"Columbo" A Friend in Deed (TV Episode 1974) - Plot Summary Poster

(TV Series)



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  • A police commissioner provides a false alibi for a wife killer, but then expects an alibi in return.

  • Hugh Caldwell kills his wife Janice and in despair asks for the help of his friend and neighbor Mark Halperin. Mark helps a friend in deed, of course, so the death appears to be the job of a thief, but Lt. Columbo has some doubts. There is not a single fingerprint of the deceased in her house and he begins to suspect Halperin. Unfortunately for Lt. Columbo, Halperin is the deputy police commissioner.

  • A deputy police commissioner is approached by a desperate friend who confesses to having killed his wife during a violent argument, and agrees to provide the friend with a false alibi, blaming the murder on a suspected serial killer who's terrorising women in an LA neighbourhood. The commissioner later sees this as an opportunity to kill his own wife in order to inherit her massive estate. He then asks the friend to cover up the crime to make it look like she'd been killed during a home invasion.

  • Hugh Caldwell accidentally kills his wife Janice in a violent argument. Desperate and scared he contacts his friend Mark who is the Police Commissioner for help. Unknown to Hugh, Mark's silence comes with a price: Mark murders his own wife and blackmails Hugh to help him frame a notorious burglar who was targeting the neighborhood for both murders.

  • Hugh Caldwell kills his wife during a heated argument. He asks for help from his neighbor and best friend Mark Halperin, the Deputy Police Commissioner of the LAPD. Mark is glad to help out, making the murder look like a robbery gone wrong, but the price of his assistance is more than Hugh bargained for. Wanting access to his own wife's millions, Mark kills her and forces Hugh to help him frame "the Bel Air Bandit" for both deaths. Columbo must tread carefully if he hopes to arrest his superior for murder without losing his badge.


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