10x14 - Columbo Likes the Nightlife

Episode transcripts for the TV show "Columbo". Aired: February 20, 1968 – January 30, 2003.*
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Columbo is a homicide detective whose trademarks include his rumpled beige raincoat, unassuming demeanor, cigar, old Peugeot 403 car, and an unseen wife.
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10x14 - Columbo Likes the Nightlife

Post by bunniefuu »

Very nice. It's very nice.


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.

- Is it a fish t*nk?
- Yeah.

I'll drop gallons of water in
and light it from underneath.

I think it will look good.

When are you thinking of opening?


Depends on what?

The money.

The money.
You're waiting, right?

Look, 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 hours.

Oh... 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.

Good. 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 stop by and...

see how you're spending your alimony.

I bought this place with my money,
thank you.

Maybe so, but 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, Uh?

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 this kid.

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.
- Look.

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.





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.


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 just 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, I can't. You don't understand.
Those people will k*ll 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 hours,

his investment money will
hits my bank account.

If this gets out, I am finished.

Do you understand me? I am finished.

So for the next 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. That's all.

And nobody has to know. Nobody.

But I will need you % on this.

What do we have to do?


Yeah, this is Justin Price.


Uh, no, that's excellent.

Yeah. Yeah. Thank you very much.



Babe, it's me.

I got the money.


It's time for Tony to check out.

OK, I'll meet you in an hour
outside the car rental lot.

OK, just don't be late.


This is Tony Galper in .
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.



Did you really think
you were going to get away with it?

I know what you did.

Where did you put the body, Vanessa?

Oh my God, Justin,
somebody just called me.


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.


I think he just emailed me.


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?


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?


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 back...

Come on.
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 .

Business is good, Justin.

Hey, what's the cover tonight? ?
bucks a pop?

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.


Bring one of your girls
like you used to.

I'll show her a good time.


Yeah, it's me.

Did you see the pictures?



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?


Let's go.

Where were you? I was paging you.

Yeah I didn't get it.
My battery must be d*ad.

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.


We get a call this morning
about : .

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 just a few feet away from him.

Says he never heard a thing.

We got a su1c1de 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 .
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 d*ad...

before he h*t 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 .

- ?
- 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.


So we're putting together
some contact information...

on his employers...

so we can have a place to start, sir.

- Excuse me.
- Sir?

The su1c1de note,
can you tell me where it was found?

Over on the computer, sir.

The computer?



The computer with the su1c1de note,
has that been dusted for prints?

Uh, no, sir. Didn't seem
necessary on a su1c1de.

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 su1c1de.

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?
- th.

th. What did he do?
Change the calendar and then jump?

Oh. Look at this.


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 e's here, right?

And i's.

e's, 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 h*t those keys
and 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 su1c1de.

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?



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.

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 right. On the phone, did I mention
the victim had a rope around his neck?

You did.

Good. Because obviously
this looks like a su1c1de, right?

- Yeah.
- One problem. No eyewitness.

Nobody actually saw what happened.
You understand?


So to close up this case,

this, you know, mark as su1c1de,
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?


Look, Lieutenant, I liked the man,
but yeah, he had problems.

Like what?

He gambled. A lot.

He drank... The man was desperate.


this wasn't the first time.

- You mean...
- He tried it before.

- su1c1de?
- Last Christmas.

How do you know?

- Because he told me.
- Oh.

This is very valuable.

Okay. 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.

You know, they come to my parties, so...

Look, Lieutenant, if I'm telling you this,
I'm telling you in confidence, right?

You need information and
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.

That's when 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 or two, but...

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.

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...

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?

Well, 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.


Babe, it's me.

My God. I've been calling you.
What's going on?

Babe, relax. Relax, OK?

I've just been talking
to a detective about the whole thing.

- What!?
- Ness, Ness, Ness...

It's fine. They're just...

wrapping things up. This guy, Columbo,

he just thinks it's a su1c1de.
We're sweet. Every thing'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 contact, just for a little longer.

Cos as long as they can't
put the two of us together,

they got no way of connecting you
to this guy. Understand me?


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 the other rags
stopped hiring him all together.

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 d*ad.

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 candor.

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 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!


- Come on. Dance with me.
- What are you doing?

- You look good.
- I do?


Well, if you say so.


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?

Yes, 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 su1c1de?

Ah, you know, I'm not so sure
it is a su1c1de, Mr. Price.

What? Do you think he was m*rder?

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, Lieutenant.

Linwood had a ton of enemies,
but I wasn't one of them.

Ours was a mutually beneficial

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 the bed.

Yeah, sure. Um...
Yes, you could speak to Julius.


My doorman. He'll tell you my car
was out front the entire night.

Julius. OK, fine. 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.

So you can see
the reason for my concern?

Oh 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 d*ad.
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 actually 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 - - .

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 d*ad
yesterday morning.

Oh. 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 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 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 ...

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 th,
so that must've been the nd.



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.

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 décor.

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.

/ .


/ . Jogging.

/ .

/ .

/ . It's empty.

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 t*nk.

- 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 recently 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.

Cos 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 a 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.


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. All right?

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.
You're not gonna believe it.

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.



Uh... her ex.

Joey G? Hm.

/ .

And / .


/ .


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 k*ll 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 of 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.

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.

So 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 th?
- Yes, sir.

Are you sure it was the th
and not the nd?

Yes, sir. The th. Last Monday.

Checked out of his hotel at : ,

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.


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 report of the bill.

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?


- 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?


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. Huh!


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 h*t water, not bowl.

- And that was Monday.
- Yeah.

The day he checked out,
the th.

- Yeah.
- Did you see him on Monday?

No. He check out early.

So the last day,
that was the only day...

That he h*t 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?


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 on things,

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 Mr. Gal...


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 th?

Yep. The th. 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?


You know, Lieutenant,
my day wouldn't be complete...

without at least
one of your little visits.

Oh, I'm sorry about 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.


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 case.

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 know,
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.


What are these fish called?



Oh, my gosh!


What a great idea.
Fish in a dance floor.


Yeah, fantastic.

Good luck tonight.


Sorry to bother you, miss.
I hope you don' mind.

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?


I really don't have much time.

I understand.
I'll just get right to it.

Thank you.

You're welcome.



Uh, yes. Just getting my notes. OK...

My problem is...
the two cases I'm working on,

the m*rder of Linwood Coben
and your husband's disappearance.


Ex-husband. You're right.
When 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 m*rder
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

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 keep these,
look at them 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!?

I know, but,
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 m*rder! Jail!
How am I supposed to be calm?!

Stop it, Ness!

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 no no no! Let me
tell you what I'm gonna do.

I'm gonna sue your arse!

You're not gonna...

Kevin, get him out.

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 , minutes,
working on a missing person.

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 .

I was going this way, and, I'm sorry,
and another colour caught my eye,

but in this t*nk,
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 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 t*nk.

I don't know
if you're aware of this or not,

but he tells me that
for every inch of fish in the t*nk,

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 t*nk has fish
and is about four feet deep.

This is ridiculous, Columbo, even for you.

Yeah, 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 t*nk here,
we only got nine fish.

Yeah. About two feet.

This t*nk 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 t*nk.
This is only gonna take a minute.

You see, 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,

well, you knew the people
that Tony was associated with,

you had to assume that
if they found out, they'd k*ll 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.


Amazing instrument.

So you buried him right here.

Right under that t*nk.

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.
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