TRY AND CATCH ME
(originally aired November 21, 1977)
Music: P.AT WILLIAMS
Art director: HOWARD E. IOHNSON
Film editor: HOWARD S. DEANE
Set decorations: RICHARD B. GODDARD
Assistant director: DODIE FOSTER
Unit manager: D JACK STUBBS
Sound: HAROLD LEWIS
Sound effects editor: WILLIAM WISTROM
Music editor: IAMES D. YOUNG
Costume designer: GEORGE R. WHITTAKER
Titles and optical effects by UNIVERSAL TITLE
Acclaimed mystery writer Abigail Mitchell, author of thirty-two
best-selling books about murder, is certain that I Edmund Galvin killed his wife,
her Beloved niece Phyllis. The police ruled that the young woman died in a boating
four months ago Rather than reveal her suspicions, however, Abigail has been playing up to
the fortune~hunting nephew by marriage.
She has even altered her will in his favor. After ail, the celebrated
Edmund, he is her only living relative.
After signing the proper documents in the presence of her attorney,
Martin Hammond, and her secretary, Veronica, Abigail prepares to
leave for a flight to New York City, where her mystery play Murder of
the Year is closing after a nineteen-year run. Taking Edmund aside, she
tells him to leave and sneak back by the service road. She wants to
him the combination to her walk-in vault, and Martin wouldn't approve.
Edmund is all too eager to cooperate, especially since the vault
contains jewels, important documents, manuscripts and vast reserves of
cash. Only three people know the combination: Abigail, Martin and
When Edmund returns, Abigail has him open the vault for practice.
She asks him to get something from inside. She shuts the door on him
just as Martin arrives to take her to the airport.
The vault is soundproof. The one overhead light bulb is burned out
and there is no ventilation. Edmund will die of suffocation slowly and
Before leaving the room, Abigail switches on the vault alarm and
picks up the keys Edmund threw on the coffee table. While going out to
the car, she hides the keys in the sand of a standing ashtray.
The body is discovered the next morning by Veronica. Abigail flies
back from New York in time to see Lieutenant Columbo inspecting the
vault. The clues are few: six burnt matches, black paint under the dead
man's fingernails and one of the author's manuscripts with the title
These clues are puzzling, and so are several other details. The alarm
was on when Veronica came in to open the vault. If Edmund opened
the vault and then accidentally locked himself in to avoid detection,
did the alarm get switched back into the on position?
There are two pieces of torn paper. Are they from the missing title
page? What happened to the missing title part?
And what happened to Edmund's car keys? The house and grounds
are being searched.
Veronica finds the keys in the ashtray. The opportunistic secretary
gives them to Abigail and asks for certain rewards in return. The first
to accompany her boss on an ocean cruise.
Abigail tells Columbo that she found the keys near a lawn sprinkler.
That's not possible, the lieutenant answers. The sections of the
where Edmund left footprints were photographed. There are pictures of
the sprinkler. There are no keys.
The writer pleads the frailties of old age. She'll soon be leaving the
country. Columbo has to work fast.