Is Paul Hanlon, the murderer who took the biggest risks to commit his crime out of all the Columbo episodes?
What if the Ding-a-Ling driver had returned to his vehicle?
What if the Ding-a-Ling had broken down or got a flat tyre?
What if there was a traffic jam?
In the end, the vehicle was spotted in an area that it shouldn't have been.
How did he get out and back in the stadium? He couldn't have drove straight in and out because surely there must be a delivery gate in which you have to pass through? There must be a security gate around the stadium otherwise you would have hundreds of people just walking in free of charge!
Where did Hanlon get the keys for the Ding-a-Ling van in the first place? The driver just left them in the truck?
No way he could commit that crime today!
Well, Tommy Brown jumped out of a plane! Kay Freestone's was a risky operation, plus there were only so many people known to be in the building. There's the risk in the murder itself, but then the risks to get away with it, e.g. the dissolving suture was a great strategy until Columbo was onto it, with Mayfield then engaging in all kinds of risks that were more contorted and as bad/ worse than the original attempt.
You do raise some great points. Hanlon probably looked more like a Ding-a-Ling ice cream man than most of other drivers. We saw his sinister side, but one can imagine him smiling and waving at the gate.
Everyone learns that dealing with Columbo turns out to be biggest unknown risk. In this light, maybe it was Halperin who took the biggest risk of all.
Hanlon was so cocky that he probably never thought of these things.
And there's Paul Galesko, whose big risk is similar to Tommy Brown's. No matter how carefully you do it, a self-inflicted gunshot wound has to be a VERY big risk.
Speaking of Galesko its too bad we didnt see more of D. Van **** in other episodes.