Columbo (1971–2003)
16 user 4 critic

Candidate for Crime 

Senatorial candidate Nelson Hayward murders his domineering campaign manager, staging it to appear that Hayward himself was the intended victim of a mob hit gone wrong.



(teleplay by) (as Irving Pearlberg), (teleplay by) | 5 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Vickie Hayward
Linda Johnson
Harry Stone
Sgt. Vernon
Jay Varela ...
Sgt. Rojas
Deputy Commissioner
Dr. Perenchio
Jude Farese ...
Highway Patrolman
Clete Roberts ...
TV Anchor Man
Angelo Grisanti ...
1st Detective


Nelson Hayward is running for the senate as a man tough on crime. His dictatorial campaign manager, Harry Stone, orders the candidate dump his mistress, backing up his demand with threats to expose the politician's shady past. Stone little guesses that his own publicity-minded lie about anonymous killers threatening the politician's life will lead Hayward to murder him and blame it on the invented assailants. Hayward sets up a tricky alibi for himself around a surprise birthday party for his wife. No one suspects the clever deception except that annoyingly observant Italian-American cop in the rumpled raincoat - the redoubtable Lt. Columbo. Written by J. Spurlin / revised by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

4 November 1973 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


French title : "Candidat au crime". See more »


The whiskey carafe which Mrs. Hayward uses to pour herself a drink changes place by the time Nelson Hayward enters the room briefly to make the pretend phone call during the party. See more »


Lt. Columbo: You know, isn't it funny the way people react under the stress of a situation?
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La Dona e Mobile
(from the opera "Rigoletto")
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A classic Columbo moment revealed here - no spoilers
11 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a quintessential Columbo episode in that the cat and mouse game played out for over an hour between Columbo and his prey, in this case the great Jackie Cooper as a politician willing to kill in order to win, comes to a climax in one single moment. One solitary sentence, uttered by Columbo at the end of the show, makes it more then apparent to the bad guy that the trap he been slowly backed into throughout the episode has just been sprung.

And there is no way out! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

It's worth watching the entire episode just for that one priceless moment. And as usual, the antagonist, through his own words, places the noose around his neck. Classic Columbo!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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