Columbo: Season 10, Episode 3

Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star (29 Apr. 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 602 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 3 critic

Lt. Columbo matches wits with a defense lawyer who has never lost a case in his career.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Trish Fairbanks
Cheryl Paris ...
Marcy Edwards
Neddy Malcolm
Sgt. Hubach
Sam Marlowe
Chief Quentin Corbett
Lab Technician
Hugh Creighton
Deborah Rose ...
Tad Horino ...
Gardener Ando Miaki
Joseph Chapman ...
Ann Weldon ...


A successful lawyer learns that his companion has been having an affair and upon learning of this throws her out. She in turn threatens to reveal his illegal tactics unless she gets some compensation for the time that they were together. He in turn, kills her and frames her boyfriend. Written by <>

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Release Date:

29 April 1991 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final acting role of B.J. Turner. See more »


Columbo enters the murder house through the front door in a pouring rainstorm. His trousers are wet, and he's wearing a hat and using an umbrella. While he is inside, we hear thunder. Then, Columbo steps out the back door, and into bright sunshine. Perhaps it could be argued that the abrupt change is consistent with Los Angeles weather patterns, but this would not explain how there is no rainwater anywhere on the deck, on the garbage cans, or in the sand. See more »


Lt. Columbo: [reading off a card] You have the right to remain silent, you know if you give that up, anything you say can be used against you. You have the right to retain an attorney... you have the right to... what the hell is that?
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Followed by Columbo: A Bird in the Hand... (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Superb Columbo, but only if you don't miss a vital piece of info provided early on.
3 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Superb episode. Extremely difficult frame-up by brilliant defense lawyer picked apart step by step by Columbo, until he is stumped by a seemingly foolproof alibi. The way he cracks it, and the manner of proving it provides for one of the most shocking and fabulous Columbo finales of all. Dabney Coleman is really good as the murderer, who thinks he can arrogantly get away with anything because of his unbeaten record as a murder defense lawyer and his powerful connections in the system. It seems to give Columbo an extra desire to get him, and you can hear the joy in his voice when he finally gets the last laugh and nails him. However, I do wish Falk had not included his wife Shera Danese in six episodes. If ever there was a case of nepotism, this was it. As superb as he was as an actor, that is how bad she was as an actress. But if that was the price to pay for enjoying Falk's immense talents in 68 Columbo episodes, I'll gladly pay it. However, after reading the other reviews, I realize that many people missed the main clue (e.g., eralan_uk), which ruined the whole episode for them. Without including a spoiler here (as I have carefully avoided them in all my reviews, so viewers can have advance notice of the quality of the episode beforehand), allow me to add this critical info. If you miss one cryptic early allusion to it, you will not be able to figure out how a person can create a complex fake alibi for a murderer, yet not suspect him as the murderer until after the fact. The answer is that the person unwittingly created the alibi, thinking it was for some other purpose, and only put two and two together after the fact. So pay careful attention when that person first reveals their suspicions to the murderer, as she briefly explains what she had been asked to do earlier, and how that led to her current suspicions. The full meaning of her cryptic comments only become clear later on, when the fake alibi is revealed.

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