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 »


Columbo has shorter hair when talking to Arthur Kennicutt by the pool than when, after walking into the house, he meets Brimmer. See more »


Columbo: Isn't that a coincidence? I'll tell ya this case is just full of 'em.
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User Reviews

excellent early entry in Columbo series--impressive direction and acting
9 December 2004 | by (south Texas USA) – See all my reviews

This was the second entry in the regular Columbo series, and it holds up well today. As I am able to look at it closely now on DVD and see how it is constructed, I am very impressed with the direction of Bernard L. Kowalski (who directed the fine MACHO CALLAHAN as well as countless TV episodes)--watch how the post-murder actions of the killer are shown on a split-screen effect on his two eyeglasses, watch how the murder itself is shown in montage fashion, watch the point-of-view shot from the perspective of the corpse. Also, the wild but impressive avant-garde musical score from noted jazzman Gil Melle was incredible and helped so much to create atmosphere. And the supporting performance of Brett Halsey as the golf pro was wonderful--such subtlety and complexity in a role that nine out of ten times would be a one-dimensional cutout. The "formula" had not yet been set when this episode was filmed, so there are still some surprises in Columbo's methods. Of course, Falk, Robert Culp, and Ray Milland are the highest-quality actors and it's a pleasure to see them work--all men are familiar from many other roles yet lose themselves in their characters here. In all, this entry in the Columbo series--and MANY of the others--are as well-crafted as a very good feature film.

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