Cold Case Wiki
Mike Delaney
Mike in 1982
Mike Delaney
Portrayed by Justin Hartley
Episode Justice
Status Deceased (1982)

Mike Delaney (March 15, 1960 - May 18, 1982) was a student at Powell University, killed on campus the night of his graduation in 1982. In 2007, it was discovered he had raped numerous women, thinking he could get away with anything, which had directly led to his death.


Mike was one of the most popular students at Powell. He was a straight-A student, a varsity athlete, and the president of the local Meals on Wheels club, as well as having a reputation as a womanizer. During his time at college, he raped at least ten women, usually by charming them with a paper rose in the library, taking them on a date and then forcing himself on them. Only two women reported him; Regie Kunze reported him to the Dean who did nothing while Tessie Bartram went to the police but no charges were laid. Mike marked his victims in his yearbook with a drawing of a rose.

Mike was selected to be Valedictorian, despite the Dean knowing about at least one of his rapes. In his speech, Mike quoted Martin Luther King, Jr.- "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter".

A number of Mike's victims eventually made contact with each other, writing on the wall of a women's washroom, including Tessie, Regie, Shania McNulty, Melinda Levy, and Karin Hensley. For Shania, who had attempted to tell her father, only to be blamed for it herself, the ordeal proved too much and she committed suicide. The other four women eventually conspired to stop Mike together.

Shortly after graduation, Mike was confronted on the quad by Tessie, Melinda, Karin, and Regie. He initially dismissed their accusations and started to leave until Tessie pulled out a gun she'd been given by a sympathetic policewoman, Maggie Lafferty. Frightening Mike to the point of wetting his pants, they forced him at gunpoint to admit that he had raped them. Regie urged Tessie to kill Mike, but she refused, declaring that she didn't want to become him. Tessie and the others then walked away, tossing the gun in a garbage can.

After the women had left, Mike, completely unrepentant, laughed about their reaction as he got up. He then spotted Tessie's 12-year-old brother, Jimmy, who had overheard his sister's rape and followed her to the quad, picking up the gun from the garbage can. Jimmy told Mike he knew what Mike had done to his sister, that she had said no. Mike, deciding Jimmy wasn't capable of shooting him, goaded Jimmy, saying his sister was "one hell of a lay." With that, Jimmy pointed the gun at Mike and shot him. He then ran, discarding the gun three blocks away. A security guard found Mike's body the next morning.

Mike's murder was fully investigated, but police were unable to find his killer.

In 2007, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his death, Powell University planned a special event. In response, a disgusted Regie vandalized Mike's grave with the word "Rapist". This led to the Philadelphia Homicide Squad re-investigating Mike's death. The revelation that Mike was a serial rapist gave detectives a new approach in the investigation.

Several of Mike's victims, including Tessie, Regie, Karin, and Melinda, were interviewed, with suspicion passing between them, until the investigation led to Jimmy, now a lawyer. A sympathetic Lilly Rush and Scotty Valens chose to interpret it as a self-defense shooting, and Jimmy was not charged.

Mike's family are not mentioned in the episode. However, given that he was buried in Philadelphia, it is likely that he had family in the area.

Known Victims[]