Extra Information


Columbo matches wits with a brilliant attorney responsible for the murder of
the one man who could stifle his meteoric political career on MCA TV
International's "COLUMBO" episode entitled "Agenda For Murder." The episode
was written by Jeffrey Bloom and directed by series' guest star Patrick

Lt. Columbo investigates the suicide of Frank Staplin, a notorious racketeer,
who was under investigation and facing an indictment. He immediately questions
why the gun is lying on top of Staplin's blood, and not the opposite. He learns
from Staplin's secretary that shortly before his death, he sent a fax to
his wife who was vacation-ing in Hawaii. A check of the re-dial on the
telephone proves the last call placed by Staplin was to the residence of Oscar
Finch, a highly respected and powerful attorney, with a future in the
politi-cal arena. Finch is right-hand man to Congressman Mackey, who is
working towards the Vice Presidency. Finch has his sights set on becoming
Attorney General. Finch is slick and well-versed in police procedure. He is
ready for Columbo and tells him that Staplin called in a desperate state
begging for representation in his criminal case.

Finch attends a political event, but he is tailed by Columbo who questions
his late-night meeting in his office. Finch becomes agita-ted, reminding
Columbo he has never met Mr. Staplin and met with Congressman Mackey.
Columbo learns from Mrs. Staplin that despite the fact her husband was a
gun collector, he never owned a .32 caliber automatic. Columbo is perplexed
after reading the fax sent to Mrs. staplin that her husband would commit
suicide between jokes. Congressman Mackey also tells Columbo he is unaware
of Finch having had any prior dealings with Staplin. Columbo then questions
Judge Foster whose criminal case against Staplin was thrown out of court
twenty-one years before because a piece of evidence disappeared. The judge
cannot begin to guess who worked 'inside' on behalf of Staplin, but Mackey
and Finch were assistant district attorneys at the time. Columbo retrieves
the suit Finch wore the night Staplin died from the cleaners, and then he
re-arranges the blood under the gun for Mr. Finch. Finch suggests that
Staplin possibly had arthritis in his finger joints, and that a spasm
released the gun after his death. Columbo is fascinated with his assumption.
That evening Mackey asks Finch for the truth. Finch tells him that Staplin
wanted another document to 'disappear,' and it was necessary to kill the
man before he ruined their political careers. During the primary festivities,
Columbo asks Mackey if he knew that Finch was employed by the firm that
represented Staplin twenty-two years ago. Columbo warns Mackey not to
perjure himself on Finch's behalf. The roar of the crowd outside means that
the opposition has conceeded and Columbo congra-tulates Mackey. Columbo
corners Finch and presents his suit, which he is certain he wore when he
murdered Staplin. Columbo deduces that Finch walked from his office to
Staplin's house and killed him, so that he would not divulge the truth about
the favor granted in 1969. Finch calls Columbo's assumption poppycock and
leaves f or the ball-room. He is stopped by Columbo presenting a warrant to
take him in for questioning. Columbo points out that there was a piece of
cheese found on Staplin's desk the night of his death. He is certain the
teeth marks on the cheese will match a piece of gum Columbo retrieved which
had been chewed by Finch. Finch is dumbfounded when Columbo places him under arrest.

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