Columbo (1971) s02e02 Episode Script

The Greenhouse Jungle

Lieutenant, I received a letter from Tony.
Well, he's perfectly all right.
Really.
How big a ransom did the letter ask for, ma'am? I must say, the lieutenant's investigatory procedures do differ somewhat from my own.
Well, that speaks very well for you, Sergeant Wilson.
Hello? Mrs.
Goodland? Yes.
Mrs.
Tony Goodland? Who is this? Never mind.
I just wouldn't go any place if I was you.
Your old man, he just bought himself some trouble.
He's what? What are you talking about? Just stay put, lady.
If he pays up, no hard feelings.
If he don't, we'll be in touch with you.
Get in touch? What is this? Tony? Tony? Hello? Whom? Mrs.
Tony Goodland.
And if my husband is there, Miss West, I'd like to speak with him, please.
Well, why would you I mean, what makes you I know what you mean, dear, and you know what I mean.
Now, is he there or isn't he? Well, he certainly is not.
Now I was at one time Tony's Mr.
Goodland's receptionist employee, Mrs.
Goodland.
And that is absolutely all! I know all about your skills at the office.
Just tell me where Tony is.
Well, I don't know where he is.
Honest, Mrs.
Goodland.
Jarvis? I'm looking for Tony.
Ah, sweet Catherine.
Looking for Tony, are you? My, what a pleasant surprise for him.
Tell me, my dear.
Have you tried your own home? - I am home.
- Well, a double surprise.
Jarvis, look, I'm not in the mood for playing badminton right now.
I got a weird phone call a couple of minutes ago and I - Did you? One of your friends? - Damn it, Jarvis.
Will you listen? Oh.
Sounds quite lethal, doesn't he? Well, I tell you, Cathy, why don't you wait an hour, and if Tony doesn't come weaving in by then, why don't you call the authorities.
Yes, of course, the police.
Drunks and errand husbands are their special province, I believe.
Not at all, my dear.
Oh, and, Cathy, assuming nothing is wrong with Tony, it's been my pleasure to hear you so upset, my dear.
Torpedoes running straight, hot and normal.
Why do you always have to talk to her like she was some kind of a Well, isn't she? I've told you before, knock off that stuff.
And the word for you is still "gullible.
" Why do you insist upon being in love with a wife who spends all your cash on some skiing instructor? Maybe I've fooled around a little bit myself.
In self-defense, dear boy.
Of course, you are embarrassingly weak and far too decent to compete with your Catherine the great.
Uncle Jarvis, I'm warning you.
I don't want to hear any more talk about Look, this whole thing better work.
It just better work, that's all.
Oh, it'll work.
I planned it.
And now let's be off to conclude phase one, shall we, nephew? Now wait a minute.
Wait a minute.
What if Cathy calls you back again later? She'll get a busy signal.
I thought I told you to listen to the police calls.
I have been.
I just turned it off.
Then turn it on again.
Three-car collision at the corner of Sepulveda and Now, what about tomorrow night? I make the first phone call to Cathy between midnight and 12:30.
From? That roadside phone just below here.
And the second call? Twenty minutes later from the same phone.
To you, at that gas station on Wilshire.
Good.
Boo.
It's gonna feel like Halloween wearing this thing.
Well, don't forget to wear these.
We don't want some clod trying to match footprints.
Now, where's the letter? Oh.
Here.
I copied straight from your draft.
Word for word? Yes.
! What about fingerprints? Only mine on the letter and the envelope.
Anthony Goodland, age 31.
Hey, listen.
Driving yellow sports car.
Chrome-spoke wheels.
License ZZ03 2 4.
All cars, report if subject is located.
Well, we are in business.
And now, dear nephew, to phase two.
Listen, Jarvis.
Couldn't we just hide the Jag? That thing cost me a bundle.
Did it cost you $300,000? Headlights off.
I know.
Dashboard clock set back to 12:18.
Windows up.
! Emergency brake off? Yes! - Flaps up, wheels down.
- Would you mind? Well, don't just stand there.
Push! Come on! The end of a perfect day.
Stand by.
Information incomplete.
Hey, mister, didn't you see me signaling? I'm a cop, sir.
Right, you're a cop.
Now can you back this up and move it down the hill? Officer, you don't understand.
I'm a member of the force.
Lieutenant.
Lieutenant, don't worry about your car.
The officer will move it for you.
Officer, right now.
A lieutenant? This way, sir.
Oh, thank you.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
Sir Oh, sir, may I? Oh, fine.
Sir, the vehicle's point of descent is right over there.
You'll notice the skid marks of course.
These are the, uh These are the second set of skid marks here? No, sir.
The second set is right over here.
It's a bigger, heavier vehicle.
Of course, I don't have to tell you that, sir.
Oh, please.
You could tell me.
Well, the smaller vehicle is the vehicle that descended into the canyon.
Here, I'll show you the quickest way down.
Lieutenant? It's a little steep.
Yes, sir.
Sir? But I'll tell you, it was the quickest way down.
Oh, yes, by far.
Here, sir.
Thank you.
This is the car right here, sir.
Subject vehicle, a Jaguar, registered to subject person of last night's missing person report, Anthony Goodland.
Male Caucasian, residing 11 Hightower Road.
Discovered approximately one hour ago by two juveniles taking a shortcut to school.
You want their names, Lieutenant? What? Who? I'm sorry? The juveniles.
I have their names right here when you need them.
Yeah.
Very good.
Very good.
Yes, sir.
Soil moisture tests beneath subject vehicle indicate residual dew, indicating in turn that subject vehicle has been here since last night.
That is substantiated by subject vehicle's electric clock which stopped running at 12:18.
Bullet hole in window on driver's side, but no blood, indicating preliminarily that bullet missed.
Bullet slug lodged in back of passenger seat.
Lights, ignition, emergency brake, all off.
Well, sir, I guess I don't have to tell you what this all adds up to.
Adds up to? Yes, you can tell me.
As I reconstruct it, sir, Mr.
Goodland was halted by the shot you were looking at there, forced out of the car, which was then pushed over the side.
This to conceal the fact that he was grabbed by a person or persons unknown.
That jibe with your thinking, sir? Uh, I was wondering.
Could you tell me your name? Oh, I'm terribly sorry, sir.
Detective Sergeant Frederic Wilson.
Sir, please, forgive my rudeness.
Oh, no, that's perfectly all right.
One years experience Homicide, two years Advanced Police School, Berkeley, returned to city Homicide, six July.
Wow.
Well, you're a very efficient officer.
I can see that.
Thank you, sir.
With permission from Captain Ritchie to work right alongside you, sir.
You're gonna work along with me? I, uh, do hope that's acceptable to you, sir.
Uh, Captain Ritchie did say you were fast becoming a legend in the department.
Oh, Captain Ritchie said that? Oh, yes, indeed.
Oh.
Well.
Do you have a pocketknife? Yes, sir.
Would you hold this for me? Oh, certainly, sir.
I wonder why he said that.
I beg your pardon? Captain Ritchie, he said that? About you? Oh, repeatedly, sir.
I wonder why he said that.
Thank you.
Oh, thanks.
I wonder if you could get this over to the crime lab as soon as possible.
Oh, yes, sir.
This fella have a wife? Does she know about this? I suggested they wait until you had made your preliminary report, sir.
Oh, very good.
Sergeant, I wonder if you could hang around here and see if you could locate any more physical evidence, something that might do us some good? Could you do that? Certainly, sir.
Thank you.
Fine.
Lieutenant? Yes? Um I hope you don't mind Captain Ritchie assigning me to you like this.
I mean, that is to say I realize it was done without consulting you, and No, Freddie, that's perfectly all right.
Captain Ritchie's a very fine administrator, and I'm sure he just wanted to expose me to some modern techniques.
No, I appreciate that.
Uh, I think I'll go the long way around.
Oh, yes.
Oh, Lieutenant? Yes? Your coat.
Oh, thank you very much.
I'll carry it.
Thank you.
Well, I must say, Catherine, our kidnapper, whoever he is, is certainly no piker.
To demand a ransom of $300,000, why, I'll wager there are weeks here and there even you don't spend that sort of money.
Don't you ever stop, Jarvis? However, leaving our personal affection aside, you must realize that my situation is such that even I couldn't pour even the smallest drop into such a huge bucket, even though I'm not a weakling with a spendthrift wife.
Oh, shut up, Jarvis.
Uh, Mrs.
Goodland? Yes.
Police department, ma'am.
Lieutenant Columbo.
Yes? Would you mind if I came in? Well, I've already told your people everything I know, Lieutenant, in triplicate.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have company.
Uh, ma'am, you see, this time, I've got something to tell you.
Oh.
Well, come in.
This is Lieutenant, uh Columbo.
How do you do, sir? This is Jarvis Goodland, Tony's uncle.
Did I hear you say you have something to tell us? Uh, yes, sir.
I'm sorry, Mrs.
Goodland.
We found your husband's car about an hour ago.
It was in a canyon off Middlecross Road.
Smashed up pretty badly, I'm afraid.
Kind of a long drop off that particular spot.
Even worse, we found a bullet hole in the window on the driver's side.
You already heard this? - Uh, no.
- Oh.
Well, it kind of seems to me that if somebody popped in and told my wife that they found my car at the bottom of a canyon with a bullet hole in it, you know, I think she would wanna ask if I was in the car, if I was hurt, if I was alive You're quite right, Lieutenant.
We do know much of what you're telling us.
Jarvis.
It's always better to tell the truth, my dear, especially to the police.
Jarvis, will you let me handle Lieutenant, I received a letter from Tony.
He's perfectly all right.
Really.
How big a ransom did the letter ask for, ma'am? - You already knew.
- Oh, no, no.
No, uh Is that an ashtray? It's just that letters to wives and relatives saying "don't talk to the police," they often involve a kidnapping.
And I mean, uh, the way I could just barely get into the house here, just now, right here at the door, well, I make these small observations I can't help it, ma'am sometimes.
- May I see the letter, please? - Well, you can't.
Aside from the fact it specifically says not to give the police any information Mrs.
Goodland, I will do nothing to endanger the safety of your husband.
But this is a crime.
This is a police matter.
I've already sent it by messenger to Mr.
Jameson at the Golden West Bank.
He's gonna verify Tony's handwriting.
He'll do whatever's necessary.
Catherine, I think you'd better cooperate more than that.
The letters asked for $300,000 in small unmarked bills.
$300,000? Well, that's a lot of money.
I mean, well, do you mind if I ask you, do you have access Well, of course I don't have it.
But Tony has a trust fund.
Now, in an emergency like this Ah, the trust fund.
That's why you wanted me here.
Well, Jarvis, I certainly know you wouldn't help me raise the money any other way.
I'm sorry.
I don't quite understand about that trust fund.
Well, you see, I am co administrator with the bank of a trust fund set up by Tony's father.
And you, Catherine, should know of all people that he put enough strings in there to protect Tony from his own bad habits and grasping wives.
I also know, because Mr.
Jameson told me on the telephone, that there is an emergency clause for well, for problems like this.
- Yes, there is that.
- Then you can get the money? I mean, you can break the trust fund.
Boy, that's a lucky thing.
We can if the bank verifies the letter.
And if I choose to vote in Tony's favor.
Now there's no use glaring at me like that.
Blood is thicker than martinis.
I'll go and see Jameson right away.
Hmph.
Oh, sir? You will be careful with the fingerprints, won't you? I mean, we could help with the verification.
Why don't I send one of the lab boys over there to meet you? Why don't you do that? Delightful, isn't he? What? Huh? Oh.
Well, you know, everybody gets uptight in a situation like that.
I can understand that.
And, Mrs.
Goodland, believe me, I understand how concerned you are about your husband.
And rest assured, we will do nothing to interfere.
just help.
I heard the front door close.
I thought you were alone.
Who are you? Another cop? Uh, yes.
Lieutenant Columbo.
Ken Nichols.
Friend of the family.
How do you do, sir? Hey, you look a little tired.
You go on back upstairs and get some rest.
You let me be the watchdog, fix him a drink or whatever.
No, he was just leaving.
Uh, yes, I was just leaving.
Now, Mrs.
Goodland, you just follow any instructions they give you in that letter, and we'll stay in the background till your husband's released.
I mean, uh, don't worry.
Everything's gonna be all right.
Lieutenant? Yes? I'm scared about Tony.
And I'll do anything on earth to see him safe.
We lead separate lives.
And I don't really care what you might be thinking right now.
Good day! Oh, excuse me.
I hope I didn't startle you, sir.
One of your men I believe it was the gardener he said it was all right if I waited here.
And I must say, it's been a real pleasure because I've never seen so many beautiful flowers in my life.
Orchids, Lieutenant.
One of the finest collections in the country, even if I say so myself.
My wife loves African violets, but, boy, what a thrill it would be to her I can imagine if I ever brought something like this home to her That specimen happens to be called a moth orchid.
Its value is approximately $1 200.
$1 200.
Can you imagine that for one flower? Mm-hmm.
Hard to believe.
Boy, a fella could go broke with a hobby like this.
Mm-hmm.
You mean to tell me every one of these are worth $1 200? Lieutenant Columbo, I enjoy talking about my orchids, but I have a feeling you came here with something else on your mind.
Yes, sir.
I'm waiting to hear how you made out at the bank.
Ah.
And to see this I suppose.
Oh, yes, sir, that's very important.
I'd like to keep that for evidence if I could.
Let's see if I have a handkerchief here.
Oh, go ahead! It won't bite you.
Your expert's already verified that the fingerprints are Tony's and that the handwriting is his.
Oh, he checked it out, did he? Oh, yes.
Well, then there's no need to be so careful.
Let's see.
"Cathy, "there's a man standing over me making me write this.
" "Driving in a car on a country road, shot at me.
" "Forced off the road.
'" "Don't worry.
I'm not hurt.
" That's must have been a relief when you got to that part.
- Oh, yes, indeed.
- "Demand $300,000.
Whatever you do, don't tell no police.
Sit tight" Your expert has told you, I'm sure, everything including the text.
Yeah, you know.
He did in his way.
And also that the money will be available.
Yeah, that was a lucky thing, wasn't it? And also the fact of your being here jeopardizes my nephew's life.
Now supposing we were watched.
Good point, sir.
You're absolutely right.
Better run along.
Uh, the, uh The one or two little things I have, I guess they can wait until, uh Yeah.
Now, it just hit me how much you must love these flowers.
No, when you didn't go straight to the bank I mean, with your nephew being kidnapped, and they told me you took the time to stop off at the nursery You mean I'm being followed already? That you're interfering and you promised you wouldn't? Uh I'm gonna call up your superiors! No, there's no need to do that, sir.
No, they've told me, and they've made it very clear, I'm to stay in touch, but until your nephew is released, believe me, we're way back.
Way back.
Nothing to worry about.
In that case, I don't mind revealing that my nephew isn't worth a sack of peat moss.
He's a wife-ridden weakling whom I've despised for years.
If it wasn't for the fact that he's my only relative, I'd call up his captors and tell them that they're welcome to him.
Uh, Lieutenant, sir? The boys on the new shift, they keep asking me why a homicide lieutenant has requested to stay on this kidnapping thing, uh I I don't know what I'm supposed to say.
Are they angry? I hope they're not angry.
I don't Lieutenant, we got a ring.
Oh.
Hold that.
Answer it.
Yes? Tony! Tony, where are you? Yes, Jarvis is here.
Yes, I've got the money.
Yes, Tony, I'm listening.
Tell Jarvis he's to go to Cal-Texas Gas Station, Wait for a call.
Public phone booth.
You got that? Yes, I've got that.
Tony, are you all right? Have they hurt you? You sound so They made him hang up.
Yes, I think I know the station.
Well, might as well get it over with.
If you'd just sign this, Mr.
Goodland.
Bank rules and all.
Oh, yes, of course.
What about my going with you, Mr.
Goodland? You? Sure.
I'll hide in the back of the car My dear boy, there's one thing I don't need, it's a hero.
Now assuming I survive, I shall telephone and let you know.
Keep him in sight.
No tailgating, understand? Yes, sir.
It's about time! Uh, yeah, yeah.
Okay, okay.
Uh, take Sunset to Surf Road.
North on Surf 4.
6 miles.
You got 1 5 minutes to get there.
I think he's stopping, Lieutenant.
Pull up and turn off the lights.
Yes, sir.
Did you ever see one of these before, Lieutenant? Uh No, I'm not sure I have.
It, uh, looks kind of familiar, though.
It's a camera-mounted starlight scope.
They use 'em quite a bit at Berkeley for night work.
You mean that takes pictures in the dark? Yeah.
I bought this one myself.
You used your own money? Well, I wanted to have the best equipment for the job, sir.
You must be a bachelor.
Lieutenant! We've got some very clear footprints here, going and coming.
Good.
We'll have some moulage casts made.
I think we better go.
Lieutenant, uh I believe I'd rather take some three-dimension photographs, if you don't mind.
We've pretty much stopped using moulage casts, you know.
We have? Oh, with footprints, yes, indeed.
You see, we found that when the plaster swells, it makes them appear a half to a full size larger than they really are.
- No kidding? - Oh, absolutely.
Well, then maybe we better take pictures.
Oh, very good.
Just as quickly as you can, Sergeant.
Yes, sir.
Oh, it's you, Columbo.
Yes, sir.
I hope we didn't scare you.
Detective Sergeant Wilson.
You didn't scare me, but the kidnapper did.
That mask and everything, frankly, I'm a little unraveled.
Well, that's quite natural, Mr.
Goodland, believe me.
Thank you, young man.
Uh, sir, we're kind of interested in exactly what happened up there on that hill.
Well, the man said, "Goodland?" I said, "Yes.
" He said, "Give me the money.
" I gave him the money.
I hope you didn't surround those trees he ran into.
Oh, no, sir.
Just as we agreed, we're gonna stay out of this thing until your nephew's released.
You wouldn't recognize him again, would you, if you saw him? The guy up there in the hill? I told you, he had a stocking mask on! Yeah.
I guess it was pretty dark up there too.
His voice.
Anything familiar about his voice? The way he walked maybe? Lieutenant, I've had a fatiguing and rather frightening evening.
Can't this wait until tomorrow? Yeah.
I'm sorry, sir.
I guess it must seem to you that we're not being very considerate.
- Have a pleasant night, sir.
- I presume that's gallows humor.
Good night, young man.
Sorry it was so long.
I had to be sure that Neanderthal policeman wasn't following us.
Well, it was hairy when he stopped you, I'll tell you that.
Well, I'll take the bag.
No.
I'll take it.
I've really gotta hand it to you, Uncle Jarv.
Unbreakable trust broken to the tune of 300 thou.
Would you look at these lovely green bricks.
Beautiful.
Far too beautiful for you to waste your half on that woman.
That woman happens to be my wife, and I wanna keep her.
If money's what it takes, money's what she'll have.
What a waste.
No, Tony, no.
The time has now come for me to explain to you phase three.
Columbo.
Oh, good morning, Mr.
Goodland.
I was hoping I'd find you up.
Uh, your gardener said I might find you here.
You have something on Tony? No, sir.
No.
I'm afraid we haven't gotten any kind of report at all, none at all.
That sounds ominous.
Oh, he could pop up any minute now, sir.
Of course, uh, there is that possibility that once they get him to write the letter and make the phone call but you never know.
You mean, they may have waited until the ransom money was paid, and then That's a grisly thought.
Well, you just never know, but it's good to be positive.
I always like to think positive.
Is that all you came here to talk to me about? No, sir.
No, I didn't.
Sir, I was hoping that you'd be able to make a suggestion.
My wife has tried everything she knows to get this thing to grow.
This African violet here.
Uh, I was hoping maybe you'd be able to make a suggestion.
That is the most miserable specimen I've ever seen.
My only advice to you, Columbo, is to throw it in the trash can.
Yeah.
I was afraid you were gonna say that.
Well, what are you gonna do? Listen, as long as I'm here, I might as well bring up one or two little things I didn't get to before.
Uh, your nephew's red car, for instance.
You know, we found that thing with the ignition and lights off and the gear in neutral.
Neutral? But the letter said he was forced off the road.
Perhaps they grabbed Tony and pushed the car over the side to keep it out of sight, don't you think? Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, that's what it looks like, all right.
Of course, only then, one of them made that first telephone call to Mrs.
Goodland.
Well, that was to make her believe the letter when she got it.
She's a very hard woman to convince of anything, Lieutenant.
Mm.
I wonder how they knew that.
Funny.
And no skid marks.
I mean, a really funny Say, what is this thing, sir? That is a multicolored cattle ya bulb from Brazil.
From Brazil? You don't say? Really? Skid marks, Lieutenant? Huh? - Skid marks? - Oh, yeah.
There were marks of a heavier car on that road too.
But his Jaguar, you know, boy, they can really travel.
- I don't know how the heavier car caught up with him.
- But they took a shot at him.
- Isn't that what he said? - Yeah, that's what the letter Well, you know something, the line of flight of that bullet through the window Well, that slug would've passed right through him.
I mean, if he was driving the car.
But it didn't.
I mean, nothing.
You know? No blood, nothing.
Just a .
3 2-caliber slug in the seat.
Well, you see, Tony's been ducking things adroitly for years.
Right.
Right.
Uh, very good, sir.
You want this? Here.
Uh, listen, sir, you've got a gun yourself, haven't you, Mr.
Goodland? Also a .
3 2, I think.
Uh Mm-hmm.
Uh, yes, yes.
There's one around here somewhere.
I haven't seen it for almost a year.
Uh, Tony gave it to me.
It's around the house somewhere.
Lieutenant, you been checking up on me? Oh, no, sir.
No.
I just happened to run across a, uh, police report you filed, oh, way back there sometime.
Yeah, I had it here a minute ago.
I don't know what happened to it.
Uh, it had to do with somebody breaking into the, uh into the greenhouse here.
- Solarium.
- Oh, "solarium, " right.
I stand corrected.
I got this telephone bill.
I gotta take care of that.
Oh, here we are.
Here we are.
Yeah, uh, I guess a guy broke in, and what happened? You took some potshots at him, or something? Columbo, you're marvelous transparent, but marvelous.
You just happened to run across this report? Well, uh, it didn't just happen.
I'd forgotten all about it.
I did take a couple of shots, but all I hit was a pile of dirt over there.
I scared me more than I scared the prowler.
Well, you know, with all the glass you got here, and the prices the way they are, it's a good thing you shot low, believe me.
Well, I confess.
Now I have to change and get to work.
Confess to what, sir? To having an unregistered weapon somewhere in the house.
- That's what you're leading up to, isn't it? - Oh, no, sir.
Oh, no, not at all.
Listen, if I arrested everybody with an unregistered weapon in Los Angeles, believe me, I'd have half the population in jail.
Then why are you here, Columbo? Oh! Geez! This is magnificent.
I asked you a question.
I'm sorry, sir.
I happen to love this game.
I played it when I was a kid and this is such a beautiful table.
I'm sorry, sir.
I didn't mean to hold you up.
You know, in my house, I don't have room for a table in my basement even if I could afford one.
Uh, I've got these pictures here, sir.
Uh, these were taken with a starlight scope.
That's a new camera.
It's a very sophisticated instrument.
I'd like you to take a look at 'em.
Uh, you know, since you were right there.
Right on the spot, so to speak.
Where were these pictures taken from? Oh, way down at the bottom of the hill.
They don't show very much, which is kind of funny too.
You don't mind, do you? What was kind of funny too? Uh Eh, not as rusty as I thought I was.
Uh, what's funny is that, um, the place where they asked you to deliver the ransom, you know, way up on top of the hill like that there I mean, it's almost as though they wanted to have a place that was exposed in order to be photographed.
What do you think? I think it's very odd.
So do I.
I think this whole case is odd.
You know what I mean? I mean, you got those skid marks and you got the bullet hole.
I'll tell ya, in most cases, you don't have any clues.
Gee, I can't miss a shot.
In this case, I got so many clues, I don't know where to start.
You know, it's almost like they put 'em there just on purpose.
You're the detective.
Don't ask me for your answers.
Oh, I can't miss a shot.
Isn't that wonderful? Um, oh, there is one thing that I did wanna ask you, sir.
You know what this whole game is? It's all in the wrist.
You just gotta keep that loose.
Uh, what I wanted to ask you was, uh, why do you think, uh, they asked you to deliver the money instead of the wife? Because they probably knew that if Catherine had that much money in the car, she'd just keep on driving.
Uh-huh.
I wonder how they knew that.
Yes? It's for you, Columbo.
Oh! I told them I was gonna be here.
I hope you don't mind, sir.
Hello.
Yeah, Columbo.
I'll be there as soon as I can.
- We've got some very bad news, sir.
- What? They found your nephew's body.
He's been murdered.
Yeah.
According to the coroner's intern, the bullet, apparently, went directly through the heart, fired at extremely close range, as indicated by the gunpowder traces.
Total envelopment of the body by rigor mortis, which is, of course, you know, sir, fixed to the time of death at about 1 0 to 1 2 hours ago.
The caliber of the bullet still to be determined, following the autopsy.
Uh, remove the body, men.
Is that all right with you, sir? Pronto.
Snap to it.
Move it.
Call me soon as you've got it loaded.
I'll come along.
I want that autopsy report quick as I can get it, sir.
Lieutenant.
Lieutenant, as you've probably noticed, there are three cups, three plates, three different brands of cigarettes.
That means there were two persons here besides the victim.
That's obvious.
Yeah Awfully obvious.
I understand you were his receptionist for awhile.
Who told you? Well, his wife sort of mentioned it uh, mentioned your name Her? I can just imagine.
Strike that from the record.
Oh, sure.
Don't worry about it.
That's a good picture of Tony right there, isn't it? Oh, I know what you're thinking.
The secret love life of the murdered man, huh? Well, we sort of like to contact people who knew him, regardless in what way, and I understand that you two have been acquainted for a good Well, you get this straight, Lieutenant.
There was no love affair.
I don't care who told you what, there just wasn't any.
Well, did you see him? Miss West, I'm not here to hurt ya.
And I believe everything you tell me.
I just think you can help me, and I'd appreciate it if you would cooperate.
Now, why did he come here at night? His wife played around.
So, he'd come here and he'd tell her so.
Half to try to make her jealous, and half to show her that he didn't really care that she played around.
Care? He cared, all right.
He'd sit here right where you are now talk.
Did he talk a lot about money? I mean, lately.
Maybe, uh He was always going broke from his allowance from some trust thing, I guess.
Did he talk about that that trust fund? Well, how should I know? When Tony was drinking It's like the other night No.
Nope.
What about the other night? No, I said.
Look, Tony's dead now.
Why should people Miss West, believe me, it's a lot better for you to tell me something now, then to have to tell it in front of a jury later on.
In front of what? I'm not tryin' to scare ya, and I believe everything you tell me I mean, about the love affair I believe everything.
I think you're a very honest person.
Thanks.
Now, what about the other night? Well, there's this gentleman that his wife was getting serious about.
I don't know who.
Tony said he made a living getting a suntan whatever that is.
And then, about three nights ago, Tony came in here and he said everything's gonna be okay because - Because why? - Because the gentleman had agreed to go away and not to see Tony's wife ever again if if Tony if Tony gave him $50,000.
Where was he gonna get the $50,000? Did he tell you that? Well, how should I know? I mean, I was just tryin' to pour coffee in him.
Honest, sir, I just don't know any more than that.
Gloria, in your opinion, was Tony the kind of man that would arrange for a fake kidnapping? Arrange for what? A fake kidnapping.
To raise the money in order to break that trust.
Because if he did, whoever helped him do it might be the man who killed him.
Oh, look, I- I-I mean, I said he wasn't a very strong person, but then, who is? I mean, look at me.
I eat carbohydrates all the time.
Please, sir, leave me alone now.
Stop asking me about Tony.
See, I just never met another man my whole life who only wanted to talk.
I understand.
Thank you very much.
Hello, sir.
Is this you, Mr.
Goodland, to whom I speak? I still do not understand you, Lieutenant.
Just what is it that you're trying to imply? Nothing, ma'am.
It's just that you've been hard to locate at various times.
Uh, oh.
You still don't approve of my lifestyle, do you? I told you before, I really don't care what you think.
It's about time.
Where'd he come from? Homicide, of course.
Oh, they handle morals now.
- He's objecting to the places I go.
- No, ma'am, that's not true.
Uh, look, Lieutenant Columbo, this is, uh this is her boat, but it's me that brought her down here.
Take her away from the house, give her a change of thoughts.
Well, listen, I think that's a terrific idea.
It's such a great day for sailing I mean, if you like boats.
It's just the night of the murder.
- That's all I wanna ask about.
- Well, what about it, Lieutenant? Well, sir, uh What's your first name? - Ken.
- Ken, we have a very efficient officer.
His name is Freddie Wilson, and he happened to report that Mrs.
Goodland's car was gone from the house about the same time that her husband was killed.
So, you came down here to accuse me of murder? No, ma'am.
It's only that Well, you see, something new has come up and, uh, I have to get rid of all these little things first.
I was out with Ken.
We took a nice, long drive and you can make whatever you like out of that.
My worry for Tony did not require my staying around the house until his return on pins or needles.
Yes, ma'am.
Yes.
I mean, I figured that.
You know something, Mrs.
Goodland? You're a very unusual person.
You're not a hypocrite, and I'm not gonna bother you anymore with these things.
Okay, Charlie, let's cast off.
Oh, there's one little thing, um You know, this is gonna sound kind of silly, I guess.
Take it for what it's worth.
You see, somebody tried to convince me that you had a lover, Mrs.
Goodland.
Not only that, this person, Gloria West Young girl, that was her name, Gloria West.
Anyway, she said that, uh, this mysterious lover of yours, some guy with a deep suntan, that he'd go away and get out of your life forever if your husband gave him $50,000.
I'm sure it's just malicious gossip.
I probably shouldn't have mentioned it.
However, for what it's worth.
Mr.
Goodland.
Mr.
Goodland.
Ah, Miss West.
I'm sorry I couldn't meet you sooner.
You said you wanted to speak to me alone.
Yes, sir.
It's a It's Oh.
Gee, it's kind of spooky in here, isn't it? You don't like orchids? Oh, really, they're my favorite corsage.
Indeed! You said something on the phone about seeing Tony the other night.
Yes, sir, and since you're his relative and you've been so polite the couple of times we've met Anyway, this detective came to call this afternoon.
Oh.
Rumpled raincoat? Rumpled face? That's him.
A lieutenant! Of course, I didn't tell him everything about Tony and me, I mean.
And some of it I didn't even think of until later.
- Some of what, Miss West? - Well, I think that he thinks that maybe Tony's kidnapping wasn't a real kidnapping at all.
I beg your pardon? Like, maybe, Tony did it himself to try to get some money out of his trust fund.
And, as a matter of fact, Tony did mention to me that he might be able to get me a new car pretty soon.
And you believed his usual drunken promises? Uh, well, no, not really, I guess.
Tell me more about Columbo's little theory.
I suppose my nephew also murdered himself.
No! That was whoever helped Tony, I guess, and now that person has got all that ransom money too.
Mm, it sounds quite absurd to me.
Tell me, why did you come to me with all this nonsense? Oh, but it's not, maybe, because I also remembered Well, a long time ago Oh, gosh, over a year ago Tony told me Well, see, on the radio I heard that Tony was killed by a bullet from a .
3 2-caliber gun.
Yes? Well, a long time ago, like I said, Tony told me he had a .
3 2 that he'd given away, and I remember now who he told me he gave it to.
And who was that, Miss West? His wife.
Well, don't you see how that fits? Maybe she and Tony planned the kidnapping together.
I bet she never even got that threatening phone call she told the police about.
So, after the ransom was paid, she brought in her boyfriend and killed him Uh, Tony, I mean, not the boyfriend.
And so they split the ransom and she gets the estate and nobody's the wiser, except me.
And, now, me.
But why me rather than the police? Oh, I don't know.
I always feel funny around policemen.
And, anyway, it's you who's in charge of Tony's trust, isn't it? In conjunction with the bank, yes.
Well, the radio says there will be a reward for whoever gets that ransom money back $30,000 reward and I'm claiming it.
I'm gonna help put that woman in prison and get paid $30,000 for it too.
I'm sure you will, my dear.
And you're quite right about the police, especially that stupid lieutenant.
Now, why don't you let me handle things for awhile, hmm? Oh, well, but you won't forget about me, will ya? I mean, the reward.
Miss West, I'll never forget you.
Now, you just run along while I make some phone calls, and when the time comes for you to give your information to the proper authorities, I'll be in touch.
Thank you.
Mr.
Goodland, sir, I came over as quickly as I could.
As soon as I received your message.
Thank you, Sergeant.
Thank you.
I heard your sirens from quite a ways off.
Now, I would appreciate it if you would hand this gun to your ballistics experts.
I rummaged around for quite some time this evening, and I finally found it in a wall safe in my bedroom.
Uh, I don't understand.
Well, you see, when I told your Lieutenant Columbo that I'd owned a .
3 2, but I hadn't seen it for several months, he immediately leapt to accusations that that possibly could be the gun that killed my nephew.
Now, I resent that implication, Sergeant.
Well, sir, different officers do have their different methods.
I must say, the lieutenant's investigatory procedures do differ somewhat from my own.
Well, that speaks very well for you, Sergeant Wilson.
Well, thank you very much.
Now, I've heard things which cast an entirely different light on my nephew's death.
Things so incredible I can hardly believe them.
Let's go into the house, shall we? Now, I feel it my duty to tell these things as I see them.
How do you want your chili, Lieutenant, with or without beans? Last night I had it with beans? Right.
Have it without beans variety.
All right.
Lieutenant, what are you doing here? Just ordering some chili.
Would you excuse us, please? Sir, didn't you get my report on the Jarvis Goodland statement? Yes.
I found that very interesting.
Very interesting.
That gun he gave you, checked out okay with Ballistics, huh? Sure.
Of course.
Sir, uh, he's cracked the case for us.
I have a search warrant and two units right here ready to go.
If we turn Catherine Goodland's place upside down, I guarantee you we'll find that murder weapon.
We'll find it.
You really think so? Well, unless she's already gotten rid of it.
Tell you what.
You go ahead.
Go ahead on your own.
You find anything, you let me know.
Well, sir, if you don't mind my taking charge for a moment.
Not at all.
Thank you, sir.
Good luck to you.
Charlie, pull 'em out! Who's that? Wilson? Oh, very nice fella.
Been a big help to me on this case.
You needn't have bothered about a search warrant, Sergeant.
All you had to do was to ask.
The pistol's right here where I always keep it.
Would you take it out for us, please? Well, it isn't here.
I can see that.
Well, this can't be.
I saw it last night and I haven't opened this drawer since then.
What's this all about, Sergeant? The murder of your husband, Mrs.
Goodland.
Grover, bring in the troops.
Jarvis, what do you want? I was concerned about you, my dear.
Have you called your lawyer? Mrs.
Goodland? Oh, I'm glad to see that you're here.
She may need someone.
Mrs.
Goodland, you recognize this? Well, yes, it was Tony's.
- And this? - Tony's.
And how about this? The ransom bag.
Well, it certainly looks like it.
Good heavens, Cathy.
- I don't get it.
- Well, it was under a pile of Christmas decorations in the storage closet.
Mrs.
Goodland, I think it's my duty to inform you Now just a moment.
! In all fairness to the lady, when I said that looked like the ransom bag, that didn't mean I could positively identify it.
It's a very common type.
But, sir, it answers the description in every particular - Nevertheless, we must be sure.
- We? Sir, if there's anything else here at all, I'll find it.
Grover, back upstairs.
Excuse me.
Sergeant, for my money, that pistol is long gone.
Grover, you and I know that a pro drops the gun immediately, but we're dealing with amateurs.
I'm guessing that they're gonna hide the gun somewhere close by.
Nothing.
Nothing.
Nothing.
What about this area over here.
Did you go over this? We've been through it twice already, Sergeant.
Well, go over it again.
Come on.
Let's go.
What's that? Shoes with metal trees in them, Sergeant.
That's all.
That's what's making the buzzing.
Okay.
Look, there's a linen closet out in the hall.
Go check over that.
- Wait a minute.
Did you open all of these? - No, sir, there was no point in it.
Well, let's open them.
Hold it.
Hmm.
Grover.
Crime lab.
Pronto.
Have Ballistics check the pistol against the two bullets they've got, then call me, understand? Don't you want me to check with Lieutenant Columbo? I'm in charge here, Grover.
If that's the murder weapon, I'll take Mrs.
Goodland into custody.
Step on it.
What the devil are you doing here? Oh, just sort of killing time, looking around.
You know, sir, I could I could turn into a real orchid fancier since I met you.
Will you tell me what you're doing here? It's very serious, sir.
There's been a new development in the case.
Yes, I know.
They found the murder weapon in Cathy's house.
I just came from there.
Things certainly look bad for her.
They certainly do, sir.
That's why I'm waiting here for the lab report.
I'm hoping to straighten a few things out.
Look, it's 3:00 in the morning, Lieutenant.
Will you tell me what you're doing here? I bumped over this empty pot and displaced some of the soil here.
I'm sorry about the mess, sir.
- I'll see to it that it gets cleaned up.
- Look, forget that! Will you tell me why you're here? To tell you the truth, sir, I didn't expect you back so soon.
Oh! Don't wanna forget this.
- You have a real green thumb, sir.
- I what? This African violet of my wife's, you know there's actually a flower growing out of there.
Now, I don't know what you did, but whatever it was, that's a miracle.
Lieutenant, it's been a trying evening and I'm quite distressed.
Now, will you please take your African violet and get out of here! Wait a minute.
I hear something.
That could be the man I'm waiting for.
Grover! Grover, is that you? Lieutenant, I don't understand.
I was halfway downtown with Mrs.
Goodland when we were ordered back here.
I'm sorry, Sergeant, I didn't mean to run you around town like that.
Mrs.
Goodland, how are you? You must be exhausted.
Would you like to sit down? No.
No, I'll stand.
Thank you.
Uh, let me get you a chair.
You'll be more comfortable.
I know you've been up all night.
Well, I think they'll be plenty of time to rest in jail, don't you? Sergeant, has this lady actually been arrested? Well, I, uh Sir, I phoned my report into Captain Ritchie.
He was quite complimentary.
She'll be charged, as soon as we No, Sergeant.
No.
Mrs.
Goodland Damn it, Columbo! What's this all about? Well, you see, sir, I'm waiting here for some things from Headquarters.
If you'll all just bear with me.
What sort of things? Lieutenant.
! - Lieutenant Columbo.
! - Oh.
Oh.
Here you are, Lieutenant.
Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Excuse me for just a moment.
Yes.
I have some bullets here.
This one is from the wrecked car.
A .
3 2-caliber, proven by Ballistics to have been fired from the murder weapon.
This one is from the body of the victim, also .
3 2-caliber, and proven by Ballistics to have been fired from the same weapon as the first bullet.
We know all about that.
Tell him, young man.
Both Both of those came from the gun that was found in her house.
And Sergeant Grover said they confirmed it as the murder weapon.
Right.
That's quite right.
Sergeant, I don't want you to feel badly, because without you, I'd never have gotten this idea.
I mean, those technical things that you're so good at.
You see, I've never used a metal detector before.
That's why it took me nearly an hour.
But, you know, these things really work.
Amazing.
You see that? - What is it? - Third bullet.
Also a.
3 2-caliber, and also proven by Ballistics to have been fired by the same weapon that fired the first two bullets.
Mr.
Goodland, I just don't know how you're gonna explain this.
But why should I have to That's right.
That's right, sir.
That's what I was doing over there a little while ago.
I found this third bullet buried here in this pile of dirt.
I guess it was one of those bullets that you fired at that guy who broke in here a year ago.
You said you only hit dirt.
I don't know how you're gonna explain, sir, how the same gun that fired this bullet in the dirt, ended up tonight in Mrs.
Goodland's dressing room.
Sergeant, would you take Mr.
Goodland downtown, please? Mr.
Jarvis Goodland, it's my duty to inform you that anything you you might This way sir.
Mrs.
Goodland, would you allow me to drive you home? Thank you, Lieutenant.
Oh! One moment.
If I forget this, my wife will kill me.