Also Gene Stafford, for one of the same reasons. Philip Bruns was great at playing a "put-upon" character on the show MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN, and Gene is a really put-upon character. Ruth admits it about herself by saying "Between Milo and me, he didn't have anything BUT trouble." And of course trying to do something about it gets him murdered. So I don't have to dislike Milo Janus as much as some people do to be bothered about that one.
I find the murderers in the newer episodes to be more annoying. I think they were puposely written that way. It's hard to beat the two frat boys in "Columbo Goes to College".
As far as the older episodes, I think the writing focused more on making the murderers arrogant and boorish rather than just plain irritating. But I agree, Beth Chadwick was pretty annoying. Roddy McDowall was a bit irritating too.
Yep....Justin and Cooper from Columbo Goes to College are (and have been) my top pick forever. All that potential and money and famous (somewhat) fathers - at least justins was. They were both two big putzes.