Columbo (1971) s10e01 Episode Script

Columbo Goes to College

- Yo, dude.
- Hey, dude.
Hey, man.
Hey, man.
Cooper, my hero! Phillips in straight sets? With the sun in my eyes and a ding in my racket.
My man! Mighty Coop! Major party coming up.
Black tie and shorts.
Give a guy time to wax his legs, will you? Nice car, Coop.
- Did you get it? - Boy, you're ugly on television.
Never mind that.
Come on, did you get it? All right! - Where would I be without you? - You kidding? You'd still have to study.
I'll break it.
I'm gonna break it right now.
Right now! Cooper! Cooper.
Cooper! Something wrong, Dad? Trish Mir's father just called me.
He's threatening to sue! You know, Dad, getting that abortion was Trish's idea, not mine.
While you were doing what? Encouraging her to have your baby? Maybe not.
But we'd have worked it out.
We wouldn't have been the first.
The first?! This is the third girl in the past 18 months.
For God's sake, you're almost 22! When are you gonna start being responsible? How long do you expect me to bail you out?! - Dad, it takes two to - Get it together! I'm giving you fair warning, pal.
One more mess, one more screw-up and you're on your own.
You understand me? I'm not threatening you, I'm just telling you.
One more screw-up and you're out.
OK, that's it for tonight.
Who's the guest lecturer this semester, Professor? A homicide detective.
A what is his name? A Lieutenant Columbo.
All right! That sounds terrific.
An actual homicide detective.
- Good night, Professor.
- Justin, Cooper.
I'd like to see you both in my office, now.
Come in.
Close the door.
- You blew it, boys.
- Excuse me? Don't toy with me, Justin.
Not you, of all people.
I know about the test.
That you took the test.
Stole the test.
- What?! - Not a word! Not one more word! The two of you are an absolute disgrace.
All the privilege, all the smarts, and what do you do with it? You waste it, drag it under your feet.
You don't deserve what you have.
You probably never did.
And you don't have any respect for anyone! Let me tell you something else.
I don't trust myself to decide right now what action I take, but I'll tell you this much: When I'm ready to make a decision, it'll either be to flunk the two of you or go to the dean and ask him to throw you out of this university! You got it? Professor? Maybe we should go for a beer, talk things over.
Save it.
Talk to him, Jus.
Professor Professor Brings it out Makes the shot It's good! Sir? Sir? Professor Professor Rusk Look, it was just kind of a crazy prank.
We're not in church, Justin.
And I don't take confession anyway.
Professor, can't we just talk about this? Who the hell does this jerk think he is?! Hi, guys.
How you doin'? In a hurry, Joe - hot date.
Can you raise the gate? Where the hell are my Laker tickets? Next week.
Word of honour, man.
Sorry as hell.
Hey, Joe, trust us.
- Trying to run him off the road? - Yeah, right.
We're the ones getting killed.
Between him and my old man, I'm smelling dead meat right in this truck! Where's he going? He lives the other way, doesn't he? Yeah.
You don't think he's going to meet her? I thought they broke that up a few months ago.
Did they? It's Thursday night, the team's out of town, Coach Clark's with the team Let's go see.
- Well, it can't just be that he's hungry.
- Isn't that her car? Let's take a look.
Thanks, Jim.
Recognise her? Yeah.
Damn you! If looks could kill.
Jus? - Yeah? - What do you think he's gonna do? About us, or about Coach Clark's wife? Come on.
I don't know, Coop.
I don't know.
I think he's pretty unpredictable right now.
I think there's things going on in his life that most people aren't aware of.
But we are? - I am.
- Like what? Things.
Things I heard, or overheard.
Overheard how? From who? Well, I listen in on my father's phone.
How do you think? You listen in on his calls? Yeah.
I read his mail, too.
How else am I supposed to learn anything? Right.
So what did you learn about Professor Rusk? That he's got enemies.
I don't mean just you and me.
There's people that wouldn't cry at an early funeral, Coop.
What are you talking about? I'm talking about his new book, where he names names, where he gets right up in people's faces.
Big people.
Dangerous people.
He's an equal-opportunity annihilator.
Defence contractors, savings and loan execs, senators, congressmen And you figure that some of these people could be out to get him? There have been threats made on this man's life.
And they told it to my father.
No, these people are playing for real.
And that lady last night, June Clark you know, she looked like she could kill.
That's what I mean.
Jus, if Rusk talks to the dean it's all over for me.
I'm aware, Coop.
I'm aware.
I mean, you think I got anything less to lose? If I don't get into Harvard Law School, my father is gonna skin me alive.
Now I would say, at the rate we're going, our futures are gonna last about a week.
We really don't have a lot of options here, do we? I don't think we got any at all.
It's either him or it's us.
Us? Us.
I'll be right down.
Try the key.
Joe sure lives in style.
Jus? I think I got it.
Is that the Woodcomb Building? Sorry, guy, faculty parking only.
Does Professor Rusk teach his criminology class here? Right building, wrong lot.
Well, you see, I'm the guest speaker in Professor Rusk's criminology class.
I'm from the LAPD.
Lieutenant Columbo.
Sorry, Lieutenant.
They don't tell me anything.
Park anywhere.
Stairs are on the right.
Come in.
What is it, Justin? I spoke to my father about what happened.
What we did.
I'm listening.
Well, he was not happy.
And he said a lot of things.
We both did.
There were certain threats and certain promises.
- Anyway, he'd like to speak with you.
- Have him call.
No, sir, he would like to meet you in person.
Tonight? He's got to go to Washington in a few hours.
But he'll be having dinner at the Café Barotto at eight, just across the campus.
He'll be by himself.
He'd like to meet with you.
I've got a guest tonight, you know that.
I can't walk out in the middle of class.
But you could be back before the class was over, Professor.
Look, I hope you don't think my father is trying to throw his weight around here, but, in consideration for all the things that he's done for this university, he's hoping that you'll agree to meet with him.
I'll, uh I'll think about it, Justin.
That's all I can ask.
Thank you.
- Professor? - Hm? I am sorry.
Lieutenant, in trying to solve a murder case, do the police ever make up evidence that in fact they don't really have? Well, that's been known to happen.
Well, have you ever done it? Well, recently I was in an attorney's office and he wasn't there, and the secretary was in the ladies' room, so I took advantage of the moment to go through his wastepaper basket.
I was looking for a piece of gum.
And I found it.
I wonder who his tailor is.
And I wanted to match the bite marks in that piece of gum with the bite marks on a piece of cheese I found at the scene of the crime.
Yeah, but excuse me, Lieutenant, that's different.
See, you didn't make up any evidence.
That isn't really what I was asking.
I know what you asked and I'm trying to avoid the question.
Let me put it this way: I follow my nose, and when I get the scent there's very little I wouldn't do in order to solve the case.
Do you have any advice for a young detective? I would say don't talk too much.
Don't talk too much? Sometimes when you know something it's better you keep it to yourself.
You don't have to blab everything right away.
Who knows what will happen? Timing - that's important.
And luck.
You gotta be lucky.
Lieutenant, come and have a beer with us.
Every Thursday we try and gross each other out with mystery stories.
Wow, that's a nice offer.
But I don't think I can Oh, come on, Lieutenant.
I feel bad I didn't get to say goodbye to Professor Rusk.
You'll see him next week.
Was the Devlin case the only time you were involved with the FBI? Well, you know, I don't even remember the Devlin case.
It was where the jockey got strangled by the girlfriend, who was in cahoots with the stable owner - Is he dead, Lieutenant? - I'm afraid so.
Lieutenant, should I go get some help? I can call 911.
Tell them a homicide detective is on the scene and it appears to be murder.
- Joe! - What? - Joe, there's been a murder! - A what?! - In the garage.
Rusk is dead.
- What are you talking about? - I gotta call 911.
- Yeah, go ahead.
I gotta get down there.
Wait a minute Wait, what about the security tapes? Don't you wanna save them? Right, good idea.
Listen, save it, will you? I gotta get down there.
Stay back behind the yellow tape.
What do you have, George? Single gunshot wound to the head, probably a large-calibre bullet.
- What about this? - Fragments from the slug.
- Oh, yeah.
It broke apart.
- I'm guessing it was supposed to.
Looks like a hollow-point, so the bullet would do maximum damage.
All right.
- I wonder where he was going? - Who? The professor.
You know he left right in the middle of a class? Beats me.
- Hey, John.
- Lieutenant.
Uh - Excuse me, may I ask you a question? - Sure.
These cameras - I think there are three in the garage - they all look alike to me.
Are they the kind of cameras that record, like on a videotape, or do you think they're the kind of cameras that show what they're seeing you know, like on a TV screen in some other room someplace? It's hard to tell.
They might be either kind.
You could probably find out by talking to the campus police.
Right, that's what I gotta do.
- Hey, John.
- Hey, Lieutenant.
Looks like we can rule out robbery as a motive.
Oh, yeah.
A comb, a handkerchief, credit card, nail clippers, keys What's this? - You found this? - It was in his pocket, all by itself.
Yeah - What pocket was it in? - His shirt pocket.
Lieutenant? Wanna take a look up here? - Up where? - Up on the street, sir.
All right.
I wonder where the hell he was going? - What is going on? - Stay behind the line, please.
- A.
45? - Yes, sir.
- You got a pencil? - Pen all right? Yeah.
If this shell belongs to the slug that killed the guy in the garage, what's it doing up here? That's an excellent question.
A really excellent question.
Hey, Lieutenant.
They got a videotape from one of those security cameras.
It's about set up if you want to look at it.
Lieutenant, if you get a chance, we'll be at Darlene's Bar and Grill.
Let me ask you a question.
Did the professor usually leave the building right after class? - We almost always walked out together.
- Well, tonight he left early.
Does anybody have any idea where he might have been going? No.
- Sorry, Lieutenant.
Beats me.
- Oh, well.
- Maybe we'll see you there.
- I'll try my best.
- Is that Professor Rusk's office? - Yeah.
- Is that his briefcase? - I guess so.
- Set up the tape.
I'll be right with you.
- OK.
- Oh, John? - Yeah? The janitor in the corridor, bring him down, would you? You got it.
What can I do for you? - Did you know Professor Rusk? - Enough to say hello and goodbye.
Were you aware of his comings and goings? Not always when he came in, but usually when he left.
Did he usually take this briefcase with him? I never knew him to leave it behind.
- So he always took it home? - That's right.
So he probably planned to come back for it? Yeah, I would think so.
What time do you usually lock up the building? - It's all locked up by 9:30.
- And he left around 8:10, so wherever he was going he had to be back in an hour twenty.
That's right.
- Thank you very much.
- You're welcome.
Well, that's a beginning.
Let's see what we got.
Papers, books Some pills.
Oh, he took pills for cholesterol.
- You know, these things work.
- Yeah? Yeah.
I was up to 310.
Two a day before meals, I'm down to 220.
That's great.
Let me see that pill that you found in his shirt pocket.
Look at that.
Maybe he was gonna eat and he remembered to take his pill.
- Sounds reasonable to me.
- It's worth a shot.
Excuse me, officer? Grab a Yellow Pages.
Make a list of all the restaurants within 15 minutes of the campus.
But no fast-food places.
The kinda place where you sit down, they got a menu, and if you want something light - pasta, fish - you can get it.
Take me about ten minutes.
Sorry to keep you waiting.
Oh, is that the videotape from the security camera? This is it, yeah.
- How much does a tape like this hold? - Around an hour.
Then what? You put in another one? Oh, no.
It records for an hour and then, unless you stop it, it automatically records over itself.
I see.
So if you don't stop it, it automatically erases the previous hour and starts recording the new hour? - That way one tape can last for months.
- I see.
OK, let's see what we've got.
OK, here we go, Lieutenant.
Eight o'clock.
Well, we were up in the class then.
That car there is Professor Gerard.
That's yours, Lieutenant.
That one over there belongs to the professor.
If this is just for faculty parking, how come a student was parked there in a truck? Well, uh Cooper - he's the blond-haired kid his old man has season tickets to the Laker home games.
It, uh, was a trade-off.
I see.
- Fast-forward through this? - That's a good idea, yeah.
Hold it.
That's the professor.
God I should've seen it.
I should've been watching.
Well, sir, I really don't think it would've changed much that happened.
- All right, Malloy, let's fast-forward it.
- Yeah.
Oh, there's me and the kids.
But I don't understand.
From the time that the professor was shot until the time I arrived we saw everything, but we didn't see anybody leave.
Nobody left.
Either by foot or car or via the ramp.
- Did somebody go up the stairs? - No, no, no.
I would've seen that.
Well, this is a mystery.
- It is a mystery.
- This is a mystery.
- Lieutenant? Got your restaurant list.
- Good.
Bonsoir, monsieur.
- Any reservation for Professor Rusk? - No.
No, sir.
- You're sure? - Yes, positive.
Oh, here it is.
The call came in at 8:10 from a Professor Rusk.
His instructions were to inform Mr Rowe that he was on his way but running a few minutes late.
- May I see that, sir? - Of course.
- Thank you.
The food was delicious.
- It's been too long.
- Excellent, as usual.
- Thank you.
- Did you know this Professor Rusk? - I'm afraid not.
Just a name, a voice on the phone, that was all.
And when Mr Rowe came in and you gave him this message, what did Mr Rowe say? There was no Mr Rowe.
You see? No Mr Rowe at all.
- No Mr Rowe? - No Mr Rowe.
Lieutenant? Hi, Lieutenant.
Really glad you could make it.
Nice to see you again, Lieutenant.
- We haven't stopped talking about it.
- Well, that's good.
That's probably the best thing you could've been doing right now.
Feeling any better? I don't think I'll forget the sight of him lying there for a while.
- Have you ever seen a dead body before? - No.
- Have you? - Yeah.
But now's not the right time to talk about it.
Excuse me, Lieutenant? Did you find out anything? Did you look at the tapes from the security cameras? It's a mystery.
We looked at the tape and we never saw anyone enter or leave either on foot or by car.
- How can that be? - That's impossible.
The murder was on the tape.
We saw that.
But no one going in or out? No one.
It's baffling.
Could you see the door that goes to the lobby stairs? No, that we couldn't.
But that's right.
That's a good point.
But if someone had gone in or out that door going up the stairs to the lobby, they would've had to pass the security guard.
- And he didn't see anybody? - Joe never saw one person.
- Was he awake? - Cooper! I'm just kidding.
So tell me about the professor.
What was he like? Was he a good teacher? Lieutenant, he was very good.
Very good.
He was one of the best teachers on campus.
Right? He was good.
It's true.
But he was also very opinionated.
Everything had to be done his way.
But he was good.
He was real.
I think most of all that's what he was - he was just real.
- And he fooled around a lot.
- That is not fair! Sara, it's true.
I mean, he fooled around.
Trust me.
Even so, it's pretty poor form to trash the reputation of the newly dead.
Excuse me.
The man fooled around, and everybody knew it.
Jus, whether he did or didn't, we should drop it.
Sachs is right.
The body's not even cold yet.
Lieutenant, any campus is bound to be something of a rumour mill.
Deciding which to believe or which not to believe is probably going to be your biggest problem.
- I'm beginning to see that.
- Well, you came to the right place.
Mr Rowe here always seems to hear more rumours than anyone else.
- Mr? - Rowe.
Justin Rowe.
Gossip is his middle name.
On behalf of the Alumni Association and of the past and present patrons of this great university, I want you to know that the faculty, staff, students and I personally mourn the loss of Professor Rusk and offer our condolences to Mrs Rusk.
- Any idea who had a reason to kill him? - No.
- Know if he had any enemies? - No.
Thank you, that's all I can say today.
Any comments on the rumours about Professor Rusk and Mrs Clark? - Scandal, that's all I needed! - Can't you give us more information? You know, there were a lot of rumours about that guy.
At least he lived a full life.
- But was it really worth it? - What a terrible way to die.
The cop's a total crack-up.
He stands yay high and wears a suit we donated to a homeless shelter last year.
- Hold it.
News flash.
- What's up? Right this way.
Just watch.
The investigation into last night's murder has taken an unexpected turn.
According to sources at the university , Professor DE Rusk, the victim, may have been involved in an extramarital affair - Attaboy, Rusk.
- Who do you think it was? That he was playing around with? Coach Clark's wife - who else? I heard she and Professor Roberts had a thing.
No, no.
Ancient history, lad.
It was Rusk and June Clark.
Refused to comment.
Funeral services for the slain professor have not been announced.
What did you say your name was? Columbo.
- And you're a lieutenant.
- Yes, ma'am.
Well, Lieutenant, isn't there something you can do about all those reporters? I wish I could, ma'am, but I can't.
I'm sorry about that.
What did you want to ask me, Lieutenant? Well, ma'am, there's been talk - I'm sure you've probably heard it that Professor Rusk was having an affair.
These things are delicate.
I don't want to offend you I'm a married woman, Lieutenant.
My husband is coach of the basketball team.
I'm aware of that.
- Professor Rusk was a married man.
- Yes, ma'am, I'm aware of that.
Then why would I tell you I was having an affair, even if it were true? Well, because if it were true, maybe you'd help us find a murderer.
Who would be who, Lieutenant? Me? My husband? Professor Rusk's wife? - Are there any other questions? - Just one, ma'am.
Where were you last night, say between seven and nine? At home.
And your husband, ma'am? Was he at home too? No, he was with the team in Washington, in Seattle.
But I'm sure you already knew that.
Is there anything else? No, ma'am, not at this time.
Thank you, ma'am.
Lieutenant? Whatever DE Rusk and I had together, it ended several months ago.
My husband is aware of that.
I never saw Professor Rusk again.
Thank you for that, ma'am.
- Sir? Sir? - Stay back.
- Hey, Lieutenant.
- Hey! Whaddaya say, fellas? - How you feeling today? - All right.
- Get any sleep? - Oh, a couple of hours.
I know what you mean.
Must've been tawdry stuff in there, huh? The professor and the coach's wife? Well, actually that's been over for some time.
She hasn't seen him for months.
- She hasn't? - No.
- Did she tell you that? - Yeah.
Just now.
- You believe her? - Why wouldn't he? Coop! People don't always tell the truth.
True, but I know June and she's a pretty decent gal.
What do you think? Well, I believed her, but, fellas, what do I know? I don't know if it helps, but the campus hotline knows where they used to meet.
He just said it's old news.
Why are you still looking for dirt? Excuse me.
It's in the Valley.
I don't know the name, but I've got directions.
We could lead you there.
I think you're right.
I think we've gotta check it out.
This is lousy, Justin.
This stinks.
I keep telling him life's not a peppermint candy.
He doesn't listen.
"I know June and she's a pretty decent gal"?! - Too much? - Oh, no, no.
He's gonna swallow anything.
Listen, when we get to the bar, you've gotta tell him you love his car.
- You gotta.
- All right.
Just don't make me laugh.
Lieutenant, we were just talking about your car.
It's really nice.
- Is it European? - Yeah, it's a French car.
That's a Peugeot, Coop.
This is a classic.
This car's worth a lot of money - today.
Bet you get a lot of offers, huh? Are you kiddin'? You know, not a day goes by somebody don't wanna buy it.
But I don't wanna make a killing on a car.
What for? Oh, if you're comfortable with it, why sell it? Money's not everything.
How about your suit? Get a lot of offers on that too? Oh, you guys! You're pulling my leg, for crying out loud.
Know what the wife says? She's gonna send it out to be cleaned and burned.
- He's got a good sense of humour.
- Well, I like to laugh.
- Can I help you, gentlemen? - Lieutenant Columbo, Homicide.
Uh-huh Well, can't say I haven't expected you.
What makes you say that, sir? You wanna talk about the dead professor.
- How did you know that? - I saw his face all over the news.
Him and his girlfriend came here about once a week for a year.
He always came in with the same woman, sir? A blonde.
In the thirties.
Real good-looking.
And they haven't been in here recently, the last two or three months, right, sir? - They were in last week.
- What? - Last week? - Yeah.
- Are you sure? - Yeah.
Sat right over there.
They had quite a blow-out.
- You mean they had a fight? - Yeah.
She was hotter than a pistol.
He tried to calm her down, but couldn't do it.
So she split.
- She left alone? - As far as I know.
The professor stayed another hour, crying in his beer.
So how do you figure? She plugged him? Well, what do you think, Lieutenant? You think she did plug him? Oh, come on, Justin, give us a break.
All right.
Let me ask a serious question.
Does June Clark have an alibi for Thursday night? She said she was at home.
Alone, right? Cos her husband was with the team in Seattle.
Oh, get off it, Justin.
June Clark did not murder Professor Rusk.
Well, maybe not.
But we do know this: She has been lying to the lieutenant.
I think we'd just like to know why.
You know what I should do? I should go talk to the professor's wife.
Right, that would probably be useful.
Listen, thanks for all your help.
I gotta go in and make a couple of calls.
Hey, Lieutenant Uh, will you keep us informed, let us know what's going on? Oh, sure.
We're in this together.
- I'm waiting for Detective Malloy.
- Malloy? Hold on, I'll get him.
All right, I'll hold.
Thank you.
Very funny.
"You know what I gotta do? I gotta go see the coach's wife.
" I can't believe he's making this so easy.
This is just the beginning.
Wait till we set him on my father.
Malloy? Columbo.
Listen, do you have the inventory of all the items in Professor Rusk's briefcase? - The list I made? - The list, yeah.
- Yeah.
- You got it in front of you? - Yeah.
- Good.
Confirm this for me, will you? There were no airline tickets, were there? - No, no airline tickets.
- I didn't think there were.
- Pills, books, papers.
- That's it.
- No airline tickets.
- No tickets.
- Just wanted to make sure.
- That's all there was.
- Thanks.
- No problem.
Thank you for seeing me, Mrs Rusk.
I realise this is a very painful time for you.
What would you like to know? - I just have a few questions - About June Clark? Yes, ma'am.
She and my husband had an affair that lasted almost an entire year.
It wasn't DE's first.
I found out about this one three months ago and I told him that I would leave him if he didn't end it.
- But he didn't end it.
- She wouldn't let him.
And when did you find out about that, ma'am? Ten days ago, when DE told me.
Your husband told you he was still seeing her? No, Lieutenant.
He told me that he had seen her for the last time, and that it was over for good.
I see.
Did you believe him? How could I? I wanted to hear it from Mrs Clark, and I wanted to be able to see her eyes when she told me.
So I went to meet her - for the first time.
We talked and in a little while we cried.
It was over.
When was that, ma'am, when you went to visit June Clark? That was Thursday night, Lieutenant.
The night my husband was killed.
You and June Clark were together at the time of the murder? That's correct, Lieutenant.
In her home.
Thank you very much, ma'am.
Oh, one more question.
We found an airline ticket to Phoenix, Arizona in your husband's briefcase.
He was scheduled to fly there this past weekend.
Would you have any idea why he might be going there? He never mentioned it, Lieutenant.
Thank you, ma'am.
Come in, Lieutenant.
Ma'am? Just one more thing.
We found an airplane ticket to Phoenix, Arizona in the professor's briefcase.
He was scheduled to fly there this past weekend.
Do you have any knowledge of that? Or any idea who he might've been planning to see? No, I'm afraid not.
Thank you very much, ma'am.
Ah, he's there.
- I wanna ask you a question.
- Yeah, we can't hear a word you say.
About airplane tickets.
He's a piece of work, isn't he? Tell him to go to the kitchen.
Let's go through to the kitchen.
We'll meet you there.
Sorry, Lieutenant.
Couldn't hear.
What's up? I meant to ask you earlier, but I forgot.
Listen, maybe you fellas can help me with this.
Yeah, sure.
We found an airplane ticket in Professor Rusk's briefcase.
Round trip to Phoenix.
He was scheduled to leave this past weekend.
Did he happen to mention this trip in class, or would you guys have any idea why he might be going there? - A trip? - A trip.
- This past weekend? - This past weekend.
- Nope.
- No, huh? - OK.
Thanks a million, fellas.
- Sure.
Lieutenant? - You said Phoenix? - Uh, yeah.
Coop, do you remember we were walking out of class, standing in the corridor, and he said something about meeting a guy from the FBI or the attorney general's office? He was talking about fraud in the savings and loan - Was that Phoenix? - Phoenix - It was Phoenix.
- It was Phoenix, Lieutenant.
This investigator was in Phoenix? He was and the savings and loan was.
- And the professor had information - The investigator wanted.
- Inside stuff, damaging stuff.
- Oh, man.
What if he went there to see that guy? What if he had some new information? And what if somebody knew about it and wanted to shut him up? This is pretty scary stuff.
Well, I tell you, sometimes it can be a pretty scary world.
OK, fellas, I gotta go check this out.
- Hey, Lieutenant, I've got a thought.
- Yeah? Maybe you should meet my father.
- Your father? - Yeah.
He's a criminal attorney and legal counsel to the university.
So he hears more rumours than Justin does.
I don't know whether it'd do any good, but I bet it'd be worth your time.
Should I try and set something up? Absolutely.
And the quicker the better.
- What about tonight, if I can? - Tonight? Tonight would be perfect.
- I don't wanna drag you from your party - No, not at all.
Murder cases get real cold real fast.
That's what Professor Rusk taught us.
Well, Professor Rusk was right.
- Let me see what I can do.
- Hey, thanks.
Boy, sometimes I wonder what I'd do without you guys.
Oh If this detective is remotely as inept as you say, he'll need a lot of help.
Well, we're doing everything we can, Mother.
But at the rate we're going, this will turn out to be more of a class project than a homicide investigation.
Oh, what a sad, terrible thought.
Poor Professor Rusk.
First he's murdered, then they assign this rumbled little dumbbell to find his killer.
Dear me.
Poor Mrs Rusk.
- Then you'll talk to Father? - Oh, yes, I will.
You look gorgeous.
Yes, tonight.
He's gonna be here in about an hour.
Well, I'm coming over.
I gotta be there for this.
This is too much.
No, Coop, what this is is perfect.
I'm still laughing over that Phoenix routine.
Was that luck or what?! When somebody hands you the baton you run like hell.
It was pure inspiration.
I'm leaving right now.
Good evening, sir.
Lieutenant, this way.
Is this way.
Come on.
I understand you wanted to talk to me about Professor Rusk? Well, actually it was your son that suggested it.
More specifically, about his books.
That could've been what your son had in mind, sir.
You're not sure? About what your son had in mind? No, sir, I'm not.
- Have you read his books? - I didn't know he wrote books.
You're investigating the murder of Professor Rusk and you're unaware that the man wrote a series of highly incendiary profiles exposing major crime figures in the US? Well, let me tell you what happened.
I was going out to lunch and the captain asked me do I wanna go speak to these college students? I said, "Yeah, sure.
" He handed me a piece of paper: "Call Professor Rusk.
" - That's the first time I heard his name.
- But that was before he was murdered.
Yes, sir.
After he was murdered and you were trying to find out who did it, did you have any curiosity about the man's life? You mean like reading his books, sir? I mean like finding out there were a lot of people who wanted to see him dead.
Well, he was having an affair.
I don't know if you know that, sir.
With the coach's wife.
She's a married woman.
It's a very emotional - And this is how you've spent your time? - Yes, sir.
And talking with the kids.
And talking to the kids.
It is perfectly clear that you haven't the faintest idea which end is up here.
That's not an insult, just a fact.
I can't do your homework for you, but I can point you in the right direction.
This is Rusk's first book, on organised crime in New Orleans.
Read it.
And this one is a galley of his second book on white-collar crime in southern California.
He ties it to the mob and to the laundering of drug money, and it names names.
Read it.
The bottom line here is that some very dangerous men made actual threats on the professor's life.
You need to stop worrying about whose wife is screwing whom and get to the heart of the matter.
This man was shot because he had a big mouth.
Well, I certainly appreciate your telling me this.
It'll make my life a lot easier.
- Now I'm pointed in the right direction.
- Good.
I can't believe how perfect this is.
- Coop, I got a question for you.
- Yeah? Do you think Columbo's parents were related? I found out one thing for sure tonight.
I know where your son gets his brains.
This is better than sex.
My son has the best mind of anybody I have ever met, but he still couldn't get into Harvard Law School without my help.
With his ability, they should've sent a limo for him, but I had to push a lot of buttons.
I don't know what was wrong.
His mind's someplace else - I wish I knew where.
He'll wind up the best criminal attorney in this country or I'll break every bone in his body.
- Oh, I wouldn't worry, sir.
He'll go far.
- He better.
Your father's pretty wacky.
Yeah, he's a sick man.
I hate him.
- His friend Cooper is another one.
- Get this.
Kid's got brains, but he thinks he's gonna be a tennis pro.
The kid's a B player, but in his mind he's John McEnroe.
I'll tell you what he's good for: He can get little girls pregnant, that's what.
Lieutenant, we would appreciate it if you could wrap this up as quickly as possible.
Oh, I understand, sir, and I'll do my best.
Oh, one more thing, sir.
Did you happen to have dinner Thursday night at the Café Barotto? In fact, I had dinner at a restaurant called Fredo, Lieutenant, in San Francisco, with the district attorney and the lieutenant governor.
- Well, thank you very much.
- Good night.
Your car, sir.
- How'd you know it was mine? - Oh, just a lucky guess.
Hey, you! Hold it! - Joe? - Lieutenant? Yeah.
I saw somebody poking around down here on the monitors.
Well, I should've let you know I was down here.
I apologise.
- Anything I can help you with? - Well, I'm just working a few things out.
You know, that videotape, that was a tremendous help.
This is just about as close as the killer could get.
If he was any closer, even one step we would've seen him on that tape.
Which came from that camera by the gate, isn't that correct? Uh-huh.
So if he was back here, or at any point from here back to the wall, wouldn't he have been seen by that camera? - That's right, he would have.
- And you might've seen him too.
Like you said, I couldn't have kept the professor alive, but, damn, at least I might've been able to identify the killer.
Why, when you thought to save the videotape from that camera, you didn't think to save it from this camera? Because if you had we would've been able to make that identification.
- I didn't save it at all, Lieutenant.
- Sir? It was Justin who remembered about the tape.
- Justin? - Yeah.
Truth is, if it hadn't been for him we wouldn't have that one tape we do.
Justin turned off the machine and saved the tape.
Damn lucky he thought of it too, right? Damn lucky.
Yes, Lieutenant, we've been expecting you.
Oh, Lieutenant? This way, please.
- I'm Dean Gillespie, Lieutenant.
- How do you do? Pleasure to meet you.
Uh Mr Rowe? - Hi, Lieutenant.
- Justin! I didn't even know your father was gonna be here.
The reason I requested this meeting with you is because Mr Rowe and Justin have some exceedingly pertinent information which we think will impact heavily on your investigation.
Is that so? Well, I'm very anxious to hear that.
- Jordan? - Yes, thank you, Howard.
You and I are in the same game - the pursuit of justice.
You catch 'em, I try 'em, right? Yes, sir.
I am assuming you've talked to the security guard Joseph Doyle? As a matter of fact, I just left him, sir.
Nice man.
Is this the same security guard who failed to save any of the security tapes? Yes, sir, it is.
But we got one.
One survived and we have it.
Have you ever met his brother Dominic? - No, sir, I haven't had the pleasure.
- Oh, I see.
Are you aware of this? Hm - Well, this is quite a record.
- Yeah.
from assault to extortion to murder.
Two murder charges, one dismissed.
On the other, he was convicted and sentenced to nine years to life.
He did 6½ years and was released on parole a month ago.
Well, I wish I had known this.
I just didn't know it, sir.
My 22-year-old son knew it.
Have you even begun a background check on Joe Doyle? No, I haven't.
Why not? Because you thought he was a nice man? You do not have to answer that, Lieutenant.
Isn't this the second time you and I have met? It is, isn't it? It is, sir.
And what did I tell you the first time we met? That there had been actual threats made on Professor Rusk's life.
And you now have in your hand the record of a hired killer who was hanging around that garage visiting with his brother the security guard.
Son, you did say that's the first time you saw Dominic Doyle? - Visiting with his brother at the school? - Yes, sir.
I saw them together.
That's when Joe told me that Dom had just got out of prison and was looking for a job.
Where was Dominic Doyle on the night? In the area? Out of town? Does he have an alibi? Or is he in fact the trigger man? These are questions we have to have answered.
Lieutenant, Chief Wayland was good enough to messenger us Doyle's file.
You'll find his current address in there.
Well, there's not much I can say.
When you're wrong, you're wrong.
I'm gonna read this file immediately and I'll probably be making contact with Doyle sometime tonight.
Well, that'll be excellent.
Justin, are you coming? Thanks, Lieutenant.
Watch out for this guy.
He looks dangerous.
Afternoon, sir.
You Dominic Doyle? I'm Lieutenant Columbo, Homicide.
- I haven't done one of them recently.
- I'd like to talk to you.
Could I come up? Talk's cheap.
Come on up.
- Nothing for me.
- Suit yourself.
I wanna talk to you about Professor Rusk.
- You wanna talk to me? - Where were you last Thursday night? Billy's bar, on the beach.
- Were you alone? - Unless you consider this a friend.
Is there some reason I'd want to see this professor dead? Well, there are people who are saying that it was a hit.
- A hit? - A hit.
- So when do you make your arrest? - Do you own a gun? You know, I was beginning to like you.
But I'm a three-time loser, and you know it.
See, I can't join the marines and I can't vote and I can't own a gun.
Well, your brother Joe owns one.
It's a.
38 calibre revolver.
He carries it when he works.
Do you know if he owns a.
45 automatic? - Is that what they used? - That's right.
Yeah, it was a head shot from about 60 feet - Joe, he told me that.
Some shot.
The guys that I know, from that distance they probably woulda used maybe six sticks of dynamite, huh? So is there anything else you wanna ask me? Cos if not, I was kinda looking forward to making up some popcorn, catching up on the wrestling on TV.
Do you mind, sir? Exclusive new information on the death of Professor DE Rusk.
This station has obtained a videotape which appears to be the actual murder.
We're going to show you that footage, but we advise it may be upsetting and parents of young children may not want them to watch.
The murder of Professor DE Rusk.
Where did that come from? How the hell did they get that film? The criminology professor's body was discovered shortly thereafter by a group of his own students How the hell did they get it?! - Lieutenant Columbo? - Yes.
And you must be? - Phyllis Diefendorfer.
Nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you.
This videotape of the murder of Professor Rusk, that's a very unusual thing.
If I understand it correctly, you got it from a man named Muldoon? - Right.
The station bought it for $2500.
- Just like that? Well, it wasn't quite that fast.
We wanted to know where he got it, of course.
- Where did he get it? Did you ask him? - Yes.
Last Thursday night he recorded a movie off some obscure channel.
He has a dish antenna in his yard and he gets close to 100 different channels.
- Is that so? - Yes.
Well, anyway, today, when he decided to watch the movie, right there in the middle of it he saw the shooting in the garage.
See, that's where you lose me.
Well, it's really not all that complicated, Lieutenant.
Whoever killed Professor Rusk televised it.
Excuse me? What? Well, somebody had to have been televising the murder.
Broadcasting it.
Sending a signal from a camera to a receiver.
Look, all television signals travel through the air.
Now, this particular signal, purely by chance, was picked up by Mr Muldoon's antenna while he was recording the movie.
So it ended up on his cassette.
Somebody was televising Professor Rusk's murder? There's no question about it.
Look, Lieutenant, I don't have a clue as to how this was done or why, or whether it was done by one person or an entire crew, or where they were broadcasting it to, but one thing I will tell you for sure: Somebody did shoot it - the gun and the moment.
- Excuse me, can I ask you a question? - Yeah, sure.
The camera that took this picture, was that a television camera? Yeah, you bet.
They had about 50 of them at Indy this year.
Well, I watch the race on television.
How come I don't see 'em? Where are they? They're all over the place.
Where's the camera that took this picture? Well, it sits right here on the roll bar behind the driver.
- How come I don't see it? - Well, it's only about that big.
A television camera? That small? - Is that a fact? - That's nothing.
Nowadays, in hospitals, they're so small they can stick 'em Thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
Door's open, Lieutenant.
Hiya, fellas.
I gave your number to a detective - I'm waiting for some information and I told him if he got it before 10:30 he could call me here.
Was that all right? Sure, yeah.
That's fine.
You want something? Brewski? Oh Yeah.
So what's going on, Lieutenant? I spoke to Joe's brother.
I spoke to him last night.
Oh, yeah? So how'd it go? Well, first, I want you to thank your father for me, Justin.
And the dean.
- That was a good, solid lead.
- So what did he say? And I wanna thank you guys.
I know the lead came from you, and credit where credit's due.
What did he say? Could he prove where he was Thursday night? Oh, there's no problem there.
He was out drinking.
Place called Billy's near the beach.
That's his favourite hangout.
The only thing is, on this particular night his only witness was his bottle.
So he really doesn't have an alibi? - Not unless Scotch can talk.
- Did you bring him in? Well, I don't think I'm quite ready to do that yet.
Got a few loose ends.
Say, did you fellas happen to see that videotape on the TV news? Yeah - everybody saw it.
I guess somebody bootlegged a copy of one of those security-camera tapes? Oh, no, it wasn't that.
- It wasn't? - No.
That's what I wanted to tell you, what's bothering me.
That tape we've had for almost an entire week.
No, this tape, the one we saw last night, that came from a whole different angle, a whole different part of the garage, where there is no security camera.
Don't ask me how they did it.
It's probably your call.
- Hello? - Lieutenant there? Yeah, he's here.
Hang on a minute.
- Malloy? - Yeah.
Columbo? - Yeah.
- OK, I got what you want.
- Oh, you got it.
- We got all the details.
Oh, that's terrific.
- Want me to feed 'em to you? - Yeah.
Hold on just a second.
- Lieutenant.
- Thanks.
- OK, shoot.
- OK, it's a 1976 Ford two-door, green.
'76 Ford, two-door, green.
Got it.
- Licence number 2SBI - 2SBI - 653.
Got it.
- OK, that should do it, huh? - All right.
Yeah, that's good.
Thank you, Malloy.
Hm It's the car that he bought the last time that he was paroled.
- Joe's brother? - Yeah, Joe's brother.
Nice to pick that up, know what I mean? - That's one of those loose ends, right? - You got that right.
OK, I gotta run.
Listen, think about that second tape, will you? If you could help me on that.
- That's very, very puzzling.
- Sure.
And Oh, don't forget to thank your father for me, OK? - I won't.
- See you later.
I'll see you in class Thursday night.
I don't understand what this detective is doing, I truly don't.
Why didn't he make an arrest? At least bring the suspect in for questioning.
- Why not order a search? - Why was he even given the case? Every day that goes by without something substantial to report to the media forces attention back onto the university.
We're in the headlines every morning.
The damage this is going to do to next year's alumni fundraising campaign well, it's incalculable.
Darling, isn't there something more you and your friends can do to help? - We're doing what we can.
- Excuse me.
It's for you, Mr Justin.
He said it's very important.
Coop? It's a green sedan, it's outside Billy's bar and we just hit the jackpot.
- They just found the creep's car.
- Call the police.
Hey, you, get outta here! Get around the front! Move it! He just left.
I'm checking the front.
Hey! I think I got it.
- .
45 ACP.
- Get that to ballistics right away.
- You got him? - Lieutenant, we got him out front.
Take him downtown and hold him for questioning.
Mr Rowe? We found a gun, sir.
It's a.
We're taking it to ballistics immediately.
Coop! Hey, Coop! - It's just us, Joe.
- Hey, Joe, cops let you see your brother? Not yet.
Maybe tomorrow.
- Hang in there.
- Good luck, buddy.
Thanks, guys.
What the hell's going on? Hey, whaddaya say, fellas? Do me a favour, will you? Could you park in exactly the same spot you did last Thursday? You remember that? I think it was that one there, the middle one.
- What's happening, Lieutenant? - Oh, we're gonna have a terrific class.
Just terrific.
It's really gonna be exciting.
What we're gonna do tonight is recreate the murder of Professor Rusk.
- It's gonna be sort of like a class project.
- Yeah? Who are these guys? Oh, they're from the department.
They're gonna help me set it up.
Could you all take exactly the same seats as you did last week, please? Thank you.
Is it true you're planning to recreate the murder? Well, in a manner of speaking.
This isn't really a whodunit, it's more of a how-he-did-it.
There's talk that you arrested a suspect.
Is that a fact? Well, we did bring someone in for questioning, that's true.
- Anybody know who? - I heard it was Joe Doyle's brother.
You remember what I said last week? A detective needs luck.
Well, this case is a classic example.
I was in the dark, and suddenly Lady Luck showed up.
Because out of the blue, that 15-second videotape showed up on the TV news.
And for me, that turned the whole case around.
Was it the tape that led you to the murderer? Oh, absolutely.
Once I saw that, and once I began to understand how it was possible, then the whole thing fell into place.
How did the tape fit in, Lieutenant? That's what we're going to demonstrate right now.
Now, what you're seeing is a live picture from a camera in the garage downstairs.
From a closed-circuit camera? Like the security cameras? No, as a matter of fact what you're seeing here is the same thing as a television broadcast.
You have a television camera downstairs? That is correct.
And this is just the way things were last Thursday night when Professor Rusk left the lecture hall and walked in the garage toward his car at 8:16pm.
Now I'm sure you think this all looks very hi-tech, but believe me, all these items are very common, ordinary items that some of you probably own and you don't even know it.
Sachs? Can you read me? All set, Lieutenant.
Sachs, are you satisfied with the arrangements? Yeah, I am, Lieutenant.
Sachs, can you show the class the object in question? Now, class, pay attention to the gun.
Sachs, whenever you're ready.
There he is.
This is a miniature television set.
Isn't that something? It's a two-inch screen.
You can hold it right in the palm of your hand.
And this image, the picture that you're seeing there, that's the same picture that the killer saw.
A picture just like that.
Where's the camera? You said there was a television camera down here.
That's true, Todd, I did say that, and I'm gonna get to that.
Oh, say, fellas, do you lock your car when you park it down here? - Lock it? - Yeah, lock it.
- In this day and age? Of course we do.
- Yeah, that's what I would think.
But last Thursday when you pulled out to call 911, I don't remember you unlocking your car.
It makes a noise, doesn't it? Don't you have one of those gizmos that opens the locks by remote control and makes a loud noise? Jus, do you think you could do that? Just click "unlock"? Cos I wanna try and remember if I heard that sound last Thursday.
It will work from that distance, won't it? Sure.
Oh! Jesus! Where did that shot come from? That's a good question.
It was a very powerful shot.
Oh, and Todd, I haven't forgotten your question about the camera.
Here it is.
That tiny thing right there.
That's a genuine television camera.
It's just like the kind they use in the Indianapolis Raceway, where they got 'em stuck all over the racing cars.
And this little gizmo here like the one I had upstairs, which pulled the trigger, is nothing more than a car-door locking device.
That's all it is.
It pushes the locks up and it pulls them down.
And finally, this whole thing, this is a very, very clever way that the whole package was brought in here last Thursday night, and away it went out.
And finally this, just like the cartridge last week, this one will eventually fall out the bottom onto the street.
And you can see it even has these funny little scratch marks on the side.
Same as the one that we found on the street last Thursday.
This is amazing.
Are you saying Are you saying that Dominic Doyle, Lieutenant, did all of this right underneath our noses? In our own truck? Oh, no, not Dominic Doyle.
I don't really think this sort of thing is Dominic's style.
What do you think, Coop? But didn't you arrest him for the murder of Professor Rusk? Dominic, arrested? No, we took him down for questioning.
We kept him while we were waiting for the ballistic report on that gun we found in the car.
Mike? Do we have a copy of that report down here yet? And where's the green car from Billy's bar? - I'll check, Lieutenant.
- But arrest him? - Bring it in, Malloy.
- No, there was no cause for that.
Lieutenant? You were waiting for a ballistics report, right? Yeah.
What's the story? Well, the gun found in this car is registered to Joe Doyle, brother of the suspect, Dominic Doyle.
It's a.
45 auto, has ejector marks on the cartridge that check out, so it is definitely the murder weapon.
That's it, right? I mean, what else do you need? You've got the murder weapon and you found it in Dominic Doyle's car.
Well, you're half right, Justin.
It is the murder weapon.
But it is not Dominic Doyle's car.
It's my wife's.
And this is my wife's niece, Annette.
She's 14.
That's our dog, and that was taken in Griffith Park.
The description of the car, the license number and the name of the bar nobody had that information except you two.
And after I gave it to you nobody could've planted that gun but you two.
Book 'em.
Suspicion of murder.
Hands behind your back.
One question, fellas.
Why did you do it? Go ahead, tell him.
We did it, Lieutenant because we knew how to do it.
- And we came within an inch.
- Come on! And you got lucky.
You caught a fluke.
But don't count us out, Lieutenant, cos my father doesn't like to see me fail.
Come on, let's go.