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The Best Episodes of Cold Case

Every episode of Cold Case ranked from best to worst. Let's dive into the Best Episodes of Cold Case!

The Philadelphia homicide squad's lone female detective finds her calling when she is assigned cases that have never been solved. Detective Lilly Rush combines her natural instincts with the updated technology available today to bring about justice for all the victims she can.


Top Episode Highlight

The best episode of "Cold Case" is "A Perfect Day", rated 8.7/10 from 613 user votes. It was directed by Roxann Dawson and written by Veena Sud. "A Perfect Day" aired on 11/27/2005 and is rated 0.1 point(s) higher than the second highest rated, "Mind Hunters".

  • A Perfect Day
    8.7/10 613 votes

    #1 - A Perfect Day

    Season 3 Episode 9 - Aired 2005-11-27

    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.

    Director: Roxann Dawson

    Writer: Veena Sud

  • Mind Hunters
    8.6/10 584 votes

    #2 - Mind Hunters

    Season 2 Episode 9 - Aired 2004-11-28

    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.

    Director: Kevin Bray

    Writer: Veena Sud

  • Best Friends
    8.6/10 729 votes

    #3 - Best Friends

    Season 2 Episode 22 - Aired 2005-05-08

    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.

    Director: Mark Pellington

    Writer: Liz W. Garcia

  • Forever Blue
    8.6/10 800 votes

    #4 - Forever Blue

    Season 4 Episode 10 - Aired 2006-12-03

    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.

    Director: Jeannot Szwarc

    Writer: Tom Pettit

  • The Woods
    8.5/10 507 votes

    #5 - The Woods

    Season 2 Episode 23 - Aired 2005-05-22

    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.

    Director: Nelson McCormick

    Writer: Veena Sud

  • Death Penalty: Final Appeal
    8.5/10 461 votes

    #6 - Death Penalty: Final Appeal

    Season 3 Episode 20 - Aired 2006-04-16

    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.

    Director: Alex Zakrzewski

    Writer: Sean Whitesell

  • Rampage
    8.5/10 716 votes

    #7 - Rampage

    Season 4 Episode 1 - Aired 2006-09-24

    Lilly investigates a 1995 shooting spree at a mall in which two teen boys killed 15 people before committing suicide. The case is reopened when a video of the crimes is found and it suggests that a third shooter was involved. Elsewhere, Stillman asks Valens to investigate whether Valens' brother may have been molested by a boxing coach in the 1980s.

    Director: Mark Pellington

    Writer: Veena Sud

  • Fireflies
    8.5/10 478 votes

    #8 - Fireflies

    Season 4 Episode 8 - Aired 2006-11-12

    The 1975 disappearance of an 8-year-old girl who was never found is reinvestigated after a note written by the girl shortly before she vanished turns up. Their friendship rattled many in the predominantly white neighborhood and the girls quickly became targets of hatred.

    Director: Marcos Siega

    Writer: Erica Shelton Kodish

  • A Time to Hate
    8.4/10 718 votes

    #9 - A Time to Hate

    Season 1 Episode 7 - Aired 2003-11-16

    Lilly investigates the case of Daniel Holtz, a college baseball player who was found beaten to death in an alley behind a gay bar in 1964. Daniel's mother comes to Lilly in the hopes that his killer can be brought to justice before she dies. Lilly discovers the maltreatment gay victims received in the 60's, when her investigation discloses that it may have been a policeman's nightstick that made the lethal blows.

    Director: Deran Sarafian

    Writer: Jan Oxenberg

  • Daniela
    8.4/10 657 votes

    #10 - Daniela

    Season 2 Episode 3 - Aired 2004-10-17

    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.

    Director: David Barrett

    Writer: Veena Sud

  • The Sleepover
    8.4/10 602 votes

    #11 - The Sleepover

    Season 2 Episode 6 - Aired 2004-11-07

    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.

    Director: Emilio Estevez

    Writer: Liz W. Garcia

  • Strange Fruit
    8.4/10 499 votes

    #12 - Strange Fruit

    Season 2 Episode 19 - Aired 2005-04-03

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

    Director: Paris Barclay

    Writer: Veena Sud

  • Shuffle, Ball Change
    8.4/10 580 votes

    #13 - Shuffle, Ball Change

    Season 4 Episode 17 - Aired 2007-03-11

    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.

    Director: Mark Pellington

    Writer: Liz W. Garcia

  • The Letter
    8.3/10 574 votes

    #14 - The Letter

    Season 1 Episode 13 - Aired 2004-01-25

    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.

    Director: Tim Hunter

    Writer: Veena Sud

  • Wishing
    8.3/10 580 votes

    #15 - Wishing

    Season 2 Episode 15 - Aired 2005-03-06

    Lilly investigates the 1993 death of a mentally challenged teen who was hit by a train, after drawings appear on his grave that indicate foul play might have been involved.

    Director: Emilio Estevez

    Writer: Karin Lewicki

  • Stalker
    8.3/10 410 votes

    #16 - Stalker

    Season 4 Episode 24 - Aired 2007-05-06

    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.

    Director: Alex Zakrzewski

    Writer: Veena Sud

  • Boy Crazy
    8.3/10 503 votes

    #17 - Boy Crazy

    Season 5 Episode 9 - Aired 2007-11-18

    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.

    Director: Holly Dale

    Writer: Joanna Lovinger

  • The Road
    8.3/10 378 votes

    #18 - The Road

    Season 5 Episode 15 - Aired 2008-04-06

    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.

    Director: Holly Dale

    Writer: Jennifer Johnson

  • Fly Away
    8.2/10 646 votes

    #19 - Fly Away

    Season 1 Episode 8 - Aired 2003-11-30

    When a young woman, Rosie (Laura Regan), wakes up from a coma, Lilly re-opens the fall in which her 6-year-old daughter Toya (Aynsley Lemon) died. Things get complicated when the mother remembers very little of that night, and Lilly feels especially motivated to find the killer, as Rosie was poor and living on welfare, reminding Lilly of her own past, and giving her an emotional bond to Rosie.

    Director: James Whitmore Jr.

    Writer: Veena Sud

  • Boy in the Box
    8.2/10 610 votes

    #20 - Boy in the Box

    Season 1 Episode 14 - Aired 2004-02-15

    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.

    Director: Karen Gaviola

    Writer: Meredith Stiehm

  • Saving Sammy
    8.2/10 464 votes

    #21 - Saving Sammy

    Season 4 Episode 5 - Aired 2006-10-22

    Lilly re-opens a 2003 case in which an autistic boy's parents were shot in their car when Joseph brings her information that the boy might have seen the killer.

    Director: Paris Barclay

    Writer: Tyler Bensinger

  • Andy in C Minor
    8.2/10 418 votes

    #22 - Andy in C Minor

    Season 5 Episode 14 - Aired 2008-03-30

    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.

    Director: Jeannot Szwarc

    Writer: Gavin Harris

  • Officer Down
    8.2/10 317 votes

    #23 - Officer Down

    Season 6 Episode 17 - Aired 2009-03-15

    The team has to cope with their own emotions as they search for the shooter responsible for Jeffries' shooting.

    Director: Alex Zakrzewski

    Writer: Christopher Silber

  • Flashover
    8.2/10 272 votes

    #24 - Flashover

    Season 7 Episode 17 - Aired 2010-03-21

    Realizing that the missing Vera has finally hit rock bottom, his worried team members hope that a new twist to a 2006 arson case, which he was secretly obsessing about in recent weeks, might supply leads to his whereabouts.

    Director: Jeannot Szwarc

    Writer: Greg Plageman

  • Shattered
    8.2/10 300 votes

    #25 - Shattered

    Season 7 Episode 22 - Aired 2010-05-02

    Valens partners with Rush to locate her abducted, drug-addicted sister, while Jeffries tries to bring justice to the case of a murdered teenaged girl that has haunted him for 17 years.

    Director: Jeannot Szwarc

    Writer: Elwood Reid, Greg Plageman