Columbo (1971) s07e04 Episode Script

How to Dial a Murder

Rosebud.
Rosebud.
Rosebud.
You're gonna die.
Every last one of you.
I'm sorry to give you the bad news, but that's a fact.
Death, sooner or later.
Show me those dials.
And the woman sitting next to the man in the check suit.
Spread out.
Give yourself some living space.
If we wanted you next to each other, we'd fill this hall and I'd make another $100,000.
But you wouldn't get the point.
And the point is take control.
Take control of your own space, your own lives, your own responses.
We don't want you crammed in, contaminating each other with your nasty little fears and insecurities.
And if you don't think that you're that kind of a girl or that kind of a boy, then what are you doing here shoveling out your hard-earned money to the good doctor? Now, did anybody forget to twist his dial? No.
No.
Oh, Come on, I can't hear that.
No, Dr.
Mason! No, Dr.
Mason! Good.
Charlie, how did they do on the word death? They didn't like death.
Negative 8 dB on that one.
Thank you, Charlie.
You're not really sure what death means, but you don't like it.
You don't like the word.
You're bothered by the word mother and you're afraid of the word father.
Words! Food, money, boss, wife, sex.
Mommy and daddy started setting you up right from the cradle, conditioning you.
They took control with the control words.
Then the words took control.
Now, who's got the control? I've got the control.
The words locked you into your locked-up little lives.
Now we're gonna teach you how to smash the lock.
Laurel, Hardy.
They're not very bright, but they answer to their names.
What name do you answer to? All right.
I'm going out and eating lunch.
A nice, big lunch.
But you're not gonna eat until the facilitators tell you that you can eat.
Oh, you'll earn that privilege.
Burt, lan and Betty will help you with that.
They're going to hear you count.
Count backwards from a hundred, count yourselves right back into the cradle.
Now, start counting.
What's on the docket, Charlie? You wanted to check the foreign language tapes.
Oh, they'll wait.
And the seminar for the new facilitator group.
Oh, God preserve us.
Come on in.
Laurel, Hardy.
Come on.
Come on.
Charlie, Charlie, I grow weary.
You should try the Institute for Life Control.
Will that save me? From what? The Institute for Life Control.
Let's run away and be Indians, Charlie.
Do you miss her? Lorraine? Lorraine's dead.
You never talk about it.
The car went over the cliff.
She stopped living.
I can't do that.
Not even for her.
It wasn't that good a marriage, if you wanna know.
Eric.
She was seeing somebody else.
Somebody.
I don't know who.
Lover.
Well, you still want me to talk about it? No.
Come on, let's get out of here and play some tennis.
Well, I thought you'd never ask.
Your place? I have an annual physical with Ernie Garrison.
Take me a couple of hours.
If I'm late, just let yourself in and make yourself at home.
I'll meet you at the house at 3:00.
Yes, sir Boss.
Tennis at 3:00.
Oh, Charlie, will you do me a favor and take those clowny Dobermans for me? My pleasure.
Don't let them push you around.
Come on, gang.
Let's go.
Goodbye, Charlie.
I'll see you at 3:00.
Terrific.
You ought to do this for money.
Is this the best you can do? Well, let's find out.
All right, everybody out.
Scram.
Go on.
Beat it.
Pow! We'll do a resting trace for five minutes.
Then I'll be back.
Thanks, Ernie.
Take it easy, it's not for you.
Dr.
Mason's residence.
Charlie, it's Eric.
This damn physical's taking longer than I expected.
I'll get there when I can.
Whenever.
Oh, Charlie, help me settle an argument with this big-shot doctor.
Ernie won't take an expert's word for it, so you tell him.
Now, in the movie Citizen Kane what was written on Kane's sled? I mean, exactly what was written there? Well, the sled's hanging in your den it says "Rosebud.
" You hear that, Ernie? Here, Charlie, I'm holding up the phone.
You tell him nice and loud.
Rosebud.
Eric.
Any pain now? No, I never felt better in my life.
No more ball.
When I say that's it, that's it.
All right, one more time and that's it.
All right, officer, they're all yours.
Lieutenant.
They're my dogs.
Oh, I'm terribly sorry, sir.
You must be Dr.
Mason.
Here I am, playing away with these dogs as if nothing happened.
I know what a terrible shock this must have been, sir, I mean coming home and From the doctor and all, and finding out what happened to Mr.
Hunter.
I'm Lieutenant Columbo, sir.
Homicide.
I'm afraid, sir, that we have to make out a police report in every death, sir, where the victim wasn't under a doctor's care.
Are you a physician yourself? No, no.
My doctorate's in psychology.
You're very tall, sir.
For a psychologist? Or for someone whose dogs just killed his best friend? It was just a general observation, sir.
You're an acute observer, Lieutenant.
What'll happen to my dogs? Well, for now, they're being held by the Animal Regulation people.
And then put away? Well that's up to the court, sir, but I'm afraid under the circumstances I'm not arguing the point, Lieutenant.
Obviously, they have to be destroyed.
Oh, Dr.
Mason.
Dr.
Mason.
Excuse me, sir.
Are you Dr.
Eric Mason, the mind control doctor? Not mind control, life control.
There's a difference, Lieutenant.
I'm not a Svengali.
Oh, I didn't mean to imply, sir.
Just last night my wife was talking about your institute.
Oh, you're a very famous psychologist, sir.
Mrs.
Columbo, she's highly enthusiastic about taking one of your 48-hour sessions to study control, sir.
I understand her enthusiasm, Lieutenant.
But it seems that I can't even control my own dogs.
Well, you know, that's been bothering me, too, sir.
They don't seem to need much controlling.
I mean they're very affectionate animals.
I hit it off with them right away.
They hit it off with everybody, Lieutenant.
Until today, sir.
Yes.
Until today.
Uh, were they trained, sir? I mean, some kind of guard dog training? The only training they've had is to be affectionate.
The victim, Mr.
Charles Hunter Dr.
Hunter.
Dr.
Hunter, sir.
Did the dogs get along with Dr.
Hunter, too? With everyone.
Including Miss Joanne Nicholls, sir? Look, I don't know how many ways I can say it, Lieutenant.
Right, sir.
According to Sergeant Burke, Miss Nicholls called in her report just after 3:00 while you were still at the doctor's.
Um I understand she lives with you, sir.
Not with me.
On the premises.
In the guesthouse.
Right.
I've never believed the myth about Dobermans turning into spontaneous killers.
I still can't get it through my mind.
Something happened.
Charlie must've done something to provoke an attack.
Can we just step into the house? It's a remarkable room, sir.
I've never seen anything like it.
All this memorabilia.
All these wonderful things.
It's easy to see, sir, that you're a fanatic film buff.
We all need our dream worlds, Lieutenant.
Even psychologists.
Are you a collector? Oh, no, sir.
I wouldn't know where to begin.
W.
C.
Fields.
Now, sir, there was a genius.
This was his pool cue.
Look at that.
And this is his pool table.
No.
Oh, yes, Lieutenant.
May I, sir? Please.
W.
C.
Fields.
See if I can hit this in the corner pocket.
What I wanted to ask you, sir, when you knew that you were gonna be late for your tennis game, did you happen to call Dr.
Hunter to tell him you were going to be late? No.
We both knew I might be held up.
But not as late as it turned out.
Not as late, no.
Do you enjoy games, Lieutenant? I've never had time for them, sir.
But I'm sure you're very good at games.
Having your own tennis court and all.
Oh, this looks very old, sir.
Oh, that.
It's an old movie light I picked up last week.
It's called a baby spot.
I'll work on it and clean it up like those.
Would you have been expecting a phone call? This sled, sir.
What would this be for? It's priceless.
From the movie Citizen Kane.
With Orson Welles? Oh, that was a terrific movie, sir.
Mrs.
Colombo, she claims that's a masterpiece.
I'll tell Mr.
Welles that she approved.
Could we get on, Lieutenant? I was going to ask you, sir, if you would've been expecting a phone call around 3:00.
I mean, if you had been home, would you be expecting someone to call? Nobody specific.
I'd like you to be sure about that, sir.
Lord knows, after what happened here, you'd be entitled to be confused about something like a telephone call.
I appreciate the dispensation, Lieutenant, but I'm still capable of recalling whether or not I was expecting a call.
I was not expecting a call.
I wouldn't, sir.
Not if you're headed for the kitchen.
To tell you the truth, sir, it's pretty awful in there.
I wouldn't go in there until they cleaned it up.
Was there a particular point you wanted to make about Charlie or the dogs? Oh, right, sir.
I almost forgot.
Is that a real phone? Of course.
It's unplugged, sir.
There by the baseboard.
What I wanted to show you, sir, the kitchen phone is a wall telephone, just like this one.
The way we found it, the receiver was hanging like this.
It's still hanging in there, sir.
The kitchen phone.
That's the way it's hanging now and that's the way it was hanging when I first found it.
You understand? Yes, I understand.
You make it very clear, Lieutenant.
Well, that's the point, sir.
You said that just prior to the attack, what Charlie must've been doing was provoking the dogs.
I say what he must've been doing was standing there talking on the telephone.
Well, that seems a reasonable assumption.
But when the dogs went wild, couldn't the phone have been knocked off the hook? Not if you listen to the phone, sir.
What you're hearing, sir, is the sound coming from the kitchen phone.
And that's the same sound that I heard when I first arrived and I put the kitchen receiver to my ear.
And what does that tell you, Lieutenant? It's a fast busy signal, sir.
If the phone had been knocked off the hook, what we would be hearing is a steady tone.
No, sir, your kitchen phone rang.
And your friend answered it.
You can count on that, sir.
Well, since we seem to be playing some kind of a mind game, couldn't Charlie have been calling out on the kitchen phone? No, sir.
In that case we would be hearing a steady tone.
With a fast busy signal, we know the call came in.
That's a fact, sir.
I checked with the telephone district.
Well, you seem to have won the game, Lieutenant.
I accept your fact.
That still leaves the question of why the dogs attacked.
You see what I mean, sir? It certainly has been a tragic year for you, hasn't it, sir? I mean, with your wife's death just six months ago, and now this.
Well, you know, we all have to deal with our emotions and my first instinct is always to turn to a friend.
And the first friend I think of is Charlie.
And then Laurel and Hardy.
Laurel and Hardy, sir? My dogs.
I should've known.
You certainly have a beautiful home here, sir.
It's like something out of a movie itself.
It belonged to Theda Bara.
You see, when I leave the Institute, Lieutenant, even I live in a dream world.
Oh, there's nothing dreamy about you, sir not the way those thousands of people depend on you for peace of mind.
Well, we'll be seeing more of each other, sir, until the investigation is settled.
Lieutenant, it's not that I haven't been impressed by your company, but what is there to settle? Well, there's that telephone again, sir.
You see, whoever called Dr.
Hunter must've heard those awful sounds in the kitchen, sir.
Must've heard the dogs and a man dying.
Dying and screaming, sir.
And nobody called the police.
We never got a report, sir.
Not a single one.
Except for the young girl down here in the guesthouse.
So you can see, we would like to know who made that telephone call, sir.
You understand, sir.
Good day, sir.
I came in and he was on the floor.
And the dogs were at his throat.
I tried but I couldn't do anything.
I ran away.
But you called us, miss.
Yeah, for all the good it did.
I'm cold.
My folks back home, they were upset when I told them I was living here with Dr.
Mason.
They said that I'd get into trouble.
I think I'm in trouble.
Excuse me, miss.
How did you come to live here? It beats a college dormitory.
See, I met Dr.
Mason when I did the control course at the Institute.
And he said that he and his wife had a guesthouse and they liked having psychology students and they said I could live here if I helped take care of the main house.
So I talked it over with Sigmund, and we took it.
Sigmund? Sigmund.
Daddy said that he'd always look after me.
Daddy didn't know about the dogs.
But after Mrs.
Mason died, I had the whole place to myself mostly, you know, weekends and all.
So it turned out to be a good deal.
Lieutenant, would you like some hot chocolate? Oh, I'd like that very much, very much.
So would I.
There'll just be a few more questions, miss.
Earn them.
Did you know Dr.
Hunter? Sure.
He was around a lot.
When you say you had the place to yourself, did you take care of the dogs? Well, sometimes.
They were terrific company.
But Saturdays or Sundays, sometimes both days, Eric took them.
To the Institute, miss? No, he hasn't worked weekends since Mrs.
Mason died.
Why don't we just sit down, you, me, and Sigmund? Why didn't I think of that? Over here, miss.
Uh, miss, just before the screams, just before the thing happened up in the kitchen, you said you were swimming.
Now try and remember.
It's very important.
Did you hear a phone ringing? No.
Ordinarily, when you're in the pool, can't you hear a phone ringing in the kitchen? Yes.
But you didn't hear a phone ring? I didn't hear any phone.
Thank you very much, ma'am.
You try and get some sleep.
One more question, ma'am.
Just before the screams, were you swimming on top of the water or were you swimming under the water? I was diving.
Swimming under the water.
So you couldn't have heard the phone ring up in the house? I didn't hear any phone.
Very good.
Oh, sorry, sir.
Just leaving.
Excuse me.
Eric, hold me! Joanne, listen to me.
It was so awful.
Listen to me.
I want to comfort you and I want you to comfort me.
But not until you take control.
You think of your secret word.
The word that nobody knows but you.
The word that defeats every other word.
I've got a new one.
A new secret word.
Blood! Now, who's gonna control your life? You or that word? Don't worry about it.
I'll sleep it off.
You've suffered a terrible experience.
It's time to go home.
Get out of this place, Jo.
But I don't wanna go.
You've wanted to go.
Ever since you've known.
Known what? That you and I aren't going to be lovers, that I control my own space.
That you can't have everything you want, just because you want it.
What the hell do you know about it, Doctor? What do you know about it? Heel.
Okay.
All right.
Out! Sit! Sit, sit.
That's a good boy.
It's all right, Lieutenant.
You can pet him.
Why should I? To show him that you're friendly.
Why doesn't he show me first? Come on, Baruk's a love.
Come on.
Who knows what goes on in the head of a dog? I do.
You do, huh? How you doing, old-timer? You know about dogs.
Then what about those Dobermans? Why would they kill Dr.
Hunter? They've never been trained as attack dogs? No, ma'am.
Well, then they might kill for the same reason people do, Lieutenant.
Why do people kill? Oh, I understand those reasons.
People murder out of fear, jealousy, greed, sex, all those things.
Well, so do dogs, Lieutenant.
And sometimes, like us, they just go crazy.
Henry, you're gonna need that funny suit.
Baruk, heel.
When a dog goes killer wild we call it reverting.
It's reversion back to the wolf.
We don't talk about it a whole lot.
But it happens.
Well, that would explain it, ma'am.
Except that you told me you played with the dogs after they went savage.
Now I've never heard of a reverting dog that didn't stay that way.
Well, thank you very much, ma'am.
We didn't clear much up, but it sort of highlights the problem.
Glad I could help.
Bye-bye, Lieutenant.
Henry, we're just gonna run a couple.
Okay? Watch him, Baruk.
Watch him.
Watch him.
Baruk, kiss.
Baruk, out! Come.
Baruk, come.
Miss Cochrane! Ma'am! Good boy, good boy.
What did you just do? Just an attack command.
But you said K-I-S-S, ma'am.
Well, that's Baruk's attack word.
A dog can respond to any command, as long as he's trained to understand it.
Here, I'll show you.
Baruk, watch him, watch him.
Kill! Yes, yes, you're a good dog.
Yes, all right.
All right, that's enough.
Baruk, down, down.
That's enough, all right.
You mean that a trainer can control a dog with any word? Any word at all? A sign, or a sound, a word.
Any word in any language.
Right, right.
Millions of words.
And you can train any dog to do that? If he's smart enough, yeah.
Even a dog like mine? Back there in the car? Just a regular dog? My wife, she's alone a lot, me working nights and all.
We were thinking of training him up to be a guard dog.
I'd feel a lot better knowing she was protected.
Come on, dog, here's the teacher.
Come meet your teacher.
Sit, just like I taught you, sit.
All right.
Now, stay.
Don't go running around.
You see? This dog could be a lethal weapon.
He's already partly trained.
What do you think, ma'am? If you wanna protect your wife, Lieutenant, why don't you just teach her karate? Goodbye.
Kill.
Kiss.
Go back in the car.
Get back in the car.
Well, listen, you're only a dog.
You're not a college professor.
I'm sorry, sir.
This is a closed area.
My name is Mason and the officer at the desk told me I could see my dogs.
I don't know, Dr.
Mason.
Just a second.
Laurel.
Hardy.
I'm gonna have to check with Lieutenant Columbo.
He's around here somewhere.
Oh, officer.
When will my dogs be put away? Nothing definite.
You'll be glad to know the Lieutenant's doing everything he can to keep them alive.
I see.
Thank you.
Well, now, my darlings.
I wish you a long and happy life.
But that wouldn't be so comfortable for me, would it? So you're gonna have to do me one last service.
You want some candy? Guess what I got for you.
Your favorite chocolates.
See? Hold it, just hold it, sir! They're only supposed to be fed by the officer, sir.
Not even chocolates, Lieutenant? Not even chocolates, Doctor.
Well, in that case, would you care for one? Thank you all the same, sir.
Delicious.
I'll say good night, Lieutenant.
Oh, I'm glad I ran into you, sir.
There's something I wanted to ask you.
The technicians, they found this on your kitchen floor.
They asked me to account for it, sir.
Do you know what it might be? It looks like straw, Lieutenant.
The technicians, they were confused by that, sir.
They couldn't figure out where it came from.
Oh, I'm sure it's from a case of wine I ordered last week.
Right, of course.
Well, that would explain it.
Straw from a case of wine.
I told them it was gonna be something like that.
Will there be anything else, Lieutenant? Well, as long as you asked, sir, just to fill out my report.
When you used to take the dogs away on a weekend, what is it you did with the dogs? We'd walk down the beach.
And they played and I would think.
Thinking's an old-fashioned habit, Lieutenant, and one well worth cultivating.
Well, I'm gonna have to try that sometime, sir.
You were always with the dogs? Always.
On the beach? On different beaches.
Good night, sir.
Good night, Lieutenant.
Kill! Kiss! Diamonds! Rubies.
Sneakers.
Terrific.
Terrific.
Good morning, Lieutenant.
Oh, it's you, sir.
They told me you was busy.
I was just playing with this.
Is that all right, sir? We use it to monitor reactions to certain words.
Words control our lives, Lieutenant.
If we let them.
That's why we encourage our people to learn a secret word.
To fight off all the other words.
Do you have a secret word? No, I don't think so.
Do you have one, sir? Of course, Lieutenant.
My very own.
I'll be right down.
It's about your late wife, sir.
Lorraine? I guess it's mostly about the dogs, and that telephone call just before Dr.
Hunter died.
I can't get it out of my head that someone wanted the dogs to kill.
Lieutenant, I can't You could've been the target, sir.
An enemy.
Someone who wanted to get rid of you.
Something went wrong and Dr.
Hunter killed instead.
That's incredible nonsense.
Not if you consider your wife.
The automobile accident, her car going off a cliff.
The investigators, they still can't figure out why.
Is there someone who hated you and Mrs.
Mason enough to see you dead? Do you really believe that? Well, sir, I can't say that I do.
It's just that we have to consider every side.
You do that very well.
You're a fascinating man, Lieutenant.
To a psychologist, sir? You pass yourself off as a puppy in a raincoat.
Happily running around the yard, digging holes all over the garden.
Only, you're laying a minefield and wagging your tail.
It's just the job, sir.
It makes us look that way.
We'll discuss it sometime.
Your whole personality.
Oh, I would enjoy that, sir.
Well, I guess most people, they like to hear about their personalities.
I mean, especially from an expert.
Lord knows I do.
I can sit and listen to someone talk about me for hours.
I'll be running along sir.
You don't have any time now, sir, do you? No, no, please, look, I'm really very busy.
Sorry.
Eric? Dr.
Mason is lecturing tonight, miss.
I'm sorry.
I saw the light.
Miss Nicholls, there's something I have to ask you.
In the kitchen.
I can't.
Not in there.
Please.
We can try, miss.
I know how you feel.
But, kitchen, that's just a word.
See, it's just a kitchen.
What I wanted to ask you is, you heard Dr.
Hunter screaming.
Now, where was he when you saw him? There.
There.
And the dogs? There.
What you heard, was it just a scream, or was Dr.
Hunter trying to say something? Can you hear me up here, miss? He He was calling for Eric.
He was calling for his friend.
This hook, miss, do you know what it might be for? No.
I've never noticed it.
And right after seeing that, that's when you called the police? I tried this phone but it was dead.
So I called from the guesthouse, on my own phone.
Thank you, miss.
You did very well.
Miss Nicholls, this spotlight.
Dr.
Mason calls it a baby spot.
He says he picked this up last week, but he couldn't have bought it in one of those cinema buff stores.
It's got a lot of dirt on it, you see that? And his secretary says he worked every day last week and most of the nights.
Well, it was a weekend, Lieutenant.
He always brought home lots of junk when he took the dogs with him, like that old hitching post.
Well, that makes sense, miss.
There's a lot of rust on this, but you can still make out.
It says, "Property of Callaghan Film Ranch, "Peach Tree, California.
" There.
You might try starting your own collection.
I just might go there, ma'am.
Good night, Lieutenant.
Good night, miss.
Good night, sir.
Dr.
Mason, sir? I've been looking forward to having that psychological discussion about my personality.
But this is not the time or the place.
I I was looking for some reports that Charlie was working on.
What brings you here, Lieutenant? Oh.
Just looking around, sir.
Looking and thinking.
Thinking and looking.
In my work, we call that gestalting.
Gestalting? Trying to find the particular out of the totality.
Looking for the one reality that explains the whole.
I guess that's what I've been trying to do with this suit.
Dr.
Hunter, he's got a lot of suits, but this is the only one without a jacket.
Did he wear this one much, sir? I wouldn't know.
We wear blazers at the Institute.
Well, these are what I need.
Good luck, Lieutenant, with whatever you're looking for.
Right, sir.
I'll just stay on here and Gestalt a while.
Dr.
Mason.
Could you tell me about how Dr.
Hunter was with women? He was divorced a few years ago.
I mean just before he was killed.
Any special women in his life? Different women.
Nobody special.
I gather from your staff that he was quite a ladies' man.
Well, that was the game Charlie was good at.
Well, don't let me hold you up, sir.
We'll still have that personal talk sometime, Lieutenant.
If at first you don't succeed, run away, Sigmund.
Run away.
Tonight? Goodbye to all this.
Everything that's ever lived has to die, Joanne.
Not like Charlie died.
Poor Charlie.
I could've made you happy.
Not after Lorraine.
Lorraine and Charlie.
All your grief for them and nothing for me.
No more grieving, Eric.
Your wife and your friend, they were lovers.
You never knew that.
What? I saw them when you were working at the Institute.
When Charlie came here.
And he took her to the places they went together.
They were lovers, Eric.
You knew that all the time and said nothing? You loved her so.
You mustn't talk of this, Jo.
Never.
No one can know.
No one can ever know.
Excuse me, Miss Nicholls, I thought I might find Dr.
Mason here.
Good evening, sir.
I hoped you might have a little time.
Time for what, Lieutenant? Do you think we could find one single word that dominates your life, Lieutenant? Well now that you put it that way, sir, I suppose there is one.
Then say the word.
Murder.
Well, that's simple enough.
Your work dominates everything.
Doesn't everyone's, sir? Only a fortunate few.
Now, I'm gonna say a word and you tell me the first word that comes into your mind.
Then I'll say another word, and so on.
Murder.
Dogs.
Justice.
Work.
Mother.
Father.
Father.
Win.
Pain.
Fail.
Murder.
Word.
I'd say you had a wholesome enough childhood.
And you're something of an overachiever, Lieutenant.
But how did we get from murder to word? Well, it's those dogs, sir.
I keep coming back to how maybe there's some kind of a signal, some kind of a special attack word that the dogs will respond to.
But then the dogs would have to be trained.
The worst of it is if someone did train the dogs, they could dangle that word right in front of me and I wouldn't even recognize it.
But the dogs would, according to your theory.
Oh, yes, sir.
Yes, the dogs would certainly react to the word.
But isn't there an order for the dogs to be put away? In 48 hours.
This is terrific wine, sir.
Judge Jacob Metzler handed down the order yesterday.
I understand he's a friend of yours, sir.
May we play the game again? I'm sorry, the game? The word game.
Only, this time I'll start.
Money.
Work.
Work.
Teach.
Elephant.
Tusk.
Wolf.
Dog.
Dog.
Kill.
Kill.
Charlie.
Wife.
Love.
Animal.
Hunt.
Trap.
Word game.
You're right, Lieutenant, it's an excellent wine.
Well, thank you very much, sir.
I'll explain to Mrs.
Columbo how my condition is work-dominated.
Oh, I think she might have guessed.
This gate, sir, with that big letter "K.
" I can't get it out of my mind that I've seen that gate somewhere before.
It's your wife's favorite movie, Lieutenant.
That's the gate from Citizen Kane.
That's it, sir.
The opening shot of the movie.
It's through the gate to the big house.
And just a single light in the window.
And the crystal ball.
Snowing in the crystal ball.
And Charles Foster Kane dies.
That's where it all begins.
With his last word, "Rosebud.
" The sled.
The one that's hanging on your study wall.
If we go on like this, sir, we'll be playing the word game again.
Good night, sir.
That's some terrific gate.
Good night, Lieutenant.
Dog.
Dog.
Kill.
Kill.
Charlie.
Wife.
Love.
Animal.
Hunt.
Trap.
Word game.
Nothing.
What'd you expect, Lieutenant? We'll try it again in the cage.
Murder.
Dogs.
Justice.
Win.
Pain.
Fail.
Mmm-hmm? Yeah.
One second.
Word.
Lieutenant, it's for you.
Judge Metzler.
I'd say you had a wholesome enough childhood.
And you're something of an It's Lieutenant Columbo, Judge.
Thanks for returning.
It's about those two Dobermans and the death order.
I understand that they killed a man, but I'm not sure it was really the dogs that killed him.
I can't prove anything, sir, not without those dogs.
You better get out here, Lieutenant.
That's quite a stunt, isn't it, sir? I mean, the way the dogs go to the phone like that.
What the hell are you playing at? Oh, just my game, sir.
You're good at tennis and word games.
And Dr.
Hunter, he was a winner with women.
This is my game.
He's my partner.
I call him Charlie.
Really? You have a morbid streak, Lieutenant.
I should've suspected that.
It's as if the dogs were trained to be right there at the phone when Dr.
Hunter got that call just before he was murdered.
And the murderer had to be certain that this was the only phone that would ring.
May I show you, sir? In the study? You know, Judge Metzler countermanded the order on Laurel and Hardy.
That was very good luck for us, sir.
You remember this phone was disconnected.
That's so Dr.
Hunter would answer in the kitchen, where the dogs came in.
Don't feel you have to comment, sir.
It's just a theory.
Do you mind, sir? I really enjoy the game and I don't get much chance.
Would you care to join me? Oh, I found this tennis ball, sir.
It's like the kind you use, with dog tooth marks on it.
I found it out at the old Callaghan Movie Ranch, where you got this baby spot, sir.
Yes I've visited Callaghan's.
That's where the murderer trained his dogs, sir.
On the Western Street with a hanging dummy, sir.
Made out of straw.
Just like the one that's in there.
The same kind of straw, sir, that the technicians found in your kitchen that day.
And you know what the murderer did? He took a loudspeaker and he put it inside the dummy to repeat the kill commands.
So that the dogs would tear anyone apart when they heard that attack word.
If you'll just look in that pocket there, sir.
You see this, sir? That's what the murderer dressed the dummy with, out there on that old Western Street.
I found that when I went back there to take a second look.
This is a torn piece from Dr.
Hunter's missing jacket.
So the dogs would take the scent, sir.
To reinforce the kill command.
Doesn't that make sense to you, sir? Well, what does all this have to do with me, Lieutenant? Well, Charlie died in your house.
The dogs are your dogs.
And then, there's your wife.
If you'll just look in that pocket, sir.
Dr.
Hunter and your wife.
It must have been one of those time-delay snapshots.
There's a whole bunch of photos just like that in Dr.
Hunter's desk.
Maybe that's how you found out about their affair, sir.
And you picked up those photographs that day that I was in Dr.
Hunter's apartment.
Only, I took this one first, sir.
Before you got there.
You play a first-rate game, Lieutenant.
Well, my father taught me, sir.
So that was the motive.
Their affair.
That's why you killed your wife, Dr.
Mason.
I can't prove that.
I can certainly prove that you killed Dr.
Hunter.
Not without the kill command, Lieutenant.
Oh, that won't be necessary, sir.
It was really a very simple case.
Starting with that kitchen phone, sir.
Because you're the one that called Dr.
Hunter.
You claim you were at your physician's having your heart examined, which was true.
Your electrocardiogram, sir.
Just before 3:00, your physician left you alone for a resting trace.
At that moment, you were lying down in a restful position and you heart showed a calm, slow, easy beat.
Look at this part, right here.
Lots of sudden stress.
Lots of excitement.
Right here at 3:00, your heart beating like a hammer just before the dogs attacked.
Oh, you killed him with a phone call, sir.
I'll bet my life on it.
A very simple case.
Not that I'm particularly bright, sir.
I must say I found you disappointing.
I mean, your incompetence.
You left enough clues to sink a ship.
Motive, opportunity.
And for a man of your intelligence, sir, you got caught in a lot of stupid lies.
A lot of them.
Laurel.
Hardy.
I think you deserve the whole package, Lieutenant.
The total picture.
Everything to make your case complete.
Oh, I think I've made my case, sir.
Watch the dogs.
Rosebud.
Rosebud! Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Okay, that's it.
Okay, that's it.
Now, when I say that's it, that's it.
All right, one more kiss and that's it.
All right, that's it, fellas, that's it.
Is that what you call a conditioned response, sir? The way you just turned those dogs on me? You knew the command.
The point is, sir, you knew the command.
I didn't know it.
I just heard it.
It was on this tape machine.
You see this, sir? That's what they call a voice-operated control.
When this is attached to this, like this and somebody talks, it switches on automatically.
Now, I had this in my pocket, that night a few weeks ago when you and I played the word game.
And I played that for the dogs.
And just by accident, sir, they heard that part where you and I stood out by the gate and talked about Citizen Kane.
And Charles Foster Kane dies.
And that's where it all begins.
With his last word, "Rosebud.
" Laurel and Hardy, they went crazy.
And then, there was this lady dog trainer.
And she knew how to deprogram the dogs.
So now, instead of killing when they heard the word, they kissed.
It's like trading one conditioned response for another.
You understand, sir.
Can I try this again, sir? Very good, Lieutenant.
Remarkable, really.
You take control very well.
All the way.
I'd swear you'd taken my course.
Oh, no, sir.
Oh, no, never.
It's just that I enjoy the pleasure of the game.
I wonder how W.
C.
Fields did it.