Ray Dixon has too much invested in molding his son Norm into an Olympic champion and sees those dreams threatened by a rival swimmer. Ray changes out his medication and the young man dies. Barnaby Jones tackles an seemingly unsolvable case.
The death of a woman's sister is ruled a suicide, but the woman doesn't buy it and hires Barnaby to look into it. What he discovers is a man who preys upon lonely single women for information so he can steal from their businesses that they work for, and he may have had something to do with the woman's death.
The brother of a man imprisoned for murder kidnaps and holds Betty hostage. In exchange for her release he demands that Barnaby finds enough evidence to clear his brother of the murder he did not commit.
A stable boy who's been in trouble with the law before is afraid that he's responsible for a horseback riding accident that resulted in the death of a wealthy business man. Barnaby investigates and believes that not is all as it appears.
When the owner of a restaurant is found dead, his brother whose also his partner asks Barnaby to investigate.And he thinks Barnaby should focus on one of his brother's employees whom Betty knows. It seems that the owner was always making passes at his wife. And another employee saw the two men fighting on the night the owner died and tries to blackmail them. But the wife has other plans.
A mentally challenged young man stumbles upon a murder being committed and tries to help the victim, but he's too late and the real assailant flees the scene before any other witnesses show up. The local sheriff wants to charge him for the murder, and it's up to Barnaby to prove that he has the wrong man.
Barnaby's cousin, a cop from Chicago comes and calls him, he tells Barnaby he has a lead on the man who killed his partner, whom he's been looking for. But after talking to him, some men grab him and kill him. Barnaby's informed of his death. He then calls his son, J.R. who comes and demands to know what is being done to find who killed his father. Barnaby thinks he has a lead but proceed cautiously. But J.R. is impatient and goes on his own.
A man supplying secrets to an investigative reporter is murdered in the desert by the hired henchman of a crooked land developer. Barnaby is hired to investigate to get to the bottom of it, but not before another murder is committed.
A grieving widow asks Barnaby to look into the death of her charter pilot husband who died on a run. During the investigation Barnaby and J. R. discover a family operated money smuggling ring with a black sheep son stealing from them.
Barnaby and J.R. investigate a scuba diving death that seems unlikely to have happened the way it was reported. What they discover is more death and over $1,000,000 in jade art objects at the bottom of the ocean.
Barnaby, J.R., and Betty investigate a 10 year old kidnapping case after a man identifying himself as Scorpio calls a family offering to return his long lost daughter in exchange for a $250,000 ransom.
Barnaby suspects foul play following the accidental deaths of a judge and a doctor, who both received alleged phone calls just prior to their demise from a dead woman whom they both helped put into a mental institution years before.
In order to clear an innocent man Barnaby races against time to find an escaped convict who's testimony can set him free. Also trying to find the same convict is a bounty hunter with a reputation for bringing his quarry in dead.
Barnaby helps reunite a mother with her daughter on the day the daughter is released from prison. Then they ask him to find the daughters little boy who on the run with the ex-boyfriend, and he also happens to be involved in arms dealing.
A worried wife hires Barnaby to find out what has happened to her missing husband. In the course of their investigation Barnaby and J.R. believe that he was involved in a series of heists with his old college buddies, and that he may be dead.