Columbo (1971–2003)
37 user 6 critic

A Stitch in Crime 

A surgeon has an ingenious plan for murdering his partner in a research project, but a nurse catches onto the scheme.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Dr. Barry Mayfield
Nurse Sharon Martin
Marcia Dalton
Dr. Edmund Hidemann
Nurse Morgan
Harry Alexander
Victor Millan ...
Detective Flores
Ken Sansom ...
Paul (as Kenneth Sansom)
Dr. Simpson
Leonard Simon ...
Dr. Michaelson
Ron Stokes ...
Patsy Garrett ...
Cleaning Woman


Dr. Barry Mayfield is a highly successful and respected surgeon, but his patience leaves a lot to be desired. Nurse Martin becomes suspicious about his tools in sewing up internal organs in his most recent 'successful' operation (namely, his sutures). The good doctor kills her before she spills the beans, but Mayfield doesn't count on Detective Columbo's investigative skills, which quickly uncover a trail of murderous events. Written by Scott Dawson <> / edited by statmanjeff

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Plot Keywords:

nurse | surgeon | suture | murder | doctor | See All (49) »


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Release Date:

11 February 1973 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


This episode shares its title with Honey West: A Stitch in Crime (1965), in which Anne Francis (Nurse Sharon Martin) also appeared. See more »


As Columbo walks through the zoo to meet Harry Alexander, the background voices and sounds repeat several times and are clearly on an tape-loop. See more »


Lt. Columbo: Uh, I feel uncomfortable.
Dr. Barry Mayfield: In what way?
Lt. Columbo: In hospitals, around illness, I, uh... I feel kind of queasy.
Dr. Barry Mayfield: Well, that's not uncommon, Lieutenant.
Lt. Columbo: I know. Uh, I faint. I mean, I actually pass out, and in my line of work that's kind of embarrassing. Is there, uh... is there something that I can do for that?
Dr. Barry Mayfield: There's only one sure-fire cure, Lieutenant: stay out of hospitals as much as possible.
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Featured in Pioneers of Television: Crime Dramas (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

wonderful entry in the series
26 September 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have loved most of the Columbos. This one is a favorite because of the cast: Leonard Nimoy, Anne Francis, Nita Talbot and Will Geer. There's a wonderful relationship between Geer and Francis, which makes the murders all the sadder.

Nimoy plays a doctor, Dr. Barry Martin, working on a promising research project with an older doctor, Heideman (Geer) who is more conservative. Martin wants to get the work out there; Heideman wants to do more tests and is conversing with another doctor. Since Martin has only attached himself to this project and not done a lot of real work, he's unhappy at the idea of someone else coming in.

When Heideman needs a valve replacement, Martin operates. After the surgery, a nurse (Anne Francis) realizes that he used a different kind of suture. It's actually dissolving suture, so in a few days, it will kill the doctor. Martin kills her before she can investigate.

Of course, leave it to Nita Talbot to provide one of the funniest Columbo scenes, where she describes the differences between herself and her roommate, Francis. Paraphrasing: "She is kind and devoted to helping people, so she works in a hospital...I am only interested in shallow things like money, so I work for a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon." She's fabulous as always.

Great episode, and as someone else said, it's great because you're just not sure how Columbo will get this guy. Also, Martin's arrogance causes Columbo to lose his temper in a great scene.

One of the best.

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