The TNT network docudrama reality series “Cold Justice” is only into its 22nd episode but decided that, given the nature of the show, a bit of a retrospective was already needed. Because “Cold Justice” isn’t just a show that follows the crime team of former Texas prosecutor Kelly Siegler and former Las Vegas Crime Scene Investigator Yolanda McClary trying to solve cold cases, it is a show that gets results. And to help celebrate those results, victims advocate and host of the new CNN series, “The Hunt,” John Walsh, was brought in to host and moderate “Justice Served.”
Without much ado, John Walsh, a man probably most famous for hosting two decades of “America’s Most Wanted” on Fox Televsion, as noted by EW.com’s July 18 preview of “Justice Served,” turned to the cold case-solving duo and asked if they thought that the show would take off like it did.
“I did,” Kelly Sieger replied. Siegler had pitched the idea for the show to legendary show creator and producer Dick Wolf (the “Law & Order” franchise and “Chicago Fire”) in 2008. After a couple years, the show was put into production and TNT had a major hit on their hands. “Because a lot of people don’t know the real world of cold cases. And I think we’ve been able to show people the hard work that goes into it and the fact that they really can get solved.”
Walsh turned to Yolanda McClary. “It is hard work, isn’t it, Yolanda?” he asked.
“I mean,” she said, “you’re literally ripping these cases apart and rebuilding them from the ground level all the way back up as if they had never been worked before.”
The show also featured questions from viewers, one of which asked how the two women met. McClary said that although many thought they had been friends for some time, they had actually never met until “Cold Justice” was cast.
Siegler, who is always attempting to educate McClary about Texas and their downhome folksyism, couldn’t help getting in a jab. “And I think it’s surprising, because everybody know that ‘bling-bling’ over here” — she says while motherly patting a laughing McClary on the hand — “is from Vegas. And we’re teaching her how to say ‘Ya’ll’… and she’s eating chicken-fried steak and it’s all been good.”
Walsh noted that some might call them the “Odd Couple” but he found them a match made in heaven. He added that they were “very effective.”
The show took a look back at the series’ first episode, the case of Pam Shelly, whose 12-yeear-old homicide (at the time of the airing) had been passed off as a suicide attempt by her boyfriend. At show’s end, the team of Siegler and McClary had gotten enough evidence amassed to go to trial and Shelly’s boyfriend at the time, Ronnie Hendrick, was later convicted of her murder and sentenced to 22 years in prison.
In the run-up to the second part of Season 2, the “Cold Justice” promo posted the show’s record: four confessions, eight indictments, 15 arrests, two guilty pleas and a 22-year prison sentence for murder.
Walsh and the two cold case sleuths also revisited what Walsh referred to as the “most shocking confession” to have appeared on the show. That case, the 1998 killing of 19-year-old Erika Case, had two suspects who both said that the young woman was alive the last time they saw her. But both gave very different statements. The show would have ended with a lot of evidence pointing at Clint Mackey for having stabbed the woman 33 times and the hope of a Grand Jury indictment had not Mackey suddenly turned himself in to the police and given a full confession to murdering Case. That case is now in the pre-trial phase.
John Walsh went over other aspects of the show, like the fact that investigations into cold cases often exonerated individuals suspected of murder or of somehow being involved in the deed itself.
“Cold Justice” airs at Fridays at 9 p.m. (EST) on TNT network.