The Lost Episode of COPS

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Does anyone remember that show COPS? It was a show about a bunch of police officers who were stopping various crimes around parts of the United States. It was a pretty great show, I thought. I think you probably know due to my introduction that, like many other shows, there is an episode of cops that only aired once before being pulled from syndication. I got word from TNN that used to broadcast reruns of the show that it was pulled because the producers felt it didn't fit in with the rest of the show’s theme and tone.

The episode featured the normal intro. For all intents and purposes, it seems like a normal episode of cops. Two officers whose names aren't given are shown riding in a standard police vehicle. It’s also strange that the location isn't given. Depending on the season of cops you watch, you would see details regarding who the police are, where they are and what the perpetrators are up to. This episode just starts with the steadycam affixed to the front windshield.

The cops are shown driving down a highway late at night. Evidently they got a call and were responding to claims of vandalism on a particular turn on the highway. You hear the officers making a bit of small talk, but none of them seem to see anything. One of them says something along the lines of "Who would bother to vandalize this road, about five people drive down here a day." After about sixty seconds of driving you simply hear "Oh-" and the expletive sound as the police get out of their vehicle. The video cuts to the camera man getting out to follow the two officers, but he’s slowed and hides behind the car without capturing much of the footage.

You see a strange bird-looking thing with wings fly just averse to the camera and then loop up high into the air. "What the hell was that?!" one of the policemen yells. One of them remarks that they see something red floating just two feet above the speed limit sign. The officers get back into their car without talking. You can hear one of them is struggling to start the vehicle and they immediately barrel around the corner, swerving to avoid a tire that's found laying in the road. "Did it go that way?" one of them says. You hear "Wait" and the officer’s name is sad, though it’s muffled. It sounded like Jack or Jake. The camera man pans to show that the road sign is marked. A large, occult symbol is sprayed on the front of the green road sign. The red paint appears fresh and some of it is shown dripping. It looks like a large hexagon with six strange characters.

One of the officers gets on his phone and demands to know who fielded this call, but there's no answer. The cops are shown inspecting the perimeter. One of them seems visibly nervous but trying to control the situation. He shines a flash light on the pole surrounding the sign. "We get a lot of- of vandalism from teens-" He stops abruptly as he touches the fresh red liquid on the sigil. He seems really nervous now. "That’s not paint..." There's a long pause as the camera man retreats toward the vehicle. "Take a look at this." One of them says. He signals for the other officer to come over and they seem to be inspecting something. It’s hard to see what's going on because the camera man has the camera pointed at the floor. It appears near the cop car that something ripped at the pavement or burned it.

A slow, loud hiss is heard. It sounds somewhat like a rattle snake. The two cops look out into the distance. "What is that? What is that?" One of them keeps repeating. At this point the video has been running for about seven minutes, and there is a pause for a commercial break but the scene cuts right back to them inspecting the grass without a pause. "Something happened over there." One of them says. "Look, it’s a trail. It leads..." The cops double back and one of them runs behind the car and draws his gun. The camera cuts to a goat whose throat has been slit and allowed to bleed out. The long trail of blood leads onto the pavement and stops a few feet from the sign. The visuals are so dark that you can see the light reflecting in the goat's eyes, but it's clear what’s on camera here.

One of them radios in "We have a 10-95, murdered livestock, unknown suspect-" he is abruptly cut off as the hissing grows louder and thicker. You hear the cops start to yell and the camera man darts into the vehicle. The police jump behind the car and draw their guns. It's impossible to tell what's going on at this point as the camera is pointed at the floor. You hear one of the cops squeal violently as the camera man's leg is shown. He seems to be trying to hide at the bottom of the seat.

"THIS IS POLICE OFFICER (the name is bleeped here) RESPONDING TO A 10-39, OFFICER DOWN! OFFICER DOWN!" The officer immediately gets into the front seat and starts driving. You hear the other officer continue to squeal as the officer backs up and prepares to drive further down the highway. The car slams into the side of another car that appears abandoned with a cracked windshield.

You just hear one of them yelling "It’s burning me!" and the sound of crying mixed with squealing. The police officer's radio doesn't appear to be working. He hears the hissing noise coming out of the radio mixed with static. He slams the radio down and reverses the car, but it seems to be sliding down the end of the curved road into a steep drop.

You see the camera point up toward the side of the slope with the bushes leading up into the road. The camera man may or may not be conscious at this point. You hear a seatbelt unlatch and it seems as though the officer is getting out of the car. The cop starts to yell "HE IS THE TREES! HE IS THE TREES!" It's hard to tell what he’s trying to say. You hear the sound of something snapping and there are several blind gunshots fired. The hissing grows louder and louder as the video fades into dead air. The mumbled words "I see him..." are cut off by the loud hissing and the sight of a pale red light emanating against the trees. The screen sort of starts to fade out now, though at 1/3rd opacity until you see and hear nothing but static and the hissing. What is strange is that after three minutes of dead air you see the viewer discretion disclaimer tacked onto the ending.

I'm not stating whether or not the video is real or a hoax, but it was filmed like a legitimate COPS episode. The only thing that struck me as inconsistent was that the officer responded to a 10-39 in the police phone call. In police code, this means that the police officer is supposed to use his light or siren. It is possible that the police officer misspoke. But it's certainly also possible that he didn't.

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