Churchgoing People
Cold Case S01E04 Churchgoing People

Season : 1
Episode: 4
Directed by: Mark Pellington
Written by: Meredith Stiehm
Production Number:
Airdate: 19 October 2003
Date of Crime: 3 February 1990
Previous: Our Boy Is Back
Next: The Runner

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The Alzheimer’s afflicted widow of a slain church organist begins having flashbacks about her husband’s murder, leading Lilly to reopen the case.

The victim, Mitchell Bayes, was found stabbed, left in an alley in a rough part of town, surrounded by pornography and crack vials. Mitchell’s widow, Charlotte Bayes, remembers that she was suspicious that he was cheating on her with a fellow church member. Charlotte’s son, Ryan, who is also her keeper, asks Lilly to close the investigation, and Charlotte’s daughter, Tina, who hasn’t seen Ryan in years, also wishes to keep the case closed. ”Good families don’t talk about these things.”

We learn that the night of the murder, Tina was with Mitchell in their green van, begging Mitchell to stop cheating on Charlotte. That night he breaks off their affair. Lilly visits Ryan again, noting the door is unlocked. She grills Ryan, asking about the night in question. She mentions the door was unlocked. Ryan eventually tells her what happened that night.

Charlotte was teaching him to dance for that night, a school dance. Charlotte, it seems, would be abusive when she drank. She controlled Ryan then, and since Ryan had to care for her now, he would leave the door unlocked, since Charlotte would often walk off on her own, and if the door happened to be unlocked, and something happened to Charlotte, then Ryan would be free. He remembers that Charlotte was drinking, and that she was angry at Mitchell for cheating on her. Mitchell told Ryan he would take him to the dance, but Charlotte, ever controlling, wouldn’t allow him. Charlotte went after Mitchell with a metal spike, and stabbed him in the bathroom. She ordered Ryan to help dispose of the body. They drove to the alley, and Charlotte made Ryan spread dirty magazines and crack vials around Mitchell’s body. The whole murder was a setup by Charlotte. Charlotte is arrested, and Ryan and Tina reunite.


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Guest CastEdit





  • George Michael "Faith"
  • Rick Astley "Never Gonna Give You Up"
  • Belinda Carlisle "I Get Weak"
  • Closing Song: Madonna "Live To Tell"