Cold Case

Season 5 Episode 1

Thrill Kill

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Sep 23, 2007 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
151 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Thrill Kill
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.moreless

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  • West Memphis Three

    Once i saw this i automatically thought of the West Memphis Three. One of the three, Damian Echols actually came to my College and gave a talk. It was cool to have him talk about his experience. I always find it interesting when shows base episodes off real events.
  • The Power of Fear: Lilly reopens the case of three children who were murdered after one of the people convicted hangs himself in prison. She unconvers more evidence that the boys may have been framed. But who is the real murderer?moreless

    Despite being mildly cheesy and contrived, this episode was a pretty good look at how society can be whipped into a frenzy, and how the desire to restore normalacy can sometimes lead to corner cutting. The revelation that it was the seemingly normal father of one of the victims who is the real killer nails the point home well; a lot of the time the psychopaths and monsters are people who seem perfectly normal. While the kid who was convicted is free, it's bittersweet in a way. He was in prison for thirteen years, and won't be getting those years back. Plus it ultimately took his friend killing himself to get people to listen and reopen the case. Just how many people who were wrongfully convicted because of hysteria are still in there? Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the kid who was convicted sued the Jackass cop who put him in there. I know I would.moreless
  • This episode is loosely based on the West Memphis Three (Google it) three wrongfully convicted guys in Arkansas who, unfortunately, have not been the beneficiaries of a good team of police investigators.moreless

    This episode is loosely based on the West Memphis Three (Google it) three wrongfully convicted guys in Arkansas who, unfortunately, have not been the beneficiaries of a good team of police investigators. The acting in the episode is excellent. For those of us who have followed the WM3 for many years, it is chilling to watch this. It departs from the case its based on, but has many of the same elements. The probable actual killer was the stepfather of one of the kids and his wife found a pocketknife in the stepfather's drawer that the child "always" had with him.

    For anyone interested, there is a great yuku board on the case.moreless
  • very well done...portrayed the influence of the episode well. music matched the real life case very well.

    Back in 2003, i researched a case about 3 teens wrongfully accused of murdering 3 kids in west memphis, arkansas. All signs pointed towards the step father. The music matched the episode well, should have been the music based on the actual case though.

    This episode which was very identical to the aspects of the case brought the trial back in the main stream media to light and i hope with the relevance that this episode brought forth...we can get some more supporters in bringing justice to the case and freedom to damian echols and company.

    "free the west memphis three"

    thank youmoreless
  • glad to see Lilly back

    This episode not only had a great storyline but it also had a great chracter development storyline. I feel sorry for rush because she knows that everyone feels that she shouldn't be back at work and that she can't handle work after the shooting. I ound this episode quite saddening to watch. It was just a shame that one of the two teenagers convicted had to kill himself before he was proven innocent. It must have been diificult for Henry Raymes to live all those years knowing what he did and knowing that 2 innocent people were in jail for a crime they didn't commit. Great stuff.moreless
Kathryn Morris

Kathryn Morris

Det. Lilly Rush

Danny Pino

Danny Pino

Scotty Valens

John Finn

John Finn

Lt. John Stillman

Jeremy Ratchford

Jeremy Ratchford

Det. Nick Vera

Thom Barry

Thom Barry

Det. Will Jeffries

Tracie Thoms

Tracie Thoms

Kat Miller (Episodes 3.13+; recurring previously)

Raphael Sbarge

Raphael Sbarge

Henry Raymes (1994/2007)

Guest Star

Melissa Leo (I)

Melissa Leo (I)

Tanya Raymes (1994/2007)

Guest Star

Kirk Acevedo

Kirk Acevedo

Dylan Noakes (2007)

Guest Star

Mark Rolston

Mark Rolston

Ari Gordon

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Goof: Near the end of the episode when Dylan is exiting the gates of the Pennsylvania state prison, a palm tree can be seen in the background.

    • Nitpick: It is weird that no disciplinary action was taken against Det. Joe Connolly, the investigating officer in 1994. On the other hand, not all of the aftermath of the case being solved might not have been shown in the episode.

    • George Russo, Sean Costley, and Jack Raymes died on September 2, 1994.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Connelly: Don't Judge Me. Those Boys were guilty!
      Lilly: If that's true, then why did you bury the tape? (Connolly tries to answer, but can't)

    • Vera: Where did you get the dog, big man? We found it in your cart.
      Homeless Man: From the devil.
      Jeffries: You mean from the little boy... in the pool?
      Homeless Man: How'd you know about that!
      Vera: Because he's God, jackass.

    • Lilly: We'll look into it, Mrs. Nimmo.
      Mrs. Nimmo: No, you won't. We're just fish town trash, right? People like us, we don't matter.

    • Lilly: Could be worth another look.
      Scotty: Could be a wild goose chase. And it's closed.
      Lilly: Well, if the killer's still out there... it's not.

    • Lilly Rush: It's so much easier to believe monsters do these things. Not men.

    • Dylan Noakes: I'm the fire-breathing dragon from happily-ever-after-land.

    • John Stillman: Joe Connolly was a good cop. The job's closed.
      Lilly Rush: You got any open jobs for me, boss?
      John Stillman: Counseling's not optional here, Rush. Get that done first.

  • NOTES (4)


      Originally "All Apologies" and "Come as You Are" were supposed to be the first and last songs for Season 3 episode Detention (a.k.a. All Apologies), and the music was all supposed to be Nirvana tracks, but the producers didn't get permission to use the Nirvana tracks in that episode. This could be because of the references to Courtney Love being involved with husband Kurt Cobain's (Lead Singer of Nirvana) death. Courtney has the rights to Nirvana's music.

    • International Airdates:
      - Denmark: December 12, 2007 on TV3
      - The Netherlands: March 1, 2008 on Net 5
      - Czech Republic: May 7, 2008 on TV Nova
      - Finland: May 13, 2008 on MTV3
      - Germany: May 21, 2008 on Pro7
      - Norway: June 4, 2008 on TVNorge
      - Slovakia: June 30, 2009 on Markiza
      - Turkey: September 8, 2009 on CNBC-e

    • All the songs in this episode are performed by Nirvana:
      - All Apologies
      - Stay Away
      - If You Must
      - Lithium
      - Drain You
      - Heart Shaped Box
      - Something in the Way
      - Come as You Are

    • Several names were changed from the initial versions of the script to the one that aired. Originally, Dylan Noakes' last name was Knowles, the Raymes were Hennessies, and Heidi Jenner's last name was Joffe.


    • Evil Triumphs When Good Men Do Nothing
      Dylan Noakes quotes Edmund Burke (1729-1797), an Irish politician and philosopher, by saying, "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing." This is an often paraphrased version of the quote. The original goes: "All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing." Although the quote has often been attributed to Burke (or in some cases Thomas Jefferson), it does not appear in his works or recorded speeches.

    • West Memphis 3 The plot in this episode is very similar to a real-life case that happened in 1993 in West Memphis, Arkansas. Three 8-year-old boys - Steve Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore - went missing and were later found beaten and mutilated in a creek leading to a drainage canal. Three teenagers (Jessie Misskelley, 17, Jason Baldwin, 16, and Damien Echols, 18), dubbed "West Memphis 3", were convicted of the killings. Like Dylan Noakes in the episode, Echols was from a poor family that had frequent visits from social workers, but he was later discovered to be gifted in reading and verbal skills. There has been much speculation over the years as to the innocence of the West Memphis Three. Byers' adoptive father has been suggested as a possible suspect in several documentaries made on the case. Mere weeks after the airing of this episode, the real-life case of West Memphis Three was once again brought to media attention. Advanced DNA testing done in 2007 on the crime scene evidence revealed that none of it matched the three supposed perpetrators; however it did match another of the stepfathers, Terry Hobbs. On October 29, 2007, papers were filed for Echols' re-trial or immediate release from prison. In August 2011, the state made a plea bargain to release the three in exchange for signing an Alford Plea (where they would plee guilty but get released.)