Once we got Robert put down for the night, Melinda and I had leftover chicken tacos for dinner and watched TV. We’re kind of between shows right now, so the one we landed on was Cold Case Files, which was apparently big in the late ‘90s. I’m not sure I ever saw it then, because I was probably too busy playing guitar and talking to girls. But Melinda seemed very aware of it.
I was skeptical at first, I’m not going to lie, but five minutes in, I was HOOKED.
Each episode is an hour, but it’s split up between two cold case files. The first was about a Florida girl who was murdered in her bed the day after Thanksgiving. The girl went out with her friends and then didn’t show up to work the next day.
They kept showing the Jacksonville assistant district attorney, who was this lady with feathered hair and a penchant for wearing vestigial scarves that matched her mu mus. She said they initially questioned one of the victim’s female friends because she was bi-curious, and since the victim was straight, they reasoned she became jealous and killed the victim.
Just in case we didn’t know, the ADA explained to the home audience “bi-curious” meant she wasn’t homosexual or bi-sexual, but she was interested in exploring bisexuality. Which felt super-condescending, even for the late ’90s.
They interviewed the poor bi-curious girl, who was probably labeled as such because she once admitted to wanting to kiss a girl during a drunken game of Truth or Dare. This chick had an ironclad alibi, and since bi-curiousity was the department’s best lead, the case went cold for a year, when they discovered the creepy 19-year-old neighbor had washed dishes at the same restaurant the victim worked at and he suddenly skipped town the week after she died.
So this dude moved to Easton, Maryland, and when they brought him in for a DNA test, he declined. They followed him around for weeks, trying to get a water bottle or a cigarette butt, but he was always too careful to leave them out in the open.
They finally got a DNA match from him when they observed him spitting on the ground in the parking lot behind his job. And when he went inside, the cops swarmed the scene and collected samples of the asphalt saliva.
Note to self: don’t spit on pavement if you’ve killed someone. Also, don’t be bi-curious, as it seems to attract unwanted attention from scarved Jacksonville ADAs.
The next episode was about a guy who got stabbed to death in his home by an invader. I guess the perp had been watching the victim and his fiancee through the window and got so jammed up he needed to kill somebody. So he stabbed the dude 30 times and then tied up and raped the fiancee.
The case went cold for almost 20 years because they were really focused on this bloody footprint and couldn’t get a match. The police were baffled.
“Baffled?” I said. “Didn’t they check out the semen from the rape? The semen is ALWAYS the answer.”
20 years later, a man caught this peeping Tom watching his son shower. He chased him down the block, tackled him, and got him arrested.
The cop who arrived on the scene just happened to be the same one who’d investigated the murder two decades prior and was like “say, I wonder if he ALSO killed that dude 20 years ago.”
They get a footprint impression from the guy and BAM, total match. And oh yeah, the semen also matched, but that for some reason seemed like less of a deal? I dunno.
Anyway, the guy went to jail for life, and the once-cold case is finally put to rest.
What a great show.