The Long Blue Line
The Long Blue Line.JPG

Season : 6
Episode: 22
Directed by: Roxann Dawson
Written by: Jennifer Johnson, Greg Plageman
Production Number:
Airdate: May 3, 2009
Date of Crime: November 15, 2005
Previous: November 22nd
Next: Into the Blue

External Links


During the team's investigation of the 2005 murder of the first female cadet, eighteen year old Kate Butler of a local military school, suspects abound as they discover how brutally she was treated from day one by an array of resentful cadets and school officials.


In this first part of a two-part season finale, the discovery of a body in a foot locker in an exhumed grave, opens the 2005 murder case of an 18-year-old woman, Kate Butler, who went missing from a local military academy.

Kate and another woman were the first two female cadets in the formerly all-male academy. Most of the cadets, the staff and alumni (including Kate’s father), were violently unhappy with the change, giving the detectives a plethora of suspects. The first woman left after a week, and though Kate stuck it out and seemed to excel at everything thrown at her, she was still reviled.

In the end, Rush has identified the main suspect as one of Kate’s classmates, however, when she drives out to question and arrest him, she’s side-swiped off a bridge and her car sinks into the river.


Main Cast

Guest Cast




  • First ever two-part episode in the series.


All songs for this episode are performed by Pearl Jam:

  • Corduroy
  • Come Back
  • Who You Are
  • Why Go
  • Rearviewmirror
  • In Hiding
  • Indifference
  • Yellow Ledbetter


  • Matt Mitovich at TV Guide Online (05/08/2009): "Kathryn Morris Previews a Red-Hot Cold Case Finale: Lilly Is Fighting for Her Life"

Behind the Scenes

  • Kate Butler's harassment at a football game at the hands of an angry alumnus is based on fact. Nancy Mace, first female graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, recounted a nearly-identical series of instances that happened to her during her time as a cadet in her book In The Company of Men (2000). The hate mail Kate received prior to arrival and the hostility she was shown by some cadets also echoes Mace's experiences, and those of the first woman ever to attend The Citadel, Shannon Faulkner.
  • 2005, the year Kate Butler arrived at Pennsylvania Military Institute, is very late for the first female cadet to be arriving at a prominent military college. Virginia Military Institute was the last, admitting women starting in 1997 after losing United States v. Virginia in 1996. VMI, by that time, was the last all-male public university in the United States.


See More Cases

v - e - tCold Case Logo.png
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.