Columbo (1971) s10e14 Episode Script

Columbo Likes the Nightlife

Very nice.
It's very nice.
Yeah? Eight years I've had this place in my head.
I can tell.
What's with the hole, though? I didn't think we could have a nightclub called The Bait without any fish.
- It's a fish tank? - Yeah.
I'm going to drop 300 gallons of water in and light it from underneath.
- When are you thinking of opening? - Depends.
Depends on what? - The money.
- The money.
You're waiting, right? I gotta tell you, Tone, I've been coming up short well, for the last two months now.
I mean, half this place is paid for on credit and before I open those doors, I really need to pay some bills.
Then you'll be very happy to know it's all been arranged.
- No joke? - Oh, no joke.
You'll have the money within 36 hours.
Oh, m! You're you're not kidding with me? - Done deal.
- Oh, man, that's insane.
Do business with the best.
That's what my father taught me.
- You are not gonna be disappointed.
- Please don't.
I gotta go.
Maybe I'll make that warehouse gig you're promoting tonight.
OK.
Excellent.
Knock it out.
Fish.
All right.
Hey, baby.
- You don't look so happy to see me.
- What do you want, Tony? I was in the neighbourhood.
I figured I'd see how you're spending your alimony.
I bought this place with my money, thank you.
Without my money, you wouldn't be able to keep it, cos I read somewhere that that sitcom of yours got cancelled.
After only six episodes.
What a shame.
Tony, I want you to leave.
There's the pool.
I figured I'd come by, you know, catch up on some old times.
Look at you.
How long's it been? Gosh, it's been at least - come here - six months.
Stop it.
Ah, you're so sweet.
Look at you.
So beautiful.
Mm-mm-mm! What the hell is this? What is this? Come with the frame, I hope.
- Just give it back to me.
- Don't tell me you're sleeping with him.
It's none of your business.
It has nothing to do with you, Tony, OK? This has nothing to do with me? This has nothing to do with me?! - Did you meet him through a singles ad? - Please, Tony, just leave.
You went after him, didn't you? Just to spite me.
- I didn't.
- Didn't you? Tell me, you little whore.
- Stop it! - Didn't you, you little whore? - Look at it! Tell me! - Stop! No! Tony, get up.
Tony.
T-Tony? Tony.
Tony.
It's me.
Something's happened.
No, you need to come over here right now.
No, I'm telling you, you have to come over here right now.
Ness? Where's Tony? Babe? What's wrong? He Um He just saw a picture of us, and I told you how jealous he could be.
And he tripped and fell.
I pushed him away.
He was so angry, I didn't know what he was gonna do.
- Have you called the police? - No.
No, I-I can't.
You don't understand.
Those people will kill me.
It's all right, babe.
It's OK.
We're not gonna call them.
Look at me.
We're not gonna call them.
I don't want to call them either, because in 36 hours, his investment money hits my bank account.
If this gets out, I am finished.
Do you understand me? I am finished.
So for the next 36 hours, this is what we're gonna do.
We're just gonna pretend.
We're gonna make it look like he's still kicking about.
And nobody has to know.
But I will need you 100% on this.
What do we have to do? Hello? Yeah, this is Justin Price.
Fantastic.
Uh, no, that's excellent.
Yeah.
Yeah.
Thank you very much.
Bye-bye.
Hello? Babe, it's me.
I got the money.
- OK.
- It's time for Tony to check out.
I'll meet you in an hour outside the car rental lot.
- OK, just don't be late.
- Bye.
This is Tony Galper in 803.
I'd like to check out this morning.
Yeah, I believe everything is in order, so I'll just leave the key card on the table.
All right.
Thanks very much.
Hello? Hello? Did you really think you were going to get away with it? I know what you did.
Where did you put the body, Vanessa? - Hi.
- God, Justin, somebody just called me.
- W - Some guy just called and said Babe, slow down.
Slow down.
Slow down.
Who called you? Some guy.
I don't know.
You didn't tell anybody, did you? - Course I didn't.
What did he say? - He just said that he knows what we did.
Justin? - I think he just emailed me.
- What?! - I'll call you back.
- No No! I'll call you back.
He's got pictures.
Pictures? Oh, my God, how? I don't know.
What are we gonna do? - He wants money.
- How much? I meet him tonight to find out.
OK, so we give him the money and then we get the pictures, right? - Sweetie, isn't that the idea? - Yeah, that's the idea.
In fantasy land.
Babe.
Babe, babe, babe, babe.
Think about it, OK? Now, whatever it is however much he wants what then? What? He's just gonna walk away and forget about it? No.
We could give this guy all the money in the world, we'd still be on the hook with him.
Now, we've come this far, OK? Together.
And we obviously can't turn back.
But we can't have this guy walking around knowing what we've done, can we? Can we? No.
Gonna be a big night tonight.
Shut up, Julius.
It's been a few months.
- I can't say I've been counting.
- Ah, you're upset.
Look, I know.
I understand.
I didn't mean to get you mixed up in this mess.
You just happened to be there.
Wrong place, wrong time, you know? - Your girlfriend know that you and I go? - Let's just cut through this.
Show me what you got, tell me what you want.
OK.
Sure.
Yeah.
But it's strictly business.
No hard feelings, right? I bet, tables were turned, you'd do the same thing.
How much? That's a lot of money.
Pictures like these, they're worth a lot more than that.
You'll see.
How bad are you into your bookie? I'm clearing some off the top for myself.
I look at it like this is my lottery ticket, my chance to get square.
I can't get 250.
Business is good Justin.
Hey, what's the cover tonight? 20? That's just a sample.
- I'll see what I can do.
- I know I don't leave you much choice.
No, you don't.
I'll meet you in your office in two hours.
Hey! Bring one of your girls like you used to.
I'll show her a good time.
- Hello? - Yeah, it's me.
Did you see the pictures? Yeah.
And? Ness, this is the only way.
Prompt as always.
- Nice shirt.
- Hey, thanks.
- Where's the girl? - What's the matter? Don't you trust me? Ah, you know I do.
Justin, Justin.
She's downstairs.
Told her to wait in the car till we've sorted this out.
- You want a drink? - No, I want the negs.
Of course.
Of course.
- All there? - What's the matter? You don't trust me? Course I do.
- You got a nice place here.
- Hey, thanks.
I do what I can.
Hey.
Hey, what the hell is this? Argh! Get Argh! Argh! Let's go.
- Where were you? I was paging you.
- My battery must be dead.
- You the event organiser? - Yeah.
I'm sorry I took so long.
Kid had a seizure.
Probably just dehydrated.
He'll be fine.
Oh, good.
That's good news.
I need you to sign some forms.
Underage kid and all.
Oh.
Oh, yeah.
Sure, sure, sure.
- Busy night? - Not so bad.
Not yet.
Oh, that's that's good.
- Hope it stays that way.
- Mm-hm.
Have a good one.
- Thank you.
- OK.
Where is he going? - Morning, sir.
- Any more of that coffee around? - Harris, coffee for the lieutenant.
- Two sugars.
- Two sugars.
- You got it.
Thanks! We get a call this morning about 2:30.
A lady reported a loud noise, sounded like a car crash but she wasn't sure.
We sent a unit, but they didn't find anything.
Maybe four hours later the sun comes up and this homeless guy There y'are, Lieutenant.
Much appreciated.
This homeless guy, he's the one who finally called it in.
He wakes up to find the body lying a few feet away.
Says he never heard a thing.
- We got a suicide note? - Yes, sir.
Upstairs in the office.
He tied this rope around a radiator and jumped from the fourth storey.
But this guy goes a good 250.
The force of the fall ripped the thing out of the floor.
- We know whose car this is? - No, sir.
See if you can find out.
Just curious.
Pete, run a check on these plates for the lieutenant.
Yes, sir.
Looks like the fall broke both of his legs, and the radiator must've fallen on him, cos if you look there, the left side of his chest is crushed like a pancake.
Good news for him, though, is that he was probably dead before he hit the ground.
You look at those marks and bruises on his neck, they're pretty severe.
Uh this all seems consistent with this type of thing.
I'm sure that, uh his heft you know, his neck just snapped.
You say that office is up on the fourth floor? - Yes, sir.
- Is there a john up there? - Sir? - A bathroom? Yes.
Yes, bathroom.
Uh, fourth floor, suite 424.
- 424? - Yes, sir.
Lieutenant, the car.
It turns out that it belonged to the victim.
He's one, um Linwood Coben.
He's a freelance reporter for the, um, tabloids.
Uh So we're putting together some contact information on his employers so we can have a place to start, sir.
- Excuse me.
- Sir? The suicide note, can you tell me where it was found? Over on the computer, sir.
The computer? Arkins! Arkins! The computer with the suicide note - has that been dusted for prints? Uh, no, sir.
Didn't seem necessary on a suicide.
- Did you smell his breath? - Whose breath, sir? The victim's.
It smells of mouthwash.
Go ahead.
Yes, sir.
Faintly minty, I suppose.
- You see this? - No, sir.
It's a toenail.
And there's nine more of 'em up here in the toilet.
He cut his toenails! OK.
So? It just doesn't strike me as the kind of thing you do before you hang yourself off the side of a building.
A swig of mouthwash and, uh What do you call it? A pedicure, right? More like getting ready for a woman than a suicide.
So I would like to have this keyboard up here dusted for prints.
- Is the guy around? - Yeah.
I'll send him up.
- What's today's date? - 25th.
Change the calendar and then jump? Oh.
Look at this.
OK I thought that only worked on TV.
You'd be surprised.
- What do you got there? - Take a look.
My coffee.
Thing's just about covered in prints, all the same, most likely the deceased's.
- You said "just about"? - That's the funny thing.
Every key has the same basic print pattern, except for the letters e and I.
- What sort of pattern do they have? - They don't have anything.
- You mean they're blank? - Yes, sir.
There are 12 e's here, right? - And 11 i's.
- 12 e's, 11 i's.
That's right.
There are more e's and i's than any other letter.
- But where are the prints? - But where are the prints? Exactly.
Let me ask you something.
If someone were to wear a pair of gloves and they hit those keys 11 and 12 times, is it possible that this repeated contact would be enough to wipe away any prints otherwise left by the deceased? - Yeah, I suppose that's a possibility.
- This ain't no suicide.
But there's some guy out there that wants me to think it is.
And that's the dude I'm going to be looking for.
Wouldn't you know? Cold.
Morning.
Don't mean to intrude.
Miss? Sorry.
- May I take a look at that? - Sure.
Enjoy.
- May I? - It's yours.
Thank you.
Take the bass down on the right.
Better.
Actually, the same on the left.
Take it down on the left.
Too much bass.
You must be Lieutenant Columbo.
I'm Justin Price.
- People actually dance to that music? - Yeah.
Not your scene? It's too loud! Can't think! Can't interfere with a man's thinking.
You found it all right? Yeah.
I'm here now, and I must tell you, it's quite a place you got here.
Really very impressive.
Thank you.
It's it's been a long time in the works.
Must cost a lot of money for something like this.
Yeah.
But, well, you know, as I said, it's been a long time coming.
So, when you called earlier with - well, it's awful news about Linwood - you said you had some questions for me.
- Yeah.
On the phone, did I mention the victim had a rope around his neck? - You did.
- Good.
Obviously this looks like a suicide.
- Yeah.
- One problem.
No eyewitness.
Nobody actually saw what happened.
You understand? - Yeah.
- So to close up this case, this, you know, mark as suicide, go on to something else, my boss, he's going to have to rely to a certain extent on what people who knew Mr Coben have to say about him.
- You understand? - I do.
- Now, you knew him.
Correct? - That's right.
So tell me about him.
Did he, uh did he have problems? Phoo! Look, Lieutenant, I liked the man, but yeah, he had problems.
Like what? He gambled.
A lot.
He drank The man was desperate.
Desperate? Lieutenant, this wasn't the first time.
- You mean - He tried it before.
- Suicide? - Last Christmas.
How do you know? - Because he told me.
- Oh.
This is very valuable.
OK.
So this party that you had last night What do you call them? - A rave.
- Oh.
Right.
So this rave you had last night any reason in particular for Mr Coben to be there? Uh, yeah, as a matter of fact.
You see, um, Coben and I had an arran Excuse me.
Um We had an arrangement.
Um, a business arrangement, if you like.
- I'm sorry, sir.
I don't quite follow you.
- Sorry.
OK, um I meet a lot of people in my work, famous people.
They come to my parties, so Look, Lieutenant, if I'm telling you this, I'm telling you in confidence, right? I'll tell you what I know, but if what I'm about to tell you were to get out, it would finish my business.
- Not to worry.
- Thank you.
So The celebrities occasionally do something they shouldn't.
So I'd call Linwood.
Tell him who's who, what's what.
He'd come down, get a few pictures, then well, strike a deal with the person's rep, you know? Get the negatives for a price.
So then he would split that money with you? That's right.
I know it's not the most savoury way to make a buck Oh, no.
Please.
No, I'm not here to judge.
- Well, I appreciate that.
- All right.
So last night, he came there to give you your cut of the last deal.
That's right.
Looking back, he was probably putting his accounts in order.
Uh-huh.
So, uh, what time was that? Uh Around midnight.
Could you tell me who the person was in these pictures? Who he made the deal with? I'm sorry, Lieutenant, it's just that these celebrities, they're a little bit sensitive.
That's all right.
I probably wouldn't know who they are anyhow.
But my wife keeps up on these things.
You know, the who's who and the what's what.
They always do.
Sorry.
Oh, don't be sorry.
You already gave me plenty of time, so don't worry about it.
I'm sorry, I'm organising another party this evening, so things are a little busy.
Oh, is that right? Another warehouse thing? Yeah.
My last, thank God.
It's a sort of pre-opening bash for this place, really.
Oh, well, I had no idea.
So I take it that a place like this, that's a step up for you, then? I'd like to think that it's more than a step up, yeah.
It sets you apart somewhat.
Puts you in the big league.
Well, congratulations, I suppose.
Thanks.
If there's anything else I can help with, get in touch.
- I appreciate it.
- No problem.
Hello? - Babe, it's me.
- I've been calling you.
What's going on? Whoa.
Babe, relax.
I've just been talking to a detective about the whole thing.
- What?! - Ness, Ness, Ness - How did he - It's fine.
They're just wrapping things up.
This guy, Columbo, he just thinks it's a suicide.
We're sweet.
Everything's fine.
I don't like this.
I'm really scared.
I know you are, babe, but look, maybe it's best if we don't have too much conduct, just for a little longer.
As long as they can't put us two together, there's no way to connect you to this guy.
- Understand me? - Yeah.
All right, babe, I gotta go.
I love you.
I love you.
Bye.
- Thanks for waiting.
- No trouble at all.
I just wanted to do some checking.
Linwood didn't have just one lawsuit against him, he had two.
- Occupational hazard.
- To an extent.
This kind of thing followed Linwood around more than most.
Two other rags stopped hiring him.
Oh, why's that? He was getting too unreliable.
He drank too much.
That's a shame.
Can you think of anything else? Anybody who had a score to settle? That's just it, Lieutenant.
Linwood had a lot of enemies.
I'm sure there's more than a handful of people in this town who'd want him dead.
OK.
I'll go through these, and I'll have 'em back in a week.
There's one more thing, and I hesitate to even bring it up because it's gossip.
Apparently he received threats about a story he was working on.
I don't know what it was about but rumour has it it touched a nerve.
- Whether it's true or not - Check it out.
- Well, that's my feeling.
- I appreciate your candour.
Good luck, Lieutenant.
The boy was fine.
Just dehydrated.
The kids at these parties push the envelope.
So you had the doorman contact Mr Price? Yeah, he beeped him.
I only remember cos it didn't seem to work very well.
- Took him 15 minutes to get outside.
- Oh, really? What time was that? Ah Any idea why it took him so long? Didn't wait for an explanation.
Just had him sign the form and left.
Well, thank you.
Thanks for the time.
- Hey! Hey, you! - Hey.
- Dance with me.
- What are you doing? - You look good.
- I do? - Yeah.
- Well, if you say so.
Lieutenant! What's this? A new look? I guess it's a start.
- Is this a bad time? - Couldn't be worse.
Two minutes.
Yeah, I'm sorry to drop in on you like this, but I hate loose ends.
- I know what you mean.
- I mean, the slightest thing, I can't sleep.
- I'm the same.
Look, take a seat.
- This is not going to take long.
- So, what's bugging you? - I was wondering these parties that you throw, is it customary for you to remain present during the entire event? It's usually a good idea.
Just in case anything happens.
And last night? You never left for any reason? No.
Sorry, what does this have to do with Linwood's suicide? Ah, you know, I'm not so sure it is a suicide, Mr Price.
- What? Do you think he was murdered? - We're exploring the possibility.
Wow.
That's amazing.
What? I'm now a suspect? Is that it? Is that amusing to you? Yeah, ever so slightly.
Look, Linwood had a ton of enemies, but I wasn't one of them.
Ours was a mutually beneficial relationship.
You know, you got a good point.
It doesn't make sense.
OK.
Tell you what.
Just to make the boss happy, let me get these questions out of the way.
Of course.
You're just doing your job.
I understand.
Uh, you were saying about last night.
- You were there the entire night.
- That's correct.
Is there any way for me to confirm that? Just so we can put the whole issue to bed.
Yeah, sure.
Um - Yes, you could speak to Julius.
- Julius? My doorman.
He'll tell you my car was out front the entire night.
Julius.
OK, fine.
Julius.
Julius? That raises a question.
And now I remember why I couldn't sleep.
See, I spoke to the paramedics that treated that young boy.
What I don't understand is this if you were there the whole night, why did you take so long to meet 'em out front? I should've realised that's what's bothering you.
- You can see the reason for my concern? - Absolutely.
Look, Lieutenant, usually, anything like this happens, the best way to get me is my beeper.
I get a page, I head to the front door.
Last night, my batteries were dead.
- I never got the alert.
- Oh! What was it that alerted you to the problem? Word of mouth, I think.
Yes.
Someone on the floor said they were looking for me.
I see.
Well, that explains it.
It was your batteries.
They didn't work.
And to think I could've saved you a trip down here.
All right.
So you get back to your party, sir.
- Sorry again for bothering you.
- Not at all.
Oh, actually, uh if you don't mind, sir, just one more thing.
I'm curious.
- What was your morning like? - What kind of morning? Yeah.
You got up, you showered you had a Pop-Tart What else? I just went to the club directly.
I had I had a lot of work to do.
Oh.
Directly? - You didn't stop for coffee? Nothing? - Not that I can remember.
Why? Well, it was just that when I saw you this morning, your beeper was working fine.
So I figured that, uh, maybe you replaced the batteries at some point before arriving at the club.
That's very clever, Lieutenant.
I like that.
I replaced them last night, immediately after the incident.
I keep a spare pack in the car.
Oh, well, that certainly clears it up.
And I must say, that is smart thinking.
- You can never be too prepared, right? - No, sir, you can't.
You have a good night.
Thank you, Lieutenant.
And you.
This is Linwood.
Leave your message.
Hey, you there? Hey, pick up the phone, dammit! All right, OK, OK, pal.
This is Sean Jarvis again.
Hey, pal, I don't appreciate these games you're playing.
I'm still here waiting for my money.
OK, the number's 310-555-0152.
Sean Jarvis.
Call me, you hear? - Sean Jarvis? - Yes.
What is it? Uh, Lieutenant Columbo.
Homicide.
I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions.
What's this about? You're familiar with a man named Linwood Coben, correct? Yeah.
That's right.
Do you mind, sir, if I asked you what your relationship is to Mr Coben? Hey.
I barely know the guy.
Why? Well, he was found dead yesterday morning.
- What's this got to do with me? - Uh, well, Mr Jarvis, earlier today, I overheard the message that you left for him on his answering machine.
You mentioned some money that he owed you.
- Yeah, he owed me 300 bucks.
- What was the money for? This might sound stupid to you, but one day he knocks on my door, says he'd give me 100 bucks if he could see my back yard.
- He wanted to see your back yard? - That's right.
So I took him back there.
He looks around for a minute, then says he'd give me another 200 if he can hang out there for a couple of hours.
- For what purpose? - He liked my trees.
He liked your trees? So do you remember, was there, uh, one particular tree that he was interested in? Yeah, that one over there.
That one.
- That one? - Yes.
He climbed up about eight, ten feet.
Said he liked the view.
Hey, who am I to argue, right? - He liked the view? - That's what he said.
OK.
You happen to have a ladder? I never been afraid of heights, but He said he liked the view.
Oh, uh, by the way, Mr Jarvis, do you happen to remember, when was the last time you saw Mr Coben? Saturday.
I think it was Saturday.
- This last Saturday? - Right.
That's four days ago.
What date was that? Today's the 26th, so that must've been the 22nd.
OK.
Uh, good afternoon, miss.
Oh, I'm not interested.
- I'm sorry - I'm really not Lieutenant Columbo.
Sometimes I'm a little slow with this thing.
Uh, I wonder if I could ask you a few questions.
- About what? - Do you mind if I come in? No.
Sure.
Is there something you're looking for? Would you mind my asking what it is you do for a living? - I'm an actress.
- Oh.
Really? Anything I might've seen? No.
Um, a sitcom, but it just got cancelled.
Oh.
Sorry to hear that.
In your line of work, miss, have you ever heard of a man named Linwood Coben? Uh, yeah, I've heard of him.
Why? So you know he's a tabloid guy, goes around taking pictures, spying on people.
Celebrities like yourself, mostly.
I guess.
Yeah, sure.
And if he were in fact writing a story about you, would you be aware of it? Most likely.
I mean, my publicist usually keeps me up on things like that.
And your publicist has not made you aware of anything recently? No, I don't think so, but I'd be surprised if he's ever written anything about me.
Really? Why do you say that? Well, guys like him usually go after the bigger names.
Why do you ask? I'm just following up on a case.
Mr Coben recently passed away a couple of nights ago.
I'm just nosing around.
- L-I'm sorry I can't help you any further.
- No, that's all right.
Thank you for your time.
You know, I'm afraid I never got your name.
Oh, it's, uh, Vanessa.
Vanessa Farrow.
Well, Miss Farrow, very comfortable house you have here.
- It's nice taste, the d├ęcor.
- Thank you.
- Done some redecorating recently.
- Um, no.
Not recently.
Oh, no? Oh.
- That's strange.
- What's that? It's silly, I know, but I notice the strangest things.
I just assumed, from these indentations in the carpet here, it would appear as though you recently had a bigger coffee table.
You know what, I forgot.
I did just buy a new one.
It's very nice.
It really is very nice.
Me, I have no sense for this kind of thing.
Anyway, thanks again.
Thank you for the time.
My pleasure.
Oh, here we go.
Uh-huh.
But all the other ones Why are there no pictures here? Jarvis said you were there, in the tree.
You took pictures.
You even made a file.
I don't get it.
Lieutenant Columbo! I was wondering when you'd show up again.
- You happy to see me, sir? - Ah, always.
I appreciate that.
Gee, I had no idea - fish! Last time I was here, I didn't even see the tanks.
- They're gonna look great.
- Fabulous.
A lot of thought went into all of this.
I want to hand it to you.
- So, what's up? - Oh, uh, just one quick question, actually.
Yesterday you mentioned that Mr Coben met with you on business the night of his death.
- That's right.
- He'd taken a picture of somebody.
He then sold back to this person the negative for a price.
Is that correct? - Basically, yeah.
- Uh, now, this person, I understand you're uncomfortable telling me point-blank who it is, but how about we say this? Say I give you a name, one name, then you tell me whether this is the person in the picture or not.
- Why not? - Vanessa Farrow.
- She's not the one.
- No, huh? Oh.
Well, I just thought I'd throw it out, you know.
All kinds of names come up in this sort of investigation - and you never know where one will lead.
- No.
Course.
No harm in trying.
- Maybe next time.
- Maybe next time.
When do you open? - Tomorrow night.
- I want to wish you luck.
- Thank you very much.
- Good day.
Bye-bye, now.
I've been trying to call you.
Look, that guy Columbo, the cop, he found me.
- How? - I don't know.
But that guy the other night - was his name Linwood Coben? - Yeah.
- Oh, my God.
- What did you tell him? - Nothing.
He doesn't know anything, but I really don't like this, Justin.
He's way too close and I am out in the cold if I can't get hold of you.
That's all we've got to do, just for a little bit longer, is keep our distance.
So long as he can't put the two of us together, we are sweet.
We're laughing.
What if I have to call you? Go to a payphone, page me, and I'll call you back.
If we have to meet up, we'll arrange it then, but we have covered our tracks.
We're safe.
We've just got to keep swimming a little bit longer.
Gotta go.
Got something for me? Yeah.
Those threats you heard about, the ones against Linwood.
Pretty interesting stuff.
Excuse me just a second.
Excuse me! The name you just mentioned - the missing person.
What was that again? Guy named Tony Galper.
- Tony Galper? - Yes, sir.
- Uh, sir.
- I'm sorry.
I need to check something out.
We will meet on this later.
- Lieutenant Columbo? - What is it? A package I need you to sign for.
"Lieutenant - give this a try.
Best, Justin.
" Vanessa Galper.
Hm.
Galper! Uh her ex.
Joey G?! Hm.
And 6/20.
Ah.
Empty.
Thanks for meeting me.
So, what were you saying back at the office? Those rumours you heard about are legitimate.
Three of the rags that were working with Linwood received threats on his behalf.
They were warned repeatedly to stay away from the story he was working on.
- Did they say who made the threats? - No, sir.
They were pretty tight-lipped.
But that's not all.
Recently Linwood reported that his car had been vandalised.
Somebody threw a brick through the driver's side window.
The officer on the scene found this note wrapped around the brick.
"Lose the story if you know what's good.
" Signed G.
Oh, boy.
You mind if I borrow this? No, sir.
This guy Linwood, he stumbled onto something, didn't he? It looks that way.
Made somebody pretty angry.
- Angry enough to kill him? - I don't know.
Miss Farrow! Hi, um, Mr? Columbo.
Lieutenant Columbo.
- Right.
I'm sorry.
- Don't be sorry.
It's not a problem.
- Are you following me? - Oh, no.
No, I was hoping I could find a different size.
These are all extra large.
Can you believe that? Like this one.
Now, I'm not what you would call up with the fashion these days, but let me ask you something.
This is too big, isn't it? Uh it's a look, but for you, maybe a little smaller.
I agree, but they don't have any.
My wife's always telling me to brighten things up, and I'm sure she would have enjoyed seeing me in something like this.
That is a shame.
But, come to think about it, it's actually a good thing, my running into you.
Saved me a trip up to that house of yours.
Those canyon roads, they make me nervous.
- You have more questions for me? - Yes.
About your ex-husband.
- About Tony? - When's the last time that you saw him? Uh, a while back.
Is he OK? As a matter of fact, and I'm sorry to tell you this, recently a member of his family reported him missing.
Oh, no.
Did you know that Tony's father was a member of the New York Mob? Actually, a boss - Joe Gienelli? I'm the only one that knows that.
- Not the only one, miss.
- What do you mean? Well, for starters, I know.
A couple of weeks ago, the cops found this note in Linwood's car.
See how it's signed there, with a G? And I recently came across some notes that Coben had on this subject, and that G is Joey Gienelli, Tony's father.
L-I don't understand.
Coben was following your ex-husband.
He knew the truth about Tony's father.
And Gienelli didn't want him to go public with the story.
You think these people are responsible for Linwood's death? I wish it were that easy.
But with Tony missing, it doesn't add up.
And you say you haven't seen him in a while? Um no.
I'm sorry.
Well, if anything turns up, I'll let you know.
Thank you.
I appreciate that.
Oh, just one more question, Miss Farrow.
Where were you the night of Linwood's death? - I was home.
- Anyone you know who can verify that? - I was home alone.
- Very good, Miss Farrow.
- Good day.
- Bye.
You learn anything yet about Tony Galper's disappearance? Yes, sir.
We got his whereabouts mapped out up until three days ago.
Then he just vanishes.
No trace.
Really? Three days ago, huh? - What day was that? The 24th? - Yes, sir.
Are you sure it was the 24th and not the 22nd? Yes, sir.
The 24th.
Last Monday.
Checked out of his hotel at 10:15, then he dropped off a rental car at a lot nearby.
Here.
I got a record of his hotel bill and the receipts of the rental car.
- No signature.
- Sorry, sir? This car rental receipt.
What's the address on this place? Excuse me! Miss! Miss, I'm sorry to interrupt.
I'm curious about something.
As a customer, say when I drop off a car, isn't there some paperwork that I have to sign? Not necessarily, sir.
You just drop off the car and leave your key.
There's even a drop box outside the door for your key.
Amazing.
Are you saying that a person can check out of a hotel without signing anything? - Right.
It happens all the time.
- How do you check out without signing? You phone and say, "I'm checking out.
" We charge the credit card on file and send you a receipt.
So then, when you leave, nobody sees you go.
- No.
- Very convenient.
Here's the maid, Micky.
She'll answer any questions.
Thank you very much.
- Micky? - Yeah.
- How's it going? - Good.
- Uh, you cleaned Mr Galper's room? - Yeah.
Just you.
Nobody else? - Yeah.
Just me.
- OK.
And the bedroom, every morning, the bed messed? - Mess, yeah.
- What about the bathroom? - Mess.
- Uh-huh.
- The shower? - Shower wet.
- And the sink? - Yeah, he use the sink.
- Sink wet? - Yeah, and dirty.
And you clean every day? Yeah.
Uh Mr Galper, how long did he stay here? He checked out Monday, so he was week before, and two days bef Nine days.
- And you remember that? - Yeah, I remember.
- You remember him that well? - I remember real well! - Why? - You don't want me to say.
- Come on, he don't care.
- I don't want to say.
OK.
So when you clean, you start here? Or you start in the bedroom? No.
No, bathroom.
OK, I start back at the sink and then move out.
Was he ever here when you were here? Yeah.
One time.
So what happened? Come on, tell me.
- I make joke.
- What did you say? OK.
I I say, "Mr Galper, will you please do me favour?" And he like me, I can tell.
So he say, "What? I do it.
" So I say, "When you use this, can you please stand closer to the bowl?" - And he laugh, he say, "Oh, do I miss?" - And I say, "Yeah! Every day for six days.
" So what happened? Nothing.
He still miss every day.
Oh, except for last day.
Last day the only day he hit water, not bowl.
- And that was Monday.
- Yeah.
The day he checked out, the 24th.
- Yeah.
- Did you see him on Monday? No.
He check out early.
So the last day, that was the only day that he hit the water and not the bowl.
- You're terrific.
- Thank you.
Excuse me.
Excuse me.
Hey, I'm sorry to bother you.
I'm a little lost.
Could you point me to Grant Street? Oh, yeah, sure.
Uh You go on Ocean, and it looks like Yeah.
Take a right, you go one block, you run right into it.
Right here.
Oh, yeah.
I see it now.
I'm here from New York on business, it's already the third time I'm lost.
- Name's Freddy.
- Uh Lieutenant, uh Columbo, right? Yeah.
See, this business of mine, I'm sort of a messenger.
These people I work for, they're very private.
They sent me here to check up on a few things.
I see.
Well, it sounds like interesting work.
Matter of fact, your name came up.
One of the people they wanted me to track down.
Seems they're concerned about Tony Galper's disappearance.
- That's a case you're looking into, isn't it? - Yes, it is.
These people want me to keep tabs, make sure things are progressing smoothly.
I understand, but I'm afraid we don't have much right now.
- What about the basics? - We suspect there's foul play.
All right.
See that? That's good.
Cos these people, they think so also.
Yeah, why's that? Apparently, Mr Galper's been juggling some big-money investments recently.
Made the people back home a little nervous.
But things were going OK until now.
- Oh, so you think that Mr Gal - Whoa.
I'm just a messenger, remember? I don't think anything.
Oh, pardon me.
These people, they think that one of Mr Galper's investments, that's what's behind his disappearance? - It's a concern.
- Anyone in particular? You remember a name? I don't.
I'm sorry.
There were fish, though.
I remember that.
Something about fish.
- The Bait.
- That's the one.
See, after Mr Galper's disappearance, they went through his investments and froze whatever deals were still pending.
- And The Bait was one of those? - No, actually.
And that's the thing.
Turns out that investment was finalised on the day Hang on, let me get this right.
On the morning of the day Mr Galper actually disappeared.
- Now, ain't that something? - You mean the 24th? Yep.
The 24th.
Exactly.
I appreciate the information.
And I'll look into it.
Listen, if there's anything I can help you with Please.
Well, I don't think I'm going to need this, but, uh, thanks anyhow.
We should double this order.
I don't want to run short this evening, cos if we do Tonight's the big one, right? Thanks.
Lieutenant, my day wouldn't be complete without at least one of your little visits.
- Oh, I'm sorry about Tony.
- Tony? Mr Galper, one of your investors.
You do know he's missing? Of course I know he's missing.
It's terrible.
Yeah, must be kinda sad not to have him here to see all this.
You have no idea.
This is as much his as it is mine.
I'm sorry, I'm lost.
It's a picture of Tony.
I found it, and quite a few more like it, in Linwood's files.
Why would Linwood have pictures of Tony? - Linwood was following him for a story.
- A story about what? Mr Price, Tony's last name was not Galper.
- What? - It was Gienelli.
Linwood was following him because his father is Joe Gienelli.
And Joe Gienelli's Mafia.
He's the head of one of the five New York families.
- You're kidding me now, Lieutenant.
- I'm not kidding you.
As a matter of fact, I just had an interesting conversation with a man representing Tony's father.
He came all the way out here just to see how my investigation was going.
And I thought you were investigating Linwood.
Well, I'm working on both now.
Anyway, you can imagine that Tony's father is real anxious to find those people responsible for his son's disappearance, although my guess is, given the chance, he probably would like to take justice into his own hands.
Really? I didn't know that.
Oh, uh, by the way, I meant to ask you after Mr Galper's investment money was transferred and everything was complete, was there a call you made to him, maybe to say thanks, congratulations? Actually, yeah.
We arranged to meet for a drink.
- And did you? - Yes.
We did.
Later on that day.
You really are something else, Lieutenant.
Why do you say that? Tony was an enthusiastic partner in this club.
Please tell me why I would want to get rid of him.
- I don't know.
- No.
What are these fish called? - Koi.
- Fantastic! Oh, my gosh! Fantastic! What a great idea.
Fish in a dance floor.
Fantastic.
Yeah, fantastic.
Good luck tonight.
- Lieutenant.
- Sorry to bother you, miss.
- I'm in a bit of a rush today.
I'm sorry.
- I'm afraid these things won't wait.
It'll just take a minute.
- What is that? - Do you mind? Um - I-I really don't have much time.
- I understand.
I'll just get right to it.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
Uh So? Uh, yes.
Just getting my notes.
OK My problem is the two cases I'm working on, the murder of Linwood Coben and your husband's disappearance.
- Ex-husband.
- Ex-husband.
You're right.
You're right.
Anyhow, the only way these two cases make any sense they gotta have a common tie.
- Where's this heading, Lieutenant? - It's it's just this tie between them.
See, that's the thing that had me stumped.
I have a suspect in the Coben murder that I'm reasonably certain about.
But I'm having a devil of a time tying that suspect to the suspect that I'm circling in your husband's excuse me, your ex-husband's disappearance.
- And who is that? - Well, that's you, Miss Farrow.
You see, once it occurred to me that one suspect might know the other suspect, that opened the door.
I'm sorry.
Mr Columbo, this makes I don't know anything about this.
- I don't know what you're talking about.
- I think you do.
- What is that? - Phone records belonging to Justin Price.
All the calls that he receives on that pager of his.
Now, I've highlighted the calls on your phone number, and a number of them were made the morning after Mr Coben's death.
- This doesn't prove anything.
- No, but it helps.
I'm gonna run along.
I know you're in a rush.
You look at these at your leisure.
Uh, one more question, ma'am.
You made a lot of calls to him.
Did you ever ask yourself why he didn't call you back when you needed him? You have no idea what you're talking about.
You're right, ma'am.
Sorry.
- It's me.
I have to see you right now.
- Where are you? - At a payphone, like you said.
- What's wrong? - He knows.
- What are you talking about? Columbo.
He knows about us.
I have to see you now.
No way.
I'm opening the doors in two minutes.
Justin, I have to see you now.
- Vanessa.
Go home.
- Let me in, Julius.
Go home.
He'll call you tomorrow.
Not tonight.
He got a hold of your call history on your pager! My number's all over it! - What did I tell you?! - What am I supposed to do? He is on my back, he keeps getting closer and closer All right, calm down! We're talking about murder! Jail! How am I supposed to be calm?! Stop.
He doesn't have a thing.
He doesn't even have a case without Tony's body.
Babe, all we have - Rusty, what's going on? - I'm sorry, sir.
I apologise.
This is unb You knew this was my opening night! - You're right, sir, it's an intrusion - No! Let me tell you what I'm gonna do.
- I'm gonna sue your arse! - You're not - Kevin, get him out of my club.
- No, it's foolish.
- Get out of my club.
- Where is it? Got it right here.
I got a warrant.
Here it is.
- I'm sorry? - I have a warrant.
Uh, take this up to Mr Price, would you? It's an extra copy, sir.
You can keep it.
So you folks understand, we'll be here 10, You're welcome to stay, but you gotta be quiet.
Uh, Mr Price.
Oh.
Almost forgot.
This is a fabulous club.
And this man is responsible for it.
This is all his vision here.
This is his design.
And I think we all owe him a big hand.
Uh, Mr Price.
I wonder if Miss Farrow will join us.
I think she'll be interested in this too.
Uh, Miss Farrow.
Uh, you recall, sir, I dropped by earlier today, I had the photo of Tony Galper Yes.
Yes.
I remember.
OK.
Uh do you remember when I was leaving? I got over here, just about with the fish What are these fish called again? - Koi.
- Koi.
Right.
Magnificent creatures.
The different shapes and the different colours.
And look at that guy there.
Look at that orange.
Isn't that fantastic? Anyway, they caught my eye and I noticed that there were 14.
I was going this way, and - I'm sorry - and another colour caught my eye, but in this tank, I noticed there were only nine fish.
Each one more beautiful than the other, but only nine.
So when I got over here, I was struck because there's 14 here, just like the Please! Please tell me this nonsense has something to do with obtaining a warrant.
Oh, absolutely.
Let me tell you something.
I got a nephew.
He works in that zoo down in San Diego, the one with the big whale.
And he tells me there's a rule for fish tanks.
I don't know if you're aware of this or not, but he tells me that for every inch of fish in the tank, you gotta have one gallon of water.
So if you have two goldfish, each of them one inch - that's a total of two inches you gotta have two gallons of water.
Don't ask who comes up with this, that I don't know, but that's what he told me.
And the judge, he had it checked out, and it's true.
So, uh, Junior, can we get these two things here? It has to do, sir, with waste and filtrations, things that I don't understand.
So what this all means is the more fish you got, the more water you need.
Ah.
About four feet.
So this tank has 14 fish and is about four feet deep.
This is ridiculous, Columbo, even for you.
But I'm not finished.
You see, with this formula and this is the part that really got my attention it follows, the less space you have, the less fish you can keep.
Now, in this tank here, we only got nine fish.
Yeah.
About two feet.
This tank is only two feet deep.
That's why it's only got nine fish.
Less space, less fish.
Uh, Mr Carpenter, am I holding you up? All right, come on, get started.
Work right here on the nine-fish tank.
This is only gonna take a minute.
I'm not sure what happened to Tony Galper, but he is missing.
And I was just thinking hypothetically, if something did happen to him, and somehow, Miss Farrow, you happened to be involved, you knew the people that Tony was associated with, you had to assume that if they found out, they'd kill you.
Again, I'm just talking hypothetically.
And you, Mr Price, you had a lot riding on Tony's investment in this club, and this place meant a great deal to you.
So say something did happen to him.
In order to ensure the receipt of his money, you would've needed to help Miss Farrow cover it up.
- Got it, Lieutenant.
- OK, go.
- That device is called What is it again? - Ground penetrating radar device, sir.
Right.
Amazing instrument.
So you buried him right here.
Right under that tank.
And, appropriately enough with the fishes, as they say.
This place really could've been something.
Too bad.
Good evening, Mr Price, Miss Farrow.
Good work, Lieutenant.
People back East are gonna be very pleased.
Listen, if there's anything I can ever do, huh? Oh! Well, that's very nice.
I really appreciate that.
Yeah.