Cold Case Files

The BEST episodes of Cold Case Files

Every episode of Cold Case Files ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Cold Case Files!

Unsolved crimes locked away in dusty file cabinets. Time is an ineffectual balm. Painful memories are left to a victim's loved ones. What happens when a killer gets away with murder? Thanks to the efforts of a special breed of modern detective, no one escapes the laws of justice - no matter how old the case.

Last Updated: 11/17/2022Network:A&E
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The Green River Killer
star
9.00
2 votes

#1 - The Green River Killer

Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired 2/12/2001

Cold Case discusses the story of the nearly 20-year hunt for the man responsible for the murders of 49 prostitutes and other women in the Seattle, Washington area.

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Killer on Campus/Bow Hunter
star
8.60
5 votes

#2 - Killer on Campus/Bow Hunter

Season 5 - Episode 8 - Aired 4/2/2006

Thirty-two years after the killing of University of Michigan law student Jane Mixer, police use DNA found on her pantyhose to finally track down the killer. And psychologists help solve a cold case by suggesting the lead detective take a page from the game of romance, and play hard to get with the killer.

Lil' Miss /Skeletons In The Closet
star
8.50
2 votes

#3 - Lil' Miss /Skeletons In The Closet

Season 3 - Episode 24 - Aired 6/11/2001

An eerie note left on a grave helps solve a 12-year-old case of murder, and an exhaustive questioning of a mother helps police unravel the mysterious deaths of three of her

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A Family Secret
star
8.33
6 votes

#4 - A Family Secret

Season 6 - Episode 8 - Aired 6/15/2017

A 17-year-old girl from a small Kentucky town goes missing, then is found strangled two weeks later; a police investigation into the crime uncovers a terrible family secret.

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The Answer in the Box/Maternal Instinct
star
8.00
29 votes

#5 - The Answer in the Box/Maternal Instinct

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 1/23/1999

Answer in the Box Alison Parrott was a runner. Not only was she was runner she was a great runner, So much so that she had the local media interested in her, So when she got a call from a photographer to take some pictures of her running she didn't think anything wrong with it. She left to go to her photo session and wasn't seen alive again. The police had a fellow runner as the lead suspect but nothing ever happened with that lead. A cold case detective named Vic Matanovic was going through some files 10 years later and came across the case. When the detective was looking for clues to solve the case the Answer is in the Box. Usually DNA is enough to prove a case but in this case the criminal who lured Alison to her death had a plan to lure the jury to believe in the lie he was about to tell. Maternal Instinct 1981 a brother and sister fell victim to a heartless mother with no regard for life. 3 month old Seth Davis was rushed to the hospital because of insulin poisoning. He was left brain damaged. 5 months later his sister, Tenga Davis, is rushed to the hospital. There she dies of Caffeine poisoning. Even though the autopsy that was turned in by the M.E. stated cause of death was a homicide, the police treated this as an accident. Their mother Mary Beth Davis moves on with her own life by moving to a different state. She starts a new family and forgets all about what happened back in her past. That is until 10 years later when Mary Beth gets a knock on her door by the cold case detectives which brings back her past as the detectives are there to prove a case of murder.

Blood Money/Precious Doe
star
8.00
2 votes

#6 - Blood Money/Precious Doe

Season 3 - Episode 11 - Aired 3/12/2001

Testimony about the growth of larvae in dead bodies helps convict the man who stabbed a couple to death and strangled their 4-year-old daughter in 1993. And the 2001 murder of a young girl, whose head was cut off, remains unsolved.

The Shopping Cart Killer
star
8.00
1 votes

#7 - The Shopping Cart Killer

Season 3 - Episode 22 - Aired 5/28/2001

A dry cleaning tag inside a sweatshirt left at a crime scene helps police track down a serial killer and rapist who had been eluding them for years.

The Black Dahlia
star
8.00
3 votes

#8 - The Black Dahlia

Season 5 - Episode 16 - Aired 9/9/2006

Bill Kurtis examines one of the most infamous cold cases in Los Angeles history -- the 1947 murder of actress Elizabeth Short, who was found nude and cut in half in an empty lot. Though charges have never been filed in the case, theories abound, and Kurtis investigates some of the most prominent ones. He talks to a retired LAPD detective whose 3 year investigation led to the stunning conclusion that his own father committed the murder. Kurtis also probes the theory that the killer was a surgeon named Walter Bayley. Kurtis finally explores the possibility that there may have been a police cover-up in the case to protect the real killer.

The Lost Patient
star
8.00
1 votes

#9 - The Lost Patient

Season 7 - Episode 25 - Aired 4/29/2022

In 1979, Janie Landers disappears from a home for the impaired. When Janie's body is found, there are many suspects but it takes years before the killer and the atrocities in the care facility are revealed.

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Murder On The Menu
star
7.83
6 votes

#10 - Murder On The Menu

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired 3/12/2000

A boy's toy Batmobile car provides an important clue for detectives struggling to make a case against a serial killer who stalks and kills waitresses.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Mommy's Rules
star
7.80
5 votes

#11 - Mommy's Rules

Season 2 - Episode 24 - Aired 6/11/2000

A mother is suspected in the murders of two of her daughters, when her third daughter finally convinces police to reopen two cold cases.

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Murder Checks In / Killer in the City
star
7.80
5 votes

#12 - Murder Checks In / Killer in the City

Season 3 - Episode 21 - Aired 5/21/2001

Police hunt for a man who killed three women in three different hotels, not far from one another in Des Moines, Iowa. And police get a killer to confess when they tell him prosecutors will show photos of the gruesome crime scene.

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Terror in Telluride/Signature of a Killer
star
7.79
19 votes

#13 - Terror in Telluride/Signature of a Killer

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired 2/26/1999

Shoot outside her bedroom, Eva Shoen was shot to death. Living in Telluride, on the mountain side. Eva was married to the son of the billion dollar Shoen family who owned the U-Haul empire. With lacking evidence the case runs cold. Even though the police believe that her death was related to a fued in the family business. Years later the case is solved by a secret that was finally revealed and a recorded conversation is played. DNA also helped the killer to confess to the crime. Signature of a Killer Taylor Courtney was a 20 yr old man who was brutaly murdered in his apartment. The crime scene was bloody and vicious. A single print is found but in 1974 when fingerprint technology was still in its infancy it meant nothing. 20 years would pass before a cold case detective would pick up the case and look at it again. What they found was a match in the system which leads to a friend of Taylor's who had committed this murder because of mistaken suspicions and jealousy.

The Boy and the Monster/Secret in the Cellar
star
7.78
41 votes

#14 - The Boy and the Monster/Secret in the Cellar

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 1/8/1999

The Boy and the Monster In Wisconsin in the winter of 1991 a young woman's body was found naked, badly beaten and to make it harder to identify her, her fingertips were cut off. After months of trying to figure out who she was they finally came up with a name. Doris McLeod. After finding out who she was the police find out a lot more about her. She had a troubled past. After being on the streets she ended up connected to a pimp. Only one month of being on the streets she is never seen again. It takes a 3 year old boy to finally tell the police about Doris and the Boy and the Monster. Secret in the Cellar The second part of this episode is about a young woman from South Portland, Maine who was in search of her mother. She contacts the police but they get nowhere. They question Bill Bruns, the missing woman's husband who told the police a story about how Pearl drank and ran off with another man. Elaine Woodward, the missing womans daughter, went to the media for help. An investigator takes the case and with the help of science and man power he finds out what happened to Pearl with the Secret in the Cellar.

Written In Blood
star
7.75
4 votes

#15 - Written In Blood

Season 7 - Episode 19 - Aired 3/18/2022

In July of 1970, the brutal murder of single mom Loretta Jones leaves four-year-old Heidi Jones motherless. Nearly 40 years later, Heidi vows to solve her mother's cold case and calls on an old high school friend to help her find justice for Loretta.

Watch Now:Amazon
Killings on Christmas Eve
star
7.72
18 votes

#16 - Killings on Christmas Eve

Season 6 - Episode 2 - Aired 3/6/2017

A family torn apart by their grandparents’ murders. Two decades later, a cold case detective takes on the case that has haunted him since he was a child.

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Something Snapped/A Killer's Dream
star
7.71
7 votes

#17 - Something Snapped/A Killer's Dream

Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired 4/7/2006

On a summer night in 1987 a mother worries and waits for her 19-year-old daughter to come home. But Diana never comes home and she's found raped and strangled near the Hudson River. Investigators suspect her friend, Michael because his alibi is shaky and witnesses place his truck near the crime scene. Trouble is, he passes a polygraph and his DNA is no match. Nevertheless, Michael remains the chief suspect for 17 years, until DNA fingers another man who offers a chilling story of Diana's last breath. Then, a young family's life is shattered when a San Antonio interior design shop becomes a crime scene. In 1983, a young mother is raped and murdered at work. The crime remains unsolved for two decades. Then in 2003 detectives reopen the case pegging their hopes on DNA. But when the evidence turns up missing, detectives worry this case could be over before it starts.

A Killer's Skin / Where's Peggy?
star
7.71
7 votes

#18 - A Killer's Skin / Where's Peggy?

Season 5 - Episode 11 - Aired 6/3/2006

Police in Albany, N.Y., get a surprise when a killer they think targets only older women is suspected in the murder of an elderly man. And the contents of a secret storage shed holds the grisly clues to a murder that has gone cold for more than 14 years.

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The Texas Drifter/The Fingerprint File
star
7.70
30 votes

#19 - The Texas Drifter/The Fingerprint File

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 1/15/1999

Texas Drifter Two women in two separate towns in Texas who where raped. The rapist uses a knife to threaten these women then rapes them and leaves his DNA behind. Back when these happened DNA was not profected yet so having the DNA was useless. Many years later when CODIS was developed which is a database for DNA a match to the rapists DNA was found. It was to a known serial rapist. Fingerprint File It was two days before Christmas a woman if found stabbed to death with the only clue left is a fingerprint left on a pop bottle. The forensic people were able to lift the print but had no success in matching it to anybody. Years later a man still working on cold cases finds a match to the fingerpprint which gives the police a lead to a killer. Rose Among Thorns Juliet Rowe was the victim who got shot in the bedroom of her English Countryside home. She was shot execution style then was shot again in the heart. The killer wanted to make sure that Juliet was dead. After thousands of endless attempts her case remained unsolved. 8 years later a stranger comes into a pub and starts talking to Mr Rowe Juliet's husband. The stranger's name was Keith Rose. He was arrested on kidnapping charges 6 weeks later. Because of his arrest he brings attention to himself to the cold case investigators who then look at him in the "Rose Among Thorns" case.

The Burning Secret/Justice Delayed
star
7.67
3 votes

#20 - The Burning Secret/Justice Delayed

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired 3/26/1999

A rapist is captured seven years after the crime, but when he is released on a technicality his victim is determined to fight back. Fifteen years after a fire claimed the lives of a father and son, detectives interview the grown surviving son and learn a tragic tale of a mother who burned her family.

Missing in Altoona
star
7.67
3 votes

#21 - Missing in Altoona

Season 7 - Episode 3 - Aired 9/3/2021

When Sherry Leighty goes missing in 1999, her family is left wondering how a dedicated mother of three could vanish without a trace. A decade later, the cold case heats up when Sherry's sister launches a social media campaign to help solve her sister's mysterious disappearance. An online tip unearths the killer truth and a sinister family secret. This episode features an interview with Shelly Leighty, who never gave up on solving her sister's case, along with rare home video of Sherry and her family not long before she disappeared.

Watch Now:Amazon
She Never Came Home
star
7.65
20 votes

#22 - She Never Came Home

Season 6 - Episode 3 - Aired 3/13/2017

The case of a gruesome stabbing death of a bullied teenager remains unsolved for 27 years – until a rookie cold case detective sees a new clue in an old crime scene photo, leading her to a killer that everyone thought could not possibly have committed the crime.

Watch Now:Amazon
Soft Kill/Unsolved
star
7.63
8 votes

#23 - Soft Kill/Unsolved

Season 2 - Episode 20 - Aired 5/14/2000

Police run down more than 11,000 leads before coming up with a suspect in the murders of three Virginia girls; and the abduction and strangulation of a California woman continues to baffle investigators more than 11 years after the crime.

Watch Now:iTunes
A Sealed Fate/Deadly Divorce
star
7.57
7 votes

#24 - A Sealed Fate/Deadly Divorce

Season 2 - Episode 25 - Aired 6/18/2000

A murderer's saliva, found on envelopes that he sealed, helps seal his doom 37 years after his first killing. And Colorado police crack a cold case 24 years later when they take a DNA sample from the victim's son that proves that his father murdered his mother.

Watch Now:iTunes
One Night on the Bayou/The Buckeye Misdemeanor
star
7.56
32 votes

#25 - One Night on the Bayou/The Buckeye Misdemeanor

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 2/12/1999

In Louisiana, in 1994, police find the body of a victim who's throat was slashed and body stabbed. With no evidence the case goes cold for many years until years later when a man is arrested for theft. The man is looking to find a way out of jail and tell the detectives of a tale of a murder, fishing and revenge one night many years ago One Night on the Bayou The second story line in this episode is about two men wielding guns in a motel lobby.The only clues left are a few finger prints. Since there were no other clues the case goes cold and is filed in the Buckeye Misdemeanor file. It would be 20 years before the police would look at that file again. With new technology they restart the search to find a killer.

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