The Lytton family owns a museum. Siblings Ruth and Edward (curator and trustee, respectively) have devoted their lives to it, but with things not going so well, Edward has decided to sell it. Ruth doesn't agree and plans otherwise (the old-fashioned way). She has a niece, Janie, whom she loves more than her mother does, who has hired Milton Schaeffer, a petty thief and inveterate gambler (and the brother of her (Janie's) lover), as their new security guard. With a subsequent double-homicide on hand utilizing these details, Columbo delves into the family's personal history to help unravel spinster Ruth's ruthless scheme.
Baldinotto da Pistoia / with additional information by statmanjeff
Did You Know?
Joyce Van Patten, who plays Ruth Lytton in this episode, was also in the Season 4 episode "Negative Reaction," in which she played the Nun (Sister of Mercy). See more
Supposedly the burglar is shot by the accountant who is shot in return. Columbo listens to the inventory tape many times but listens to the answering machine tape only once. If the two men shot each other at nearly the same time, the answering machine (fake) message would have two gunshots to account for the dual deaths. It had only one. Columbo failed to pick up on this (even if to consider simultaneous gunfire). See more
You know, when I say "Homicide Department," most women, they act a little upset, so I try and calm 'em with a little chit-chat. I've been doing that for so long that I forgot to notice that you weren't upset. Forgive me for wandering off.
I've disappointed you. My sister won't. You needn't even bother saying "homicide." "Foul play" will do it. She faints.
This Old Man
English folk children's counting song.
Whistled by Peter Falk See more