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Kelly Siegler and Yolanda McClary: “It’s not all about DNA and fingerprints”

Cold Justice Interview

TNT has a new show called, “Cold Justice,” that has promised to entertain. The reality show focuses on helping small towns close some of their cold cases that have been sitting for years. Heading the team are attorney and former Texas prosecutor, Kelly Siegler and her partner, former crime scene investigator, Yolanda McClary. Together the two women are helping to piecing together the clues to solve the unsolvable.

Siegler and McClary spoke with CableTV about the importance of ‘Cold Justice.’

Q: I have seen the first two episodes of the show and I wanted to know if you two had ever worked together before the show and how you got involved in making a reality show?

Siegler: We met two years ago and we just worked on that first show that you saw last summer. We have been working together ever since. So we are now like best girlfriends, but no we had never worked together before.

Q: How did you get involved in ‘Cold Justice’?

Siegler: When I was at the county’s DA’s office I was a prosecutor in cold cases for around ten years. Working on those cases I would get calls from cops and smaller agencies around Houston asking for advice and help…I had the idea and finally got to have a conversation with Dick Wolf (creator of Chicago Fire) and he loved the idea and saw the potential to make it into a great story and now here we are.

Q: Wow. Okay, so talk to me about the show. What can audiences expect?

Siegler: I would say that we want people to see that there are cold cases in little towns all over the country and not because the cop doesn’t care, but because he simply doesn’t have the time to work on those. Those cold cases are sitting on the shelf and he is trying to catch up with all of the cases he is getting on his desk every day. With the show, we go into the towns for nine working days and do nothing but work on the case…we are working on everything that we could possibly think of, hoping that we have made some good progress.

McClary: Yeah, the show focuses obviously on reopening these cold cases. We are working with the detectives, we don’t talk in and take over. It’s their jurisdiction, it’s there case. They invite us. The family invites us because they want the case reopened. We basically bring our experience because these guys are from small towns that sometimes they get a homicide once every two, three years. Good for them I am glad that’s all they get, but Kelly and I come from the big city so there are times you have one every day or two a week. So we have a lot more experience working on that.

Q: In the first episode and you guys mention it in the second episode, that if there is DNA evidence people have this misconception that a case will get solved right away and that circumstantial evidence isn’t important. You both make it a point to say that is not necessarily true…

McClary: The truth be known, these cases are cold for a lot of reasons. Because, the evidence couldn’t produce what you want ultimately out of it. Just because I have blood, doesn’t mean I am going to be able to get a DNA profile to get the result that I want. That is where the public is a little mislead. Sometimes DNA works out perfectly, but a lot of times it isn’t. A lot of times it’s not cut and dry.

Q: Do you solve or get more of a viable suspect every episode?

Siegler: Don’t you think that if we solved every single one nobody would think it was real. This is reality. But the thing I wanted to add to your last question is I am going to start wearing a t-shirt on the show every day that says circumstantial evidence is not a bad word. They are the best cases. They are the most compelling, the most truthful, and the most detailed. You will hear us say that it’s not all about DNA and fingerprints. It’s about little bitty pieces that make the case in the real world.

Q: Why do you think it’s so important for the audience to hear these stories and look beyond the evidence?

Siegler: Because our victims have gone years and years believing that no one cares about their case. They have never given it up and they might think that everyone else has. These people get to be told, here we are to try one more time to work on there case.

Cold Justice airs on TNT, Tuesdays at 10pm EST.

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About the Author

Monica Gleberman began writing in 2000. She has been published on CNN and in the Suffolk Times, Examiner, The Daily Collegian, Demand Studios, Patch, and The Tattoo.

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