Cold Case S03E17 Superstar

Season : 3
Episode: 17
Directed by: Bill Eagles
Written by: Patricia Fullerton, Craig O'Neill, Nancy Pinkston and Jason Tracey
Production Number:
Airdate: 26 March 2006
Date of Crime: 5 October 1973
Previous: One Night
Next: Willkommen

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When a poison-soaked towel turns up at the station, Lilly re-opens the 1973 case of a murdered female college tennis star. Meanwhile, Vera gets some bad news from his wife.


In 1973, tennis star Andi Simmons beats Fritz Adams at the "Battle of the Sexes", cheered on by her teammates, coach and family. She was found strangled the next morning. Her case was put in the closed files.

In the present, Andi's sister Emily reports of a poison soaked towel. The detectives reopen the case.

Vera and Jefferies visit Andi's father Bill, who reminisces on the past, particularly her partner Fritz Adams throwing a fit during a practice session. Vera's wife Julie comes to check on him and to leave a suitcase for him, humiliating him.

Lilly and Kat visit Fritz, who tells them about the friction between Andi and her cheer captain Grace Anderson.

Lilly and Vera visit Grace, now a scientist. Grace talks about a past conversation between her, Andi and their coach Susan, where they discussed politics.

Kat meets Susan, now a athletic director. Susan discusses Bill and her confronting then athletic director Arnold Brown, who asks Andi to throw the match. Brown died four years ago, he's a dead suspect.

Lilly and Jefferies meet with journalist Eric Whitt, who has covered the stories on Andi and other women tennis stories. He liked calling Andi "sport" and "superstar". Eric remembers meeting with Andi at a party, watching her get mocked by her teammates.

Lilly and Scotty interrogate Grace, accusing her of trying to poison Grace with the towel. Grace admits to poisoning the towel, though not lethally, but tells them it was meant for Fritz, not Grace. Grace did take the towel, however, and was on the verge of passing out in the bathroom before Grace took it off. Grace bonds with Andi, praising her performance and inviting her to a party. Bill came to take Andi home, drawing the suspicion of the detectives. Meanwhile, Vera goes home and confronts his wife Julie. There she tells him this time is different, because she isn't worried anymore when he's not home and when he comes home she wishes he was still gone. "Well that is different" Vera says. She tells him she's done with him. Vera tries to reason with her, keep the marriage together. "Talk me out of it" she says. Vera looks sad and doesn't answer her back and she walks away.

Lilly and Jefferies interrogate Bill, who admits he took her to the dorm. A flashback scene, where he congratulated her on winning, pointed out her mistakes, scolded her for drinking and gets creeped out by a phone call. Bill then states he's taking her out of college, thinking it's a distraction, and when Andi protests, he states he knows what she wants better than she does, lists all the things he's done for her, says she's acting like she's ungrateful and walks out. That was the last thing Bill ever said to her and he deeply regrets it. The flashback ends. He then tells the detectives the caller said "Wrong number, sport."

Eric is dragged out by Lilly for interrogation. Eric admits he had a crush on Andi and gets angry when Lilly informs him she is way out of his league. After Lilly shows him the newspaper they found in the room, he confesses what happened.

After her argument with her dad, Eric visited Andi to show off the newspaper article he wrote about her, which called her a superstar. When Andi grumbles about the phrase giving her the creeps, Eric proudly states he was the one who started it. Eric then kisses her on the lips, which predictably disgusts her. Eric is confused and similarly to Bill, tells her he knows better than her, she owes him her fame and success and she's an ingrate. It's harsh for her father to say that to her, but downright insulting for a mere acquaintance to talk to her like that. Andi shoves the newspaper into his hands and demands he leave the room. She then berates him for calling her and hanging up repeatedly, saying it's "pathetic". Andi then walks away and sits on her bed. Hurt and furious, Eric attacks Andi, grabbing her throat, pulling her to the floor and strangling her to death.

Eric is arrested for Andi's murder. Fritz is seen explaining tennis to a couple of women, Bill and Emily share a hug while cleaning Andi's trophies and Grace and Susan look down a gallery of women in sports. Lilly spots Andi's ghost at a tennis court and to cheer Vera up after his divorce, Valens and Jefferies visit his apartment carrying pizza and beer.


Main CastEdit

Guest CastEdit




  • Helen Reddy "I Am Woman"
  • Carole King "I Feel the Earth Move"
  • Carly Simon "You're So Vain"
  • Carole King "Believe in Humanity"
  • Janis Joplin "Get It While You Can"
  • The Five Stairsteps "O-o-h Child"
  • King Harvest "Dancing in the Moonlight"
  • America "Lonely People"
  • Closing Song: Elton John "Your Song"