SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the latest episode of Cold Justice; if you missed it, you can view it on Oxygen on Demand or Oxygen.com.
“Deadly Premonition” focused on the 1996 murder of Steven Felts in the town of Rosenberg, Texas. In many ways, the case wasn’t much different from the Jerry Humphrey investigation the week before; both were Texas fathers murdered in their own homes, with suspicion falling on their spouses.
Kelly Siegler and Steve Spingola joined forces with Rosenberg officers to zero in on several suspects. Though it looked likely that Stacy Booker, an associate of Felts’ wife Linette, had physically done the killing, Booker’s death meant that he couldn’t be charged.
However, they were able to build a case against Linette Felts and the county District Attorney agreed to present that case to a grand jury (though they have yet to do so because of the COVID-19 pandemic). Here are some of the most prominent observations from this episode:
1) Yet again, it’s the spouse
Cold Justice fans probably experienced some deja vu after watching “Deadly Premonition” for its similarities to “Holiday Homicide.” Both cases were in Texas; both featured a man murdered in his home; both revealed that his wife had been hiding things from him. In this case, it came out fairly early on that Linette Felts wasn’t the loyal wife she appeared to be—Steven suspected that she was having an affair. In her initial interview with police, Linette confessed to cheating on her husband with Alfred Hinton, but Hinton denied her claim when Kelly questioned him about it.
However, speaking to various people revealed just how broken the Felts’ marriage was, similar to Jerry Humphrey’s marriage. Steven had met with family lawyer Bill Welder about a divorce and spoken to his then-boss Mark Sample about his concerns that Linette had one of his firearms. In retrospect, all the signs were there that something was going to happen—and stories like this are why homicide detectives always start with someone’s spouse or significant other when they’re investigating a death. So far Cold Justice season 6 has shown a very dark side to the institution of marriage.
2) The legalities of audiotapes
It was downright disturbing to hear Steven Felts essentially predict his own murder. Steven had begun taping phone calls to catch his wife cheating on him, and so Kelly and her team had an audiotape where he spoke to Mark Sample about Linette. He told Mark that Linette had a gun and that he could end up being shot or killed, and unfortunately, Steven did end up being shot to death.
Kelly did a fantastic job explaining the legal rules surrounding these tapes, though, which is something that Cold Justice viewers probably weren’t aware of. In order for an audio recording to be admissible in court, it has to be authenticated by someone on the tape. With Steven Felts dead, the only person who could confirm the call was legitimate and therefore make it usable was Mark Sample. Luckily, he was able to affirm that his voice was on the tape, giving investigators a massive piece of evidence against Linette Felts.
3) Death works both ways
This isn’t the first Cold Justice case where a major suspect is deceased, and it won’t be the last. While the show is able to finally get justice for victims after years or sometimes decades, the flip side of that is that suspects can also have passed away.
Stacy Booker certainly had some connection to the death of Steven Felts—he tried to pawn firearms taken from the victim’s home—but he obviously can’t face criminal charges. That makes “Deadly Premonition” a little bittersweet but at least Linette Felts will hopefully be held accountable for her role in her husband’s death.
Brittany Frederick has worked 20 years as a professional journalist, reaching millions of readers worldwide with thousands of articles. Her one goal is to meet Jonathan Groff, but she’s sung with Adam Levine and gone 200 MPH with Mario Andretti. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @tvbrittanyf.