Cold Justice: Sex Crimes

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Cold Justice: Sex Crimes TV Poster Image
Graphic reality spinoff is sensational but serves a purpose.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Sex crime often go unresolved; solving means closure for survivors.

Positive Role Models & Representations

O'Neill and Garrett want to help people get justice.


Sex crimes, other assaults discussed in detail. Blood, wounds visible.


Details about body parts, specific sex acts and sexual crimes including rape and assault.


Bleeped curses.


The North Face, Wendy's, Chevrolet, Under Armour, other logos are visible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, drug problems referenced.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cold Justice: Sex Crimes is a reality show that features very graphic descriptions of sexual assaults, as well as actual photos and footage of bloody crime scenes and disturbing interviews. Drinking, drug use, and other behaviors are discussed. It’s sensational, but also highlights the importance of solving these cases for the sake of the survivors. It's not meant for kids or sensitive viewers.

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What's the story?

COLD JUSTICE: SEX CRIMES, an addition to the Cold Justice franchise, revisits unsolved sexual assault cases in hopes of finding justice for the victims. Former Harris County prosecutors Alicia O'Neill and Casey Garett travel to small towns across Texas to re-examine the evidence, take a first hand look look at the crime scenes, and interview people involved in the investigation. They also send the existing evidence collected by local law enforcement to their labs for more advanced testing. As they work through each case, they hope to uncover enough evidence to name a clear suspect in hopes that they will be arrested and tried for the crime. Throughout it all, detailed descriptions of the crimes, crime scene photographs, and actual footage of police interviews (and occasional confessions) are presented.

Is it any good?

This dramatic, gritty, and somewhat sensational reality show spin-off offers details about sex crimes committed against people of all ages in more remote areas of Texas, and the process by which they are reinvestigated. It also underscores many of the challenges small-town investigators and prosecutors face when trying to solve and try these cases, which often stem from the lack of funds, resources, and training to collect and study DNA evidence.

Some of the details shared about these crimes seem offered more out of a desire to be sensational than to inform. Nonetheless, the overall series reminds us of how important it is to pursue and resolve sex crime cases for the sake of the almost 300,000 men, women, and children in the United States who survive these assaults every year.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why there are there so many sex crimes committed in the United States. Why are so many of them unresolved? How might TV shows like this one  be useful when trying to understand or solve these kinds of cases? 

  • Resources like the National Sexual Assault Hotline and the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) are available for people who need help. What are other steps you should take if you or someone you know is a victim of a sex crime? Can you talk to a parent? A teacher? A friend? Parents: what are some of the ways you can discuss these sensitive topics with your children at different stages in their lives?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love courtroom justice

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