Columbo (1971) s10e07 Episode Script

It's All in the Game

- Beautiful.
- All right? - Mm-hm.
- Good.
She's glorious tonight.
She's glowing.
- She's in love.
- I heard he asked her to marry him.
Oh, it's true.
She's sky high.
Is Nick coming? You look sensational.
You should have seen me getting into this dress.
A team of three, plus a crowbar.
Do me a favour.
Watch for Mr Franco's car.
- As soon as it arrives, come and get me.
- OK.
Lauren, great party.
Miss Staten.
He's here.
He showed up.
His car just pulled into the driveway.
Tonight could be the night.
Unless he decides to stay with me, which I doubt.
- Are you nervous? - I'm high.
And you? I'm ready.
He's at the front door now.
John, don't open that for a minute, will you? Ciao.
- Ask who it is.
- Who is it? - Mr Franco.
- Ask him if he's been invited.
- Have you been invited, sir? - Yes, I've been invited.
- Tell him he's not on the list.
- Your name is not on the invitation list.
Listen, this would be a lot easier if you'd open the door.
May I help you, sir? If you put your mind to it, you could.
Come here.
Excuse me, John.
- What? - I don't understand.
- Why don't I get tired of you? - I don't know.
It doesn't make sense.
You're not even Italian.
What is it? I can't explain it.
I'm crazy about you.
What am I going to do? Live with it, I suppose.
- Why aren't we married? - Sit up.
Don't say that unless you mean it.
I mean it.
You talk about marriage.
You're running out of my party in ten minutes.
I'm not running out on you.
I already ran out on a poker game.
Are you winning or losing? I'm losing, cookie.
I'm stuck for 12,000.
Otherwise, I'd stay.
- You know I'd rather be here.
- Shh.
I know that.
I just wanna hear you say it.
Are you free tomorrow afternoon? Yes.
May I take you for a drive? That would be lovely.
Would it interfere with your listening if I nibble on your ear? Well, let me take care of a few things first and then I'll come back and let you nibble.
- It's me.
- What's happening? He's leaving now.
He lied.
He said he was going back to his poker game.
I'm sure he'll call you.
Now, get back to me as soon as you can.
I will.
Be careful.
- He's capable of anything.
- I know.
- Don't forget your gloves.
- I won't.
- Are you leaving now? - No, not immediately.
Oh, Nick.
You can go if you want to.
I've got all these people to take care of.
I don't want to leave you.
I want to be with you some more.
- I don't want to leave you.
- Shh.
Honestly, I understand.
Go back to your game.
Tomorrow afternoon.
We'll head north and find an open field.
What about yourself pleases you the most? Hm? What's your best feature? What do you think? Your teeth.
You think my teeth are my best feature? No, you do.
Your legs? You like your legs the best.
I don't like my legs.
Why do you make me sound so vain? Do you know what I'm gonna teach you to do? Play.
Such a serious young lady.
Probably comes from growing up in Italy.
What about my neck? I love you.
I want to spend my life with you.
You frighten me.
Do what I tell you.
Believe what I say.
Know that I love you.
I hate looking at that.
Don't make me do it again.
Come here.
Just stay close.
I'll take care of you.
Yes? Everything's fine.
Right now we're at a bar in the Valley.
He's had a few drinks.
He's in the rest room.
I can't tell you what time we'll get to the apartment, but I'll try and be fast.
- If there's a delay, just wait.
- Did he threaten you? I'm all right.
He wants to get me in bed.
Whatever you do, be careful.
I will.
And don't forget, take care of the light switch.
I won't forget my gloves.
Are you sure you wanna do this? Are you sure? Yes.
So am I.
He's outside the booth now.
He wants to nibble on my ear.
He's holding up a sign now.
"I'm crazy about you.
" "I can't help myself.
What am I going to do?" How I hate him.
The stairs.
- Can you get the light on the table? - All right.
Could you get it? In a minute.
- Ah, I got my keys.
- Good.
Lisa? No.
It's the other woman.
Here's the gun.
The tools are in the bag.
Don't forget the switch for the living room lights.
Take his car from the garage.
Wait for my call before you bring it back.
Here's the money for the soup cans.
You know what to do.
Don't worry about his jewellery from the bedroom.
I've got that.
All right.
Be brave.
- Feeling better? - Yeah.
I took an aspirin.
A few minutes' rest can do wonders.
Headache gone? All gone.
Harry! Harry, hurry up.
It's cold out here.
- It was wonderful.
- Thanks.
You're welcome to the room, the piano, the liquor, but not me.
I've had it.
Good night.
Yes? Mr Ruddick, it's Lauren Staten.
I'm sorry to disturb you at this hour, but I forgot my key again.
What do you want? It's Miss Staten, Mr Ruddick.
I want to get into Nick's apartment.
I forgot my key.
Oh, Miss Staten.
Oh, all right.
- Mr Ruddick? - Come in.
I'll be with you in a minute.
- Turning cold on us.
Who'd expect it? - I'm so sorry I woke you.
I'm used to you.
What is it tonight? - He's playing dice or gin or what? - Poker.
I hope he wins.
At least that way you won't mind waiting.
When you wait for him do you cook something for him? You know, gambling is work.
I get hungry when I play bingo.
It could be the tension.
No, I don't cook for him, but I run his bath, pay his bills, have wine ready and fruit and cheese.
That's what he likes.
He adores Oh, my God.
Oh, Nick Oh, God! Nick! Turning cold, isn't it? You're saying he wasn't always here? I told you.
He gambled here, he gambled in Europe.
He went back and forth.
Killed by a single shot in the chest.
No powder burns, so he was not shot at close range.
We do have an exit wound in the back.
His skin is still warm to the touch.
- When was the shot? - Call it two o'clock.
That's consistent with the body temperature.
Let me see.
It's now 2:30.
Why not? Time of death, 2am.
- Sergeant? - Lieutenant.
- What have you got? - Somebody was robbing the place.
He came home, surprised them.
They shot him.
The lights were off.
House and car keys near the body.
- He must have just come in.
- Right.
Jewellery missing.
They never got his money clip.
- Is there any coffee? - I'll get you some.
His money clip's got five grand in it.
- I could use that coffee now.
- Uh, Eddie? - Lieutenant would like some coffee.
- Coffee flying in.
Here's the 5,000.
They took other money.
I'll show you that evidence.
But they never took I'm just, uh just getting this for the shells.
They never got the money clip in his pocket.
They must have really panicked when he came in.
They just shot him and ran.
He kept cash in the apartment.
Well, come on in the kitchen.
I'll show you.
This is where they broke in.
He'd been robbed once before.
Could've been the same thieves.
- They dumped money all over.
- Who found the body? The apartment manager and Miss Lauren Staten.
As they approached the apartment, they heard the shot.
- Are you looking for something? - Orange juice.
Maybe in the kitchen.
- Uh, this lady.
What was she doing here? - She was having an affair with the victim.
They were supposed to meet at two.
She got here first.
She has a key but forgot it so she went to the manager.
While she was there, he comes home and bang, that was it.
Bang, bang.
Uh The people in the adjoining apartments heard a shot, but only one saw anything - some guy running.
It's very vague.
Uh Eddie.
Where's Eddie? - Where's my coffee? - Eddie! Coming in on a dead run, sir.
Here you are, sir.
Sorry about the delay.
Uh, manager just told us that he last saw the victim alive when he left his apartment at two this afternoon.
He never came back until two tonight when he got shot.
- Sugar? - Lieutenant? I'm waiting for you.
Coming in on a dead run.
It looks like he hid his cash in these.
Whoever robbed him was not fooled.
- Right.
- They left in a hurry.
They left these $100 bills and this is exactly the way we found them.
No juice? Whatever's in there, sir.
The victim had a Rolex on.
They didn't take it.
This is an empty Piaget case, so they must have taken this.
When the Are those pyjamas? Oh.
My goodness.
- You're right.
- Come on into the bedroom.
I'll show you where they emptied the contents of a case of jewellery.
Nothing but cheap stuff.
They turned the room upside down so I assume they took anything of value.
You can look at his personal effects.
Has that box with the jewellery been fingerprinted? I got it.
It's been printed and tagged.
- Eddie? Where's Eddie? - More coffee, sir? Flying in.
The victim was last seen leaving the apartment at two this afternoon? - That's what the manager said.
- And he didn't get back until two tonight? - That's what he said.
- Where's the manager? Across the hall.
It turned cold tonight.
What time? - I noticed it around ten o'clock.
- That's the end of sleep for me, I can What time did Mr Franco leave the apartment today? - What time did Mr Franco leave? - Two o'clock.
I already told the - How do you know? - I was standing out front.
- How'd you know the time? - I'd just finished lunch.
Was there anybody else in the apartment? - When? - Any time.
- The maid.
- What time did she leave? - One.
- How do you know? She works in the morning.
When else is she gonna leave? - Did he come home for supper? - No.
- How do you know? - His car is never there.
- He never comes home for supper? - Don't come home to eat.
He's a bachelor.
Leaves in the afternoon, gambles half the night away, comes home to sleep.
Who's that? The lady who came to see the deceased.
She's the one who was having the liaison.
She's a knockout.
Excuse me, ma'am.
My name is Lieutenant Columbo.
Has someone spoken with you? There was a detective here, but he got called away.
Well, let's see if I can get you out of here.
What have you told the other detective? Just that I made an arrangement to meet Nick here at two o'clock and that I forgot my key.
Mr Ruddick let me in, and we were both in the corridor when we heard the shots.
Then we ran, and the door We opened the door and it was Nick on the floor.
I see.
Uh, ma'am, would you prefer not having your name released to the press? I haven't thought of that.
Look, it wasn't a secret.
There was nothing to hide.
My friends all knew about it.
I had a party at my home this evening.
Nick was there.
Is that when you made plans to meet here at two o'clock? Yes.
Yeah, he had a poker game.
He couldn't stay.
Um, that's how he made his living.
He He didn't wanna go but he had to.
Take some of this, ma'am.
It'll warm you up.
Thank you.
Uh if necessary, is there a telephone number where we can reach you? My secretary.
Area code 213.
They went through his jewellery box.
If I showed it to you, could you tell what was missing? I think so.
I'm very familiar Listen, why don't we do that some other time? Let's get you outta here.
You've been through enough.
That's very nice of you.
I appreciate that.
Uh You haven't touched the coffee, ma'am.
Did you want it? Oh, I didn't realise.
Thank you.
Uh we can have one of our men drive you home.
It's up to you.
Thank you.
I can manage.
On my end, everything went fine.
Just perfect.
- And the police? What about them? - No problem.
Everything went fine.
One detective, who was very considerate, asked for a telephone number.
Wait a minute.
That's him.
It's the detective.
He's pouring water for a dog.
- A basset.
- What do you think he wants? It's probably about the jewellery.
I'm sure it's nothing to be concerned about.
On the radio, they said it was a robbery.
I watched the 7 am news.
I want to know what the detective says.
Will you call me later? Um Go back to your place.
I'll call from a payphone.
Good morning.
Forgive the way I look.
I took a sedative and I just got up.
- You look just fine to me.
- You're an easy audience.
Well, that's not the way I see it, ma'am.
You were very kind to me last night.
Well, I understand what you're going through, ma'am.
It's been a nightmare.
But the world doesn't get me that easily.
I'll make the funeral arrangements, but I'm also gonna buy a new pair of shoes and I'm gonna have my hair done and by the end of the day I'm gonna be spectacular.
Sounds good to me, ma'am.
May I ask you a few questions? - Do you mind if we go out on the patio? - No, not at all.
Uh, ma'am, our procedure in matters like this is to, uh, verify Ma'am, would you mind if I sat in the shade? - No, of course not.
- Some people can take the sun.
Not me.
I sweat and it comes right out through my shirt.
But mostly my feet.
I guess that's why I have such sore feet.
Perspiration softens them up.
It's a little tough on the nose.
Now, my wife, she likes the heat.
She's always cold.
It takes that woman 40 minutes to get in the pool.
I'm exhausted from swimming and she's still she hasn't got her knees wet yet.
I guess it's a question of natures.
I have a warm nature and she has a cold nature.
Or she has a circulation problem.
Right, ma'am, she probably does.
Can that be cured? - There's not much they can do about it.
- You've seen the best men in the field? As a matter of fact, I have.
How did you know I had the problem? I didn't, ma'am.
It was just that last night I noticed you didn't drink your coffee.
You just used the cup to keep your hands warm and it reminded me of my wife.
All right.
Enough chitchat.
We gotta get down to business.
Uh - Oh, ma'am.
Does this bother you? - Not at all.
I like it.
That's good.
Uh, this report, ma'am, this is for the captain, so it's gotta be right.
- He's one tough guy.
- I'm sure he is.
We found an empty Piaget case, ma'am.
- Did Mr Franco own a Piaget watch? - Yes, he did.
- Expensive? - Very.
Besides his Rolex, can you think of anything else of value? I don't know of anything else that was worth anything.
- You're sure of that, ma'am? - Nothing comes to mind.
All right.
- That does it.
- Finished? Yeah.
That's it.
I can't think of anything else.
Now, thank you for the time, ma'am.
Uh, ma'am, excuse me.
Do you have anything for a headache? - I'm sure we do.
- Do you have aspirin? Um, I don't know.
I prefer aspirin.
Those other brands don't seem to work for me.
I'm not sure exactly what we have, but we must have something in the house.
Well, if you're not sure, don't bother.
I can pick something up at the drugstore.
I'll see you out.
I have to tell you, ma'am, that you have Oh, it's a beautiful house.
And your foyer, well, it's the kind of thing that I've only seen in the movies.
It's really something.
Nice sense of humour, ma'am.
I like the cigar.
If it'll make you feel any better, all your guests thought it was a lovely party.
- You spoke to my guests? - We have to verify everyone's story.
We got their names from your secretary.
In fact, one lady said, talking about the food and the music and the guests, except for your headache, it was a perfect evening.
That's nice to hear.
Good day, ma'am.
Well, he talked about his wife's circulation more than anything else.
And all he wanted was a description of the jewellery? - That's all he wanted.
- So, how long did he stay? - Mm about 15 minutes.
- So you think we're all right? As far as the case goes, we're rock solid.
I'm sure he has no suspicions.
It's just that there's something about him.
I can't put my finger on it.
I'm not always sure what he's thinking.
- Does he want to see you again? - He didn't say.
I think he kind of likes me.
You startled me.
Uh, h-how did you know I was here? Well, I called your secretary, ma'am.
She told me.
- Oh, uh, she did.
I see.
- I hope you don't mind.
- Why do you think I'd mind? - I thought you sounded irritated.
No, no.
I don't mind talking to you.
I do mind being taken by surprise, yes.
That annoys me.
You should ask first.
Now, how can I help you? Ah, there, you see, I do like that about you.
- You're level-headed.
- I'm sorry.
I don't follow you.
A lot of people, when I show up unexpectedly, right away go all excited.
"Oh, boy! Good news.
You caught the killer.
The case is solved.
" You understand.
It's not so easy.
I'm not naive, Lieutenant.
I do appreciate how difficult your job is.
That's what I mean.
I wish there were more people like you.
I wouldn't feel such pressure.
I wouldn't feel under such stress.
I have to buy some shoes.
Do you mind if we walk and talk? No, not at all.
- What is it that you want? - Well, I'm making up my report and there's one point in your story I'd like to clear up.
You said that Mr Franco told you that he had to leave your party to go play poker.
- Right? - Right.
Now, we checked with the men that he usually plays poker with and they play every Monday and Friday night, so there was no game last night.
So I thought, well, maybe you were confused about what he said, you know, the shock and all, and maybe you wanted to change your story on that point.
Maybe it was some other kind of game? W uh, you know, maybe it was.
Yes, maybe he said he was gonna play gin.
I see.
Well, there was a gin game last night among his friends, but he wasn't there.
Well, I'm not sure what he said.
I see.
But you were disappointed when he told you he had to leave the party? Yes, I was very disappointed.
I wanted him there very much.
You wanted him there very much and he explained why he had to leave but you're not sure what he said? You can see, ma'am, we're It's just not gonna look too good on the report.
- You know what else doesn't look good? - What? Your tie.
It doesn't look good.
What's the matter with it? Well, it's green.
- Goes with brown.
- I'm gonna buy you a new tie.
This tie is for older men and you're not old.
Why do you wanna appear old? What we should do is buy you a whole suit, but I don't know you well enough for that.
Maybe some day.
Already you look better.
Now, let's find you a proper tie.
Uh, you know, ma'am, maybe he did say poker.
Well, yes, maybe he did.
I think this one has some life.
They're kinda tough down at headquarters about accepting bribes.
Well, I understand, but this is strictly entre nous.
So, uh, what I'll do, ma'am, is I'm gonna put down poker.
I'm taking this tie.
Put down whatever you think best.
- Anything else? - Uh, no, not at all.
Um - Could I have my old tie back? - I'm sorry.
So, I wanna thank you for the gift and I wanna thank you for your help.
Don't mention it.
I enjoyed doing it.
Uh I would never do that to you.
- What? - I would never lie to you.
If I wasn't going to play poker, I would tell you the truth.
- I think we have to meet.
- Are you sure we should do that? It's important now.
- Anything happen? - Nothing I can't manage.
- What time? - Half-hour.
I love you.
Love you.
- Are we all right? - Yes, we're alone.
- If someone comes - I'll close this door.
I wanna be absolutely certain that there's no way to connect you to Nick.
How many times do we have to go through this? - You've never been to his apartment? - Never.
- Ever been on this side of the mountain? - No.
He was very careful with me.
He was probably afraid you'd find out.
- Ever run into anybody who knew him? - No.
No bartender or waiter who could remember seeing you together? No one knows me in Los Angeles.
I've only been here for ten days.
We never went to the same place twice.
I have no friends here.
I speak to no one.
I think you should go back to Rome.
- Is that why we're meeting? - I really think you should.
Well, why? What's happened? The detective - his name's Columbo - he's asking more questions than he should.
Like what? Well, he suspects Nick lied to me last night when he said he was leaving the party to play poker.
Well, he was lying.
We know that.
But so does Mr Columbo.
- So what if he knows? - He said it in such a strange way.
He said, um, "I would never do that to you.
I would never lie to you.
" "If I wasn't gonna play poker, I'd tell you the truth.
" That sounds like he likes you.
I mean, isn't that what you thought? Well, I did buy him a tie.
- You didn't! - I did.
- Did he like it? - He liked that I bought it.
Men like that.
I did it on impulse.
I feel as a precaution, I should be very sweet to him.
If a beautiful woman plays her cards right, she'll usually get what she wants.
I don't wanna leave you.
Not yet.
Can't we wait on Rome? It's just that I'm not sure what he's thinking.
All right.
We'll wait.
- Are you through with this pile? - What pile? This pile, with the insurance policy, the will, bank statement.
No big clue there, huh? No.
- What about the bills? - What bills? The bills.
The laundry bill.
The drugstore bill.
The auto repair bill.
The golf club bill.
The rent bill.
The electricity bill.
Gentleman's clothing store bill.
Credit card bill.
- What are you looking for? - Uh, jam.
I'll be in the living room when you're ready.
- Any other bills? - Credit card bill.
- You said that.
- Oh, uh cheese shop bill.
- And finally, the wine shop bill.
- That's all the bills? That's all the bills.
- Where's the telephone bill? - Uh, I don't know.
Well, what's the telephone number here? Call the telephone company.
It's dead.
- It's dead? - Yeah.
The guy's dead.
Super doesn't wanna pay the bill, so he shuts off the phone.
That's what I would do.
You got raisins on that.
You're gonna put jam on? - You've never had it that way? - No, and if there's a God, I never will.
- The phone was disconnected yesterday.
- We already know that.
He did it.
However, the number was disconnected ten days ago.
You mean to tell me that 555 But the man had to have a phone.
- You did say Nicolas Franco? - Yes, Nicolas Franco.
- We have no record.
- There has to be a record.
Well, we have a Nicolas Franco at PO box 939, Beverly Hills.
PO box.
When was that account started? - Ten days ago.
- Did he have a previous number? Area code 2135555234.
Do you have a record of the individual telephone numbers that were called during this ten days? - They're all the same number.
- Wonderful.
How many? - Mm 12.
- 12.
What's the number? Area code 8185557247.
May I have the name and address of the person attached to that number? Yes, you may.
- Where'd you get the tie? - It was a gift.
- Why are you wearing it? - I've got my reasons.
- Who gave it to you? - A beautiful woman.
She's making a play for me.
Wonderful, wonderful.
But I'm supposed to be investigating her.
Maybe she broke the law.
So, what's the problem? Why can't you enjoy yourself while you're investigating? - You think that's the right thing to do? - Listen, she knows what she's doing.
She has her motives.
You know, you're not exactly Robert Redford.
I'm not even sure she did anything.
But why would she be making a play for me? Well we shall see what we shall see.
Wash and comb-out, Miss Staten.
I heard about last night.
I know how you must feel.
You have all my sympathies.
That's sweet of you, Maggie, but I'm not gonna live in the past.
I refuse.
Lieutenant! What brings you here? Good news? Case solved? You caught the killers? What? - You're pulling my leg.
- I missed you.
It's been three and a half hours.
I can't stand the separation.
I called you at the funeral home.
You just left.
They told me you were here.
Uh I got something for you.
You remembered the photograph.
You're something.
But I don't smoke them.
Listen, I'm still wrestling with this report.
- You gotta help me.
- OK.
I spoke to the manager and he tells me Mr Franco was an obsessively neat man.
- True? - Yes.
He also tells me that the maid is a conscientious worker.
Is that accurate? Well, his apartment was always very clean and orderly.
Well, now, here's the problem.
I looked at Mr Franco's refrigerator.
The small one in the bar.
It was spotless.
The maid said she cleaned it that morning.
I believe her.
It was gleaming white.
The only problem was the drip pan was one third full of water.
So naturally you ask yourself, "Why didn't she clean the drip pan?" Unless Wait a minute.
Wait a minute.
Unless some time after she cleaned it, for some reason the electricity went off and the ice melted.
That would account for the water.
What do you think? I haven't the foggiest idea.
Now, the electricity worked fine when you arrived with the apartment manager at two o'clock.
You like it, don't you? Oh, the tie? It's a little strange, but I wanted to please you.
So, that means that the electricity went off some time between the time she cleaned it that day and two o'clock at night.
Do you mind if I adjust this just a tiny bit? Not at all.
Go ahead.
But who turned off the electricity? Did they want the fridge off? The TV off? The lights not to work? What do you think? You want me to be honest? I'm more interested in that hat.
As a cop my instincts would lean toward having the lights off, but who's to say? There's so many appliances.
Wait a minute.
What am I talking about? According to the apartment manager, there was no one in the apartment till Mr Franco came home at two o'clock at night.
- No one was there? - Well, that's what he said.
Well, if no one was there, then no one could have - The manager could have been wrong.
- Right.
Or right.
I got a feeling we're going in circles here.
You know, why don't you just say that the maid overlooked it? It could happen, you know? Right.
It could.
I'm gonna just say she missed it.
That's what I'm gonna tell the boss.
She just missed it.
Uh, Miss Staten? - Miss Staten? - Over here.
- What do you think? Do you like it? - Oh, that's a knockout.
What is that there? Is that a flower in the corner? - I can't quite see it.
- No, I think it's some kind of a bird.
Hold this.
Would you be very angry if I did that again? Do it again and I'll let you know.
Do you ever drink in the afternoon? No, but I do in the evening.
Ticket, please, ma'am.
Thank you.
Just one more thing.
- What is it, Lieutenant? - It's tiny but I have to ask these things.
- What's your first name? - Lieutenant.
You don't have to explain.
I understand.
It's your job.
- How can I help? - Can you pull up? About last night, when you went to Nick's apartment.
And believe me, this is not important.
I'm merely trying to pin down how you knew that Nick wasn't home.
I'm sorry.
I didn't hear.
Last night, how you knew that Nick wasn't in his apartment.
I assume that before you called the apartment manager, you buzzed Nick's apartment and there was no answer.
- Is that how you knew? - No.
No? No.
I didn't buzz Nick's apartment.
You didn't? Well, how did you know he wasn't there? Well, his car wasn't in the garage.
Oh, but it's such a big garage, how could you be sure? No, but I parked in his space.
It was empty.
Oh, you parked in his space.
Oh, that's how you knew.
But then when Nick came home he would've seen your car.
- Yeah, I guess he would, yes.
- Well, that's funny, then.
What? If he thought you were in the apartment, why would he let himself in with his keys? Well, I would think, Lieutenant, that he rang the bell.
Because I was with the manager, no one answered, and so he let himself in with his key.
Oh, right.
You were with the manager.
So he rang and rang and then The trouble with that is that ringing would have warned the thieves and they would've run out.
Well, maybe it did, but they didn't have enough time to get all the way out.
Oh, OK, I see what you're saying.
In other words, they started to run but he came in too fast.
Uh, no, no good.
You see, the problem with that is the direction of the bullet that shot him came from his left.
From someone standing in the hallway that led to the bedroom.
If the thieves were running out and they shot him, the bullet would have come from the direction of the sliding glass doors.
Oh, I tell you, I don't know.
This case, it's It has me stumped.
I I got a million questions Why don't you just give it a rest? Stop worrying it.
- See you tonight.
- Right.
Eight o'clock? I just left him.
We kissed.
- No.
- Yes.
I'll do anything.
Charm him, seduce him.
I'll even run off for a weekend in Mexico with him.
- Did he ask you? - Not yet.
- Aren't you worried? - No.
It's such a strange situation.
He's fun to be with.
I like him.
I really like him.
And you know what? He likes me.
And if I play my cards right, which I will, there'll come a time when he'll be more interested in me than his investigation.
I just want this whole thing to be over soon.
Do you think it will be? I do, yes.
I do.
In a few more days, I'm sure he'll drop it.
- Lieutenant Columbo to see Miss Staten.
- Please, come in.
- I'll let Miss Staten know you're here.
- Thank you very much.
Nick did have charm.
I remember us girls playing cards with him - not for money, for fun.
He kept us laughing all night.
- He was so easy and likeable.
- Show him in.
I'll be there.
We had such a good time.
He was letting us win.
We didn't know it, but he was You've come to tell me you can't make it tonight.
Oh, no.
You've come to tell me there's one more thing.
That's a yes.
What is it? - I brought you something.
- A violin? Well, you'll see.
Why don't you close those blinds? No, I changed my mind.
I'm gonna do it this way.
I'm gonna leave, and if you have any questions when you open this, you call me at headquarters.
All right.
Are we still on for tonight? Oh Yeah.
Lieutenant! They're beautiful! - To you.
- To you.
What about us? What about us? Well well, we both have a problem.
I mean, your problem is your report.
You want it to be good and you don't wanna be scolded by your captain.
My problem is you.
I'm attracted to you.
Nice head of hair.
Now, I promise I'll help you with your problem if you'll help me with mine.
And to show you what a good sport I am, we'll work on your problem first.
It's not easy, but I'll accept your terms.
There's just one thing I wanna do before we start.
I had to do that.
You know what they say.
Cold hands, warm heart.
- Where are you going? - Uh, we have work to do.
I'm trying to control myself.
Now, that's better.
How can I help you? Well, if some thieves were robbing an apartment, why would they take time off from their work to turn on the heat? - I don't know.
Why would they? - They wouldn't.
- So what's the point? - If they didn't, who did? Who did what? Who turned on the heat? - Are we talking about Nick's apartment? - Yes.
So, what's the question? Who turned on the heat? - Beats me.
- Ah, you fooled me.
I thought you were gonna ask me how did I know that the heat was turned on? You want me to ask you that? How did you know the heat was turned on? When Nick left the apartment in the afternoon, it was 98 degrees outside, so the heat had to be turned off.
But when Nick came home at two o'clock in the morning, it was 55 degrees outside.
But the thermostat in the apartment read 72 degrees.
So someone had to have been in the apartment and turned the heat on.
Here's my suggestion.
You could find all the people in Los Angeles who had a circulation problem and were susceptible to the cold and round them up for questioning.
Well, for now I just wanna concentrate on all those people who have a circulation problem plus a key to the apartment.
Well, if that's what you wanna do, that's what you should do.
- Don't do that.
- You like that.
Yeah, a little.
Bartender, two more.
Boy, you smell like a French whore.
This is tough.
This is a tough case.
We had a wonderful time together.
But But what? While I was in the apartment, waiting for you and Nick, I was there for some time.
I was tense, my mind racing.
I must have felt cold and without realising it, by rote, I turned up the heat.
- What difference does it make? - He knows about it.
He's figured out there was someone in the apartment who moved the switch from cool to hot.
He suspects I was in Nick's apartment.
Are you there? Yes.
But that's only in his mind.
No one else thinks that.
It can't lead anywhere.
It can't be proven.
It's just a supposition.
- What else did he say? - Nothing.
The rest of the time we just laughed, had fun.
We talked about his dog.
And then we parted.
When you first started with him, it was to make things easier.
But it's not working.
I mean, he keeps digging.
It's getting too complicated.
- Maybe you should just put an end to it.
- He's just picking at the edges.
Lisa, he can never find out what really happened.
He doesn't even know you exist.
He doesn't even know I exist.
You don't exist and I was in the corridor with the manager.
But Lisa, you have to get on a plane.
I'll make a reservation for Saturday.
It's tough.
Really tough.
- This is a tough case.
- You said that an hour ago.
You can't have two dames making a play for you, so the perfume must be from the one who gave you the tie.
- Barney, shut up.
- See how much I learn from you? Can I have a glass of water, please? Commissioner, quiet.
We're having a conversation here.
Was she making a play for you because she did it? Barney, I'm trying to think.
Let her go, Lieutenant.
She doesn't smell dangerous.
If they did it, you catch 'em.
If an angel did it, you get the cuffs for the hands and a rope for the wings.
- Do you have a solid case against her? - No.
All I got is birdseed.
- I'm gonna need a confession.
- Let me tell you something important.
This guy Franco was a scumbucket.
He could charm the tail off a brass monkey, make you laugh, show you a good time.
And at the end of the evening Now, I saw this with my own eyes.
I was bartendering at Mirrow's, a party of ten, and he's the life of the party.
And Mel Sarnov has his wallet on the bar, and he turns to talk to the guy on his right and Nick removes half the money.
A real scumbucket.
I know all the bartenders.
We talk.
And they say the same thing.
He was a scumbucket.
Used women.
Made them all feel like queens, young and old.
The older ones for their money, the young ones for their body.
Scumbucket! - See? He knows what's going on.
- You know what's crazy about this thing? The more time I spend with her, the more I think she's got good stuff in her.
On the other hand, the more time I spend with her, the more I think she did it.
Here's to her.
Why did she wait so long? I'm gonna get some air.
In order to solve this case, would you tell her you'd marry her? Are you on drugs? Would you sleep with her? - How much is the gum? - Did you kiss her? I can't believe gum costs this much.
You know, she probably really likes you.
She doesn't have to pretend.
You're easy to like, so it's easy for her to use her femininity for the one thing that matters - she has to save herself.
Since when did you become a psychologist? It goes with owning a restaurant.
And you probably like her.
You don't have to pretend.
She's easy to like, and it's easy for you to play the game for the one thing that really matters - you have to break this case.
This used to be my favourite restaurant.
Here's why you're troubled.
You like her.
The more you show it, the more she thinks you're gonna give her a break, and you're not.
You're leading her down the garden path and you don't like it.
- How many gums did you take? - Two.
- It's going on the tab.
- Don't worry about the tab.
George here has got money.
Shut up.
- You clean this? - Sí.
- How? - How? Sí.
How you clean? - I don't understand.
- Show me how you clean.
- With this sponge and this soap.
- You clean inside first? Outside first? Inside first.
- Show me.
- OK.
Um I take this out and I clean.
You start at the top and go down, or from the bottom go up? I start at the top.
Always at the top.
- You clean over here? - No, I don't clean the ice.
You put the food back and then you clean the outside.
- Sí.
- Show me.
Um - I wipe here.
- Sí.
- Yeah.
- You clean over here? Sí.
How? OK.
I clean.
- ¿Sí? - Sí.
And then I put this back.
You put the plug in this socket or this socket? This socket.
I always put in this socket.
- But it just came out of this socket.
- Sí.
- Who put it in this socket? - Maybe my sister.
- Why your sister? - When I sick, my sister come.
Who was here the day Mr Franco was killed? My sister.
That circuit breaker I saw, it's down here, yes? Sí.
Is the refrigerator on or off? - On.
- Is the refrigerator on or off? On.
- On or off? - On.
Now put the plug in the other socket.
Plug in the other socket.
- Is the fridge on or off? - On.
Now, on or off? Off.
- Now, on or off? - On.
- On or off? - Off.
- On or off? - On.
- On or off? - Off.
Are you Mr Ruddick? Yes.
I have a package here for you.
It's for a Lieutenant Columbo.
You're supposed to give it to him when you see him.
You try this.
It's to die.
I know you're gonna like it.
Thank you.
Mm! Sí, sí, it's very good.
In El Salvador we put jam.
You see, in El Salvador you got brains.
Package for you, Lieutenant.
You wanna open the door? From Saks Fifth Avenue.
Big sucker.
You shop at Saks? Why not? You don't like Saks? It's a very good store.
- I wanna thank you for the gift.
- You didn't open it.
I wanted you to be here.
That's why I called you.
- Lieutenant - Yes? What's the longest you've worked on a case? Nine years and four months.
Nine years? Long time.
And this case - what's the longest you think you'll work on it? - As long as I'm making progress.
- Do you feel you're making progress? I found out this morning why the ice melted in the refrigerator.
- And it wasn't that the maid missed it? - No.
Was it because the maid left the refrigerator door open? No, it was a mistake.
The maid put the refrigerator plug in the wrong socket.
This socket was connected to the circuit breaker that controlled the lights in the living room.
Somebody cut off that circuit breaker and without knowing it, they cut off the refrigerator.
It's amazing how you keep digging until you get these answers.
Yeah, but what good does it do me? So I know how the ice melted.
So what? What am I gonna do with that information? Ask me what really happened that night, I couldn't tell you.
I'm stumped.
This case has got me It's got me wacky.
- I don't sleep at night.
- So you can't have a good time? When I'm with you? No, no.
When I'm with you, I can still have a good time.
Can we order a drink? Uh no, I'm afraid not.
No liquor here.
Beer, wine.
You want something to drink? I'll tell you.
She'll have something to drink.
- Cheers.
- Cheers.
There you go.
Now, if there's anything else, just holler.
- The steak is fantastic.
- I wanna open this now.
- Before you eat? - I can't wait.
- I can't believe the steak.
- It's all he can cook, but the best in town.
- Will your dog fit into that? - If you went around the world three times, you couldn't find me a better gift.
Can I ask you something? Why do you ask if you can ask? You're gonna do it anyway.
How long were you seeing Nick? Three months.
Uh All right, I'll, uh take care of this in a minute.
Barney was talking about Nick last night.
I'm gonna use his exact words.
" I'm surprised you would repeat that to me.
He went on to say that Nick was the type that used OK.
Forget that.
I won't repeat that.
I'm going through Nick's personal effects.
I noticed that his golf membership was cancelled.
He cancelled a life insurance policy.
There was an IOU for $30,000.
And this all took place about three months ago.
So I was wondering, did Nick ever talk to you about marriage or money? Lieutenant, I've always been willing to discuss with you the circumstances surrounding Nick's death.
I've always been willing to discuss with you my relationship with Nick, and anything else you wanted to talk about.
The lights, the refrigerator, my circulation problem, and God knows what else.
But this is unpleasant.
This hurts.
If you wanna go on, I will, but I want No.
Let's drop it now.
I know nothing about Nick's financial situation.
If what you say is true, he never mentioned it to me.
Whether or not we discussed marriage really is a private matter.
I understand.
Could've had this done faster at the police lab.
They're my brother-in-law's.
How come he wants blow-ups? Why does he cut the people's heads off? To him it's art.
Let him be happy.
Take care.
Have you been watching her? What's she been doing? Nothing exciting.
Always alone.
Takes walks, goes swimming, reads a lot.
Doesn't talk to anybody.
Got on the phone a couple of times.
Seems preoccupied.
Pick her up.
Bring her in.
Yes, sir.
Get me that number.
I'm here to see Lieutenant Columbo.
Miss Staten.
- What's this in connection with? - He said they'd picked up a suspect.
They want her in the booth behind the interrogation room.
This way, ma'am.
Why did you lie when asked if you knew Franco? - You said you didn't.
Right? - Yes.
- Yes, what? Yes, you knew him? - Yes, I said I didn't know him.
Why did you lie? Where were you on the 19th? In the movies.
We know that.
Were you with anyone after the movies? - Was the ticket-taker a man? - I don't remember.
- Why are you lying? - I'm not.
- What was the movie? - It was a scary movie.
You're not lying? You said you didn't know Nick Franco.
Was that a lie? - Yes.
- What was the movie? I don't remember.
- What theatre? - The, um, Deluxe in Ventura.
- Why are you lying? - I'm not.
You're not lying? You said you didn't know Franco.
Count these numbers.
Count them.
One, two three, four That's the number of times you spoke to Franco.
- You said you didn't know him.
- What are those numbers? - It's one number.
A telephone number.
- Ten times you spoke to Franco.
Count these numbers.
Who found this girl? - I did.
- How? Nick called her 12 times in the last ten days.
It's a toll call and it was on his phone bill.
For the past ten days, he had his phone bill sent to a PO box.
I guess he didn't want it laying around the apartment.
Someone who spends time there might see it.
Do you know her? Let me show you these photographs.
Do you recognise that chair? I'd say it's the same chair.
Hand-carved, antique chair.
One of a kind.
I'd say at one time, you were in the same room as that person.
Boys wanna go after her harder.
What do you think? We're waiting on you.
I'll be with you in a minute.
Can you solve this case without a confession? No.
Would you do anything to hurt me? If you could solve this case, would you do anything to hurt me? I wouldn't.
If you could solve this case, would you do anything to keep from hurting me? Anything.
Let that girl go.
- Brogan, are you still there? - Still here, Lieutenant.
I'll be with you in a minute.
You, come with me.
I'm, uh, Lieutenant Columbo.
Mean anything to you? - No.
- No? OK.
I only mentioned it because maybe in your travels you heard the name.
You don't have to say nothing.
You got money for a taxi? Yes.
There's a telephone booth two blocks down.
Now, the detective, he told me that you spend a lot of time in Europe.
It's true? Yes.
Well, there must be something important going on there tomorrow.
And if I were you, I wouldn't miss it.
Lauren wants it this way.
- Sir.
- Going in another direction.
- Have you got something? - It could be major.
Better than that girl.
Keep your fingers crossed.
How'd you keep the body warm? Electric blanket.
Why did you turn off the switch for the lights? That room can be seen by neighbours.
If anyone had seen a light go on at 12, it would have been disastrous.
Do you remember turning up the heat? No.
I did it by rote, like stopping at a red light.
My mind was elsewhere.
Who fired the shot in the apartment while you were outside with the manager? That's for you to find out.
An unknown accomplice? Male.
Accomplice, unknown male.
And he was the one that removed the electric blanket? That's right.
And he's the one that took Nick's car out of the garage after 12 and put it back close to two? - That's right.
- And you refuse to name him? I refuse.
And who is she? My daughter.
But she and Nick and you and Nick? - What? - He used us.
Neither of us had any idea.
- Did he know? - Yes, from the beginning.
- But how did all this? - Nick was in Rome.
He saw Lisa, picked her up, seduced her and, through her, found out about a wealthy mother in Beverly Hills.
He came after me.
Lisa in Rome knew nothing until something I said in a letter.
I described the man I was seeing.
It was that expression "Can I nibble on your ear?" There were other things.
A ring with his initials.
A tiny scar.
Lisa became hysterical.
It sounded like Nick.
Can you imagine? Being involved with a man in Rome.
Maybe this same man was seducing your mother in Los Angeles.
She was wild.
She flew here and confronted him.
And? He said he needed money and he was gonna get it from me, and she should go back to Rome and wait for him.
She went berserk, started screaming.
He beat her.
He put his hands around her neck and choked her.
He then sliced her neck with a razor and said he'd kill her if she told me.
Well, she told me.
But we killed him first.
I'm ready.
Thanks for the flowers.
- Brogan! - Yeah.
Come in here.
I sent her to Europe.
Thank you.
Where's her father? The last time I saw him was in Rome.
It was a long time ago.
She'll be all right.
Could be among the possible targets of all West Coast military bases.
There was a dramatic development in the case of the shooting of Mr Nick Franco.
Miss Lauren Staten of Beverly Hills confessed this evening to the murder of Mr Franco.
According to police she had a male accomplice who at this point remains unidentified.
No motive was given but police report that Franco and Staten were having an affair.
- On Wall Street today - Did you make that pinch? Yeah.
- Your nephew What's his name? - Vince? Vince.
- He's graduating next week, isn't he? - Right.
Why don't you give him this? I think he'd like this.
Can I ask you a question? No.
How do you do that? How do you lock up the lady, the way you feel about her? - Who said I felt anything about her? - You did.
You believe everything a cop tells you, you're a damn fool.
Where are you going? It's Thursday night.
Taking the wife bowling.