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'Cold Justice' premiere recap: Alma Hernandez

Season 2| Episode 1 | “Stranded” | Aired June 20, 2014

This recap contains adult subject matter.

Well, hey there, and welcome to my recap of the season 2 premiere of TNT’s Cold Justice. If you’re new to Cold Justice, these are the basics: Former Texas prosecutor Kelly Siegler and retired CSI Yolanda McClary have teamed up in this show, produced by Dick Wolf (insert Law & Order “dun dun!” here), to help solve cold cases. Each week they take on a new case with a dedication and skill that puts both of these ladies at the top of their respective fields.

As for me? Well, I’m GGD, and I’m a longtime forensics nerd with a love for murder/death shows. Thanks in advance for reading, and I hope you’ll stick around. Let’s get this recap started!

We’re headed back to visit “Kelly’s people” in Bay City, Texas. Kelly was born in Blessing, which is also in Matagorda County, so she’s definitely back in familiar territory. The first thing she notices is a new Tractor Supply. Yep, Kelly’s home.

Kelly and Yolanda are looking into a 26-year-old murder case from 1988. Alma Henderson, 41, was a beauty queen in Honduras before meeting her husband and moving to Texas. After she and her husband divorced, Alma works hard to raise her five kids.

Last seen at a local bar, Alma’s body was found two days later in the back of a car in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn. She was naked, appeared to have been sexually assaulted and was shot in the head. Because of the assault, they believe the perpetrator was male, but they don’t consider the ex-husband or boyfriend as suspects, because she seemed to be on OK terms with them. Which means they’re likely looking for someone she met that night at the bar.

The case went cold due to a lack of suspects and any kind of semen or other genetic material at the crime scene. So, as Yolanda muses, they have their work cut out for them.

They meet up with Sgt. Fred Wesselski of the Bay City PD, and Johnny Bonds, aka my favorite good-ole-boy investigator from season 1.

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Fred briefs them on the case. Alma was at the Oasis until around 2:30 a.m. on the night of April 7, 1988. When she left, she was with a guy she had met named TJ. TJ says they went over to the local Holiday Inn and “had a few minutes” in the parking lot before going up to his room.

That puts TJ on the suspect board. Not only does he say he was with her, but he says they had sex — and Alma was violently sexually assaulted. He also refused to cooperate and lawyered up.

Also on the suspect board: Cecil Kinerd. Cecil was also staying at the Holiday Inn. He was angry and intoxicated, and he was also accused of sexually assaulting another woman at a nearby park earlier that night.

Johnny suggests another name: hotel security guard David Wakefield, who says he saw Alma in the parking lot around 4 a.m. But Johnny is thinking Wakefield may be more than a witness. He knew Alma and, considering Alma’s car had recurring issues, he would have been someone she felt comfortable approaching for help at that time of night.

We have our suspects. Now it’s time to start investigating.

Their first stop is to visit Alma’s daughter, Kasy, who was 16 at the time of the murder. The 26 years that have passed haven’t lessened the pain for Kasy, who clearly loved her mom. Kelly and Yolanda both tell her just how committed they are to getting her mom justice after all of these years.

They then head to the Holiday Inn to get a look at the crime scene. Going on what David Wakefield said, Alma arrived at approximately 2:30, and he then saw her car again at 4 a.m. He says that he saw a large, barrel-chested man get out of Alma’s car at that time. TJ doesn’t match that description, and says he went up to his room after he had sex with Alma, so it wasn’t TJ whom David saw. Cecil Kinerd does meet the physical description; however, a police report puts him in the park around 4 a.m., so would it be possible for him to have committed both crimes?

Yolanda is leaning toward Wakefield, because he knew Alma and because the story about the other man at 4 a.m. could be a way to throw suspicion onto someone else. I’m leaning with Yolanda.

Sadly, 26 years can cause a lot of memory loss. Heck, I can’t remember what happened 26 days ago, so it makes sense. But they do get one good bit of info from a man named Roy, who was TJ’s roommate that night at the Holiday Inn. From what he recalls, TJ wasn’t acting out of the ordinary in any way, and definitely not in a way that would lead Roy to believe TJ had just killed someone.

Next up is a call to TJ, who, even after 26 years, immediately admits to feeling paranoid when they say they want to talk to him. But he agrees to sit down to talk with them at a restaurant. He says he left Alma around 3 a.m. and, while he told her he was going to go up and get his keys to give her battery a jump, he went up to his room and never came down.

Basically, TJ is a jerk, but it doesn’t look like he’s a killer. His story matches the roommate’s, so he’s ruled out as a suspect. He did say one thing I thought was interesting, but didn’t get commented on: The cops told him the security guy shined a light on the car. He told them that was bull. No one shined a light. So either Wakefield lied about that or TJ did.

Cecil is up next. The team starts calling his old buddies. Cecil was definitely a talker, and told his friends about his fetishes — most important, fisting. (Did I just write that? I did. This is why I added the disclaimer above.) Considering Alma’s vaginal injuries, Cecil’s predilections come into play. They get more info from his previous sexual partners, who say that he did try to engage them in that activity and would get mad and intimidating if they didn’t participate.

Based on that information, they speak to the medical examiner about Alma’s autopsy to see if her vaginal injuries could have been cause by that sort of activity. He confirms that the damage caused could have been caused by that specific sexual act. Kelly contacts the woman who filed the sexual assault case against Cecil the night of the murder to see if she’ll corroborate. You can tell Kelly hates having to ask, and the woman is clearly reticent, but she decides to meet with them to talk about that night.

It’s heartbreaking to watch and listen to her story, and it’s just as awful as you’d imagine, so I’m not going to say much. But she does say that when a policeman discovered them in the car, he told her he had a gun and that if she didn’t cooperate, he’d kill her and the officer. Which means we now have a gun in Cecil’s possession, and we have proof of his violent sexual tendencies.

We also know that the gun matches reports from others who saw Cecil with a .22-caliber automatic pistol — the same type of bullet that was used to kill Alma. We also know that Cecil was angry and shirtless when he left the park to go back to his hotel.

After this, they meet up with David Wakefield. After talking with him and going over the details, they dismiss him as a suspect.

Which means it’s time to track down Cecil Kinerd, who gives me the creeps pretty much immediately and — what a charmer — brings his wife out for the interview. She says she knows all about his past. However, when Johnny Bonds asks him about his sexual fetish (you know, the one he was all chatty to his friends about), he’s all shocked, appalled and “No, no, no.”

He also never had a gun. Nope. Nuh-uh. Kelly likes this lie. It’s easily checkable. BTW, I love when she starts to feel like she’s closing in. It makes her happy.

Cecil also denies ever seeing Alma or David Wakefield in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn. The only thing he does admit to was being half-dressed when the cop came up to him and the woman in the parking lot at the park. He also says he got back to the Holiday Inn around 5 a.m., but can’t account for his time between 3 and 5 a.m.

As Kelly puts it, “Cecil messed up.”

The team has their case, and the circumstantial evidence is definitely stacked up on Cecil. Between the other witness statements and Cecil’s lies, there’s no doubt in their mind who killed Alma Hernandez. The District Attorney agrees, and he’s taking the case to the grand jury.

For me, the best part of this show is always the end, when Yolanda and Kelly meet with the family of the victim, because it always shows just how committed they are to getting justice for the victims and their families. Kasy is understandably emotional, but she’s also happy to know this case has finally been solved.

Me too, Kasy. Me too.

Cold Justice airs Fridays at 9/8 C on TNT.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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