The stereotype seems to be that Columbo's cases always have a significant amount of money involved. Perhaps for the majority, though certainly not all. Consider several within the years of the Original 45 which I suggest have nothing to do with money.......
"Death Lends a Hand"
Mr. Brimmer is making plenty of money regardless of whether or not Kennicutt's wife agrees to help him. He wants to be in a position where his job is easier to do with an important pipeline.
"Lady in Waiting"
It is strictly an ego stroke with Beth Chadwick. She is rich either way, assuming she does not get caught.
"A Stitch in Crime"
Dr. Mayfield wants "full credit," a reputation he feels that he rightfully deserves. He does not care whether or not it increases his salary.
"The Most Dangerous Match"
Whether burning $100 bills in the fireplace or sucking spit from a sidewalk, Emmitt Clayton does not want it known that he can lose to any man at chess.
"Candidate For Crime"
Nelson Hayward is madly in love with Linda Johnson and will stop at nothing to continue the affair, regardless of whether or not money is involved.
"Mind Over Mayhem"
Marshall Cahill kills to protect his son's name, not his son's wallet.
"By Dawn's Early Light"
Colonel Rumford is interested in saving the Haynes Military Academy and does not give a **** about money.
Harold Van Wyck does not have to be concerned about money because his victim-to-be admits that she gives in somewhat because of her daughter's devotion to him. He merely wants to save his ego and company presidential status.
"A Matter of Honor"
The title alone should tell you that this one has nothing to do with money.
"Make Me a Perfect Murder"
Hell hath no fury and knows no money. Just ask Kay Freestone.
"How to Dial a Murder"
A psychologist turned psycho might as well not even understand the concept of money. Neither do his dogs, obviously.
You bring up a very good point David. And when you really start to think about it, there are many episodes that could be added to your list...Now You See Him..A Case of Immunity..Old Fashioned Murder..A Deadly State of Mind..Etude in Black..Dagger of the Mind..Requiem for a Falling Star..A Stitch in Crime..Any Old Port in a Storm..Try and Catch Me....and there are others too.
I left these episodes OFF the list for the following reasons.....
"Now You See Him" had money involved because Jessie Jerome was blackmailing The Great Santini.
"A Case of Immunity" had money involved because Hassan Salah paid Rachman Habib before killing him and tried to make it look as if Habib robbed the legation safe.
"Old-Fashioned Murder" involved Ruth Litton offering to pay $100,000 for the faked robbery.
"A Deadly State of Mind" I was unsure of. Perhaps they were dependent on Carl Donner's financial backing somehow?
In "Dagger of the Mind," the two scheming actors were dependent on Sir Roger Haversham's financial backing.
While not directly related to the murder, "Requiem For a Falling Star" had money involved because Nora Chandler admitted to Columbo that she swindled the studio out of $2 million.
"Etude in Black" subtly had money involved because of Jennifer Welles' line "You are afraid to lose her mother's backing, and all that money."
"Any Old Port in a Storm" had money involved because the victim was on the brink of selling the winery.
"Try and Catch Me" had money involved when the secretary got involved with implying blackmail of Abigail Mitchell for a higher salary.
Well, I guess I was looking at it differently. I was looking at why the murderer killed...what was the root reason why they committed murder in the first place.