William Windom, your average working man, owner of a auto repair place is the client for Billy Jim Hawkins in this episode. This was not an easy case for Jimmy Stewart, but it turns out to be a pleasure in the end. For the viewer as well.
Windom's son committed suicide after being involved in some psychological experiments conducted by two graduate students. Windom goes on television to say these men and their experiments killed his kid. Later the two are driven off the road, one of them is dead, and the other John Ventantonio says that Windom was the driver.
Stewart has that whole country boy thing down pretty good, it's part of his shtick as a lawyer/performer in court. But he and his law clerk James Hampton dumb it down good to feed Ventantonio's ego. They give him every reason to feel he's the superior man.
Stories like this make people feel good. They love seeing a guy who feels himself above the crowd getting taken down. It's the whole reason for the success of Columbo. Ventantonio is someone you truly love to hate and his tripping himself up on the stand and then trying to brazen it out covers a lot of some flaws in the script.
Stewart/Columbo carries the day.
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