any time and that he'll do so if he wants to.
  • The team has been solving cold cases, at the rate of two dozen a year, for almost a decade. Why isn't Rush promoted? Shouldn't she be Chief Of Detectives by now? (This bugs me about the main characters of any long running police show.)
    • She stalked that one suspect having him hauled in for minor things over the course of a season (e.g. got in his car after a drink and had him arrested as soon as he puts the key in the ignition) seriously, that kind of harassment will torpedo your higher management opportunities.... even if they are guilty. Rush of all the detectives probably has a file cabinet full of complaints.
  • In "Creatures of the Night," why doesn't the state of New Jersey just have Roy Brigham Anthony involuntarily committed? He's a raving schizophrenic who's happy to tell anyone who will listen about how excited he is to get the chance to kill more people on God's orders when he's released from prison. A commitment hearing should be a slam-dunk.
  • Why Don't the Police have Camera's and Audio Tapes to record the confession? It would make it easier to hold up the confession in court.
  • Wait, so in The Boy in the Box, who left the suitcase? Is the implication supposed to be that Sister Vivian left it? Or did they say who (...and I just missed it)?
  • How did Carlos dispose of Andy's body in "Andy In C Minor"? He would have had to sneak the body out of the crowded school. Not to mention that he was deaf and likely couldn't drive a car, so he would have to drag and bury the corpse himself.
  • In "The Road", how did Brenda, a strong-willed and intelligent lawyer, end up so easily duped by "John Smith"'s incredibly transparent ruse of "Hey, you look familiar?" Not to start anything, but it almost comes off as sexist/misogynistic writing to me.
  • When exactly was Iris Felice, the victim of "Baby Blues", born? Her grave said "1982-1982", but if she died in April/May of 1982 (basically the last practical month for it to be snowing in Philadeplhia, freak weather storm and all), she was six months old at the time of her death and her mother even said herself that she was also born on a day it was snowing, then she was most likely born around October/November of 1981.
  • There are two things that I have with family members of cold case victims. First, why is it always the older sibling that kills the younger one, and second, why is it that in cases of a murdered child, it's only after the spouse (usually the husband) dies that their significant other decides to finally cooperate/speak with investigators?
  • Why is it that some people, i.e., strangers who have no connection to the victim/doer/crime itself, have no problem holding onto something that clearly didn't belong to them, in spite of it being crucial evidence?One instance occurred in "Fireflies" where a recently deceased mailman held onto a letter of a long missing friend of a Black girl for years (this is justified, as the man was a racist), but other examples don't hold up as well.
    • Another example is "Detention", where a janitor (who also recently died) held onto a note that he found on the body of a teenager who supposedly committed suicide a decade earlier (it turns out that he had written a note, that was conveniently torn in half, which part left with the kid implied suicide, but the other half, which the janitor had, implied that he feared for his life instead).
    • Possibly the most shameful example was in "Triple Threat" when a man stole the purse of a dying teenaged girl he found in a subway nearly 20 years earlier. He tries to justify his actions by saying that she was "already dead" by the time he got there and became a nurse in the years since, but it does little to explain him leaving a girl to die alone or stealing her property.
  • Speaking of the episode "Fireflies", there's always been one big thing that has bothered me about it. There was a lot of hoopla about the missing little girl and then it turns out that she was not murdered (in spite of her gunshot wound to the chest) and that she just ended up in another part of town/the outskirts. Even if she was suffering from amnesia from her injuries and couldn't find her way back, were the people/police department of Philadelphia so dim that they had no knowledge of another seriously injured little girl who matched her description in another town? Additionally, her assailant was a child himself (an older boy young teenager) who, since he could not drive, would be unable to take the victim very far from home.
    • She was still alive and managed to make it to a road a state trooper picked her up and probably dropped her off a town over for reasons.


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