Cold Case Wiki
Daniel in 1962
Daniel in 2008
Daniel Patterson
Portrayed by Keith Coulouris (1962)
Ronny Cox (2008)
Episode Slipping
Status Arrested

Daniel Patterson was a state Poet Laureate and a professor emeritus of literature at Powell University until he was arrested in 2008 for murdering his wife Nancy back in 1962 out of jealousy. Daniel was renowned for writing Empty Rooms, a poetry book that was in fact written by Nancy, which he stole credit for.

The Past[]

In 1961, Daniel married Nancy, a young secretary at Powell in her mid-20s, becoming the stepfather of her daughter Rachel. However, things began to take a turn for the worse. In spite of his PhD, Daniel was only ever able to turn out "mediocrity," whereas Nancy was turning out "genius". Daniel became consumed with jealousy towards his wife, and deluded himself into believing that she had stolen his work. As a result, he formed a plan with the gullible and lovelorn housekeeper, Annette Hicks, to try and trick Nancy into thinking that she was going mad after finding out about her late mother's mental illness and suicide.

Nancy, however, uncovered the deception when Rachel showed her mother one of her manuscripts and said it was in Daniel's desk in the attic. She confronted Daniel, and he strangled her to death; both out of rage and to keep her from revealing the deception. He made it look like Nancy hanged herself and then shipped Rachel off to a boarding school. Afterwards, Daniel published Nancy's poems and made them out to be his own.

The Present[]

In 2008, the police reopened Nancy's case when an apparent suicide note found in the Pattersons' old house was proven by her granddaughter and Rachel's daughter, Liza West, not to have been written by her (it was later revealed to have been written by Nancy's mother). Daniel was able to convince most of the team that it had been a suicide, except for Scotty Valens. Scotty persisted and eventually learned about the drawing that Rachel had shown her mother.

Scotty and Vera met with Daniel at the university and accused him of stealing Nancy's work, showing him the page from her manuscript as proof (he claimed to never use a typewriter, whereas the manuscript was typewritten). Scotty and Vera proceeded to call Daniel out on killing Nancy, his manipulation of Annette, and the fact that he had allowed Rachel to spend 45 years fearing that she might go crazy, as well as believing that she had pushed her mother over the edge. Daniel tried to justify his actions, but neither Scotty nor Vera were terribly impressed with his self-serving logic. After he confessed, they arrested him.