The BEST Episodes of The First 48

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jun 15, 2021

Network: A&E

The First 48 follows detectives from around the country during these first critical hours as they race against time to find the suspect. Gritty and fast-paced, it takes viewers behind the scenes of real-life investigations with unprecedented access to crime scenes, autopsies, forensic processing, and interrogations.

Desert Bones / Party's Over

#1 - Desert Bones / Party's Over

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Aug 19, 2004

Detectives Dillian and Jewell join forensic anthropologist Laura Fulginiti to determine the identity of a female skeleton found in the desert. And the shooting of a teenager at a high-school party puts Detectives Rodriguez and Kulesa on the trail of a shooter wearing a ski mask.

star 10.00
31 votes
Lester Street

#2 - Lester Street

Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired Jul 17, 2008

Four adults and two children lay dead in was is being called the worst mass murder in 15 years. Detectives scramble for clues and learn the deaths may be gang related. Can detectives locate these killers for before they take anyone else out?

star 10.00
33 votes

#3 - Triggered

Season 21 - Episode 12 - Aired Feb 27, 2020

Detective Ronnie Leatherman returns to Tulsa homicide to investigate the death of a man who crashed his car in a shopping center.

star 10.00
1 votes
Gangs of Little Havana/Execution in Coconut Grove

#4 - Gangs of Little Havana/Execution in Coconut Grove

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Jun 3, 2004

A wall of silence from a frightened community hampers efforts to solve a brutal murder; and a mother of two is shot execution-style in her kitchen in an affluent neighborhood. In a visual style more like drama than reality show, we tail Miami homicide investigators as they race time to solve these murders. Who're the suspects? Are the detectives right?

star 9.86
29 votes
Dark Waters

#5 - Dark Waters

Season 15 - Episode 23 - Aired Nov 17, 2014

The case of a missing New Orleans couple takes an ominous turn when one of them is found dead in a river.

star 9.03
29 votes
Lying in Wait/With This Ring

#6 - Lying in Wait/With This Ring

Season 16 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 22, 2015

A mother is found stabbed to death on the side of the road, but a wedding ring dropped at the scene could break the case.

star 9.03
29 votes
Fatal Pickup/Bad Neighbor

#7 - Fatal Pickup/Bad Neighbor

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 18, 2007

A sixty-one year old man becomes an unlikely suspect when a double shooting takes place. Investigators try to wrap their brains around the tragic murders and the unlikely suspect. A murder victim is found dumped in a park their body full of bullets. As detectives dig deeper into the life of the victim they start to unravel man secrets.

star 9.00
28 votes
Return to Sender/Death Camp

#8 - Return to Sender/Death Camp

Season 8 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 8, 2009

A young man lays dead in the backseat of his friend's car. Detectives start looking around the scene and find some mail. Could this be the clue that breaks the case? The streets of Minneapolis are 'home' to the homeless. The brutal beating death of a homeless man sets detectives on a hunt for a killer.

star 9.00
28 votes
One of Ours

#9 - One of Ours

Season 10 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 4, 2010

In Miami, Det. Frank Sanchez responds to the murder of a retired Miami Police captain, shot in broad daylight at a marina on the Miami River. When initial leads run dry, Miami PD launches a massive investigation, tracking the alleged killer all the way to New Jersey.

star 9.00
28 votes
Nightmare in Greedy Grove/Good Man Down

#10 - Nightmare in Greedy Grove/Good Man Down

Season 13 - Episode 3 - Aired Dec 6, 2012

A drive-by shooting in Dallas leads to the death of an innocent bystander; a young Cleveland father is killed as he attempts to break up a fight.

star 9.00
28 votes
Best Laid Plans/Burned Alive

#11 - Best Laid Plans/Burned Alive

Season 13 - Episode 16 - Aired May 30, 2013

In Cleveland, when a teenager is shot down in the street, detectives discover his best friends may have something to do with the murder. In Harris County, a young woman set on fire clings to life as deputies race to find who left her for dead.

star 9.00
58 votes
Blood Feud

#12 - Blood Feud

Season 14 - Episode 1 - Aired Aug 8, 2013

A police detective hopes to locate the killers of two Miami men before the bloody turf war claims another victim.

star 9.00
28 votes
Bad Reputation/Deadly Party

#13 - Bad Reputation/Deadly Party

Season 14 - Episode 2 - Aired Aug 15, 2013

A young mother of three is gunned down in front of her Cleveland home; a birthday party celebration in Florida turns deadly.

star 9.00
28 votes
Last Stop: Paradise/Bad Blood

#14 - Last Stop: Paradise/Bad Blood

Season 14 - Episode 3 - Aired Sep 12, 2013

In Broward County, when a migrant worker is robbed and beaten to death, Dets. Valerian Perez and Kevin Forsberg must track down a vicious predator before he strikes again. Then, in Cleveland, a man is shot dead in broad daylight at a carwash, and Dets. Lem Griffin and Art Echols fear their case will go cold when none of the witnesses will talk.

star 9.00
28 votes
Brother's Keeper/Fighting Words

#15 - Brother's Keeper/Fighting Words

Season 14 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 17, 2013

In Cleveland, an innocent man is gunned down in a gang war and Detectives race to find his killers before any more blood is shed. Then, in Dallas, a father is murdered close to home and detectives need his neighbors to give them a lead.

star 9.00
28 votes
Deadly Secret/Behind Closed Doors

#16 - Deadly Secret/Behind Closed Doors

Season 15 - Episode 10 - Aired Jun 26, 2014

A young Dallas father's secret may have led to his shooting death; Cleveland detectives have little to work with as they probe the case of a mother who was strangled in her kitchen.

star 9.00
28 votes
Cold Betrayal

#17 - Cold Betrayal

Season 15 - Episode 12 - Aired Jul 10, 2014

When a man is shot in front of his family in their home shortly before Christmas, detectives investigate drug dealers.

star 9.00
28 votes
Cold Embrace

#18 - Cold Embrace

Season 15 - Episode 11 - Aired Jul 3, 2014

A man is found strangled to death in his car. The detectives working on the case, soon discover a secret relationship that may hold the key to who the killer is.

star 9.00
28 votes
Lost Boys

#19 - Lost Boys

Season 19 - Episode 24 - Aired Sep 13, 2018

In Tulsa, Okla., an innocent grandmother is gunned down steps from her front door; Detective John Brown discovers that her killers may be 14-year-old boys.

star 9.00
2 votes
Smoke Screen/The Last Goodbye

#20 - Smoke Screen/The Last Goodbye

Season 9 - Episode 6 - Aired Mar 4, 2010

A 28-year-old father is stabbed to death while at work; a 35-year-old man is shot to death in a bar bathroom.

star 8.93
30 votes
Deadly Gamble/Inside Job

#21 - Deadly Gamble/Inside Job

Season 9 - Episode 18 - Aired Jul 15, 2010

Harris County/Miami - Dep. Mario Quintanilla investigates the murder of a woman shot during a robbery of her illegal game room. Acting on a tip that his suspects are from Central America, Quintanilla races to find them before they can flee the country. And in Miami, Det. Fabio Sanchez heads to Little Haiti to investigate the homicide of two young men shot in their living room. Sanchez must track down a friend of the victims, who was with them before they were shot, to find out what he knows.

star 8.90
29 votes
Caught in the Middle

#22 - Caught in the Middle

Season 11 - Episode 16 - Aired Oct 27, 2011

In Miami, two men are found beaten and shot behind an abandoned house. As Det. TC Cepero digs deeper into the case he unearths more than one reason the men could have been killed.

star 8.87
30 votes
Hit List/Hand in Hand

#23 - Hit List/Hand in Hand

Season 11 - Episode 11 - Aired Aug 25, 2011

In Miami, lead detective TC Cepero investigates the murder of a 20-year-old male, gunned down in the middle of the street in broad daylight. With surveillance video of the suspect and possible witnesses they learn the victim may have been on the killers hit list. Then, in DeKalb County, a 20-year-old man is shot dead while walking his girlfriend home at night. Sergeant Matthew Ferreira and team must work quickly to solve this senseless murder that also left two others injured.

star 8.83
29 votes
Blood on the Streets

#24 - Blood on the Streets

Season 12 - Episode 22 - Aired Oct 4, 2012

Miami homicide detectives investigating a triple shooting on a crowded bus learn the violence was the result of an escalating street war.

star 8.76
29 votes
Wild Ride

#25 - Wild Ride

Season 13 - Episode 10 - Aired Apr 4, 2013

Cleveland homicide detectives follow a bizarre trail of evidence in the case of a father of five who was stabbed over 50 times.

star 8.50
56 votes