Columbo (1971) s04e05 Episode Script

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Evening, Mr.
Van Wyck.
Hello, Baxter, anything new? Your brother-in-law just arrived.
Another family meeting.
I think he has a new invention.
He's been very mysterious recently.
You've heard that somewhere? You just have no judgment about him.
I'm afraid it's you who doesn't understand him.
I mean, in business.
I don't know about him in bed, thank God.
Really, Mother, that just isn't funny.
Bravo, Margaret let out all of your secret frustrations.
It's good for the soul.
If you still have one.
Hello, darling.
Good evening, my love.
You look beautiful.
Thank you.
Margaret, dear have you done something to your hair? No.
Just what I thought.
Arthur, how are you? Hello, Harold.
I didn't know you were here.
Why shouldn't he be here? This is my house he's my son, he doesn't need a pass from you.
Is there any special hostility in the air, or is it just the usual one? It's the brandy.
No, it isn't.
It's the time of year, actually.
I've just seen the profits for the last quarter.
Under your brilliant management my electronics company has shown a remarkable drop in profits.
Did you hear, Margaret, that we are in a recession? Does your own newspaper not inform anymore? Harold's right, Mother, the market's taking a terrible beating.
The market be damned.
Midas Electronics has fallen victim to your obsessive preoccupation with gadgetry to which this house is a living monument.
These gadgets, as you call it fulfill a very serious need especially for someone who is incapable, like Elizabeth Don't you dare call my daughter incapable.
Come on, Mother.
Look, if this is going to turn into one of those darling group analysis sessions, I think I'll go upstairs, okay? And I'll bring you up.
No.
No, you stay, Harold.
Stay please.
Oh, Ma.
It's just business, darling, just business.
Harold, I asked you to stay.
Please stay a few minutes, I'll see you upstairs.
Night, everyone.
Good night, dear.
Good night.
Good night, Harold.
Good night.
Tomorrow, if you have some time I'd like to discuss the photos for the new brochure.
Maybe we could spitball it for an hour or so.
Yeah, maybe make it after lunch.
Good night, Arthur.
Good night, Mother.
Good night, Harold.
Good night.
Would you close the door, please? I don't want what we say picked up on one of those ridiculous candid cameras of yours.
It won't pick up in here they're a security measure, not a spy system.
But if it makes you happy.
Sit down, Harold.
Thank you.
I thought for a moment I ought to kneel.
You can stand on your head, dear boy whatever position braces you best for a shock.
Oh another lecture, thank you.
You'll recall, I'm sure a conversation we had a few weeks ago in this very room.
I think I made it quite clear that Midas Electronics would have to show a profit or it would get another president.
You do recall that, don't you? Of course, madam.
Very well.
I'm putting Arthur in your place effective immediately.
I'll accept your resignation the first thing in the morning.
Arthur? Arthur, who can't find his way to the commissary without a written order.
Arthur won't fritter away hundreds of thousands of dollars on idiotic systems, and inventions.
My assets are not unlimited, Harold.
I don't intend to go bankrupt, supporting your idle dreams.
Elizabeth knows about this? No, not this time, Harold.
Don't throw my daughter at me, it won't work.
You see I've retained a private detective to observe your activities these past few weeks.
He's come up with some very interesting data on several women notably one in Malibu, and another in Beverly Hills.
Your comings and goings are all very carefully documented.
Need I go on? You're incredibly evil, Margaret.
Don't delude yourself.
If it weren't for my daughter's blind devotion to you I'd give you nothing.
Your resignation by breakfast.
Don't disappoint me.
What are you doing? Well, I made a test on that special tape.
Little homework.
I was afraid you were still dueling with Mother.
No, actually, we had a nice talk.
Come, let's go up.
I'm afraid she can be impossible sometimes especially when she's been at the brandy.
She's jealous that you're not her little baby anymore.
I'm afraid I'm nobody's little baby anymore.
Yes, you're my baby.
Francine is opening a new exhibition tonight.
I promised to come, I won't be late.
Good, I'll go with you.
No, it's much too crowded, and all these gossiping people.
I will look, if I find something for us, we go there tomorrow during daytime.
And afterwards I'm going to invite you for lunch at the beach.
It's a deal.
I love you.
Huh? I love you.
How can I go if you say you love me? Don't go.
But I have to.
Yes? You just caught me on my way out.
No, I didn't hear anything.
I don't know, I just was I was just sleeping and then I thought I heard something.
You were probably dreaming.
She's in the sitting room with Chopin and her brandy.
Okay I'll see you later.
Won't be late.
Baxter you can reach me under this number.
Okay? Thank you, go right ahead.
Good evening, sir.
Good evening.
You're new here.
Marcy Hubbard.
Hello, Marcy.
Oh, Mr.
Van Wyck.
Francine's been looking for you.
I'm a little late.
That's super.
You like it? Mmm.
I designed it.
Midastar it's called.
Harold, darling.
Oh, hello, dear.
I'm so glad you could come.
No Elizabeth? She's a little bit tired, maybe tomorrow.
Looks more like a cocktail party than an art showing.
Well, it's both.
Come on inside.
The champagne is free, everything else you're going to pay for.
Nice, new young girl you've got.
Grant Galleries.
What? Oh! Just a moment.
Can I see some identification, please? Don't get too close, you'll get my cold.
Okay, Lieutenant.
Straight ahead.
Thank you very much.
All right, hold it.
Was she dead when you got here? Yeah, very.
Lieutenant, we found the point of entry.
Want to take a look? It's in the back.
You see, he jumped the burglar alarm wire and on the left the pane is removed.
You're getting a cold.
You want to see something? Watch this.
They got a bunch of these trick doors all over the place.
Nice.
You sure got a break in this one, Lieutenant.
What do you mean "break"? Well, I mean TV cameras, monitors.
What about them? They got a bunch of TV cameras.
This whole house is rigged up with closed circuit television.
They got a bunch of those monitors down at the gatehouse.
Want to know something? The guard saw the whole thing.
No kidding.
The whole thing? That's what I hear.
What time was that? How do you open this? Excuse me, Mrs.
Van Wyck I'm Lieutenant Columbo.
I'm with the LAPD.
I'm terribly sorry for your loss.
Thank you.
I know it's a difficult time for you I'd like to ask one or two questions, unless you'd rather wait.
I'm sorry, I don't know anything.
I'd like to go to my room, please.
May I help? Yes, thank you.
Where were you when it happened? In my room.
Where is that? It's upstairs, on the other side of the house.
Are there any other members of the family, except your husband? Just Arthur.
Arthur's my brother, he was here earlier this evening.
But he left.
We haven't been able to get in touch with him yet.
No servants? No, just Martha, our cook.
She left after dinner, she doesn't live in.
How did you find out how it happened? Well, I was sleeping and the security guard came in and he told me.
So, you didn't hear anything like a shot? No.
Why? Why did he have to kill her? He could have just run away, why did he have to do that? I know.
I'm only guessing but it seems to me that the prowler came in this way and he knocked over the flower pots and when Mother came in he was hiding in the shadows and when she saw him, he shot her.
What's going on back there? Who are you? Lieutenant Columbo, sir, Homicide.
Excuse me, I was just checking out the window.
Oh, yes, I'm Harold Van Wyck.
I've got a cold, sir, I don't want to get too close.
Forgive me for not shaking hands.
Mister Van Wyck.
It's a pleasure to meet you.
Forgive me.
You were talking to the officer, I don't want to interrupt.
Are you finished? Yes.
If you are, I'd like to ask a few questions.
I know it's a difficult time for you.
All times are difficult, Lieutenant but I shall answer as good as I can.
What I wanted to ask you, sir, is You know, you got some place here.
I noticed electronic locks on the door and a closed circuit television.
I've never seen a house like it.
And the way the doors open and close It's also a very beautiful home.
Oh, yes, I'm confused about one thing.
Just now you were describing to the officer what happened but a few moments ago, when I spoke to your wife she said she was home alone in the house.
Yes, this is correct, she was alone.
Then this stuff about the flower pot.
It was only guessing, I mean, it seemed to me obvious but, of course, I can be wrong.
No, sir, that's a very good theory, that's the way it looks.
So you went out? What time was that, sir? in Beverly Hills.
Thirteen, sir, not 9:15, or No, no, no.
I know it sounds odd, Lieutenant, but I have this special watch you see, it brings out the numbers.
I looked at it to see if I was late.
It's funny how you'll remember time when you see it printed.
You know, I've seen those watches advertised.
Do you? Oh, that is some watch.
Yeah, but my company's making it.
I designed it.
It's called Midastar.
Remarkable.
So, according to that watch, you left at 9:13.
That's correct.
You can check with my gate man.
No, that's not necessary, sir, no.
You know, Mr.
Van Wyck, that theory of yours is very interesting.
Now, according to you the person who did it was standing, where did you say, right over there? Yes, because otherwise I would have him on the videotape.
Tape? What do you mean? Let me explain to you.
This is the place we have the safe, in here.
Now, let's explain the tape.
We have three sensors in the room.
They respond to light, sound, and the warmth of the human body.
When the system is turned on, and a person enters the room it activates a videotape machine.
The person can be seen on the monitor by the guard and we also have the person on tape, may I show you? I'll be a son of a gun.
Excuse me, after you.
The first thing I did when I came home tonight was to check the tape, if we have a picture of the killer.
Unfortunately, he walked far enough into the room.
You mean to say, you have this terrific system, but it didn't work? No, the camera just doesn't cover the whole room.
But I show you.
That's where he came in.
Where? I mean, I don't see anything.
No, he must have come in, he activated the tape.
Now the flowers.
There she is.
Here she comes.
Here.
Now she sees him.
And he shoots.
That's fantastic, absolutely fantastic.
But I don't understand, Mr.
Van Wyck, where did he come in? I assume the rear door in the study.
So, he came in that door and walked down here presses against the pedestal he's not on the camera.
Of all the dumb luck.
Pardon me.
Three feet, sir.
If he'd come another three feet into the room we'd had a perfect picture of him.
Do you think he knew where the camera was? I doubt it.
I think when he knocked over the pedestal, he just froze.
Hmm.
Would you do me a favor, sir? Of course.
May I take that videotape down to headquarters? Now, I know it really doesn't tell us anything but as soon as they hear about this down there they're going to want to see it.
Of course, Lieutenant, I'll just rewind it for you.
You have a machine down there at your headquarters? Oh, yeah, we must have.
It's not my department, you understand but we're a very modern police force, generally speaking.
You can use my equipment, any time you like, Lieutenant.
May I go up to my wife now, please? Oh, certainly, sir.
I'm sorry, I should have been thinking about that.
Yes, you go right ahead.
And as a matter of fact, I'll be able to clear out these people very shortly.
Thank you, Lieutenant.
Mr.
Baxter? Yes, sir.
I want to double-check a few things with you.
You saw the murder scene on the television screen in there? That's right.
What time was that? That's about 9:30, more or less.
Right.
Mr.
Van Wyck, he says he left around 9:13.
That's about right.
Cold is killing me.
"Grant Galleries.
" Is that where you contacted Mr.
Van Wyck? Yeah, that's where he was, that's where I called him.
Does he usually leave word when he goes out? Most of the time, yes.
Strange place to leave it.
Do you have a log? Right on the wall behind you.
I notice yesterday, he went to his office at 3:00 and you entered it here.
How come tonight you entered it here? Well, I didn't write it, Lieutenant, you see, he did said he was in some kind of a hurry so he handed me the magazine, said if I needed him, that's where he'd be.
So, ordinarily, he'd pull up in a car, and tell you where he's going and you would come in here, and you'd record it on the log but tonight he wrote it on the magazine and in advance.
I've got this funny habit.
You know, when a person does something one way and he suddenly does something another way, I immediately think.
I'm sure it doesn't mean anything.
It's you, Lieutenant.
I thought you left.
I'm sorry, sir, I did.
But then I realized, I forgot to ask what may be the most important question of all.
This prowler, did he take anything? No, nothing.
Nothing? Nothing at all.
Hmm.
All that work to get in here, you think he'd try and take something.
Well, after he fired the gun he got panicked.
Yes, that makes sense.
Yeah, a man like this, there's no telling how his mind might work.
Thank you very much.
Just one more thing, sir.
I was thinking in banks, they always have two cameras to cover any area.
No offense, but I don't understand why you went to all this trouble to put in this system but you only put in one camera, leaving part of the room uncovered.
We only wanted to cover the safe.
We expected a thief, not a murderer.
Of course.
Yes, I see your point.
Sorry to have disturbed you, sir.
Good night.
All right, now listen to me this is only going to take So I want you to keep your trap shut and I want you to behave yourself.
All right.
Hey, never mind that, there's people sleeping here and you are going to wake them up.
Now knock that off.
Now you are going to have to be quiet.
If you are not quiet when I take you to the vet's, I am going to leave you there.
Now lie down, go ahead.
No, lie down.
That's right, lie down.
Attaboy.
Now you just stay there.
Good morning, Mr.
Van Wyck.
Morning.
Excuse me, I'm just looking around.
I hope you don't mind.
That's all right.
You know what this stuff is? What? This black stuff that they sprinkle on the soil.
No.
It's mulch.
Pardon me.
Mulch.
Oh, I didn't know that.
Keeps the moisture in the soil.
Have you found anything, Lieutenant? No, I I was just checking on something in the police report.
Excuse me.
My dog, he didn't bother you or anything like that, did he? Your dog? Oh, no.
Because once he starts barking, you know, he never shuts up.
You said something about a police report? It says here "Prowler apparently entered the premises by cutting the pane in the window.
" That window.
Mmm-hmm.
And it says, "The prowler apparently exited the premises by the same window.
" That's the way they talk, you know.
Prowlers don't go in and out, they exit and enter premises.
And, apparently, that's what he did.
Yeah, sir.
But it hit me that after he shot your mother-in-law, he must've been in a hurry and he would've jumped out of the window.
But if he jumped, he would've left deep prints where his foot landed.
And did he? There's not a sign of them.
His footsteps left impressions I mean, you can see where he went in you can see where he came out but they're all the same depth.
I mean, the ones immediately under the window are no deeper than the ones further away.
Nothing to indicate that he jumped.
Maybe, he eased himself out to avoid any noise.
That's a thought, sir.
Well, I'll just continue looking around if you don't mind.
Be my guest.
Wait a minute, Mr.
Van Wyck.
That's impossible.
What is impossible? This mulch and soil sticks to your shoes.
If that prowler went through the window he'd have this stuff on his feet and there'd be mulch on the floor inside.
But this report doesn't say anything about it.
I don't understand how those guys could overlook a thing like this.
You don't mind if we just take a quick look inside? Not at all.
Come.
Why don't you let your dog run around a bit? No sense cooping him up.
I don't want him to get into anything.
No, but the property is fenced in.
Nothing can happen.
Oh, thank you, sir.
He'd like that.
I'm sure he won't be a bother.
All right, come on, you're gonna run around now.
Go run around.
Wonderful.
Why don't you do that at home? At home he's always chasing the neighbor's cats.
I'm afraid there are no cats around here, Lieutenant.
Oh, would you mind doing something about your shoes? My wife is a little bit fussy with her carpets.
Here it is.
Has the maid come in? No.
Not yet.
No.
So this hasn't been cleaned? No.
I don't understand.
There's nothing here.
How can a man walk through seven feet of soil covered in mulch climb through the window and not leave any traces? Maybe he took his shoes off.
Stupid, huh? Thank you.
You're very welcome.
I'm embarrassed.
Not at all.
One more thing this place where you were last night Grant Galleries.
Grant Galleries.
I checked with the guard, Baxter, and he told me that he got you there a short time after the body was discovered.
But he wasn't sure of the time.
It was 9:42 exactly.
You checked your watch.
Force of habit.
I'm a meticulous man, Lieutenant.
Thank you, you've been very helpful.
Not at all.
Hey, what a good puppy you are.
What a fine fellow.
Whose doggy are you, huh? Who takes care of you? Good morning, Lieutenant.
Mrs.
Van Wyck.
This your dog? Yes, ma'am, I'm afraid it is.
He's always jumping up on people.
I'm sorry.
Don't apologize, he's adorable.
I wish you wouldn't say that in front of him.
He's conceited already.
All right, come on.
Go play.
Come on.
Go find a cat.
I hope he didn't hurt you.
You don't have to be afraid that I'll break into pieces, Lieutenant.
Everyone always thinks they have to tiptoe around me.
Oh.
Yeah.
You're right.
That's just stupid.
Sorry.
That's all right.
Bless you.
Boy, I thought I got rid of this thing.
Have you tried that honey and lemon? Does that work? I don't know.
It's what everyone always suggests.
Would your wife like a few flowers? That's very nice of you, ma'am.
Thank you.
Yeah, she loves flowers.
Let me ask you I know last night you said you didn't hear the shot.
Did you notice anything unusual? No, I'm sorry, I didn't.
What did you do exactly, say from 8:00 on? Nothing.
I I just went up to bed.
My husband took me upstairs and he kissed me good night and he left.
He had to go that showing at the art gallery, you know.
I took a sleeping pill, just a little one and I started to read.
I guess I dozed off.
And that was the last thing you remember? Yes.
Oh I did wake up once.
I thought I heard a sound.
But I was just dreaming.
Now what makes you think you were just dreaming? Well, I called my mother's room she didn't answer so I called down to the study and Harold was still home.
He told me that my mother was in the sitting room listening to some Chopin.
She used to do that quite a lot.
Anyway since neither of them heard it, I just went back to sleep.
About what time was that? I looked at the clock when I woke up it was just about 9:00.
You remember what it was you were dreaming? No, I don't.
I remember it was a bad dream.
I was very relieved to wake up to see everything right in its normal place.
I mean, my dressing gown on the bed the clown in the chair, but nothing else.
Would you mind if we went upstairs and we took a look at the bedroom? Oh, yes.
Certainly.
Marcy Huh? have you been smoking something awful? We have a customer with a cigar.
Well, you finish your coffee.
Good morning, sir.
Morning.
May I show you something? Could you explain this? Well you see, we don't explain art, I mean, that's just sort of something you feel.
You see, you look at a picture or a piece of sculpture and that either does something for you or it doesn't, you know.
Uh-huh.
This doesn't do anything for me.
It's too bad.
"Intensity"? Mmm-hmm.
That's the title.
I see.
Well, it's all subjective, you know.
How much is it? Seven.
Hundred.
Dollars.
$700? You see, this is one of our newer artists.
We believe that if you buy his work today it'd be just like investing in a van Gogh in the 1880s.
What does this go for? That particular piece, somebody will pay $1,200 for.
$1,200? Mmm-hmm.
What's this called? "Esprit d'un chien mort.
" Mmm-hmm.
That means ghost of a dead dog.
And that's the dead dog.
Mmm-hmm.
Uh-huh.
Well, in the right setting I see.
that will be very effective.
And this is This is "The Parking Lot.
" Mmm-hmm.
$4,700.
$4,700? That's right.
That's for the house, huh? No.
Well, yes.
It's a very unique piece as you can see.
Of course, we have others that are more reasonable.
I see.
Now, this here I see it doesn't have a title.
That? Yes.
That, sir, is the ventilator for the air conditioning.
That's the ventilator? Yeah.
Oh.
I'm embarrassed.
Oh, no.
You won't tell anybody.
Of course not.
You know, I think that you would appreciate the more traditional things.
If you would come with me, we have some beautiful landscapes upstairs.
If you'd like to come Well, I'll tell you the truth about that, ma'am.
I've got plenty of landscapes.
Thank you very much.
You see, my wife, she paints a little.
Does she? Yeah.
She buys those canvases with the numbers on them.
You seen them around? Yeah, you fill in the spaces with the paints that have the corresponding numbers.
They turn out pretty good.
Yes.
Francine.
Would you excuse me for just one minute, please.
It's Everett for you.
Thank you, Marcy.
Hello? Ma'am, I'm Lieutenant Columbo.
I'm from the police.
The police? Yes.
Just one minute, please.
Everett, look, why don't you just order four orders of Moo Goo Guy Pan? That'll be enough.
I thought I could pick up something for our foyer while I was here.
No, well, dear, that'll be all right.
Look, I'll have to call you back, okay? But the prices.
Thank you.
What can I do for you, sir? I'm investigating the murder of Margaret Midas.
Oh.
I see.
Terrible thing.
Awful, yes.
You know, a man goes out of the house two hours somebody breaks in and commits a murder.
Exactly.
Mr.
Van Wyck, he said he was here when it happened.
Oh, yes, he was.
Of course.
I'm just checking.
You see, we have to check everything out.
Of course.
What time was that? Do you know? Well, I'm not sure exactly, but It was 9:28.
I met him when he came in, Lieutenant.
Mmm-hmm.
You're pretty sure about that time? I'm positive.
He had a super watch that printed the time in red letters.
He showed it to me.
You know him by sight.
Is he a friend? No, I knew him by his name on his special invitation.
Here it is.
Now, Lieutenant, if you're thinking that maybe somebody used his invitation.
You're wrong.
You see, I've known him for over a year and it was Harold Van Wyck.
He was here all the time.
Absolutely, all the time.
Yes.
Until the phone call came about the murder.
God bless you.
Well, thank you very much, both of you.
You've been a big help.
Fine.
You can tell her.
I looked at the ventilator, I thought it was a painting.
Well, we'll sell that, too, of course.
Thank you very much.
Anytime, Lieutenant.
I called your board meeting for tomorrow morning then I realized I need your proxy.
Why don't I just go to the meeting with you? But you know how boring they are.
I know but I've been doing a lot of thinking.
Bravo.
I think it would be best if I took over chairmanship of the company.
Just for a while.
Do you think I would remain with the company in a subservient position to my wife.
No.
Not subservient.
Elizabeth, you don't understand anything about business.
The jackals rip you apart.
Here you're safe, in the house I built for you.
Oh, Harold, I love you.
And I know that you love me but I can't stay locked up here in this house the rest of my life.
Surely you can understand that.
Are you expecting someone? No.
No further discussions.
I need these papers signed by tomorrow morning.
I know you will not disappoint me.
Mr.
Van Wyck, I'm sorry to disturb you but your wife said it was all right to come back anytime.
Any progress, Lieutenant? Well, we're inching along.
Look, you know these things take time.
Can we come in? Of course, come in.
Good evening, Mrs.
Van Wyck.
Good evening.
I hope you don't mind us barging in like this.
Oh, no.
Of course not.
This is Officer Banks, he's come to assist me.
Officer, why don't you put the box right down there.
I was thinking, ma'am, about what you said this morning.
That you woke up last night because you thought you heard a noise.
Yes.
What is this? That's an experiment, sir.
A test.
I'm afraid I'm gonna need your assistance.
I hope you don't mind? Certainly, I'd be happy to help.
But what would you like me to do? I'd like you to go upstairs to your bedroom and after the test tell us what you saw and what you heard.
We're going to remain down here.
Buzz us on the telephone when you're ready.
All right.
I'll bring you up.
No, I can do it.
What are you trying to prove, Lieutenant? Why are you putting my wife through all these things? I'm terrible sorry, sir.
But I just have to start somewhere on this thing.
You see, I can't seem to get a handle on it.
May I have the gun? Is this loaded? It's loaded, Lieutenant.
Is the safety catch on or off? On.
Would you take it off? I hate guns.
Would you go up on the stairs and watch? Am I to assume that you're going to shoot the gun in the sandbox? Yes, sir.
But you don't have to worry about the bullet going through to the floor.
I've tried this before.
Why don't you use a blank cartridge? Wouldn't sound the same.
It never does.
All set out there? All set.
All right, Mrs.
Van Wyck, thank you.
You want to put your fingers in your ears? This thing could make a lot of noise.
I can handle it.
I wish I could say the same.
Officer? Yes? Would you ask Mrs.
Van Wyck what she saw and what she heard? Mrs.
Van Wyck, did you see or hear anything? It wasn't very loud but I heard it.
And the door to my room opened.
She said it wasn't very loud but she heard it.
And her door opened.
What are you looking for, Lieutenant? What are you going to prove? Maybe I can help you.
I wanted to know if you fired the gun here in the study whether the noise would open the door to the bedroom.
Yeah, you wouldn't have needed this foolish experiment.
I could've told you.
You only need to ask.
Well I really wanted to see for myself.
You saw it.
What's your point? Well, you know, that the other night the night of the murder, your wife heard something? And she didn't know what it was.
So she called her mother, who didn't answer so then she buzzed the study and she spoke to you.
That's exactly true.
It was just before I went to the art show.
And that was around 9:13? Yes.
That's a very big problem, sir.
You have to help me, Lieutenant.
I fail to see where the problem is.
But, Mr.
Baxter, your security guard, he said that the shooting occurred around But if the noise that your wife heard was a gunshot that means the shooting took place before 9:13.
How can my wife say that it was a gunshot? What are you talking about, Lieutenant? If it would have been a gunshot, I would know myself.
I was here.
And I assure you, I heard nothing.
And, as a matter of fact she's not sure if she heard anything either.
She thought maybe she was dreaming.
She wasn't dreaming, sir, that's for certain.
Would you come upstairs with me for a moment? It had to be a noise.
I mean, that's the only thing that would explain it.
Otherwise why would her door open? You see, that's my problem, sir.
What caused the door to open? There had to be a noise.
She didn't tell me the door opened.
She didn't? No.
She didn't tell me either.
What's going on? I would like to continue this a step further, if you don't mind.
Yes, certainly.
Come in.
Last night, when you thought you heard a noise did the door open? I wasn't aware of it.
According to your statement, ma'am, you were lying in your bed, reading.
Is that correct? Yes, that's right.
Would you turn out the lights, please? Now, as far as you remember you were lying on the right side of your bed and you had your book in your right hand and your head was against the pillow.
And you were facing your night table.
And you had your reading lamp on.
That's what I remember.
I think you'll both get a better idea of what I'm talking about if you'll position yourselves in this area.
Now, according to your statement, ma'am you then dozed off.
Then you thought you heard something and you sat up.
You thought, "Well, maybe I'm just dreaming.
" And then you said that you saw your bathrobe at the foot of the bed and you saw the toy clown in the chair and you remember having the thought "Well, at least I'm awake now.
" And then you turned to the phone to call your mother.
Is that correct? Yes, that's correct.
Where was your bathrobe, ma'am? Was it right about there? Just in here.
Yes, you would've seen that very clearly.
The problem is, how could you see the toy clown in the chair? That part of the room is dark.
There is no question in my mind that the door was open.
What difference would it make? What we're trying to determine, ma'am, is whether you were dreaming or whether you really heard something.
The Lieutenant is saying there must've been a noise otherwise the door wouldn't have opened.
Am I correct? That is exactly right.
I assume, according to the little experiment you made before, you believe it must've been a gunshot.
That is a possibility.
I only can repeat myself, Lieutenant I still was in the house at this time.
If it would've been a gunshot, I could've heard it.
That's true.
Well, you must've heard something.
I mean, there had to be a noise otherwise the door would not open.
Elizabeth, you remember last month, when the Freemans came over to spend the weekend with us the problem we had with the rear door? Yes.
Closing and opening the whole time.
That's right.
Our back door kept just popping open for no apparent reason.
You know, Lieutenant my system is very elaborate and very sensitive.
The more complex a system is, the more it is exposed to malfunctions.
We have to accept these little problems from time to time.
I'm afraid, Lieutenant the little parlor trick proved absolutely nothing.
Come on, baby, come on.
Come on.
Hey, is there any ketchup? On the corner.
No, this is empty.
Give me a minute.
Kazmier's got good protection.
He gets it away, high and deep.
Lucas is calling for a fair catch.
He fumbles it.
Picked up by number 43, Jefferson.
He's going to get caught from behind.
Hold everything.
There's a flag down on the 42-yard line.
They're going to bring it back.
Let's play it back from another angle.
Here's the replay.
Watch Lucas with his arm up, and watch the feet.
It looks like 65, Romano, interfered with Lucas.
Well, it looks from here as if Lucas never touched the ball.
Yeah, that's what they're saying.
And that'll be 15 yards for tripping.
And that's a real break for the Cougars.
I appreciate this.
I know how busy you are.
Look, I'm afraid I'm not much of an expert on tapes.
If you need any technical answers just ask Thompson.
Yes, sir.
Thompson? Lieutenant Columbo.
The tapes that I sent down are his.
How do you do, Lieutenant? Lieutenant, what are we gonna be looking at? This maybe difficult for you.
This was recorded the night of the murder.
It shows the death of your mother and the arrival of the security guard after the shooting.
Mr.
Thompson, I assume that you cut the tape in the place that I marked it.
Yes, I did.
The arrival of the security guard would be on the right monitor and the shooting would be on your left monitor.
Would you start them up, please? Now the one on the right is after the murder.
That's when the security guard came in and discovered the body.
See, his presence in the room activated the tape that's when it started up again.
Freeze that.
Freeze this.
Excuse me.
Lieutenant, exactly what are you looking for? I don't know.
A clock on the wall, a watch, a shadow.
Something that would definitely establish the exact time of the murder.
Well Baxter said it was 9:30 he saw the whole thing.
He was an eyewitness.
Not exactly.
He saw it on a monitor, he wasn't actually in the room.
What do you see? I'm not sure.
Let me ask you something.
Can you zoom in close like they do in the football games? Can you do that on this tape? Oh, sure.
That's no problem.
What do you see? I'm not sure.
I'm not sure.
I'll call you as soon as the meeting is over.
What kind of a face is this again? You know I'm only concerned what is good for you.
You went through a nightmare, I know.
We need each other even more than ever before.
Thank God you went to the gallery that night.
What do you mean? If you'd been here I might have lost you both.
I think I have to go now.
Good afternoon, Mr.
Van Wyck.
What is it? A new experiment? I'm sorry to bother you again so soon.
Perhaps it's more convenient for you, Lieutenant if you just move in one of our guest rooms.
I'm a nuisance, I know, but I do have a problem, I need your help.
It won't take long.
It's about these tapes.
What about it? I wonder if you can run them for me.
I'm sure you can explain this it's a technical question.
This is the last time.
I promise it will not happen again.
All right, Lieutenant.
I'll take your word for it.
Good afternoon, Mrs.
Van Wyck.
Hello.
This is Officer Bronson.
How do you do? How do you do? I think it's better if you remain out here.
Two tapes? Yes.
What is it? One is the arrival of the security guard and the other is the shooting of your mother-in-law.
You mean the tape I gave you, you cut? Yes, sir.
Would you play them? Which first? Both at the same time.
You know, I don't know much about these things.
Is it possible to take that tape and play it into the closed TV system here so that it could be seen by Baxter on the monitor in the gatehouse? Everything is possible with this equipment.
That's what Mr.
Thompson said.
I just wanted to confirm it.
Ready.
Good.
You can start.
Freeze that.
Freeze this.
You know, sir, I checked your alibi with Baxter and the Grant Galleries and for a while there I accepted your story.
Then I happened to be watching a football game on TV and they did one of those tape replays.
That's when it hit me.
What are you talking about? You've fed a videotape of the study with no one in it down to the gatehouse an empty room.
While it was playing, you shot your mother-in-law.
Then you set the machine to feed the murder tape this tape here, into the closed circuit system so that Baxter would see it after you arrived at the art show.
All you required was an automatic timer to start the tape at the right time.
This is amusing theory, Lieutenant but just a theory.
I wouldn't say it if I couldn't prove it.
You see that? What? Compare this spot with this spot.
Do you see the difference? No.
You're right, it's hard to see.
I almost missed it myself.
But if you look very carefully you'll see that this spot on this monitor is lighter in color than this spot on this monitor.
And that's what caught my eye.
And I thought, at first, it might be a reflection.
But I had to be sure.
Advance button.
Do you see it now? What? You still don't recognize it? No.
Well, then, let's make it very close.
Harold that's your invitation to the art gallery.
That's what it is.
You can even see your name written on it.
It's your invitation.
I went back and got this from the Grant Galleries.
This is this.
This is what you presented at the art show the night of the murder.
The problem is, it was on the desk immediately after the shooting.
How did it get to the art gallery? By your own testimony, you took it there.
But in order to get it off the desk you practically had to step over the body.
That woman was shot before you left the house.
And you shot her.
This is insane.
This is absolutely insane.
Elizabeth tell the Lieutenant before I left the house I saw your mother coming up to the room to wish you good night.
Tell him.
I saw her, I saw her alive before I left.
Tell him, Elizabeth! No.
Officer.
This won't be necessary.