The BEST Episodes of Cold Case

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Dec 6, 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.

Stalker

#1 - 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 8.46
396 votes
Directors: Alex Zakrzewski
Writers:
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 8.14
387 votes
Directors: Alex Zakrzewski
Writers: Sean Whitesell
The Letter

#3 - The Letter

Season 1 - Episode 13

Rush and Valens re-open the case of a 25-year-old black woman, who was murdered in 1939, after the woman's granddaughter comes forward with new information. The woman was assumed to be a prostitute murdered by a client, but letters written by the victim indicate that she was afraid of a milkman.

star 8.14
459 votes
Directors: Tim Hunter
Writers: Veena Cabreros Sud
A Dollar, A Dream

#4 - 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 8.12
393 votes
Directors: Chris Fisher
Writers: Erica Shelton
The Woods

#5 - 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 8.04
457 votes
Writers: Veena Cabreros Sud
Revolution

#6 - Revolution

Season 2 - Episode 14

Rush and the team investigate the 1969 murder of a 19-year-old girl whose body was found in her boyfriend's apartment the day he fled to Canada to avoid fighting in Vietnam.

star 8.02
405 votes
Directors: Alex Zakrzewski
Writers: Liz W. Garcia
The Plan

#7 - 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 8.02
384 votes
Writers: Veena Cabreros Sud
Offender

#8 - 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 8.01
507 votes
Directors: David Barrett
Writers: Greg Plageman
It's Raining Men

#9 - It's Raining Men

Season 2 - Episode 7

An HIV-positive gay man asks Rush and Valens to re-investigate the case of his dead partner who died of strangulation in 1983. Not only was the victim outspoken in his views about AIDS education within the 1980's secretive gay community, he was also the member of a very prominent family, disowned by his father for his sexual orientation.

star 8.01
439 votes
Directors: Paul Holahan
Writers: Jan Oxenberg
Blank Generation

#10 - Blank Generation

Season 2 - Episode 11

The team re-opens the case of Matthew Adams, a teen-aged cult member who apparently committed suicide back in 1978, when his sister comes forth with new evidence about the deprogrammer her family hired to rescue her brother.

star 8.00
460 votes
Directors: David Barrett
Writers: Chris Mundy
The Road

#11 - 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 7.98
393 votes
Directors: Holly Dale
Writers: Jennifer Johnson
The Sleepover

#12 - The Sleepover

Season 2 - Episode 6

Lilly reopens a 1990 murder case, in which a prep-school girl was found dead in a local swimming hole, after a present-day victim with similar markings is discovered at the same place. The investigation reveals that the victim of the earlier crime was routinely tormented by a trio of classmates who invited her to a sleepover the night she was killed.

star 7.97
514 votes
Directors: Emilio Estevez
Writers: Liz W. Garcia
Shuffle, Ball Change

#13 - 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 7.94
418 votes
Directors: Mark Pellington
Writers: Liz W. Garcia
The Hen House

#14 - The Hen House

Season 3 - Episode 21

The 1945 case of a murdered newspaper reporter is reopened when new evidence suggests that the woman was thrown in front of a passing train by someone she knew.

star 7.93
311 votes
Writers: Craig Turk
Who's Your Daddy

#15 - Who's Your Daddy

Season 2 - Episode 5

Det. Rush investigates the 1991 double murder of married illegal immigrants from Cambodia who were shot to death in their apartment and found by their 6-year old daughter. The now-teenage girl brings the case to Lilly after she discovers a bracelet once owned by her mother is for sale on the internet. The probe reveals that the parents had dark secrets unknown to their daughter.

star 7.93
470 votes
Directors: Greg Yaitanes
Writers: Tyler Bensinger
Fireflies

#16 - 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 7.92
473 votes
Directors: Marcos Siega
Writers: Erica Shelton
Mind Hunters

#17 - Mind Hunters

Season 2 - Episode 9

The headless torso of a woman who disappeared in 1985, on the same day she filed domestic-abuse charges against her husband, is found by hikers in a wildlife preserve. The investigation quickly leads to the grisly discovery of 8 more decapitated bodies, the victims of a serial killer.

star 7.92
458 votes
Directors: Kevin Bray
Writers: Veena Cabreros Sud
Wunderkind

#18 - Wunderkind

Season 5 - Episode 6

The team re-opens the 2002 case of a 14-year-old math whiz whose half-brother exploited his unusual talents: card counting and safe cracking.

star 7.91
468 votes
Directors: Kevin Bray
Writers: Greg Plageman
Andy in C Minor

#19 - Andy in C Minor

Season 5 - Episode 14

After traces of blood linked back to a missing teen are found, the team re-investigates the 2006 case of a boy who disappeared from a high school for deaf children.

star 7.91
378 votes
Directors: Jeannot Szwarc
Writers: Gavin Harris
Maternal Instincts

#20 - Maternal Instincts

Season 1 - Episode 21

The 1989 case of a woman murdered in front of her 3-year-old son is re-opened. A psychologist asks Det. Rush to look into the case again when the son, now a 17-year-old teen, suffers from intense nightmares and troubled behavior.

star 7.90
442 votes
Directors: Kevin Hooks
Writers: Laurie Arent
The Long Blue Line (1)

#21 - 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 7.90
430 votes
Directors: Roxann Dawson
Writers: Greg Plageman, Jennifer Johnson
True Calling

#22 - True Calling

Season 6 - Episode 2

Rush and the team look into the death of an inner-city school teacher, originally thought to be a carjacking gone wrong, when a former student finds her car keys in an old desk.

star 7.90
499 votes
Directors: Paris Barclay
Writers: Christopher Silber
The War at Home

#23 - The War at Home

Season 4 - Episode 2

The team re-opens the 2004 case of a female veteran of the Iraqi War when her prosthetic arm is found in a river. Meanwhile, Scotty visits his older brother in connection with a case that brings up painful memories from their childhood.

star 7.89
466 votes
Directors: Alex Zakrzewski
Writers: Samantha Howard Corbin
Thrill Kill

#24 - Thrill Kill

Season 5 - Episode 1

Recovered from the shooting, Lilly wants to convince her boss that she's ready to get back to work. The team re-opens the 1994 case of three 10-year-old kids who were beaten to death when Lilly suspects the teens convicted of the killings may have been wrongfully incarcerated.

star 7.89
497 votes
Directors: Alex Zakrzewski
Writers: Veena Cabreros Sud
Sabotage

#25 - 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 7.88
416 votes
Directors: Nicole Kassell
Writers: Greg Plageman