Wednesday, June 8, 2011
A cold case is a case that does not have any "hot leads," that is, the case is not getting warmer (which would mean getting closer to a conclusion). A lead is a piece of information that leads the investigator to new facts and evidence.
A cold case that develops a new, but not dramatic, lead may be said to be "warming up." A cold case that develops a new, dramatic lead can be said to be "heating up." A case that has a number of fresh, dramatic leads is "a hot case."
"Cold Case" is the title of a Western television program. The heroine investigates cases that have been "cold" for some time, resolving cases that have gone unresolved for years.