Columbo (1971–2003)
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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?


Arthur Kennicutt's mansion is the same mansion used in the film The Bodyguard (1992) as the home of Rachel Marron. See more »


When Brimmer, seated at his desk, is writing the receipt for Columbo he's writing on the folder cover in the first shot. In the second shot he's writing on a receipt pad. See more »


Teddy: [as Columbo pushes him on a swing] Higher!
Columbo: Higher? Listen, if you go any higher, you're gonna go right over the top.
See more »

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User Reviews

Blackmailing Detective
12 August 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This episode of Columbo features a blackmailing owner of a private detective agency in Robert Culp. He's a former cop, a law enforcement professional and even though the murder he commits is spontaneous, he's clever enough to do a good cover-up.

It's never good enough when you're dealing with Lt. Columbo. Culp is doing a job for wealthy publisher Ray Milland following his wife Patricia Crowley to make sure she's not having an affair. He gives Milland a clean bill of health for Crowley.

However Culp lied and he then confronts Crowley with a proposition to help ferret out information with a little pillow talk on another matter Milland is interested in. She refuses and threatens to expose Culp, so he kills her in a fit of anger.

As it is Culp's willingness to help arouses Peter Falk's suspicions. And what trips him up is those littlest of details which I will not reveal.

Culp's a cold calculator, but no match for the guy in the raincoat.

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