That's right, darlings! Now, most of you on here know Kate from "American Horror Story's first season, "Murder House," in her role as delightfully bitchy and trampy Hayden McClaine. But, back in 2003, when CBS was unveiling a new Sunday night police procedural--one that would become iconic--"Cold Case"--on September 28, 2003, they kicked off with an episode entitled "Look Again," which, fifteen minutes into it, anyone with brains could see was clearly based on the Martha Moxley case.
A brief refresher. Martha Moxley, a fifteen-year-old girl, was murdered by being bludgeoned with a golf club. She was from a wealthy family, and resided in Greenwich, Connecticut, as did her next door neighbors, the Skakels, the White Trash branch of the renowned Kennedy clan. The murder, which took place the night of Halloween, 1975, was eventually attributed to scumbag pig Michael Skakel, who was convicted decades later. The Skakels are still scum, and Michael is just a fat loser. Martha got justice. He will rot.
The show's template was eerily familiar. Instead of Greenwich, it is Chestnut Hill, PA, which again would figure in the show's classic, "The Sleepover," the Moxleys were the Shelbys, and the Whitely brothers, Todd and Eric Whitley, stood in for the Skakels. The murder weapon was a tennis racket, rather than a golf club. Elizabeth Franz played Jill's mother, Evelyn.
I have not seen the entire episode--I am not sure if I want to--but I did watch the end segment, which, establishing formulae, is to musical accompaniment. The brothers are brought in, and I believe Todd is the perpetrator. We see Elizabeth Franz standing in the rain, a look of triumph on her face, as her daughter is finally accorded the justice she deserved--just like Martha.
Two iconic traditions were established in this opening segment. The first was Lily Rush (Kathryn Morris) getting out of the car, standing in the rain, clothes and hair dripping, her skin radiant. From that shot on, girls, we all wanted to do that scene, and look like her! I can tell you, I did. And it was so popular, it was always used in the opening credits!!!!!!!!!!!!
The last thing, which would become the show's poignant and trademark feature, is for someone to see the victim's ghost, as if thanking them for bringing their killer to justice. It is Lily who sees Jill, and Kate plays it brilliantly and hauntingly, bringing Martha to mind. Lily would not always see the ghosts, but would see them most often; especially memorable was when she saw Abigail Mavity riding down the street, as Rita Baxter, at the end of "The Sleepover."
"Cold Case" would go on for six more seasons, and endure indefinitely, thanks to YouTube and other sources. Someday, I will have to watch this episode, because I recall Martha's murder. It happened when I was in college, and I knew then one of the scumbag Sklakels was responsible. I was never sure which one.
Here is that shot of Lily in the rain. Don't you just want to look this glamorous, dolls????????????