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Series / Cold Squad

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Cold Squad (1998-2005) is a Canadian Police Procedural about a unit of homicide detectives who investigate cold cases. The series ran for seven seasons on CTV with a frequently changing cast; Julie Stewart as Sgt. Ali McCormick was the only cast member to remain for the entire series run.

Provides examples of:

  • Broken-Window Warning: In "Janine Elston", ex-detective Tom Elston is harassing Wayne Corby, the man he is convinced murdered his daughter. On the day Corby is released from prison (for a different crime), Elston throws a rock through his window.
  • Cigarette Burns: In "Jane Klosky", a suspect did this as a form of Self-Harm while confined to a mental institution. In flashback, he is shown carefully laying a burning cigarette on his forearm above a line of identical parallel burn marks. Later, Ali and Tony observe the scars on his arms while questioning him.
  • Deathbed Confession: "Picasso's Mistake" begins with a serial killer, convicted of killing six women, confessing to a priest as he lays dying that he only murdered five. This sets off an investigation to find a copycat.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: In The Teaser to "Taggert Family", a young girl is snatched from her bed by an abductor who wraps her up in her quilt and carries her off. The camera then closes in on the stuffed rabbit left lying on her pillow.
  • Fiery Cover-Up: In "Taggert Family", the killer sets fire to Taggert family home to destroy evidence and make it impossible to determine time of death.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The cold case division.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: In "All in the Family", Ali blows off a date and leaves him with colleagues standing near the elevator.
    Dan: Are any of you interested in Umberto's?
    Mickey: I've got to... *points, runs away*
    Len: I've got a... thing. *walks away*
    Nicco: *walks away*
  • Only Bad Guys Call Their Lawyers:
    • Exploited in "Personal Politics": the suspect asks to speak with his lawyer, but the detectives say that there's no need to get a lawyer involved, they just need him to explain his alibi. Wanting to appear helpful, he does so — and then the detectives immediately tear the alibi apart, having previously questioned the other people involved, and merely needing him to either confess or get caught in an obvious lie.
    • In "All in the Family," the fact that a suspect not only got a lawyer, but got an expensive lawyer, provides a clue that he's guilty of more than the police knew about.
  • Off with Her Head!: In "Jane Klosky", the squad reopen the case of a nurse who was beaten to death with a strap and decapitated. When they discover another cold case of a nurse who was partially decapitated, they worry they might be dealing with an undiscovered Serial Killer. They're not, but only because someone else killed the killer before he could claim a third victim.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Most of the cast changed after Season 2 (see Retool).
    • In particular, Tony Lagozzo was shot in Season 3 Episode 1 and decided to retire at the end of Episode 2.
    • The medical examiner, Sam Fisher, was caught up in a controversy due to a mistake he'd made in a prior case that nearly let a murderer go free. Feeling that he'd damaged the trust of his police colleagues, he voluntarily retired as an ME at the end of Season 4 and left the force.
    • Frank Coscarella was present at the end of Season 4 but vanished from the show without warning, having only left an voice message to Ali saying he had taken a job in Toronto. It's strongly implied that he did so to be with his son, who has been in his mother's custody.
  • Retool: Between Season 2 and Season 3, almost the entire cast was replaced, as well as the sets, and the credits sequence and music were changed.
  • Revisiting the Cold Case: The premise of the series.
  • Wrench Whack: The Victim of the Week in "Tess" was in done in by a blow from a lug wrench, which left a distinctive hexagonal shaped indentation in her skull.