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During the team's investigation of the 2005 murder of the first female cadet, 18-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.

Frankie Rafferty attempts in vain to reconnect with Scotty after ending her marriage.


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.
  • 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.


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 by an angry alumnus is based on fact; Nancy Mace, the first female graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, recounted a nearly-identical series of incidents that happened to her during her time as a cadet in her 2001 book In The Company of Men: A Woman at the Citadel. The hate mail Kate received prior to her arrival and the hostility she faced by some cadets also echo Mace's experiences, along with those of the first woman ever to attend The Citadel, Shannon Faulkner, who left when her family was threatened (similar to Kate's fellow female cadet).
  • Michael Ironside as Colonel Murillo homages Jack Nicholson as Colonel Nathan Jessup from the movie A Few Good Men, a fictionalized story of a marine who was accidentally killed in a hazing incident. The exchange between Murillo and Detective Rush in Stillman's office in which he corrects her when she calls him "Mr. Murillo" and says, "I believe I've earned it," is a direct reference to the famous "you can't handle the truth" courtroom scene between Nicholson's Colonel Jessup and Tom Cruise's character, Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee.
  • Before Murillo leaves the office, he snidely apologizes if the phallic shape of his cigars offends Rush, a direct reference to an exchange in the Demi Moore film G.I. Jane, a fictional story about the first woman to undergo Navy SEAL training.


See More Cases[]

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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
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Season 7
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