FANDOM


Late Returns
Cold Case S01E19 Late Returns


Season : 1
Episode: 19
Directed by: David Straiton
Written by: Jay Beattie and Dan Dworkin
Production Number: 176718
Airdate: 4 April 2004
Date of Crime: 3 November 1992
Previous: Resolutions
Next: Greed


External Links
IMDB Site


Description

The shooting death of a man in his driveway is connected to the unsolved 1992 murder of a Democratic campaign worker whose lifeless body was thrown into a nearby river on election night. The investigation centers on the relationship the dead woman had with a present-day congressman. Apparently, the victim in the current homicide probed into the earlier slaying and discovered damning new evidence. Elsewhere, Lilly spies Kite flirting with a new ADA and gets jealous.

Synopsis

It’s a Clinton-Gore election party in 1992. Two women are talking about David Lake, the local campaign coordinator. He’s with his sister, who seems to work for him. The four talk and Lake’s sister asks about a drunk man who supposedly came to the party with Vanessa, one of the two women. Lake takes Vanessa’s side and says it wasn’t her fault. Vanessa complains to Lake that they never talk and he says they’ll talk later. Lake leaves and Vanessa invites her friend to take a walk outside. Next thing we see, Vanessa’s being thrown off a bridge. Her dead body floats. Next, someone files the box for ”Prosser, V.”

Cut to 2004: The team meets at a crime scene in the middle of the night. Darren Kleeman is dead in his car, in front of his own house. They go inside, and find pictures and newspaper articles about the death of Vanessa Prosser, whose killer was never found.

Lilly, Scotty and Stillman take a look at the case file. Vanessa Prosser was a college senior working on the Clinton campaign. Her body was found in the Delaware River, dead from a broken neck. There was a love letter in one of her pockets and at the time, the main suspect was Aaron Dutra, Vanessa’s ex-boyfriend. He had just came back from the Gulf War and Vanessa had dumped him. Aaron had been kicked out from the election party on the night of the murder. Vera says that while Darren had a lot of things about Vanessa in his house, there’s seems to be no connection between them. Lilly and Scotty visit Vanessa's parents and show Darren's photo to them but they don’t know who he is. Scotty says that Kleeman had some of Vanessa’s stuff with him and that maybe they were involved. Vanessa’s dad says that this may explain something that happened a few weeks before Vanessa died.

Flashback to 1992: The Prossers are in the kitchen, making dinner and discussing politics. Flowers are delivered for Vanessa and she smiles as she reads the card. Her parents ask if Aaron sent the flowers and Vanessa says they are a thank you for her work on the campaign. Then, Vanessa accidentally cuts her hand and everyone forgets about the flowers. Cut to 2004: Vanessa’s dad says they were distracted when Vanessa cut herself and they never knew who sent the flowers. Scotty remarks that they didn’t notice that Vanessa was missing until the next day and her mother explains they assumed Vanessa had returned to campus with her friend Beth Reardon, who drove that night.

Lilly and Scotty talk to Beth who is now an architect. She doesn’t know who Darren was either, but says Vanessa had something going on and was secretive about it. Scotty asks who might know who Vanessa was seeing, and Beth says Vanessa’s ex, Aaron Dutra, would certainly know, because he was stalking her at the time.

Flashback to 1992: Vanessa and Beth are at the election party. Aaron arrives and tells Vanessa she was supposed to be waiting for him after the war but she tells him it’s over. Aaron says he saw Vanessa with ”him” that day, and asks about the guy. A security guard comes to escort Aaron out. Vanessa tells Aaron to leave it off and leaves with Beth.

Cut to 2004: Beth says that Aaron was an idiot, but not a killer. Scotty asks Beth if she and Aaron ever talked about who the other man could be, but she say no, because Aaron got sick with Gulf War Syndrome after that. Later, at police headquarters, Jeffries says he spoke to Walter Sparr, the original detective on the case. Darren talk to Walter about the murder, outlining many theories about Vanessa’s death. He believed it was a political conspiracy. Turns out Darren was a hemophiliac, like Vanessa, and the team speculates he may have been her biological father.

Lilly speaks to Vanessa’s mother privately and she admits that Darren was Vanessa's father. It was a one night fling and neither her husband or Vanessa ever knew. Darren was never around but after his wife died he started looking into Vanessa’s murder, trying to ”fill the void." Lilly asks if Darren ever told her who he suspected in the murder, but she says no. She llet him go through Vanessa’s things and asked him never to come back. Lilly and Stillman are talking outside headquarters. Lilly believes Darren may be dead because he found out the truth about Vanessa’s murder. Scotty arrives with a photo of the campaign committee on election day. Lilly spots Kite leaving the building across the street with another woman. The woman is young, she and Kite look quite intimate and Lilly is clearly annoyed by that scene. Scotty asks who Kite is with. Lilly says she doesn’t know, and Stillman says ”I thought you and him were...” Lilly interrupts, ”Yeah... I don’t know”. She says they should see if Aaron is feeling better to talk to them, and quickly leaves. Scotty and Stillman share a look.

Lilly and Scotty visit Aaron who is not pleased to be talking about Vanessa again. Before he went to the Gulf War, he and Vanessa were engaged, and she was supposed to be waiting for him when he came back. Lilly asks Aaron to identify Vanessa’s boyfriend from the campaign committee picture. Aaron points out to a man wearing glasses, sitting in the front row. Flashback to 1992: Vanessa finishes voting, and so does David Lake. They start to talk, pretty intimately and Aaron is watching them. Cut to 2004: Scotty and Lilly try to visit David who is now a congressman but he's in D.C. so they speak with his sister Abbey, his chief of staff. Lilly asks if she knew anything about David and Vanessa being involved but she’s sure they weren’t. She says a lot of the young women were charmed by David during the campaign, and that Vanessa was one of them. Flashback to 1992: Vanessa and David are talking at the voting booth, and Abbey interrupts then. She reminds David he’s got a conference in one hour. Vanessa wants to talk to David, but Abbey doesn’t let, and takes him out. Cut to 2004: Abbey says that Vanessa was a sweet girl, but young and naive. She says that her job was and is to keep David focused. Scotty says that they still want to talk to David. Abbey says that they can as soon as he is back in Philadelphia. Later, at the office, the team watches a tape from the election party. The letter found in Vanessa’s pocket is being checked to see if the handwriting matches David’s. Stillman warns Scotty to be careful, because if Lake talks to his friends in city hall, Stillman will be the one who gets a call. He asks what else they know about Lake. Lilly says Lake has worked in Washington since 1992 and has been elected to Congress two years ago. Scotty says Lake went to Columbia Law School and was raised in Reading, Pa. Vera notes that Darren made a couple of calls to Reading on the day he was shot, to a man named Marvin Dobie. Vera and Jeffries travel to Reading to talk to Marvin who is a contractor. They ask if he knew Darren Kleeman or Vanessa Prosser, he says he doesn’t and he’s not friends with Lake either. Some blueprints on the backseat of his car catch Vera’s attention who asks if that’s his handwriting. Martin says it’s the architect’s and that all architects write like that for their blueprints. At the office, the team compares the blueprints with the letter found in Vanessa’s pocket — the handwriting looks almost the same. Lilly notes that there is only one architect involved in the investigation: Beth Reardon. Scotty and Lilly go back to see Beth who admits she was in love with Vanessa. She says it’s her fault Vanessa died. Scotty asks why.

Flashback to 1992: Beth and Vanessa go outside from the part and it’s raining. Beth tries to make Vanessa say what’s bothering her then tries to kiss Vanessa who pulls back. Beth gives Vanessa a letter and leaves. Cut to 2004: Beth explains that she was Vanessa’s ride that night, and if she hadn’t left, maybe Vanessa would still be alive. They ask her where was at the nights of the two murders, but Beth has solid alibis for both nights. They ask if Vanessa ever mentioned Marvin Dobie from Reading, and Beth says Vanessa took a bus to Reading a few days before the election. Lilly and Scotty go back to talk to David Lake who doesn’t seem like he wants to talk about it. They insist and David admits he and Vanessa were involved, but they didn’t want people in the campaign to know. He says that he didn’t come forward at the time of the murder because he didn’t have any information, and he didn’t want his name associated with that event. He adds that he and Vanessa broke up that night. Flashback to 1992: Vanessa is reading Beth’s letter when David appears. He tells her he got a job offer in Washington, D.C., and they will have to break up. Vanessa says she thought the plan was that they would go to Washington together and asks if it’s because of Abbey. Cut to 2004: Lilly asks what Abbey had to do with it, and Lake says that Abbey was always worried about the women he dated. Scotty tells him that Vanessa went to Lake’s hometown, Reading, to visit Marvin Dobie but Lake says he doesn’t know who that is. At police headquarters, Vera tells them that Lake lied about Dobie who dated Linda Lake, David and Abbey’s mom. Also, Dobie has been getting monthly checks from a trust fund set up by David. The question is, how is Darren paying back Lake from all the financial support. Lilly and Scotty have Dobie in the interrogation room and he says he’s not going to talk about Lake. Lilly asks who he thinks will end up being blamed, Lake or him. Dobie admits that Kleeman called him about Vanessa’s murder, and that Vanessa visited him once in 1992.

Flashback to 1992: Vanessa visits Dobie asks why David is sending him money but he says he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Vanessa says she’s David’s friend and threatens to go to the police. Dobie asks if Vanessa and David are more that just friends and that he almost feels sorry for her. Cut to 2004: Lilly asks Dobie why he felt sorry for Vanessa and he says it’s because she was in love with Lake. He adds that David and his sister Abbey were more than just friends too. After, Lilly, Scotty and Stillman talk to ADA Kite — they tell what they’ve found out from Dobie — the affair, and the fact that Dobie called Abbey to say that Kleeman had found out something about Vanessa and the affair. Kite says that they can’t take Abbey or David Lake to court with that, they need to make Abbey confess. Later, Abbey is with Lilly and Scotty at the interrogation room and denies killing anyone. Lilly threatens to call all the newspapers and say how David Lake took advantage of his little sister which would ruin David's career. Abbey says she needs assurances that certain things won’t go to the press. She says David didn’t take advantage of her, she was older and it was the other way around. Lilly asks if Vanessa found out about it. Abbey says Vanessa should’ve minded her own business.

Flashback to 1992: Vanessa and David are talking and making plans for their future in Washington and Abbey overhears them. David leaves the room and runs into Abbey, who has checks for him to sign. Dobie had increased the amount of money he wanted to stay silent about the incest. David doesn’t want to sign, but Abbey says that he needs to pay if he wants a career in the public eye. She notices that Vanessa is watching them. Cut to 2004: Abbey says she threw Vanessa down the hotel stairs and then dumped her in the river. Scotty asks if it was all for David’s brilliant career, and Abbey says she owed that to him, for what she did when they were young. Lilly asks about Kleeman, and Abbey says she shot him with a .25 which is at her apartment. Later, Vera says that they got the gun and it looks like it’s the weapon. Stillman says it’s better Abbey than her brother, that it will avoid problems for them with police brass. Scotty is watching the tape from the election party and notices that David is not wearing his glasses, although he had told the detectives with his eyesight, he needed them to see. Scotty thinks David may have lost them in a struggle with Vanessa. Jeffries says that’s a little thin but Scotty is sure David did it. Lilly says that they have nothing on David and they can’t make the case but Scotty says he wants to see him one more time. Scotty and Lilly go to David's office and he says he doesn't know who Darren Kleeman is. They tell him Darren was Vanessa’s real father and that he was looking into her murder, which means he was looking into him. They also tell him that Abbey made a deal to confess doing both murders, in exchange that they kept David and Abbey’s affair a secret. Lake is shocked to hear it and Scotty says that without David’s help, Abbey will likely spend the rest of her life in jail. Lake asks how he can help, Scotty says he could tell the truth about Vanessa. David is silent. Lilly’s cell phone rings and she leaves the room to take the call. David says he doesn’t have anything more to say. Outside the office, Lilly tells Scotty that Stillman got a call from the commissioner, saying that they should leave David alone. Scotty is very disappointed and angry.

Later, Lilly runs into Kite outside headquarters and he heard they went back to see David. Lilly says they did but were shut down. Kite thinks they have a good case against Abbey. Lilly says, a little sarcastically, that it must be nice to have a different set of rules. She adds that she saw him with the new ADA and Kite replies he’s on his way to meet her now. Lilly tells him to have fun and starts to leave but Kite calls after her. She stops, but doesn’t turn back. He begins, ”I’ll cut her loose right now if it’s just you and me, but I haven’t heard that from you. So until you decide...” Lilly interrupts, ”OK! OK!”. ”OK what?” He asks. ”It’s just you and me,” she finally says. Kite looks like he can’t believe it. He walks up to Lilly and says that he’ll meet with the other woman now and break up. ”Ok,” Lilly says and turns to leave, but Kite reaches for her and pulls her in for a kiss.

Scotty meets with Lake when he’s leaving his office at night. David says he can’t be there, and Scotty says he’s off duty, so they can talk, but David doesn't want to. But he says that he and Abbey had a tough childhood and they became very close, and that he doesn’t expect Scotty to understand. Scotty says that David knows Scotty won’t be able to use anything he says later, so he can tell him the truth. Lake says that, on that night, he thought Vanessa had left the party, and that he didn’t expect to see her again.

Flashback to 1992: David runs into Vanessa in a hotel stairwell. Vanessa tells him she went to Reading and met Marvin Dobie. David asks what he told her. She says he told her about him and Abbey, but that it doesn’t matter and they still can be together but David says they can't. Vanessa holds him and says she loves him. Flashbacks of Abbey seducing him come to his mind. He screams that he can’t and pushes Vanessa down the stairs and she dies. David calls Abbey in tears for help. They take Vanessa’s body and throw it from the bridge. Cut to 2004: Lake leaves. Scotty looks like now he feels his job is done, after he got the truth out of Lake. Lilly puts Abbey in jail. Vanessa’s parents and Aaron learn about the arrest. Abbey is being taken out of police headquarters. The press is there, and so is Beth Reardon. Lilly, Scotty and Stillman also watch. David Lake is at a meeting. Stillman and Scotty go back into headquarters. Lilly stays outside for a while and ”sees” Vanessa. The episode ends as Lilly enters the building.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Co-Starring

Notes

  • This episode is loosely based on the 2001 death of Chandra Levy.
  • The Fleetwood Mac song "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" heard at the campaign headquarters in 1992 was in fact the official song for the Clinton-Gore campaign.
  • The real murderer is not arrested, which could be why there is no ending shot of the case box being put away and having "Closed" written on it.

Music

  • Fleetwood Mac "Don't Stop"
  • The Cranberries "Dreams"
  • Gin Blossoms "Hey Jealousy"
  • 4 Non Blondes "What's Up"
  • Chris Isaak "Can't Do a Thing (To Stop Me)"
  • Closing Song: Duran Duran "Ordinary World"

See More Cases

v - e - tCold Case Logo
Season 1
Look AgainGleenOur Boy Is BackChurchgoing PeopleThe RunnerLove Conquers AlA Time to HateFly AwaySherry Darlin'The HitchhikerHubrisGluedThe LetterThe Boy in the BoxDisco InfernoVolunteersThe Lost Soul of Herman LesterResolutionsLate ReturnsGreedMaternal InstinctsThe PlanLover's Lane
Season 2
The BadlandsFactory GirlsDanielaThe HouseWho's Your Daddy?The SleepoverIt's Raining MenRed GlareMind HuntersDiscretionBlank GenerationYo, AdrianTime To CrimeRevolutionWishingRevengeSchadenfreudeRavagedStrange FruitKensingtonCreatures Of The NightBest FriendsThe Woods
Season 3
FamilyThe PromiseBad NightColorsCommittedSaving Patrick BubleyStart UpHonorA Perfect DayFrank's Best8 YearsDetentionDebutDog Day AfternoonsSanctuaryOne NightSuperstarWillkommenBeautiful Little FoolDeath Penalty: Final AppealThe Hen HouseThe RiverJoseph
Season 4
RampageThe War at HomeSandhogsBaby BluesSaving SammyStaticThe KeyFirefliesLonely HeartsForever BlueThe Red and the BlueKnuckle UpBlackout8:03 AMBlood on the TracksThe Good-bye RoomShuffle, Ball ChangeA Dollar, A DreamOffenderStand Up and Holler •  TornCargoThe Good DeathStalker
Season 5
Thrill KillThat WomanRunning AroundDevil MusicThick as ThievesWunderkindWorld's EndIt Takes a VillageBoy CrazyJusticeFamily 8108SabotageSpidersAndy in C MinorThe RoadBad ReputationSlippingGhost of My Child
Season 6
Glory DaysTrue CallingWednesday's WomenRoller GirlShore LeaveThe DealerOne Small StepTriple ThreatPin Up GirlStreet MoneyWingsLotto FeverBreaking NewsThe Brush ManWitness ProtectionJackalsOfficer DownMind GamesLibertyvilleStealing HomeNovember 22ndThe Long Blue LineInto the Blue
Season 7
The CrossingHoodratsJurisprudenceSoulWASPDead HeatRead Between the LinesChinatownForensicsIcedThe Good SoldierThe Runaway BunnyBombersMetamorphosisTwo WeddingsOne FallFlashoverLast Drive-InBulletFree LoveAlmost ParadiseShattered
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.