Cold Case (2003–2010)
1 user

The Letter 

The 1939 case of a young lady living in a boarding house for "women of color" is reopened and Rush tries to solve it for Sadie's daughter, who has been ashamed of her own heritage since the murder.


Tim Hunter


Meredith Stiehm (created by), Veena Sud




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Kathryn Morris ... Lilly Rush
Danny Pino ... Scotty Valens
John Finn ... John Stillman
Jeremy Ratchford ... Nick Vera
Thom Barry ... Will Jeffries
Josh Hopkins ... ADA Jason Kite
Geoffrey Lewis ... Nathan 'Jonesy' Jones (2004)
Meta Golding ... Sadie Douglas
Ryan Alosio ... Pierce McClintock
Lou Beatty Jr. ... Manross Delaney (2004)
Sven Holmberg Sven Holmberg ... Frankie (2004)
Lillian Lehman Lillian Lehman ... Blanche Debbins (2004)
Leslie Silva Leslie Silva ... Sarah Tucker
Adam Weiner ... Nathan 'Jonesy' Jones (1939)
Ryan Francis ... Frankie (2004)


A 25-year-old woman was found raped and suffocated in a boarding house for "colored women" in 1939. Written off as a prostitute murdered by a john, Sadie's death made her daughter ashamed of her heritage. After her mother's death, the granddaughter asks Detective Rush to find the truth. Few contemporaries survive, and the crucial DNA evidence must be obtained from Sadie's exhumed body's fingernails. Written by jeaneva

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

25 January 2004 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sadie Douglas was raped and murdered on August 11, 1939. See more »


When the milkman drops the milk every bottle shatters. When he walks away you can see three bottles on their side intact. When Blanche walks toward them they are shattered. When she leans down you see three milk bottles and one cream fully intact standing upright with spilled milk on the steps. See more »


Remade as Kôrudo kêsu: Shinjitsu no Tobira: Koibumi (2016) See more »


Stars Fell On Alabama
Music by Frank Perkins and lyrics by Mitchell Parish
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
See more »

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User Reviews

A Time We Regret
2 January 2013 | by badlandscowboySee all my reviews

An intriguing idea: solve a case from 1939 that has been written off as a "colored" prostitute being killed by a john. Liitle had been done to find the perpetrator. When the granddaughter asks Detective Lilly Rush to help her discover the facts (and perhaps clear the stigma she and her deceased mother have felt), the search is on.

Old employment records, pictures, news stories, diaries, and letters and notes treasured for all those years provide Rush and her team with intriguing clues, but the final conclusive evidence must come from the victim herself: fingernail scrapings from her exhumed body provide DNA which leads to the culprit, still haunted by the event after all those years.

I despise ignorance! Racism, of course, is ignorance personified, but how could anyone writing this script approve the hate group's being called "The Fifth Day" and say it was the day Genesis tells of man's creation?! That was the SIXTH day!!! Animals AND man.

Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the episode, the poignant look back at a time when people were not able to look past the color of a person's skin to the content of their character. I especially was touched by the two love stories that unfolded as the story progressed: one tragic and one enduring.

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