A publisher hires a bomb enthusiast to murder a bestselling author of sex novels. Lt. Columbo is on the case.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Riley Greenleaf
Mickey Spillane ...
Alan Mallory
Eileen McRae
Jeffrey Neal
John Davis Chandler ...
Eddie Kane (as John Chandler)
Lou D'Allessandro
David Chase
Sgt. Young
Ted Gehring ...
Security Guard
Vern Rowe ...
Restaurant Manager
Lew Palter ...
Lab Technician
George Brenlin ...
J.S. Johnson ...


Riley Greenleaf is a publisher and Alan Mallory, a successful writer, is his principal asset. But Alan Mallory has decided to change publishers. Riley threatens to kill Alan. Then he hires Eddie Kane, a Vietnam veteran, to murder Alan and to leave evidence that the killer is Riley himself, who has an excellent alibi. But a key will betray him. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

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Release Date:

18 January 1974 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Columbo enthusiastically refers to Bette Davis' acting abilities. Peter Falk won an Oscar nomination co-starring with Davis in Pocketful of Miracles (1961). See more »


Although Greenleaf's publishing company is located in Los Angeles (where Columbo works), a cover letter is addressed to him in New York City. See more »


Mrs. Morgan: [to an apparently drunk Greenleaf] Sir, in your condition I should call the police.
Riley Greenleaf: [sarcastically] Madame, in your condition, i'd call a plastic surgeon.
See more »

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User Reviews

Well Alibied
12 May 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In his second of three appearances as a guest murderer on Columbo, Jack Cassidy plays a publisher who's about to lose his best money maker, writer of steamy trash Mickey Spillane. Good thing he's insured so that when he does arrange Spillane's demise, he's well insured.

He's also well alibied for Cassidy doesn't do it himself, he hires explosives expert John Davis Chandler to do it, saying he will publish his how to make a bomb book if he does the deed. He even has evidence planted that could link him to the crime, but then Cassidy deliberately gets himself into a minor vehicular accident to give himself a great alibi. Almost anyone else, but Peter Falk might have bought it on face value.

Cassidy's scheme was a little too well planned for someone who is informed finally that Spillane was leaving. Someone as volatile as Chandler could not be kept on a leash for any length of time. That makes this one of the lesser Columbo stories.

Even with that John Davis Chandler steals this one as the explosives man who isn't wrapped too tight.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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