Cooper Redman and Justin Rowe are bright, handsome, wealthy
students, and the popular duo room together in a privileged fraternity house. Their major
problem is Professor Rusk, who teaches the criminology course. Professor Rusk knows that
Justin stole the final exam, and he promises to fail the two students if they do not go to
the Dean and ask to be expelled from the university. Before class, Justin pleads with
Prof. Rusk to meet his father at a nearby restaurant to discuss the situation. Professor
Rusk introduces the class to Lt. Columbo. Class breaks at 8:50 p.m., and the students
follow Columbo into
the faculty parking lot where they find Prof. Rusk lying in a pool of blood next to his
Columbo finds it odd that the only students who park in the faculty lot
are Cooper and Justin. Apparently, Cooper is allowed parking for
supplying the guards with tickets to the Lakers' basketball games.
Columbo is surprised when Cooper and Justin offer their assistance in his
investigation. Columbo follows up on various leads supplied by Cooper,
such as the fact that Rusk was having an affair with Coach Clark's wife.
However, the affair was over, and on the night of Rusk's death, Mrs.
Rusk and June Clark were together. Columbo finds an airline ticket to
Phoenix in Rusk's briefcase and Cooper mime- diately states that Rusk
had written an explosive expose on crime figures in the United States.
In addition, he was currently doing research on fraud in the Savings
and Loan industry. Perhaps somebody wanted to silence him! Justin
arranges for Columbo to meet with his father, a criminal attorney and
legal counsel for the university. Justin's father is an imposing,
powerful man who is concerned that the murder case should be solved as
soon as possible because the publicity is bad for the university.
Columbo questions Justin's father about his dinner appointment with
Prof. Rusk the night of the murder and is told there was no such
meeting set. Columbo is called to the Dean's office where Justin and
Cooper inform them that the security guard on duty the night of the
murder had a brother, Dominic an ex-convict. While questioning Dominic,
Columbo notices footage of Prof. Rusk's murder being run on a news
program. The footage is from a different angle. Apparently while
recording a movie of f an obscure channel, the person inadvertently
picked up Rusk's murder via his satellite dish. Whoever killed Rusk
videotaped the murder.
Meanwhile, Cooper tracks down Dominic's car, and the police find a Colt .45 in the car.
Dominic is taken in for questioning. Columbo informs the Thursday night class that he
plans to re-create Prof. Rusk's murder. Columbo shows the students a 2-inch TV screen
which fits in one's hand, and that is how the killer watched the murder play out. Columbo
takes the students to the garage and checks under the hood of Cooper's truck, showing
where a .45 automatic was set up with a miniature television camera, clamped between the
radiator and the
grill. The automatic car locking device, which is set of f by remote control, is what
pulled the trigger on the gun. Columbo explains that the gun found in the car was the
murder weapon, but there is one problem...it was not Dominic's car. The car belongs to
Mrs. Columbo. The only two people who had the identity of the car were Justin and Cooper.
They planted the gun thinking it was Dominic's car. Justin and Cooper are quickly taken