Listen closely to Franklin's explanations as to why they never published it; " we couldn't figure out the ending".
Like the fictitious writing duo, Levinson and Link are being semi-autobiographical.
It's such a great episode that one can sorta overlook the less than convincing climax.
All the cards are often not face up when the killer folds. When Franklin didn’t want Columbo to keep reading the idea on the scrap of paper, there’s implication that the continuation would bear a similar pattern to the murder plot. That’s part of the fun stuff. Then there’re phone records: the call from the cabin. Immediately after that call, Mrs. Ferris called the police – the back-to-back timing on these calls can easily be worked out. The call record from Lily Lasanka’s store can also be factored in. It’s really about the entertainment though: Franklin (in the presence of the officer), “You gotta admit I had you goin’” – and yeah, I suppose Franklin, not being a writer, would not think “that idiot would ever write it down.”
That’s a good point about the remaining details in the written outline of the murder plot that Franklin didn’t want Columbo to read out loud. If they included trashing the office, planting a motive to implicate the mob, A disposing of B’s body on A’s own lawn as though A is being sent a warning...that would be almost impossible for Ken to explain those exact similarities.
Hafta give props to Sheldon Catz
He wrote that if you put the phone calls in sequence you must conclude that Ferris called his wife from the cabin
I had that comment spinning in my head for hours before I could wrap my head around it!