After a much maligned Hollywood gossip columnist is murdered by her former lover, Columbo tries to find a way to prove he was responsible for the crime.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sheik Yarami
Eddie Fenelle (as Ron Másak)
Scott N. Stevens ...
Henry Chalfont (as Conrad Bachman)


Hollywood gossip reporter, Verity Chandler is planning her next expose. Which is to reveal how famed mortician, Eric Prince built his empire. When she reveals to Prince her plans he kills her. He then places her in the casket of a man scheduled to be cremated. And cremates her. He then goes to her house and changes the story she was working on to make it seem someone else wanted to get her. When no one hears from her, the police are called in and Lt. Columbo is on the job. Eentually he learns that she went to a funeral at Prince's and talks to him. And he finds his behavior odd. Written by

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Release Date:

8 October 1998 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The mortuary exterior setting was filmed at the Laury's Restaurant Garden Center and Retail Shop located in Glendale. The facility had been closed by the Laury's management, remaining vacant for a year, when the "Columbo" production team surveyed the site for the film's mortuary exterior location. The Spanish themed facility had a huge parking area adjacent to the building's main entrance providing an area for a helicopter to land, and to lift off. The parking area was clear of overhead telephone and electric wires, no palm trees, nor planting that would obstruct a pilot maneuvering a helicopter into the landing site. The buildings' interiors were impractical for filming. The art department added mortuary signs; plugged the central entrance arcade with a double door entrance which was matched on the Universal Studio stage mortuary interior foyer set; restoring landscaping to the sites grounds with shrubs, palms, and flowering plants. Filming scenes involving the helicopter were done at the site; one scene which required the helicopter to hover above the ground camera crew's angle shot of Sally Kellerman opening a cremation urn to scatter ashes in the wind. Not anticipating the back draft wind, when Sally opened the prop to dump sand, the dust and sand whipped back up into the helicopter and all over Sally! Another aerial helicopter sequence was filmed over the actual "Hollywood" sign with Sally Kellerman dumping the sand out of the prop urn. Creative license allowed the illegal dump! Only on a "Columbo"!!! See more »


Columbo says that diamonds can't burn, that is not true, diamonds burns at 850 degrees Celsius. See more »

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User Reviews

22 May 2000 | by (Alberta, Canada) – See all my reviews

I saw this at a young age and loved it! My mother always taped Columbo movies, and I watched it with her. I understood perfectly! A woman clubbed to death, then cremated with stolen diamonds down her throat. The chemistry is great. I'm not as much of a Columbo fan as my mom, but I recommend it for mystery and Columbo fans!

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