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.
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Re: Worst Alibi

This is a great idea for a thread! I always thought Alex Benedict really blew it in "Etude in Black"--
(1) the typewritten "suicide note". Really suspicious.
(2) Why the heck did he put the flower on his lapel in such a conspicuous way after he picked it up at the victim's home? All he had to do was slip in quietly into his pocket. Columbo nailed him with this because he (Columbo) himself saw him put the flower on.
(3) Leaving the car at Mike's garage seemed to be smart (good thing he knew exactly where the car-lift lever was!)
Only problem is that Columbo caught him with
the change in mileage which exactly corresponded to the distance to Jennifer Welles' house while it was supposedly locked up in Mike's garage. Also, it was an expensive sports car which he parked near her house. What if Audrey or someone else had seen it?
(4) Alex's insistence that "it had to be a suicide". If he had nothing to do with the victim's personal life, as he claimed, he should have realized that it would be very suspicious for him to insist it was a suicide. When Columbo said he was convinced it was murder, Alex should have said "really?-get on with the investigation-we need to find the despicable person who did this!"
Alex Benedict was a real dummy...or was it the writers?

BTW-regarding expensive cars---in "Negative Reaction" Paul Galesko parks his really expenive Rolls-Royce outside the cheap motel where Alvin Deschler was staying. That would be quite noticeable.
That is also really dumb, or the producers wanted to be cheap and not have to show Galesko using another car!

Absolutely the Worst Alibi

I think the worst alibi has to fgo to the guy in Undercover. I can't think about his name but his real name is Ed Begley,jr. He said he couldn't been there becasue he was having realtions with his girlfriend all night long. I heard about the energizer bunny but this is really the worst alibi in the columbo series

Re: Absolutely the Worst Alibi

It is difficult to agree with "An Exercise in Fatality" as worst alibi. In my opinion, it is one of the better alibis of the series. In fact, it seems that the writers went out of their way to make it a better than usual alibi to show that Milo Janus had brains and was not just a stereotypical muscle-head.

As for worst alibi, "Lovely But Lethal" is the first to come to mind. Understandable because the murder of Carl Lessing was not premeditated anyway. Viveca Scott really has no alibi and further implicates herself by admitting to Columbo that she uses the eyebrow pencil to do her beauty mark.

Re: Re: Absolutely the Worst Alibi

I don't think it was anywhere close to the worst alibi but while watching it I didn't think it was good enough to think your gonna get away with murder.

Re: Worst Alibi I read your post about Etude and Alex Benedict all I could think of was one word....COCKY....Alex was just so cocky that he thought he could do anything and get away with it. The point you made about him flamboyantly putting on the flower at Jenifer Welles' place was right on target. He could have just quietly tucked it into his pocket...but no!! Mr. Cocky had the nerve and the audacity to pin it back on his lapel with such a word.....COCKY!!

Re: Re: Worst Alibi

I didn't get Ward Fowler's faked alibi in "Fade into Murder". He drugs his friend, tapes the ballgame, commits the murder, rewinds the tape to the point where his friend fell asleep, resets the clock and wakes his friend. So what kind of alibi is that?! If he fell asleep at 8.50pm and Ward sneaks out to commit the murder say at 9.10pm and returns and wakes his friend who thinks it is still 8.50pm, Ward takes him to his bedroom for his friend to sleep it off, then Ward has no alibi because all Columbo need to ask was what time did you nod off and he would reply 8.50pm and Columbo would say to Ward so no one can varify your whereabouts after 8.50pm!

Re: Worst Alibi

Thanks Kev!! I wanted to bring this one up but I couldn't find the right way to explain it clearly!!! But you did!

Re: Worst Alibi

Very true Kev. Ward wasn't too smart (or, again, was it the writers). Some alibis involved a lot of risk. In Double Exposure, if something had gone wrong with the tape recorder, or if listeners had noticed a change in voice, that there would have been no alibi there. The murder of the second projectionist was quite a good alibi, using Columbo himself as the alibi...but of course Columbo already knew the dime trick.

Re: Worst Alibi

And in Etude...what if Mike the Mechanic had locked the bathroom window for the night....or Frank (Mike Lally).....that wouldn't have been a good thing.

And't hate me!!! It was a nickel not a dime!!!!!!!!!......The heel-nipper rears her ugly head!!!!

Re: Worst Alibi

Thanks Cassa...the heel snapper is back...although the long absence probably means that I have been getting things right for a while!

Re: Worst Alibi

Boy! You are definitely right there!!! You are on your way to becoming Headache Jr.!!!!!

Re: Re: Worst Alibi

"By Dawn's Early Light" had a somewhat weak alibi for the killer because Rumford was one of few people with a key to access and alter the charge of the cannon.

Re: Re: Re: Worst Alibi

Another person with access is the so-called
"Officer of the Day" but Columbo doesn't
bother to ask who that is. This always
puzzled me. Also, Columbo asks Rumford
if there is anyone out of the past who
might have a motive to kill him and
Rumford stupidly says there isn't anyone.
He could have diverted Columbo's attention
by making up someone.
BTW-there is a clear allusion to homosexuality
in this sequence. Columbo asks if maybe
there was jealousy over a women and Rumford
EMPHATICALLY says no--added to the fact that
he is surrounded by so many young boys.