A mousy heiress murders her brother, pretending she thought he was a burglar. Lt. Columbo unravels her alibi.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Beth Chadwick
Mrs. Chadwick
Bryce Chadwick
Joel Fluellen ...
2nd Detective
Garry Walberg ...
1st Detective
Jon Lormer ...
Hearing Officer
Frank Baxter ...
Susan Barrister ...


Beth Chadwick has lived all her life controlled first by her father, then after his death, by her brother Bryce who manages the family business. Now she has fallen for Peter Hamilton, who works for Bryce. But, as usual, Bryce objects to her choice and threatens to fire Peter. So Beth decides to murder her brother and to do it in such a way to let it to appear like an accident. Lt. Columbo realizes at once the truth and starts looking for evidence. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

15 December 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


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Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was Jessie Royce Landis' final acting role before her death on February 2, 1972 at the age of 75. See more »


Leslie Nielson says "She didn't kill anyone. It was an accident." He should have said "She didn't murder anyone. It was an accident." She did "kill", accident or not. See more »


Columbo: This is a terrible thing to admit, but, uh... I think that, in a way, her brother's death is the best thing that ever happened to her.
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Love Theme from 'Red Sky At Morning'
Composed by Billy Goldenberg
Heard during the bar scene
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User Reviews

Columbo in Waiting.
18 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Another Columbo episode featuring Webster actress Susan Clark as the woman who wants to lead her life without her overbearing brother's interference over the decision of her life. After his murder or accidental death, we miss Marcia Wallace, the lady at the inquest. I saw this episode on television so I don't know if it was edited out of the original episode. I like watching Leslie Nielson play the man who loves Susan Clark's character. You wonder what happens to the woman who has murdered her brother. Tired of domination, she has had enough and had planned the murder so carefully but not carefully enough until Columbo steps in asking questions. This family is definitely one of a dysfunction. Like most of the families here, they are wealthy and prominent so their lives are not as easy as we think they are because they have money. Sometimes money can cause problems as well. If her character was given independence in the first place to make her mistakes and live her life in the first place, maybe she would have faired better. Anyway, I recommend feminist critics watch Columbo episodes featuring women killers because I think there is a lot there.

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