A man was brutally beaten to death in Seagraves, Texas, five years ago and the case was still unsolved when the Cold Justice team rolled into town and rolled up their sleeves in an effort to find justice for the victim on the last episode of the season on TNT which aired Tuesday evening, Oct. 22. Dick Wolf's original investigative crime show has received high ratings, which earned it a second season slated to begin in Jan. of 2014.
Wolf, who was the mastermind behind the long-running Law & Order series, has struck gold once again with this unique criminal investigative show which veers away from the formula of his earlier success by featuring real law enforcement professionals solving some of the 200,000 unsolved cold cases which have splattered the American countryside with blood since 1980.
The victim in yesterday's episode did not die immediately at the crime scene which caused investigators five years ago to not secure the crime scene since they believed it to be an aggravated assault case instead of murder.
Successful former Houston prosecutor Kelly Siegler said, "It can cause problems when at first the investigators don't realize the case will be a murder case. The crime scene will normally be more secure immediately if everyone knows it's a murder case."
The 52-year old victim in this case uttered a few words before he was rushed to a hosptial where he died five hours later. Unable to identify his killer or killers, he could only say, "They beat me bad."
As she drives to the crime scene with equally successful Las Vegas investigator Yolanda McClary, Siegler pointed out the positive aspects of the case. Since this case is newer than most of their cold cases which have usually been unsolved for decades, there is a greater likelihood of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together.
Interrogation guru Johnny Bonds is summoned to interview the witnesses and likely suspects. Although lie detector results are not admissible in court, they are sometimes valuable law enforcement tools which can garner information from suspects. Bonds, who comes across as a Texas good o'l boy, is able to elicit several inconsistent statements from the suspects in this episode which will help lead to the indictments of two suspects on this show.
Siegler first made her name in a Houston murder case by showing a jury how a murder defendant stabbed her husband to death while sitting astride him in bed, She prosecuted successfully more than sixty murder cases while shining in the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
McClary, for her part, had a remarkable career spanning more than 20 years with the Las Vegas Police Department, before joining forces with Seigler and Wolf to create this transformative show. This show does something none of the classic Law & Order Shows could ever accomplish. It brings real criminals to real justice.
McClary likes the realism of this new genre. She said happy endings are not guaranteed like most shows because they are dealing with real cases and real lives who have been touched by crime. She further said that "this is the last chance many of these crimes will have to be solved."
The prototype for CSI character Marg Helgenberger said that she and Siegler are opposites in some ways which makes their partnership interesting.
"I'll say I want to go shopping and Kelly will say something like, "Not really?"'
But the LV investigator says "we think exactly alike when it comes to investigating these crimes."
Siegler, who worked 10 years on cold cases during her brilliant career in Houston, said she got the idea for the show based on many of her own experiences. She observed that smaller communities often didn't have the resources needed to solve all the murder cases with which they were confronted. She was quick to give Wolf all the credit.
"If it wasn't for Dick Wolf we wouldn't be here doing this on the show. He's made this all possible. He had the vision to believe this would work."
A show produced by Wolf is as close to a guaranteed success as there exists in today's television world. There was a time when a person could turn on as many as four different networks and see Law & Order shows or one of their spin-offs running simultaneously.
Born in the Big Apple in 1946, Wolf's honesty is refreshing. During the recent federal government shutdown he was heard to say, "How can people (politicians) behave like this?"
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Wolf wrote more than 100 TV commercials including the memorable line for National Airlines, "I'm Cheryl, Fly Me."
In 1985 he joined the incredibly successful Hill Street Blues as executive script consultant. He later made several outstanding movies including School Ties, Twin Towers and No Man's Land. While he may be best known by most Americans for his Law & Order Franchise which includes Law & Order SVU and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, he has certainly written his signature in bold strokes across the true crime genre with Cold Justice.
Fans of Cold Justice may be impatient knowing they will have to wait until January for the next episode, but they are certainly pleased TNT has renewed the groundbreaking show for another season. Criminals who think they have escaped justice should beware if they see the Cold Justice ladies in their town.
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