First Impressions

Cold Justice: Sex Crimes

Aired on: TNT

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

                I’ve been a terrific fan of Cold Justice and their efforts to solve the unsolved murder cases all over the United States.  Former prosecutor Kelly Siegler and former crime scene investigator Yolanda McClary have worked tirelessly since 2013 reopening cases in an effort to solve stagnant murder cases, sometimes decades after the murders took place.  To date, they have helped secure 21 arrests, 11 indictments, four confessions, three guilty pleas and three murder convictions.  On July 31, 2015, at 9pm EST, a new Cold Justice series premiered on TNT called Cold Justice: Sex Crimes.  I couldn’t wait to check it out.

                The series stars former Harris County, Texas prosecutors Casey Garrett and Alicia O’Neill.  They worked with Kelly Siegler in the prosecutor’s office and she was their mentor.  Fans of the original Cold Justice can imagine, with a mentor like Siegler, these two are going to be tireless in pursuit of justice.  And what kind of cases will they be working on?  They’ll be helping various law enforcement agencies all over the United States solve dormant sex crimes.

                Their first case is one that will anger any viewer – an elderly retired and well-respected music teacher in Leon County, Texas.  The minute the show starts you notice a marked difference.  In Cold Justice, the victims are dead.  Their families, the evidence and the witnesses are the only ones that can speak for the victims.  In Cold Justice: Sex Crimes, the victims are alive and capable of speaking for themselves, telling the prosecutors and the law enforcement officers what happened.

                In this case, the victim believed she might recognize the attacker, but his face was covered.  The local law enforcement had three suspects based on the victim’s statements, but needed help in solving the crime.  Together with skilled interrogator Jesse Alvarado, Casey Garrett, Alicia O'Neill and the local police interview the victim and other witnesses, piecing together evidence that leads them to their suspect.

                This particular case has a happy ending - based on a couple of pieces in the victim's interview and witness testimony, they were able to narrow things down to one suspect.  DNA testing of the sill of the window that was the point of entry was supportive, but not conclusive.  However, using that DNA is what finally convinces the suspect to actually admit to having been in the house and, though he never actually admits to having raped the victim, he does admit to wanting to steal her computer to support his drug habit and that he struggled with the victim.  Placing himself at the crime scene on the date in question, in addition to the rest of the evidence, will be enough to get the prosecutor to take the case.

                I think that Cold Justice: Sex Crimes presents a new challenge to the Cold Justice creators - the fact that the victims are actually living, breathing individuals whose trauma is palpable.  It's harder for investigators to disconnect from these cases because the victim is right in front of them and able to speak of the atrocious acts committed upon them.  This show may be difficult for some to watch, but if they can do as much good as the original Cold Justice guys have, I say: Go To IT!  I will be watching Cold Justice: Sex Crimes every Friday at 9pm EST, right after each episode of the original Cold Justice on TNT.


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