I'm having my own personal Columbo marathon with my DVD box set this weekend! I have to say it always irks me how cruel Beth's mother and brother were to her, making her feel no one could be interested in her except for her money, that she's a klutz, that she's incapable running the company, etc. It's so extreme and black and white that I can see how she was driven to do what she did. Does anyone else feel sympathy for her? Not saying what sheshe was right but I am saying it seems like her family helped make her capable of it.
I think Beth was constantly overlooked by the family and shoved into some dark corner. Perhaps it interfered with her psyche. She was absolutely gaga over Peter. But in my opinion she was a crazed lunatic. Not my most favorite episode either. She deserved what she got in the end.
The entire plot was centered around her mental stability. So many families have the "odd" one and do their best to keep him/her safe within the confines of family life. Unfortunately Beth had delusions of grandeur, evidenced by the dreamy death scene which quickly unravelled in real life. Sorry - of all the murderers she desperately needed locking up!