Our Boy Is Back (aka Useless Cats)
Cold Case S01E03 Our Boy is Back

Season : 1
Episode: 3
Directed by: Bryan Spicer
Written by: Stacy Kravetz
Production Number: 176704
Airdate: 12 October 2003
Date of Crime: 21 August 1998
Previous: Gleen
Next: Churchgoing People

External Links


A serial rapist sends a letter to the squad announcing his return to Philadelphia after five years and his plan to strike again. Lilly's best hope of catching the rapist comes from a victim who is able to provide a composite sketch.


Lilly and Vera receive a letter mentioning locations of rape victims and how they all owned ”a useless cat”. It also mentions that the writer is the rapist, and he plans to return. Vera is alarmed, as this particular rapist had him puzzled in the past, and left one of his victims dead, strangled. Lilly finds the next-door neighbor of the slain young woman, Larry. He remembers that night, saying he heard sounds of a struggle and called the police when the victim, Gail Chamayo, didn’t answer when he knocked. Lilly says Larry was very brave for calling 911. Lilly interrogates Gail’s boyfriend, Bruce, and finds out that he despises cats, and that Gail was being unreceptive to Bruce’s advances, including the night she was murdered. Soon, DNA evidence clears Bruce of suspicion, and Lilly is stumped. She begins trying to interview the victims. Each one tells her that the rapist had smooth skin, and that he talked to them about books, and how the window bars were too far apart.

Lilly then comes across a man, Carl, who left for the army around the time the rapes stopped, and returned when the letter was sent. She and Vera talk to him, and show him his resemblance to the composite picture of the rapist. Carl is indifferent. ”You gonna arrest a guy for lookin’ like a picture?” He doesn’t let them give him a DNA test, and crushes his cigarette in the ash tray next to him. He asks if they want anything else, and they glance at the cigarette. ”Nope”. Carl proceeds to pick up the cigarette with his fingerprints on it. Rush and Vera are disappointed, but that refusal to give up evidence makes them suspicious. They interview Carl’s girlfriend, who tells them that he would often muse how if a girl had a cat, she was single and alone, and would sometimes go out at night for ”walks”. He also often shaved his skin smooth, but the girlfriend can’t believe that her boyfriend could be a rapist.

Rush and Vera interrogate Carl again, talking about how the girlfriend noted his walks the nights of the rapes, and catch him by telling him how he operates. He visits libraries, museums, finds good-looking girls, stalks them to their home. He shaves his skin back at his house, visits their home at night, and if there’s a cat in the window, he will know she’s all alone. Then all he has to do is squeeze through the window bars, and attack them. Carl breaks and admits that he grew up trailer trash, and that all he wanted to do was date those intellectual girls... and that he was known for getting into small places. Carl is arrested, and the victims have closure. Neighbor Larry sets up a small memorial outside Gail’s apartment.


Main CastEdit

Guest CastEdit



  • This episode is loosely based on the "Center City Rapist" Troy Graves.
  • Justin Chambers does not appear in this episode and his name is removed from the opening credits, though he appears in the following episode.


  • Third Eye Blind "How's It Going To Be"
  • The Cranberries "When You're Gone"
  • Closing Song: Wallflowers "Heroes"