CBS's Cold Case Adds Insult to Injury

Are Cold Case's screenwriters mad at God?

One week after depicting Bible-believing teens as sex-happy hypocrites who will stone an enemy to death (see earlier story), CBS's forensics drama will air an episode investigating the murder of a teenaged Amish girl – five days after the first anniversary of the October 2, 2006 Nickel Mines slaughter, when a real-life gunman killed five Amish schoolgirls.

Talk about venomous malice.

Here's the Cold Case Web site description of the October 7 episode, “Running Around”:

The 2006 murder of an Amish teen who left home to visit Philadelphia as part of rumspringa, an Amish rite of passage, is reinvestigated when the victim's sister arrives to look for her. 

The writers couldn't even make it a decades-old murder.  They had to set the slaying in the same year as the Nickel Springs mayhem. Are they trying to pour salt in the wound?

Cold Case should have honored the Amish, a devout and humble religious sect, by respecting their right to mourn in peace at the anniversary of a horror that shook their community to its foundations.  No wonder these people refuse to have televisions in their homes.

Rumspringa, by the way, is the time when Amish teens entering adulthood decide whether they believe in the sect's religious doctrines, and choose to embrace or reject the community's austere way of life.  Kids aged 19 or 20 often leave home to see how mainstream Americans live.  Will Cold Case's October 7 episode pin the murder on an angry Amish adult who discovers that the victim decided to leave the community?  Let's hope not – not even a Hollywood screenwriter could be that crass.

What will Cold Case serve up after “Running Around?”  It might just be another spasm of believer-bashing.  According to the Cold Case Web site, the title of the October 14 episode is “Devil Music.” Here's the description:

The unsolved 1953 murder of an aspiring 19-year-old rock-and-roll singer is reinvestigated after new evidence indicates he was killed in his uncle's five-and-dime store and not in an alley behind a blues club where his body was found.

Will the killer turn out to be a religious fanatic punishing the young man for singing the Devil's music, as they used to call rock?  Or will Cold Case's creative geniuses surprise us by making the murderer an enraged, religion-hating screenwriter? 

Brian Fitzpatrick is senior editor at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the MediaResearchCenter.