Charlotte Bayes

The evil Charlotte Bayes

Charlotte Bayes (Isabella Hofmann) is the main villainess of "Churchgoing People", episode 1.04 of Cold Case (airdate October 19, 2003).


Charlotte was the wife of church organist Mitchell Bayes and the mother of their two children, Ryan and Tina. While the Bayes appeared to be a perfect churchgoing family, the episode's events revealed that it was a fascade to cover up Charlotte's true nature as an abusive alcoholic. In addition to screaming at her children while drunk, Charlotte frequently abused her husband; to the point where the couple began sleeping in separate bedrooms and Mitchell kept his bedroom securely locked at night out of fear.

On February 3, 1990, Charlotte was helping Ryan prepare for an upcoming school formal that night, while Mitchell took Tina to a friend's for a sleepover. After he left, Charlotte received a phone call from the husband of Judy Enright, a member of their church's choir, revealing to Charlotte that Judy and Mitchell had been having an affair. Enraged at her husband's infidelity, Charlotte convinced Ryan to skip the formal to stay with her, getting drunk in the process. When Mitchell returned home and chastised Charlotte for keeping Ryan from the dance, Charlotte blasted Mitchell for his affair with Judy and became enraged when Mitchell offered to drive Ryan to the formal, demanding that Ryan stay with her and accusing her husband and son of teaming up against her when Ryan stated he wanted to go to the dance.

After Mitchell went upstairs to get changed, Charlotte snapped and grabbed a fireplace poker, shoving Ryan onto the couch before going upstairs to confront Mitchell, blasting Judy as "cheap Christmas trash" and proclaiming she wouldn't let him disgrace her. Mitchell's attempt to lock himself in his bedroom failed to stop his enraged wife, and the evil Charlotte proceeded to bludgeon Mitchell to death as Ryan listened from the staircase. After killing Mitchell, Charlotte forced Ryan to help her drive Mitchell's body to Kensington Avenue (an area known for drug activity and prostitution) and stage the scene to look like Mitchell had been killed while with a prostitute.


Charlotte Bayes Present

Charlotte in 2003

Thirteen years later, Charlotte had developed Alzheimer's and was being cared for (unwillingly) by Ryan, with her past acts of abuse and murder leading Ryan to leave the front door unlocked in hopes that Charlotte would wander away and he would finally be free of her stranglehold. The episode began with Charlotte being found walking around the cemetery where Mitchell was buried, being brought into the police station and briefly talked to by Lilly Rush before Ryan came to take her home. Perplexed by Charlotte's fragmented statements regarding her late husband, Lilly reopened the case, with her and Chris Lassing quickly determining that the police's theory on Mitchell's demise was wrong and that the scene was staged by his killer.

After Mitchell's affair with Judy was uncovered and Ryan attempted to halt the police investigation, Lilly (aided by Tina) talked with Charlotte privately, with her statements leading the police to believe Ryan had killed Mitchell in revenge for cheating on his mother and that Charlotte helped cover for her son afterwards. But upon being interrogated, Ryan revealed his mother's true nature as an abusive alcoholic, as well as how he'd witnessed her kill Mitchell and had been forced to cover her tracks. After Ryan's statement, Charlotte was placed under arrest for her husband's murder.


  • Isabella Hofmann later appeared on NCIS as villainous judge Evelyn Wallace and in 2017's A Neighbor's Deception as the evil Cheryl Dixon.
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