‘Cold Justice’ investigators the real deal

  • By Rich Heldenfels Akron Beacon Journal
  • Friday, August 30, 2013 4:13pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

If “Cold Justice” was a scripted drama, it would seem a tidy fit with TNT shows like “Major Crimes” and “Rizzoli &Isles,” series that showcase women in law enforcement.

The new show, which begins at 10 tonight on TNT, focuses on ex-prosecutor Kelly Siegler and a former crime-scene investigator, Yolanda McClary, who travel the country in order to find the wrongdoers in small-town cold cases.

But “Cold Justice” is not fiction. Siegler and McClary are real-life professionals brought together by producer Dick Wolf (“Law &Order”). McClary may seem familiar because she inspired Marg Helgenberger’s character on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”

And it’s that attempt to portray reality, especially the sometimes plodding reality of criminal investigations, that works against “Cold Justice.”

The drama is sometimes lost in the procedure, and in two episodes made available for preview, the courtroom resolution of cases is not yet complete.

Instead, the investigators try to find more than is already known, for instance, whether a case ruled a suicide is actually a murder, or who should be arrested in the unsolved murder of an elderly woman.

They meet with local law enforcement, review the existing evidence, and gather their own information by re-examining crime scenes, re-interviewing witnesses and bringing in their own investigators.

According to the show, some of the cost of this new investigation is borne by the local law, since the cases are still open, while the show pays for Siegler and McClary’s time and travel.

Cases are chosen based on analysis by Siegler, McClary and the off-camera team of “where we can do the most good and make the most progress given the limited time and resources we have to shoot each episode,” the show’s producers said.

One of the messages in the show is that magical DNA does not always solve cases; in fact, in at least one episode, a DNA test is of no use. Instead, there is a lot of basic investigative work, rethinking the elements of the case, and sometimes a little luck — as when the team finds a key piece of evidence that has gone unnoticed in plain sight for years.

That can be somewhat dry viewing. A telecast does not go all the way, ending with an indictment or arrest, but not yet a confession or conviction.

Watch it

“Cold Justice airs premieres at 10 tonight on TNT.

More in Life

Mukilteo’s Hani Hani scores with the police chief

The Japanese restaurant serves dishes (poke, ramen, grill) inspired by the Hawaiian islands.

‘Coco’ is another eye-popping home run for Pixar/Disney

The animated movie’s a lively, touching tale of honoring family, following dreams.

Beer of the Week: Scuttlebutt’s Barrel-aged Belgian Winter

Made in 2013, the dark strong ale was stowed away in barrels. The brewery tests one each year.

‘Love, Chaos and Dinner’ an Teatro ZinZanni’s original show

The “Parsian cabaret” is a superb circus dinner theater operation in Marymoor Park through April 29.

Plant of Merit: Mahonia x media ‘Charity,’ evergreen shrub

What: Mahonia x media “Charity” is a statuesque, evergreen shrub with bright… Continue reading

Gardening answers for raised beds, invasive plants and more

Columnist Adrian Higgins answered gardeners’ questions recently in an online Washington Post chat.

Garden clubs in Snohomish, Island counties

Alderwood Garden Club: Cedar Valley Grange Hall, 20526 52nd Ave. W., Lynnwood;… Continue reading

Sally and Tom Joy surrounded by Christmas decorations at their home on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 in Mukilteo, Wa. The Joys are opening their home to the holiday home tour, a fundraiser for the Assistance League. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
A joyous display: 5 houses on Assistance League’s holiday tour

The annual self-guided Holiday Home Tour is a fundraiser for the Operation School Bell program.

Add evergreen perennials to your garden for winter interest

Here’s a list of plants that compliment the seasonal shrubs you’ve just added to your yard.

Most Read