Cold Case

Season 5 Episode 1

Thrill Kill

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Sep 23, 2007 on CBS



  • Allusions

    • 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.)

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