Cold Case S03E23 Joseph

Season : 3
Episode: 23
Directed by: Roxann Dawson
Written by: Liz W. Garcia and Andrea Newman
Production Number:
Airdate: 21 May 2006
Date of Crime: 9 March - May 2005
Previous: The River
Next: Rampage (Season 4)

External Links


After someone uses the credit card of a man murdered the year before, the detectives reopen his case. The victim, Joseph Shaw, was a drug counselor who worked with teenage addicts and was about to testify in court after witnessing one of the teens murder another. After seeing his picture, Lilly becomes oddly taken with him. Without telling Stillman, she goes off alone to check out a farmhouse where Joseph once stayed and makes a shocking discovery there.


Orlando is killed in 2005 in a house for chemical-addicted teens after he is beaten by a fellow patient. Joseph, the supervisor, catches Corey beating Orlando, but can't save Orlando. Two months later, right before Joseph is to testify against Corey, Joseph is found to have been killed at home by a shotgun blast through his door. The obvious suspect, Corey, was in jail at the time of the murder, so the detectives work to solve the open case, which involves good intentions, poor choices, and entanglements for Lilly.


Main CastEdit

Guest CastEdit




  • This episode is essentially a retelling of the 1944 film noir Laura, with the gender roles reversed. There are a number of parallels; a detective investigates the murder of a person in their home. After learning more about them, the detective starts to fall for the victim, despite them being dead, and later falls asleep next to their picture. The detective later discovers the "victim" is actually alive and someone else staying at their home was killed by mistake. Both the film and episode end with the killer caught and the detecive and "victim" ending up together. In another nod to the film, Laura is the name of one of Joseph's cats.
  • This episode marks the first appearances of Joseph Shaw, who, after turning up alive, dates Lilly early in the fourth season.


  • Modest Mouse "Float On"
  • Editors "Munich"
  • Keane "Somewhere Only We Know"
  • Unwritten Law "Save Me"
  • Dixie Chicks "Lullaby"
  • Hoobastank "The Reason"
  • Caesars "Jerk It Out"
  • Closing Song: Howie Day "Collide"

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