Cold Case Wiki


The headless torso of a woman who disappeared in 1985, the same day she filed domestic-abuse charges against her husband is found by hikers in a wildlife preserve. The investigation quickly leads to the grisly discovery of eight more decapitated bodies.....the victims of a serial killer.


Opens with Janet and her daughter, Susan. They are in the store together. Janet keeps looking out the window in anticipation of someone showing up. Flashes forward to Janet being chased through the woods by a man with a gun. Gunshot, then flash to present. They id her and wonder where her head is.

Present day, they discover Janet had filed a domestic dispute. Susan only recalled seeing a pair of men's boots then.

Jeffries and Vera speak to the ex, LeRoy. He says Janet got what she deserved. He recalls getting angry with Janet over cereal. Susan snaps back at Janet and LeRoy hits her. She hides behind Janet who throws something at LeRoy, demanding he never touch her again. She left him that day. LeRoy says Susan deserved the same fate as her mother, saying he didn't kill Janet, but wishes he had.

Rush and Valens speak to Susan. They ask about the domestic claim Janet filed. She looks at the claim, seeing the title of a song "Walking on Sunshine". That was the song playing while her father beat her mother. She remembers the man walked into the store and was singing that song. She never saw him or her mother after that. Susan says the courts ordered her back to her father after her mother's death. She says he took out his anger on her. They then meet Stillman at the woods, where another body is discovered, bringing the number to 8.

They all sit in a room with a board of all the missing, all in November. They are trying to find a common thread among them. Jeffries and Vera speak to the park ranger on duty the night Janet was killed. He told a man there was no hunting on the preserve. The man is holding a bag. He warns the man, but did not report it. Janet went missing at 9pm, but the shots heard on the preserve were at 5am.

They speak to the sister of Latrice. She recalls last sending her sister off on a bus. They then speak to Tina's dad, who last saw his daughter training for a run. Both had had previous issue with being attacked. They look into the other victims, and find they all have previous issue-muggings, attempted rape. They realize they had all previously fought back.

Rush goes to see her sister at the bar where she is now working. She says she is staying at the Y. Lily gives her sister a key to her place.

Autopsies show no rape or sexual assault, but does find injuries consistent with running through the woods. They visit an army surplus store. They find there's a guy who orders the same ammo, but not in the year 1999, when Janet went missing. They find he had ordered a gas mask. The clerk said the guy didn't seem all there. He remembers he had stopped to look at a picture on the ceiling of the constellation Orion, the great hunter.

The crew talk how he hunts them all night, shooting them at dawn. Vera finds the name Peter, a cop at that time. They go back to speak to Susan to ask if there's anything else she remembers, particularly a cop. She says they were pulled over, although they were not breaking any law. The officer asks "what is she doing here" referencing Susan, then walks back to his car. She wishes for the moment back to tell her mother she loved her too.

Valens tells Rush they have a woman who reported a cop abduction in 1997. Jeffries and Vera go to speak to her. It was Peter she recalls. Says she tried to file a report, but it did no good. She remembers that the officer went to the woods and ordered her out. She offered herself up, but he was not interested. He calls her Atlanta, which was from her previous rape when she was younger. He told her to run. A car passes by and she screams for help and jumps in the car. The team realizes the hunter must be reading the reports.

They speak to George, the file clerk that works alongside them. He says no one reads the files without going through him. He then makes a dark remark about not finding anything in his house. They find a bowl of ammo, but not much else. Valens and Stillman have George in questioning. They are asking what the killer's motive may be. He flashes back to a victim, but answers vaguely. Valens tells Stillman he doesn't think the killer ever got laid in his life. George then tells both men how they have problems with the ladies, then turns his back to them.

Jeffries and Vera take their turn questioning him. Vera asks why the hunter picks the women if he really wants a challenge. George seems to know all the facts, but states it's because he has read the reports. He then digs at Vera and Jeffries. He tells Nick there are things worse than rape, that go on for hours. George alludes to the fact that he knows what Jeffries wife begged for when she died. He's now done talking to them, but wants to talk to Lily.

They found no evidence at George's house at all, not even his prints. Lily questions him. He tells her that he's watched her. She asks if his thing only works in the woods. George then mentions the hidden secret of Lily's past. She pulls his records. She tells him she is now done with him, but brings up his mother's murder when George was 12. She goes to leave and he raises his voice to her. Lily asks who he is in the woods. He answers "God".

He flashes to Janet begging for her life for the sake of her daughter. She cannot break another promise to her. Her last words were "I love you little girl". Lily asks where George put the heads. George walks out without confessing. Lily tells George she'll be watching her. He tells her he's thinking of traveling for the hunting. George swaggers out of the office.

Susan places flowers at the tree where Janet was found. Long, long way to go by Phil Collins plays. Each member is affected by George's dark comments. Christina is sleeping in Lilly's home. Lily lays next to her.



Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]



  • George mentions Vera's trouble with the Gail Chimayo case from "Our Boy Is Back"
  • A possible clue to the doer's indentity is given earlier in the episode. Herb, the army surplus store owner, is wearing a cap from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. At the time this episode was first aired, John Billingsley was a regular on the series Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • The same year as this episode was screened (2004) Kathryn Morris starred in a movie called Mindhunters.
  • The episode name is probably a reference to John E. Douglas' book "Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit" which is about his time in the FBI identifying serial killers.
  • The episode was remade as the fourth episode of Cold Case - Door of Truth.


  • Journey "Only the Young"
  • Katrina & The Waves "Walking on Sunshine"
  • The Tokens "Victim of Gravity"
  • Marilyn Manson "The Dope Show"
  • The Dream Academy "Life in a Northern Town"
  • Witchman "Restless"
  • Closing Song: Phil Collins "Long Long Way to Go"

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