Cold Case: Spiders

Directed by John Peters

Written by Liz W Garcia

Kathryn Morris, John Finn, Jeremy Ratchford, Thom Barry, Danny Pino and Tracie Thoms : With Emilee Wallace, Johnny Lewis, Jilon Ghai, Jacob Fishel, Brianne Davis, Jamie Denbo and Diana Scarwid

A matter of a few days after watching the ‘Waking the Dead’ two-part story ‘Skin’ I watched this episode of the similar American police procedural, the thirteenth episode of the fifth season, first broadcast on the CBS network on 17 February 2008. Both deal with the unsolved murder of someone with links to a neo-Nazi group.

In ‘Spiders’ Lily Rush (Kathryn Morris) and Kat Miller (Tracie Thoms) are asked to reopen the investigation of an unsolved murder when the main suspect in the case is once again accused of parental abuse. The murder victim, Tamyra Borden (Emilee Wallace), had made an unsuccessful attempt in court to emancipate herself from her abusive father shortly prior to her death.

The cold case team discover that Tamyra had been befriended by Truitt Leland (Johnny Lewis) and went to stay with him at his mother’s house following her unsuccessful court application. Truitt’s friends knew him as Spider and the basement of the house was the headquarters of a neo-Nazi cell, which he operated with his mother’s knowledge and support. When Truitt attempted to initiate Tamyra into the group it resulted in deadly consequences.

The fact that two very similar shows, one British and one American, have dealt with a near-identical storyline in episodes first broadcast within a matter of months of each other may or may not have been a coincidence. It is difficult know one way or the other.

In both cases the message is very clear-cut and we are left in no doubt that there is nothing whatsoever to justify or excuse the ideologies of the neo-Nazis. Both shows also suggest the thinking is very much ingrained and perpetrated by a kind of brainwashing, a blind adherence to an utterly abhorrent doctrine, enticing the weak of will, the abjectly stupid and the genuinely evil to perpetuate racist violence.

Screencap from

Waking the Dead review here

No comments: