Gospel-singing superstar Tommy Brown (Johnny Cash) is hugely successful. But he is unable to enjoy the usual benefits of fame and wealth. His zealous wife Edna (Ida Lupino) can prove he had committed statutory rape with one of his backup singers, Maryann. She watches him carefully when he is touring, and even blackmails him into giving all the proceeds from his concerts to her ministry.
Tommy decides to kill Edna and Maryann. He drugs both women to sleep while piloting a small, private plane flying to Los Angeles, then parachutes from the plane before it crashes into desert mountains. Brown lands roughly, hurting his leg. He hides the parachute and lies down near the burning plane wreckage, making it seem like he was thrown clear in a tragic crash caused by flying through bad weather. The FAA investigator (John Dehner) is ready to rule the crash was an accident. Edna's brother, Luke (Bill McKinney) appeals to Columbo to consider the case a possible homicide, based on his mistrust of Tommy.
Final clue/twist: Columbo’s investigation leads him to conclude that Brown must have used a home-made parachute to jump from the plane in midair, which he then hid somewhere in the mountains. Columbo tells Brown that a boy scout troop will be scouring the mountains for any wreckage from the crash. However, Brown seems unperturbed. At the airport before Brown is about to fly off to a concert, Columbo notices Brown taking his car rental keys with him onto the plane. Columbo concludes that Brown must be returning to Los Angeles. That night Brown drives up into the mountains and unearths the parachute, but he is caught bringing it back to the rental car by Columbo, hiding in wait.
|Columbo (season 3)|
|1."Lovely But Lethal" 2."Any Old Port in a Storm" 3."Candidate for Crime" 4."Double Exposure" 5."Publish or Perish" 6."Mind Over Mayhem" 7."Swan Song" 8."A Friend in Deed"|