Columbo (1971–2003)
27 user 8 critic

Death Lends a Hand 

Columbo matches is skills against Brimmer, a former cop turned private investigator with a quick temper who tries to blackmail a client's wife, when she refuses he accidentally kills her and it's up to Columbo to nail him.


Bernard L. Kowalski (as Bernard Kowalski)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Robert Culp ... Investigator Brimmer
Pat Crowley ... Mrs. Lenore Kennicutt (as Patricia Crowley)
Ray Milland ... Arthur Kennicutt
Brett Halsey ... Ken Archer
Eric James Eric James ... R.J. Denning
Don Keefer ... Medical Examiner
Len Wayland ... Capt. Of Detectives
Lieux Dressler ... Ceil Gentry
Barbara Baldavin Barbara Baldavin ... Brimmer's Secretary


A private detective kills the wife of one of his most important clients when she refuses to take part in his blackmail scheme and even plans to expose his unsavoury methods to her husband. In an ironic twist, the PA is rehired by his client to assist Columbo in the investigation.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

6 October 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

"Colombo: Una trappola di Colombo" (1971) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Robert Culp and Ray Milland are two of the eight actors to have portrayed the murderer in an episode and not the murderer in another. The others are, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Patrick O'Neal, Robert Vaughn, Dabney Coleman, Joyce Van Patten and Tyne Daly. Culp is the murderer in 3 episodes and is the father of the murderer in Columbo goes to college. Milland is the murderer in Greenhouse jungle. White is the murderer in Last salute to the Commodore and is the butler in Dagger of the Mind. O'Neal is the murderer in Blueprint for Murder and is TV executive in Make me a perfect murder. Vaughn is the murderer in Troubled Waters and the victim's son-in-law in last salute to the Commodore. Daly portrays the murderer in a bird in the hand and non murderer in Undercover. Van Patten portrays the murderer in an old-fashioned murder and is a Sister of Mercy in negative reaction. See more »


Mic is visible when Columbo first sees the body. See more »


Investigator Brimmer: Lieutenant, you have a marvelously convoluted mind.
See more »


Referenced in Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Dead (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Good Number Two
30 May 2014 | by arfdawg-1See all my reviews

The second episode of the first season is a good show, that is a bit mired down by a few flimsy ways Colombo gets his information.

Not as good as some episodes, but still a winner.

The Plot.

Brimmer, a short-tempered private detective, is hired by Arthur Kennicut, a prominent Los Angeles publisher, to investigate the publisher's wife's activities under suspicion of an extra-marital affair.

Although his investigation discovers an affair with a golf instructor, Brimmer chooses not to tell Kennicut about it and proposes Mrs. Kennicut to act, in return for Brimmer's silence, as a "pipeline" for information involving powerful persons with whom her husband is involved.

When Mrs. Kennicut refuses to cooperate and threatens to tell her husband about Brimmer's unsavory proposal, Brimmer becomes enraged and accidentally kills her.

He then transports her body across Los Angeles and dumps it in an industrial area, hoping her death will look like a robbery gone awry.

Enter Lieutenant Columbo, the cigar-smoking detective in a rumpled raincoat, who does not accept the murder-by-mugging theory surrounding the woman's death.

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