Knuckle Up
Cold Case S04E12 Knuckle Up

Season : 4
Episode: 12
Directed by: David Barrett
Written by: Greg Plageman
Production Number:
Airdate: 7 January 2007
Date of Crime: 19 February 2006
Previous: The Red and the Blue
Next: Blackout

External Links


The team reopens the case of a gifted seventeen year old boy who disappeared in 2006 when his sister finds a video clip of him involved in an underground fight club through the Internet a year later.

Description Edit

November 18, 2005: seventeen year old James Hoffman reiterates his accomplishments to himself, his father Darren and sister Alexa jogging his memory. The scene fades out to James's corpse in a oil drum on February 19, 2006 (a year later).

In the present day (January 7, 2007), Lily and Kat meet Alexa, who shows them a video of James in an underground fight club. Suspicious to why James would be there, they reopen the case.

The police find James's body and the detectives go to check on him. He decomposed a little, but still enough to collect DNA from him. James also has his cell phone with him. Darren and Alexa show up and Stillman breaks the news to them.

Lily and Scotty go to Hanford Prep High School, where they are greeted by Headmaster Jean Emmerich. While Lily talks to Emmerich, Scotty notices a student watching them and chases him down. The student introduces himself as Lucas Gladwell, a best friend of James. He talks about an incident when James was bullied by Tanner Lennox, who stole a worksheet, set it on fire and attempted but failed to provoke James into fighting him.

Tanner, who is recognised as the thug beating on James in the video, is interrogated back at the station. After an interruption by his dad Arthur, Tanner explains that James and him were in a fight club and directs them to the fight club leader, Cole "Ares" Palmer. Later, Vera runs into his neighbour Toni and offers to pay for her parking ticket. He and Scotty go back to Hamford Prep High School to interrogate Cole, who, after a bit of scuffling, who talks about talking about the fight club to James and getting him in.

The detectives interrogate Headmaster Emmerich, who tells them about an outburst he had during a lecture.

The detectives find out the DNA under James's fingernails were Darren's. They drag in Darren and Alexa for an interrogation, where Darren recalls a heated argument he had with James. While Darren never hurt James, James scratched at his neck and stormed off. Darren says that James trashed his cellphone, so the one on him wasn't his. Meanwhile, Vera scores a date with Toni.

The detectives find out it was Lucas's phone and Stillman interrogates him. Lucas flashbacks and said James called him to drive downtown and pick him up. He is shocked when his friend shows up and gets into the car with blood on his hands. James asks for Lucas's cell phone and after some prodding, gets it. Before leaving the car, he tells him "we killed someone". The sole phone call on it was Cole Palmer.

Stillman and Jefferies interrogate Cole, who tells them while they were hanging out, Tanner smashed a businessman's phone and skull. The rest of the fight club ran away from the scene.

Lilly and Scotty interrogate the Lennoxes. Arthur reassures Tanner that he will only be charged as a juvenile, until the detectives correct him, saying anyone over 16 is tried as an adult. The two have a brief quarrel before Tanner reveals that Arthur, after failing to bribe James into keeping quiet, beat him to death with a metal rod.

The Lennoxes are arrested and thrown into separate jail cells, Cole pays his respects to James at the oil drum and Darren and Alexa build a snowman, hug and see James throwing a snowball. Emmerich is escorted out for academic ridding and Lucas celebrates his graduation. Vera is invited into his neighbour's house after their date.


Main CastEdit

Guest CastEdit




  • This episode uses some elements from the 1999 film Fight Club.


  • Gavin DeGraw "Chariot"
  • Weezer "Beverly Hills"
  • Drive By Argument "Sexlines Are Expensive Comedy"
  • The Postal Service "Such Great Heights"
  • Bloc Party "Plans"
  • Fuel "Falls on Me"
  • Closing Song: The Fray "How to Save A Life"