Bad Night
Cold Case S03E03 Bad Night

Season : 3
Episode: 3
Directed by: Kevin Bray
Written by: Andrea Newman
Production Number:
Airdate: October 9, 2005
Date of Crime: October 29, 1978
Previous: The Promise
Next: Colors

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A woman, Elena Bistrong asks Lilly to reopen the case of her son, Angus who was murdered in 1978, the year he and his friends saw the slasher film Halloween. They learn several people, mostly his friends blamed Angus for a car accident that had left the girl he loved in a wheelchair for life. The case brings up some difficult memories for Jeffries as it reminds him of the hit and run that killed his wife a decade earlier.


A horror scene is being played out; no matter how hard the girl tries, she cannot escape the man in the hockey mask wielding a knife. The girl hides, only to have the man come out of the shadows and stab her. Everyone jumps in the theatre. It is Oct. 29, 1978 and a group of friends has just seen the thriller Halloween. With the movie over Vicky ask her friends Craig and Donna to wait up: it’s not cool to ditch the wheelchair girl. Angus suggests grabbing a beer, but Craig says no, he’s got to work tomorrow. Just then Vicky’s father shows up to drive her home. It is all awkwardness as the three friends watch Vicky get helped into the car. Craig quietly tells Angus that the only reason he came was because Vicky asked him to. Things are never going to go back to the way they were, understood? Vicky waves goodbye to Angus standing alone outside of the theatre. Inside the dark movie theatre, Angus’ body is slumped against a wall with stab wounds in his chest. A detective files away Angus’ case file in the vault. October ’78.

Present Day At the station Vera is asking Scotty if he wants to join in on the regular poker games. Scotty is hesitant about the game, since Vera tends to get a little ”heated up” when things don’t go his way. He asks Sutton if she wants to play cards. She accepts, only to have Vera roll his eyes and walk away. Lily is talking to Mrs. Bistrong (Angus’ mother). The police think that Angus was killed in a copycat murder inspired by the movie Halloween. She’s moving, and when she was boxing up Angus’ things she came across a letter from his friend Vicky, written on the day he died. ”You say you want to marry me...but you don’t know that means.” Angus’ mother knew he was in love with Vicky, but never knew he proposed. In the letter Vicky also cautions Angus not to tell anybody, it’s too dangerous. Mrs. Bistrong tells Lily that 6 months before his death he and Vicky were in a terrible accident. Angus was driving too fast...he was lucky, but Vicky was paralyzed and people blamed him. She thinks that Angus died because somebody found out about the proposal: the man they arrested for Angus’ murder never felt right to her. All she wants is to leave his spirit with some peace. That’s where good Karma comes from, acts of kindness. Since Lily doesn’t go in for that kind of thing, will she go in to find the truth?

Roll Intro

Lily, Stillman and Jeffries are down in the vault. All signs pointed to Eddie Foster, the man that dressed up as the killer from Halloween. He had stabbed a girl the night before, and Angus was found in the same area less than 24 hours later. There were fibres from Eddie Foster’s trunk that matched the ones on the girl, but no fibres were found on Angus. They’re not going to get much help from Foster: he killed himself a week before his trial. Jeffries is convinced that Angus died because of the car accident, but for now Stillman wants them to stick to the proposal. Jeffries leaves the vault, distraught.

Lily and Scotty visit Vicky and her husband. After the accident, her friends couldn’t forgive Angus for what he did. Craig rode him the hardest since he was her boyfriend before the accident. Vicky insists that it was an accident, and Craig saw it all go down. Flashback The four friends are walking along the street until they arrive at their rides: Craig’s motorcycle and Angus’ car. Vicky remarks that it’s a little too cold to be on a motorcycle; she’d prefer to ride with Angus. Craig teases Vicky about choosing Angus’ ”beater” over his bike. Donna isn’t too cold and goes with Craig. In the car, Vicky urges Angus to show Craig what his car can do. Angus turns a sharp corner and easily outruns Craig. He is so preoccupied with looking in the rear-view mirror that he doesn’t see a truck back out of a driveway until it is too late. He brakes and swerves, but it is no use: the car flips upside down and comes to a smoking halt. All Vicky remembers are flashes: of Craig, of the firemen, of the Jaws of Life.

Flashback to Present Vicky confesses that she was just looking to get Craig all riled up and remind him that she still had ”options”. She was the one that egged Angus on. Craig threatened Angus a few times, told him to stay away from her or else he’d regret it. Angus had this fantasy that everything would go back to the way it was and Craig would be his best bud again. Vicky thinks it’s possible that Angus would have tried to reach out to Craig for support, which would have been a really bad move. Vera and Sutton visit Craig at his office. Craig tells them that it was bad enough what Angus did to Vicky, but then he wouldn’t take responsibility for it. First the car flipped too easily and then the brakes were bad. Angus said he was going to sue, but nothing ever came from that. He didn’t know that Angus popped the question the day he died. After the movie he went with Donna to get some beers and crashed at her place. After the accident his feelings changed: he didn’t see Vicky as girlfriend material anymore. Everything had changed between them.

Flashback Craig and Donna show up at hospital only to see Angus leaving Vicky’s room. Angus tells Craig that he’s got to forgive him sometime, but Craig tells Angus that he’s nothing to him anymore. Donna and Craig enter Vicky’s room and try to make her feel better, even though she’s not in the mood today. From a corner, Ian pipes up and tells the two friends to stop talking about that kind of stuff. With no other choice, the two friends leave. Flashback to Present Craig tells the two detectives that the guy in the hospital room was the fireman, the one who pulled Vicky out of the car and saved her life. At first Craig thought he was just basking in the glow of being a hero, but in the end he fell for her and the two got married. Vicky’s husband is Ian, the firefighter. Back at the station, the team is talking about the new leads. Ian was a big hero since he pulled Vicky out the car, but according to Craig, he was a real possessive type. Angus was also looking into a possible faulty car, but Jeffries scoffs and denounces Angus as a maniac. When Sutton points out that Angus was driving only 45 miles, Jeffries snaps at her. Stillman breaks up the tension and takes Sutton for some coffee. He tells her that Jeffries’ wife was killed 10 years ago in a hit and run. He assures Sutton that she’ll get to know these guys.

Jeffries and Vera visit Mrs. Bistrong, who offers them some tea and says how grateful she is that they’re looking into this case. She mentions that a few days before Angus died, she talked to him about the ”faulty” car, and he surprised her. Flashback Mrs. Bistrong enters Angus’ room. There’s enough money in her savings account, maybe he could finish off that last semester, get his degree. Angus says thanks, but he’s swamped right now. She tells Angus to stop torturing himself, but he can’t. If the accident wasn’t his entire fault, then maybe people wouldn’t hate him so much, and Vicky might look at him differently. All he wants is that one second back so he can hit the brakes sooner and move around the truck. His mother tells him to forgive himself and try to move forward. Angus assures his mother that he is moving forward and shows her a book about firemen and their vehicles and equipment. Everything will be okay. She’ll see.

Flashback to Present Mrs. Bistrong thinks Angus wanted to become a fireman and save people, just like the fireman who saved Vicky. Unfortunately, he was killed a few days later. Down at the station, Lily and Scotty are questioning Ian about the piece of important info he left out. He swears he never really knew Angus, or anybody else from that group. He didn’t know about the proposal back then, but he wouldn’t have been too worried even if he did. Vicky had told him that the only reason she didn’t reject Angus was because she thought that he was the only who would ever want her. Vicky had invited him to the movies on the night that Angus was murdered, but Ian stayed home because he had an early shift the next day. He wasn’t so sure it was the Foster guy that killed him, because something happened a few weeks before Angus died. Flashback Ian is in Vicky’s empty room. Her father and Devon (her brother) walk in and ask about Vicky. Her therapist said a friend took her for a walk. Devon is optimistic that Vicky could walk again, if she keeps working at it. Just then Vicky is wheeled into the room by Angus, who only succeeds in wheeling the chair right into the corner of the table. Vicky’s father snaps and yells at Angus to get out. But Angus tells him that he’s only making things worse, acting as if Vicky has died.

Flashback to Present Ian knows he shouldn’t have said anything. Her father had lost his wife early and Vicky and her brother was all he had, of course he was messed up. Ian never knew her father as a violent guy, but her and her father stopped talking to each other as soon as she moved out. Just then Vicky shows up. She got here as fast as she could, after hearing the messages on the machine. Ian didn’t kill Angus, and she can prove it. Vicky pulls out a knife out of her purse. She found it hidden in her father’s hall closet the day after Angus was murdered. Jeffries interrogates Mr. Laoni. Someone had tried to wipe the knife clean but there was some residue left that looked like blood. He said he had cut himself with the knife while making a salad. He put it aside; he was going to take it in to get sharpened. Jeffries knows what happened at the hospital, and doesn’t blame him. He knows that all Mr. Laoni wanted was to keep Vicky safe. He replies that he was pretty angry at Angus, but in the end he forgave him. That’s a lie to Jeffries’ ears: people don’t forget something like this.

Flashback On a dark and rainy night a police cruisers are parked beside a car... and a body bag. Jeffries pulls up and tells a young officer who he is. He just got radioed that his wife has been in an accident and wants to see her right away, is she alright? The policeman tells him that the name on the i.d. was Mary Jeffries, leading Jeffries to spot the body bag. She got killed going to change a tire... the trucker must have not seen her get out of the car. But it just wasn’t right...Mary would wait for that... Jeffries grieves over the fact that he should have been with her. In shock, he wanders over to and knees beside the body bag. Flashback to Present Mr. Laoni asks Jeffries if they ever found that trucker. No, but if they had Jeffries might have killed him. But Mr. Laoni doesn’t think so: Jeffries would have seen some poor guy driving a night shift home to his family, too scared to stop and face what he had done. Jeffries probably would have seen right off what it took him a long time to see in Angus: that it was just an accident. On a bad night, it could have been either one of them driving. Jeffries points out the fact that somebody obviously did not forgive Angus. If the results come back that there was blood on that knife, there is only one other person who could have killed him.

Scotty interrogates Devon who admits that the knife was part of his Halloween costume. He threw it there as soon as he heard about the murder, he didn’t want his father to see it in the trash and flip out. When he went to go and put it into a dumpster, the knife was gone. He didn’t dare ask anybody else about it. Scotty doesn’t know what that house was like after the accident: Devon was just trying to disappear, not upset anybody, ever. He hated the world after the accident because Vicky always looked out for him. And then Angus was psycho enough to ask her to marry him. Flashback Devon comes home on his bike to find Vicky talking to Angus. She knows he’s got her letter, and this isn’t exactly giving her more time. She knows Angus is doing this just out of guilt. But Angus gets down on one knee. He’s loved her since the 9th grade, and that’s not going to change. He knows that he’s a geek and she deserves better but maybe this is right, the two of them. Unable to bear it any longer, Devon asks Angus what he’s doing. Angus leaves after Devon threatens to wake up his dad. Angus leaves and Devon sees Craig sitting outside on his bike. Flashback to Present Devon tells Scotty that Craig was always there on his bike back then. He would just sit on his bike and watch the house, night after night.

Lily, Stillman, and Sutton are in Stillman’s office talking about the case. Devon was telling the truth: the blood stains on the knife were really corn starch. Angus’ clothing also came back, and there were traces of elk skin. The most common use for elk skin is motorcycle gloves. And Craig had a motorcycle. Craig tells Lily and Vera that they don’t understand, he just wanted to talk to Vicky and beg her to forgive him. At the crash, he could have helped Vicky but he froze. Flashback The car flips over and comes skidding to a halt, the engine starting to burn. Dazed, Angus starts to crawl out of the car. Craig runs over to the passenger side, hearing Vicky complain about her legs hurting. She moves her legs to try and kick off her seatbelt, but she is stuck. Donna runs over and manages to pull a bleeding Angus out of the car and helps him to the side of the road. Ian and the rest of the firemen come onto the scene. He tries opening the door but it is jammed. He grabs the Jaws of Life from his partner and goes to pry open the door. Throughout the whole ordeal Vicky is screaming out Craig’s name, but all he can do is stand back and watch.

Flashback to Present Craig knows that he was a pathetic coward and he blamed Angus for all of it, but he didn’t kill him. Night after night he would hang around her house, trying to get up the nerve to apologize, but he never did. Lily asks Craig if he’s sure he heard Vicky say her leg hurt and see her trying to kick off the seatbelt. Yes, he’s sure. She tells Vera that Angus wasn’t studying to be a fireman. Lily and Scotty visit Ian and Vicky. They tell her that her father didn’t kill Angus... but Ian knew that. They tell Vicky that the knife didn’t kill Angus, it was part of her brother’s Halloween costume. Lily and Scotty tell Ian that they talked to his old partner, the one who covered for him way back when. According to his partner, it was a ”terrible mistake, made by an eager. Real talented Rookie.” Angus read up on it and figured it out. Ian was trying to save Vicky, but he moved too fast. The last push knocked her forward and that’s what broke her spine. Residue on Angus’ body was elk skin. The only other use for that besides motorcycle gloves are fireman’s gloves. Ian insists that Angus came to him.

Flashback Ian is at home watching the news of the Halloween killer when there is a knock at the door. It is Angus and he’s figured it out. After the accident Vicky was crying out that her legs hurt. He knows all about the Jaws of Life and how Ian messed up. Angus also noticed that Ian was nice to him right off the bat, like he didn’t blame him at all. He knows Ian is just with Vicky out of guilt. Ian is a fraud, and Angus is going to tell everyone to make Ian know what it feels like to have everyone hate him for one stupid mistake. In a fit of rate, Ian grabs the knife and stabs Angus twice. As he starts to panic Ian hears the Halloween killer story still being broadcasted on the TV.

Flashback to Present Scotty and Lily escort Ian into a squad car. Jeffries and Stillman show up with Mr. Laoni and Devon. The two get out of the car and go to give Vicky a hug. Jeffries has a flashback at being with his wife that night and pulling her aside a second before a truck comes hurtling past. Craig is working late in his office thinking about Angus and Vicky. Scotty files away Angus’ closed case file before joining Vera and Sutton in poker. Lily is helping Mrs. Bistrong pack away the last of her boxes. She gives Lily a hug and drives off. As Lily watches Mrs. Bistrong drive away, she sees another car coming down the street. It is Angus and Vicky. A truck pulls out of the driveway and Angus brakes and swerves just in time, missing the truck. The two smile at each other as Angus drives down the street, followed by Craig’s bike.


Main CastEdit

Guest CastEdit




  • John Carpenter - Theme From The Movie Halloween
  • Tom Petty "American Girl"
  • Fleetwood Mac "Go Your Own Way"
  • Player "Baby Come Back"
  • David May "I'll Let You Sleep"
  • Girth "Bitter Lies"
  • Styx "Come Sail Away"
  • Closing Song: Aerosmith "Dream On"
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