The BEST Episodes of Cold Case

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Oct 10, 2019

Network: CBS

Cold Case stars Kathryn Morris as Lilly Rush, the lone female detective in the Philadelphia homicide squad who finds her calling when she's assigned to "cold cases" -- crimes that have never been solved. Previously, she used her instinctive understanding of the criminal mind on current murders. Now, she's interrogating witnesses whose lives and circumstances have since changed, making use of today's new science and finding fresh clues to solve cases that were previously unsolvable, all of which appeals to this smart, driven detective. She's also prepared for the consequences: that her work will open up old wounds and may lead suspects to commit new crimes.

The Woods

#1 - The Woods

Season 2 - Episode 23

The discovery of nine human skulls leads Rush (Kathryn Morris) back to George Marks, the serial killer she was unable to incriminate months earlier, and who walked away a free man. As the detectives reinvestigate his mother's murder from 1972, George is forced to emerge from hiding to face Rush again. This time, their very lives are at stake in their final showdown.

star 8.30
161 votes
Writers: Veena Cabreros Sud
Death Penalty: Final Appeal

#2 - Death Penalty: Final Appeal

Season 3 - Episode 20

The 1994 case of a raped and murdered 16-year-old girl is re-opened when Det. Jeffries gets a call from a prisoner on death-row -- scheduled to be executed in just three days.

star 8.19
143 votes
Directors: Alex Zakrzewski
Writers: Sean Whitesell
The Long Blue Line (1)

#3 - The Long Blue Line (1)

Season 6 - Episode 22

In the first part of the two-part season finale, the team re-opens the case of the first ever female cadet in a local military school who was murdered in 2005.

star 8.18
106 votes
Directors: Roxann Dawson
Writers: Jennifer Johnson, Greg Plageman

#4 - Fireflies

Season 4 - Episode 8

When an undelivered letter with a missing child's handwriting on it shows up, the team is prompted to re-open the case of an 8-year-old girl who disappeared in 1975.

star 8.18
149 votes
Directors: Marcos Siega
Writers: Erica Shelton
A Dollar, A Dream

#5 - A Dollar, A Dream

Season 4 - Episode 18

The team re-opens the 1999 case of a murdered homeless woman when her remains are found in a station wagon at the bottom of the river.

star 8.16
124 votes
Directors: Chris Fisher
Writers: Erica Shelton

#6 - Stalker

Season 4 - Episode 24

In the fourth season finale, a hostage situation arises when the entire team is held captive while they're investigating the 2006 killings of a family who had just moved into a new house.

star 8.16
126 votes
Directors: Alex Zakrzewski
Best Friends

#7 - Best Friends

Season 2 - Episode 22

When an old truck containing human bones is pulled from the Delaware River, the team re-opens the case of a missing and possibly murdered girl who disappeared unexpectedly in 1932.

star 8.15
160 votes
Directors: Mark Pellington
Writers: Liz W. Garcia
Forever Blue

#8 - Forever Blue

Season 4 - Episode 10

The team re-investigates the 1968 death of a policeman who was shot in his patrol car. The case was then ruled as a drug bust gone bad, but new evidence now reveals the victim may have been romantically involved with his partner.

star 8.15
129 votes
Directors: Jeannot Szwarc
Writers: Tom Pettit
The Road

#9 - The Road

Season 5 - Episode 15

The team re-investigates the suspected 2007 murder of a bride-to-be who was kidnapped on the day of her engagement party. Lilly and Scotty travel to West Virginia to escort the prime suspect to Philly, and on their way back, they hear his side of the story.

star 8.15
124 votes
Directors: Holly Dale
Writers: Jennifer Johnson
Ghost of My Child

#10 - Ghost of My Child

Season 5 - Episode 18

In the season finale, a drug addict mother, who lost her son in an apartment fire in 2005, comes forth claiming she just saw the same child in the park.

star 8.10
114 votes
Directors: Roxann Dawson
Writers: Liz W. Garcia
Into the Blue (2)

#11 - Into the Blue (2)

Season 6 - Episode 23

In the second part of the finale, the investigation into the female cadet's murder continues. As the team finds more and more clues, the killer tries to stop the investigation to remain hidden.

star 8.09
106 votes
Directors: Jeannot Szwarc
Writers: Jennifer Johnson, Greg Plageman
Boy Crazy

#12 - Boy Crazy

Season 5 - Episode 9

The team re-opens the 1963 case of teenage girl who was then thought to have committed suicide. Now, new evidence leads them to believe the girl might have been murdered for acting and dressing like a boy.

star 8.08
125 votes
Directors: Holly Dale
Writers: Joanna Lovinger

#13 - Sabotage

Season 5 - Episode 12

The team re-opens the 1999, 2001, and 2003 pipe bombing incidents that killed two and blinded one victim. The serial bomber is still on the loose and ready to strike again as he missed his latest target.

star 8.06
120 votes
Directors: Nicole Kassell
Writers: Greg Plageman

#14 - Daniela

Season 2 - Episode 3

Lilly and Valens reopen a presumed homicide from 1979 in which an unidentified victim's blood-drenched shoes, underwear and sheets were found in a trash bag, but no body. The investigation begins when a battered wife accuses her husband of murdering a girl in 1979 and brings in an amateur film from the time that supposedly shows him committing the crime.

star 8.05
186 votes
Directors: David Barrett
Writers: Veena Cabreros Sud
The Good-Bye Room

#15 - The Good-Bye Room

Season 4 - Episode 16

Lilly re-opens the 1964 case of a murdered 17-year-old girl who was killed the day after giving birth to a baby girl in a home for unwed mothers.

star 8.05
127 votes
Directors: Holly Dale
Writers: Jennifer Johnson

#16 - Offender

Season 4 - Episode 19

A desperate father turned serial killer coerces the team into taking another look of his son's 1987 murder.

star 8.05
129 votes
Directors: David Barrett
Writers: Greg Plageman
Boy in the Box

#17 - Boy in the Box

Season 1 - Episode 14

The 1958 death of an unknown 6-year-old boy found in a field inside a cardboard box is reinvestigated after a small suitcase with the child's picture and his old cowboy hat is left in front of a church. The new probe reveals that the rowdy boy lived at a Catholic-run orphanage and was adopted two days before his suspicious demise.

star 8.04
205 votes
Directors: Karen Gaviola
Writers: Meredith Stiehm
The Plan

#18 - The Plan

Season 1 - Episode 22

The 1999 drowning death of a military academy's swim coach, which was originally ruled as accidental, is reinvestigated after the homicide division receives a note that suggests it was murder. Back at the office, Valens searches for Elisa after she goes missing.

star 8.04
168 votes
Writers: Veena Cabreros Sud
Lover's Lane

#19 - Lover's Lane

Season 1 - Episode 23

When DNA evidence reveals that a wrong man was convicted for killing 15-year-old Eve Kendall back in 1986, the team re-opens her case in an attempt to find the real killer.

star 8.03
183 votes
Writers: Meredith Stiehm
A Perfect Day (a.k.a. The Choice)

#20 - A Perfect Day (a.k.a. The Choice)

Season 3 - Episode 9

When a fisherman finds evidence of a young girl's death washed up on a shore in New Jersey, Lilly re-opens the 1965 case of 4-year-old child who had a seemingly abusive mother.

star 8.03
166 votes
Directors: Roxann Dawson
Writers: Veena Cabreros Sud

#21 - Wishing

Season 2 - Episode 15

When someone leaves drawings recreating an accident that killed a mentally disabled teen, it points the finger at the incident being murder.

star 8.02
163 votes
Directors: Emilio Estevez
Writers: Karin Lewicki
Strange Fruit

#22 - Strange Fruit

Season 2 - Episode 19

The unsolved 1963 murder of a black teenager, whose body was discovered by the then-young Will Jeffries, is reopened.

star 8.02
153 votes
Directors: Paris Barclay
Writers: Veena Cabreros Sud
Shuffle, Ball Change

#23 - Shuffle, Ball Change

Season 4 - Episode 17

When a body is found in a dumpster, the team re-opens the 1984 case of a murdered teenage boy who wanted to become a dancer against his father's wishes.

star 8.02
122 votes
Directors: Mark Pellington
Writers: Liz W. Garcia
Factory Girls

#24 - Factory Girls

Season 2 - Episode 2

On the eve of the 60-year reunion of women who worked in a weapons factory during World War II, Lilly is asked to re-investigate the death of Alice Miller, one of the worker girls. The death was deemed accidental at the time, but her friend pleads to Lilly to look closer into the case.

star 8.01
191 votes
Writers: Stacy Kravetz, Meredith Stiehm

#25 - Joseph

Season 3 - Episode 23

When the victim's credit card is suddenly used a year after his death, Lilly re-opens the 2005 case of a counselor at a teens' rehab center who was shot to death just two weeks before he was scheduled to testify in a murder case. During the probe, Lilly feels a strange connection to the victim, and her personal attachment may end up jeopardizing the case.

star 7.99
130 votes
Directors: Roxann Dawson
Writers: Andrea Newman, Liz W. Garcia