The Key
Cold Case S04E07 The Key.jpg

Season : 4
Episode: 7
Directed by: David Barrett
Written by: Jennifer Johnson
Production Number: 2T7907
Airdate: 5 November 2006
Date of Crime: 26 February 1979
Previous: Static
Next: Fireflies

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When new evidence of a murder case from 1979 is found, Det. Jeffries, who worked on the case as a rookie cop, sets out to find the killer, fulfilling the promise he made to the victim's daughter 27 years ago.


1979 - Libby and her husband Carl attend a neighborhood party. She discusses Betty Friedan's book with a friend named Allison and is then surprised to find that she is at a key party, aka a swinger's party. Knowing that if she picks a key, she will sleep with its owner, Libby grabs a key on impulse because she is angry at her husband when he refuses to leave the party.

Young Will Jeffries comforts the victim's daughter at a crime scene where Libby Bradley's body lies. She was stabbed and found in the woods.

Present A ski jacket is found not far from where Libby's body was discovered 27 years ago. Her daughter Helen identifies the yellow jacket with a black stripe as Libby's "bumblebee jacket." In the pocket was a smiley face key chain.

The keys belong to a Cadillac. Detectives talk to Carl, Libby's widower. He tells them of the key party in 1979 and that the keys belonged to a man named Bill. The detectives interview Bill. He says she had his keys because they had a relationship.

Flashback Libby and Bill go into a bedroom together. They talk about their disappointing relationships with their spouses and they make love.

Present Bill and Allison have been divorced for 25 years. She drove the car more than he did. It was her keychain. Allison is interviewed. She states that she wasn't the one driving that car. Her son Jed was.

Flashback Three couples discuss open marriages. Teens Jed and Helen are at the dinner and hear the entire conversation. Libby wants to leave but has been drinking so Jed picks up the keys when asked to drive her home. Allison never saw the keys again after that night.

Present Jed states he was happy to be involved because he was able to make friends with Libby, who had been his fifth grade teacher years before.

Flashback Jed and Libby discuss an upcoming eclipse. She will help him make a pinhole camera to see it and he will teach her to drive. He gives Libby the smiley face keychain. He tells her he knows she is involved with his father.

Present Once a week he took her driving. Joe Livingston was sometimes waiting for her when he dropped her off. Lilly talks to Joe. He and Julie were on a plane when Libby died. Libby had turned him down.

Flashback - Helen's Sweet 16 party was the night before Libby's death. Libby is jealous of Bill dancing with someone else. Bill breaks up with her. He did not want her to fall in love. He does not want another wife. Libby is hurt so she dances suggestively with teenaged Jed. She falls down, embarrassing herself and her family and they storm out together.

Present The detectives interview Carl.

Flashback Libby and Carl talk. She wants a divorce; she is no longer scared to be alone. They hear a noise. Helen appears to have cut herself. Seemingly this is a suicide attempt. Helen yells at Libby and threatens her with an icepick. In present day, the detectives suspect Helen. Libby apologizes to Helen the next day. She promises to focus on Helen and not on men or sex. She picks up the materials needed to make a homemade pinhole camera as she leaves the room. An icepick could be used to make a hole in the camera.

Present Interrogation of Jed determines that Jed was out in the woods that day. Libby met him in the woods that day and he thought she wanted more.

Flashback - She loans him her jacket and starts to work on the camera. She gives him the key ring and states driving lessons are over and she will focus on Helen. He wants more. The Dancing and the driving lessons have given him the wrong idea. When she rejects him, he instinctively stabs her with the ice pick.

Jed Huxley is arrested for murder. Allison works as a yoga instructor. Bill finds an old fondue pot in his garage and tosses it in the garbage. Julie and Joe are still together and in love. Carl, Helen and Will Jeffries bring flowers to the spot where Libby died. Scotty talks to his brother Mike about witnessing Coach Fitz molesting Mike as a child. Mike agrees to testify against the coach.


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Season 4 Episodes
Rampage | The War at Home | Sandhogs | Baby Blues | Saving Sammy | Static | The Key | Fireflies | Lonely Hearts | Forever Blue | The Red and the Blue | Knuckle Up | Blackout | 8:03 AM | Blood on the Tracks | The Good-Bye Room | Shuffle, Ball Change | A Dollar, A Dream | Offender | Stand Up and Holler | Torn | Cargo | The Good Death | Stalker

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