Warner Bros.

The premise of Cold Case is a haunting thing itself, working back through unsolved cases to seek the ghost of crimes long forgotten by most. But while the show frequently turned to true crime for inspiration for its episodes, it pretty much never told us any actual ghost stories. In the world of Lilly Rush, it was more important to deliver justice to murder victims who'd passed on, sometimes decades ago, than to search for the kinds of spooks delivered by the spirit world.

However, in the fifth season of Cold Case, there is one curious exception. For "Ghost of My Child," Lilly must investigate the death of a child whose mother more recently believes she saw him alive and well in a city park. It's a twisted tale of a mother's love that hits close to home for Lilly, as the mother in question is a drug addict who Lilly suspects was abusing the child victim, due to her own experience with abuse as a child.

Doing her due dilligence, Lilly looks into the case anyway, and what results is a thrilling episode with as many turns as the best ghost stories. You never see its haunting conclusion coming. It's penned by Liz W. Garcia, who also wrote the memorable second season episode about another missing kid, "Best Friends." That time, the lost child came all the way from the 1930s.

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