Columbo (1971–2003)
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Try and Catch Me 

A mystery writer suspects her niece's husband of murdering her, and she exacts revenge by asphyxiating him in her house safe.



(teleplay by), (teleplay by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Edmund Galvin
Jerome Guardino ...
Sergeant Burke
Marie Silva-Alexander ...
Dance Instructor


An aging but successful and wealthy crime fiction writer blames the death of her niece on the girl's husband. One night she invites him up to the house to sign their wills before getting him to leave and return within a few minutes so she can spring a trap (locking him in her soundproof safe). Detective Columbo arrives and suspects the writer of murder but clues are few and far between. Written by Scott Dawson <>

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Release Date:

21 November 1977 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was the first Columbo broadcast when the show was on its own. The show had been one part of the wheel program Sunday Mystery Movie series that rotated it along with McCloud, McMillan (without the "and Wife" during its final season) and Quincy, M.E. When the Mystery Movie was canceled, Quincy was made into a weekly series and Columbo continued its 90 minute format for the 1977-78 season on its own and was then canceled. The show remained dormant until it was revived by ABC in 1989. See more »


(at around 1 min) During Columbo and Abigail Mitchell's meeting at the dock, Columbo bends down to unhook Dog's leash while Dog is facing the ocean. When the shot changes, Dog is suddenly facing the opposite direction. See more »


Lt. Columbo: That must have been very hard losing someone you love like that. I've been very lucky. I've lost my parents, that's the way of the world. But to lose someone that young, that's like being cheated. That's very hard.
Abigail Mitchell: I'm beginning to be very fond of you, Lieutenant. I think you're a very kind man.
Lt. Columbo: Don't count on that, Miss Mitchell. Don't count on it.
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References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »


This Old Man
Traditional English children's marching song
[First two lines played by Peter Falk on piano. Later he whistles it.]
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User Reviews

Simply one of the best Columbos
22 April 2003 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

A top notch Columbo from beginning to end. I particularly like the interaction between Columbo and the killer, Ruth Gordon.

As an avid Columbo fan, I can't recall another one in which he doesn't set up the killer at the end as he does in other episodes. In this one, as he's trying to determine the correct sequence of the boxes and the "message" that the nephew left behind, it finally dawns on him.

The music in this episode is very good as well, as it is in many of other ones.

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