16 October 2011 | steve-1570
Spontaneous Human Confession
Whilst seen by many as a poor copy of the superb Canadian television show, Cold Squad, Cold Case is actually a lot less than that.
The team's remit appears to be to look at any unsolved murder cases - often dating back to the first half of the twentieth century - and piece together enough anecdotal evidence (as opposed to actual physical evidence, which is almost never unearthed) with which to flesh-out a story.
The one bit of detective skill they demonstrate is the uncanny ability to locate surviving participants in the often-ancient series of events.
We are then treated to a series of hazy recollections, hearsay and gossip - accompanied by a dramatised re-enactment of the alleged events - related fluently by the witness/suspect, with our central protagonist, Detective Rush (a less suitable candidate for the job of police officer one could not imagine), forever appearing on the verge of tears, as she listens to them ramble on.
Naturally, several of these witnesses will have had some sort of tenuous motive to commit the crime, so each becomes a possible suspect for the intrepid Nancy Drew....er....Detective Rush.
Now, remember that there is no actual evidence linking any of these possible suspects with the crime. None whatsoever. So, how is the case solved?
The guilty party simply confesses!
How wonderfully convenient.
This leaves us with a couple of conclusions:
a] The Philadelphia Police Department must have been staffed by utter incompetents, between the early twentieth century and the first few years of the present century.
b] The present Philadelphia Police Department has a constant stream of people, often over eighty years of age, queueing-up at their door, desperate to confess to long-forgotten crimes.