Columbo (1971–2003)
16 user 6 critic

Blueprint for Murder 

Elliot Markham, a brilliant architect and con-man, murders a Texas millionaire and hides his body in order to keep his visionary construction project financed.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Elliot Markham
Goldie Williamson
Jennifer Williamson
Bo Williamson
Miss Sherman
Nick Dennis ...
Robert Gibbons ...
Cliff Carnell ...
Officer Wilson
Jimmy Joyce ...


Millionaire Bo Williamson returns from two months in Europe and finds an unpleasant surprise: his second wife, Jennifer, has financed a new town construction project. Incensed, Bo confronts Elliot Markham, the architect with the original idea. Shortly thereafter, Bo disappears again, and it looks as if he's off on another European trip, but his first wife, Goldie, doesn't think so and - despite the lack of a body - gets Lt. Columbo to look into it for her. It doesn't take the detective long to sense something is indeed amiss, but where's the corpse? Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

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Release Date:

9 February 1972 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is one of the very few episodes where viewers do not see the murder being committed. See more »


Bo Williamson's car is specially outfitted with a silver six-gun on each door-handle. It's a great touch of character, big and gaudy enough that we should see the revolvers at considerable distance. But in the longer views of the car, driving through the construction site near the beginning, the guns are missing. In fact, it might be a different gold Cadillac than the car used in close-ups, because we are also unable to see the decorative air-vents aft of the doors. See more »


Elliot Markham: Lieutenant, anybody ever tell you you're very much like an arachnid?
Columbo: A what?
Elliot Markham: A tick. They're quite common but excessively tenacious. They hang on. They let go only under extreme prodding.
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User Reviews

Country vs. Classical
21 June 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I would have to say the best moments for me, although too short, are the tense scenes between Forrest Tucker, Patrick O'Neal, as both give great performances. The other familiar faces include Janis Paige, Bettye Ackerman, and John Fiedler; I found Pamela Austin slightly annoying as the "child bride". No need to go through the plot, as you probably read it, or know it, by now. Peter Falk did a commendable job as the director of this episode, as it's not the usual murder taking place in a big mansion; rather, mostly everything revolves around a construction site, namely "Willamson City". We also get some nice scenes on a ranch, an impressive office, a university classroom, and real construction workers doing their trade. As fine as this episode was, I'm not so sure Columbo could've gotten quick approval to dig up a massive pile of concrete, which occurs here. Other than that small tidbit, this is a mighty fine story.

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