The Lt. Columbo Forum

An area where fans from all over can ask each other questions and voice their own ideas and opinions on anything Columbo.

This Forum is fondly dedicated in memory of  "cassavetes45"  (Carleen Zink),
Columbo's greatest fan and a great friend to us all.
The Lt. Columbo Forum
Start a New Topic 
View Entire Thread
Re: Most illogical and least illogical murders of blackmailers

Maybe it\'s come up many times, but which murders of blackmailers make the least sense and which ones make the most sense?
I don\'t necessarily mean the planning of them. There\'s that, but also something else. I mean, there are times when the killer could pay the person once and then (even if it sounds naive) wait and see what happens, but instead decides on murder right away.

I mention him a lot when it comes to this, but I think the most obvious one (in both areas) is Ken Franklin. Not only does he deposit that money right back in the bank immediately (with Columbo watching him), but who knows how long he could string Lily along, since she wants him every bit as much as she does the money.

If there\'s such a thing as the other extreme, it might be Santini and Jesse Jerome. Not only has it been going on forever, but Jesse gets such a kick out of blackmailing Santini, it\'s easy to imagine him getting the same kick out of reporting him (without any warning). So Santini is in a pretty big fix because of that.

What are some others where the killer seems forced into it, and what are some others where they could play along with the blackmailer for a little longer than they do?
I always enjoy topics related to blackmail. I'd have to say that Ward Fowler's murder of Clare Daley in Fade Into Murder would probably be the one I'd say was most illogical. Sure, she was taking a nice chunk of Ward's pie, but he was still clearly doing very well for himself. She was the one that kept pushing for his salary increase, so in turn, they were both doing better, too. Also, I'm not so sure if in the 1970s if a top TV star who was found to desert the Army in the Korean War would completely lose his career. A good publicist could spin it a million ways and still save face. Not sure about the penalties for that time, but I'm sure it wasn't a long prison stay, if any, so many years later, and after Muhammad Ali refused the Vietnam Draft. Should've just took all her leverage and at the very least call her bluff. Would she really blow up his career while being the co-producer of the supposedly the #1 show in television?

Most logical would probably be Tommy Brown's murder of Edna Brown in Swan Song. She was bleeding him pretty harshly...taking all the money into the building of her precious tabernacle. And what she held over his head was pretty reprehensible. A statutory rape allegation for a man of his prominence would've not only killed his career but would've put him back in prison.

Re: Most illogical and least illogical murders of blackmailers

I agree about those two.

It sounds like a joke, but if Fade Into Murder exists in the same "universe" as MASH, TV fans would be very used to people who'd do anything to get out of the Korean War, including desertion, without considering them terrible people. So I don't know if Ward doing that would bother those TV fans much more than a lot of fictional characters doing it.

Re: Most illogical and least illogical murders of blackmailers

That's a great point, Grant. I like how you said if the shows existed in the same universe, because I loved MASH, and your point about the Korean war, and those who fought in it is a good one.

Was thinking about Murder Can Be Hazardous to your health with George Hamilton's Wade Anders character feeling he needed to off Budd Clarke for his threat of exposing his past in adult movies. I'd consider this murder highly illogical. For TV celebrities, even bad publicity can be a good thing. The fact that the actress was underaged only sinks him if he had knowledge of that. If not, Budd even said he gave "quite the performance", so for a show I could only see the viewership for Crime Watch increasing.