Columbo (1971–2003)
20 user 6 critic

Death Lends a Hand 

When the CEO of a private detective agency threatens the wife of a publisher with blackmail and she threatens to expose him, he accidentally kills her.


(as Bernard Kowalski)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Investigator Brimmer
Mrs. Lenore Kennicutt (as Patricia Crowley)
Arthur Kennicutt
Ken Archer
Eric James ...
Medical Examiner
Capt. Of Detectives
Ceil Gentry
Barbara Baldavin ...
Brimmer's Secretary


Brimmer, a short-tempered private detective, is hired by Arthur Kennicutt, a prominent Los Angeles publisher, to investigate the publisher's wife's activities under suspicion of an extra-marital affair. Although his investigation discovers an affair with a golf instructor, Brimmer chooses not to tell Kennicutt about it and proposes Mrs. Kennicutt to act, in return for Brimmer's silence, as a "pipeline" for information involving powerful persons with whom her husband is involved. When Mrs. Kennicutt refuses to cooperate and threatens to tell her husband about Brimmer's unsavory proposal, Brimmer becomes enraged and accidentally kills her. He then transports her body across Los Angeles and dumps it in an industrial area, hoping her death will look like a robbery gone awry. Enter Lieutenant Columbo, the cigar-smoking detective in a rumpled raincoat, who does not accept the murder-by-mugging theory surrounding the woman's death. When Kennicutt assigns Brimmer to assist Columbo in the ... Written by Kevin McCorry <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

6 October 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Kennicutt mansion was also used in The Godfather (1972) as the home of movie director Jack Woltz. See more »


Brimmer states that around 10% of the world's population are ambidextrous (a figure that Columbo then repeats). In fact it's about 1%. About 10% are left-handed. See more »


[Columbo has just described one of the pranks he and his mischievous buddies used to pull as kids]
Columbo: It was a terrible thing to do, and got a feeling that the reason I became a cop was to make up for all of those jokes I played when I was a kid.
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User Reviews

The Wife
20 February 2016 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

Robert Culp plays the hot-tempered president of a detective agency named Brimmer, who has just completed an investigation into the supposed infidelity of the wife to a powerful newspaper magnate named Arthur Kennicutt(played by Ray Milland). Brimmer falsely gives the wife a clean bill of health in order to mine her for inside information to her politically connected husband, but her defiant refusal causes Brimmer to strike her, killing her accidentally, but making it look like a murder that gets the attention of Lt. Columbo(Peter Falk) whose investigative talents may get him hired to the agency, as long as he drops the case... Fine cast distinguishes this entry.

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