CSI Los Angeles : A Murder Mystery in Beverly Hills
CSI Los Angeles : A Murder Mystery in Beverly Hills
Play intro music of 'Fiddle About' by The Who
(written by John Entwistle)
An upper-middle class residence in an exclusive area of Beverly Hills is the focus of public attention.
Police vehicles are stationed outside and local officers keep back eager on-lookers straining to see what is happening inside.
The house has been taken over by the forensic team from the Crime Scene Investigation branch of the Los Angeles Police Department. Inside lies the body of A.G. Sampson, an ex-baseball star turned Hollywood actor who's career ended in disgrace after a high profile murder trial in which he was acquitted.
A controversial figure in the celebrity media world after he was cleared of a double-homicide he clearly had enemies. The CSI team expected to draw up a long list of potential suspects.
Detective Albert Chumper was leading the investigation as his team painstakingly scour the main room of the house in the minutest detail. Then there is a knock on the open door and framed in the doorway silhouetted in the early morning sun stands the diminutive figure of a grey-haired man dressed in a raincoat.
"Lieutenant Columbo?" said Chumper
"Yeah! That's me son, still a Lieutenant" replied the visitor,
"Sorry sir. I heard you got passed over yet again"
"I'm sorry too but what can you do? Over fifty years on the force and I ain't got a green buck to my name"
"I actually thought you'd've retired years ago"
"Ya gotta be kiddin" replied Columbo, "Retire? On my wages?"
"Well sir. Maybe we should get down to business"
"Maybe we should. Sure"
"Erm... I wonder sir"
"Uh....erm.... you know..... this is a ..... erm .... a sensitive forensic area and I .... erm... well....."
"Yeah! What is it?" asked Columbo.
"He wants you to take your coat off!" shouts over Detective Curlicue, a dark-haired female officer with a tough reputation.
"Yeah your coat" Curlicue confirmed, "We don't wanna contaminate the scene"
"Oh I see" replied Columbo, "Of course I completely understand" and he removed the offending article, crumpled it up and threw it on a chair"
"Sorry sir" said Chumper "No offence"
"None taken" assured Columbo, "But you know that coat just came back from the dry-cleaners yesterday"
"I know sir but thanks"
"She's kinda brusque wouldn't you agree?" whispered Columbo, gesturing towards Curlicue, "She gotta lotta moxie for a young lady"
"Yes sir, she is a little direct"
"But sweet potato, yeah? smiled the lieutenant, "In fact you guys are a good-looking bunch altogether"
"If you say so sir"
"Oh yes. In fact if my wife knew the hot babes I was working alongside. Boy! Would she be jealous"
"I hope not sir”
"I hope so too" agreed Columbo, "Different in the old days you know. No women around, just some butt-ugly Irishmen like Frank O'Malley"
"Well, thanks lieutenant but....."
"That's how I never made Captain you know"
"I don't fit the image, don't have them TV star looks the department's looking for nowadays"
"I see sir"
"Do you know that at my last interview they said I was 'sartorially challenged'?" Columbo continued, "Now what the hell does that mean?"
"Sir! We really need to get to work. Would you come and see the vic?"
"Erm.... No lieutenant, I meant the victim"
"Ohh, the body?"
"OK lead on"
"Right sir. The body is on the sofa here and we think the perp came in through the......."
"The pup?" interrupted Columbo, "So how does the dog fit into all this?"
"Sorry sir. It's 'perp' as in perpetrator" explained Chumper,
"You mean the murderer?"
"Well young man, why didn't ya say so?" exclaimed Columbo, "An old warhorse like me ain't always up to speed with the new lingo"
"OK sir" Chumper apologised, "The murderer came in through the kitchen door"
"Any sign of forced entry?"
"Yes sir, it's very slight and you'd hardly notice it" replied Chumper "But the killer definitely came in through that door"
"How can you be so sure?"
"Initial tests have confirmed as such sir" explained Chumper, "We conducted a laser spectrum analysis on the door frame and an infra-red photo transference of the lock and door-handle. There is definitely signs of microbe distortion conducive with a recent opening from the outside. Plus soil deposits have been run through our portable field detector and have found evidence of fresh rubber particles indicating some sort of footwear"
"Just show me the body!!" Columbo,
"Of course sir"
They approached the figure slumped on the sofa on the other side of the room. Standing over the corpse was Doctor Stringent the Medical Examiner and around his feet are the upturned remains of glasses, ornaments and several magazines. The objects mingled with the shattered glass of the coffee table top, the frame of which lay on it side.
"Hi Doc" greeted Columbo, "Any signs of a struggle?"
"Very funny lieutenant" replied the M.E.,
"Well you gotta have a sense of humour in this job"
"And that car of yours certainly gives us a chuckle" laughed Stringent,
"Gets me from A to B Doc and the way folks drive in this city I got less to lose" reasoned Columbo, "Now what've we got here then"
"Black male aged 60 plus, around 240 pounds" explained Stringent, "Death by strangulation, most certainly from behind. I would estimate time of death around midnight to 2 a.m."
"Any clues on the body?"
"Yes a good one" replied Detective Chumper, "Look at his watch"
"Wow! That's a fine watch, that's a very fine watch indeed" observed Columbo,
"Certainly is, it's a Rolex Daytona"
"You don't say, a Rolex Daytona? My, my. That sure is some fancy watch sure enough. I wish I could afford a watch like that"
"And you'll see it's damaged" Chumper explained,
"Oh yes Detective" agreed Columbo, "Well spotted, the face has been smashed"
"Probably during the struggle"
"You don't say!" replied Columbo, "Probably during the struggle" as he nodded his head in agreement,
"And there's a speck of blood on the glass" Chumper added,
"Oh Boy! This is our lucky day then young man. It don't come much easier than this"
Columbo looked deep in thought as he scratched his head with one hand and with the other reached into the inside pocket of his jacket.
He produced a large cigar and then fumbled around his jacket and trousers for several seconds before asking;
"Say! Have any you folks got a light there?"
"Lieutenant!" shouted Detective Curlicue, "Can I remind you please that this is still a crime scene!!"
"Oh sure. Sorry I forgot" apologised Columbo, "I get a little absent-minded in my old age you understand"
"OK sir!" said Curlicue, "But please be more careful"
"I will Detective, I will"
"Sorry for asking young fella" he said as he turned back to Detective Chumper
"None of us smoke anyway sir"
"No? Ah no, I guess not. Another sign of the times. Nobody smokes no more, everybody keeping healthy"
"I guess so sir"
"Even the .... what do you call them? The perps? Yeah the perps hardly ever smoke nowadays either. Haven't you noticed that Chumper?"
"I'm not sure sir"
"Oh well, I've certainly noticed. I kinda take in these things you know"
"Yes sir" nodded Chumper,
"And I'll tell you that it makes the job ten times harder. You wouldn't believe the number of killers I've caught through cigarette butts and ashtrays"
"That's fascinating sir"
"Oh yes! I could write a book. Every time I saw a suspect lighting up in front of me I thought to myself 'Yeah, now we gotta lead, now I gotcha buddy' and I start raking through the cigarette butts and the ashtrays"
Columbo then whispered quietly to Chumper, "She's certainly a diligent young lady that one, certainly is"
"Yes sir, she is"
"Very diligent" said Columbo, "She sure is keeping a close eye on me that's for sure"
Suddenly they hear "Oh my God!" from a female voice, "What's happened?"
They all turned around to see a young blonde woman at the door struggling with the officer on guard who is restraining her.
"Who are you Miss?" asked Chumper
"I'm A.G.'s girlfriend" she replied
"Hold her there officer" ordered Columbo,
Columbo walked over to meet her. She had a distraught look across her otherwise beautiful features. She was red-faced and perspiring heavily, wearing a sweat-stained t-shirt with tracksuit pants and expensive sneakers.
"You OK Miss?" asked Columbo,
"I've been out for my morning jog" she explained,
"Yeah?" replied Columbo, "Everybody getting healthy. If I wasn't so old and smoked so much I think I'd try this jogging malarkey. It would get me to work quicker than my car and no mistake. It's such a.........."
"Please lieutenant" interrupted the girl, "Can you tell me what's going on?"
"Well Miss....... sorry, what's your name?"
"Delicatessen" she replied, "Sandra Delicatessen"
Well Miss Delicatessen, my name's Lieutenant Columbo and I'm really sorry to tell you this but your boyfriend's dead. He's been murdered"
"Oh, no! Oh my God no!!" wailed Delicatessen as she held her head in her hands and slumped into a chair.
"I'm really sorry for your loss Miss" said Columbo, "But I really need to ask you some questions, I hope you understand"
"What? Oh! Of course Lieutenant"
"Thanks!" said Columbo, "Now tell me this, do you work out?"
"Do you work out. You know, like in a gymnasium?" Columbo explained,
"Oh probably nothing but I just noticed you got a lotta muscle tone there. A lotta muscle in them arms of yours"
"Well yeah, I lift weights every other day. But I don't know what that's got to do with anything" said Delicatessen,
"Maybe nothing, maybe nothing" agreed Colombo, "But can I ask where you got that scratch under your arm?"
"What scratch?" she asked,
"Right there Miss on your right triceps"
She lifted her arm again and looked under to see that there was indeed a fresh but slight scratch on her skin.
"How did that get there" she said aloud to herself,
"You took the words outa my mouth Miss" said Columbo, "Now just how did that get there?"
"I dunno, I can't remember" replied Delicatessen,
"You can't remember" said Columbo,
"I don't remember it happening"
"You don't remember it happening?"
"That's what I said, I don't remember it happening!" Delicatessen insisted,
"You certainly did" said Columbo,
"I know! I did"
"You did what?" asked Columbo,
"Lieutenant!!! I just said I don't remember it happening!"
"Well it certainly happened" replied Columbo, "But perhaps you can remember where you were this a.m. after midnight"
"Sure! I was at home watching television"
"And what were you watching exactly?"
"Murder She Wrote" said Delicatessen,
"At that late hour?" asked Columbo,
"Of course, why not?"
"Oh! No reason, I just thought that programme was always on during the day"
"Well it was on cable" she explained,
"Of course Miss! That's the answer! It was on so late because it was on cable. Now that makes sense it really does. That makes sense. I kinda like that programme too you know with that Lansbury lady. Ain't it clever the way she fits all those clues together that no-one else can figure out and always gets the killer?"
"If you say so Lieutenant"
"Nothing like real life of course" Columbo continued, "Normally it's a lot harder for us real detectives"
"I'm sure it is"
"But not today honey"
"Not today. You've made it easy for us Miss Delicatessen. You see we found a tiny little spot of blood on his watch and I betcha we get a perfect match with your blood-type"
"No little lady" insisted Columbo, "The reason you never felt that scratch was because you were in the middle of a life or death struggle with your late boyfriend over there"
"That's a lie" screamed Delicatessen, "How could I? I mean look at the size of him"
"Yeah! But I bet you're pretty strong yourself lady what with all them hours pumpin that iron in that there gymnasium. And do you know what else?"
"He's been doped. I can tell by his eyes." explained Colombo. You doped your boyfriend just before you strangled him to make it easier didn't you?"
"No! No! You're crazy, this is madness!!"
"I don't think so Miss. We can analyse that fluid on the carpet and I betcha a dollar to a dime we find you tampered with his drink"
"Go to hell!!"
"C'mon lady, come clean!"
At this demand Delicatessen leapt over the chair and ran out through the patio door. Immediately two uniformed officers gave chase.
"Wow! She sure is a fast one" remarked Detective Chumper
"Yeah! She is one fit lady" Columbo agreed, "The suspect always returns to the scene of the crime"
"That's right sir"
"But never one come charging straight through the door wearing sneakers and jogging pants"
"And straight out again" said Chumper,
"Ohh, that's a new one for me too" Columbo continued
"It's a new experience for me having a suspect take flight like that" explained Columbo, "Cos, usually they just come quietly"
"Yeah! I mean even when I'm just there myself none of them have ever made a run for it. They could even have pulled a gun on me you know. I guess that most of my clientele being what you might call high and mighty, kinda well-heeled folk, they have some kinda manners, even for cold-blooded killers"
"That's certainly true Lieutenant" said a male voice,
Columbo looked over in the direction of the familiar voice and saw his new boss Captain Beaujolais who had arrived at the scene.
"What's that sir?"
"It's certainly true that you always get the high society cases" explained Beaujolais,
"It's always seemed that way sir"
"Yes!" continued the Captain, "While we were up to our knees in the stench of the ghettoes, picking up the pieces from gang fights and full-scale riots, you were always up here mixing with the jetsetters, TV stars, pop-stars, writers and all the great and the good of upmarket California"
"Never lost a case sir" said Columbo,
"Never got a promotion either" snapped Beaujolais,
"No sir. That reminds me" Columbo continued, "Congratulations on yours, I hope you enjoy your new job"
"Don't you worry about me Columbo" replied Captain, "You've got other things to worry about"
"Sorry sir! I don't understand"
"Detective Curlicue" said Beaujolais
"Bring over that raincoat"
"What's going on?" asked Columbo, "What you doing with my coat?"
"Be quiet Columbo" replied Beaujolais as he felt in the coat pockets, "We've discovered that some items have went missing from a couple of the houses in cases you've dealt with" he continued as he searched the inside pockets, "I guess the temptation got too much for you after all these years working in those rich folks houses" He began to look concerned as he frantically grasped at the inside pockets.
"Really sir" asked Columbo "I don't know what you're talking about"
"Detective Curlicue!" asked Beaujolais "Where is it?"
"Where's what sir?" asked Columbo,
"The Rolex!" shouted the Captain, "The one you put in this coat Columbo. The one you stole off the dead body"
"The one I stole off the dead body?"
"That's right! Detective Curlicue says she saw you take it"
"Detective Curlicue says she saw me take it?"
"Do you have to repeat everything I say!!!" shouted an exasperated Beaujolais, "Yes Lieutenant! Curlicue says she saw you take it!!"
"Oh did she now?" replied Columbo, "Well, she was certainly keeping a close eye on me this morning"
"And I saw you take that watch" said Curlicue
"I really don't know what you're talking about Miss" said Columbo puzzled,
"Yes you do! You took the watch off the body and put it in your coat" said Curlicue,
"You mean that watch over there?"
"Sure! That's the one"
"That watch on that dead body over there" Columbo continued,
"Yeah! That wat.., that wat......... what the....?" exclaimed Curlicue in disbelief
Sure enough the Rolex was where it had been when they came in, still on the wrist of the corpse. Captain Beaujolais looked furiously at Detective Curlicue who stared at the ground.
"What's going on here Curlicue?" he demanded
"I.... I..... dunno sir" she blurted, "I swear I saw Lieutenant Columbo take that watch and put it in his coat"
"That's enough! Get back to the station" shouted Beaujolais "I'll deal with you there and consider yourself under suspension for the time being!"
And so Detective Curlicue departed the scene in a hurry as the rest of the team avoided her eyes.
Meanwhile Columbo whispered to Detective Chumper
"Did you wipe all my prints off that watch?"
"Yessir! No problem" confirmed Chumper, "Just got it back on the arm in time before anybody noticed"
"Your a credit to the force young man"
"Lucky there was all that commotion" said Chumper,
"You said it" agreed Columbo,
"I couldn't believe it when I saw Curlicue plant it in your coat"
"Me neither Detective" said Columbo, "But I was watching her close too you know"
"Why is that sir, did you........"
"What are you two talking about" demanded Beaujolais
"Oh nothing sir, nothing really" Columbo replied,
"Nah! Just conspiracies and that kinda stuff. Planted evidence. Old grudges. Scores to settle. How about disgracing a cop with an unblemished record. You know the kinda thing?"
"No I don't know that 'kinda thing' as you say Lieutenant"
"I think you do sir" countered Columbo, "Nice little charade there. Maybe something I should look into"
"Well you do that Lieutenant."
"Yes sir! Ain't never lost a case yet neither"
Beaujolais went red in the face and stared at Columbo. Without saying a further word he turned around and stormed out of the house. But just before he crossed the threshold Columbo called out to him;
"There's just one last thing"
"What is it Columbo?"
"Up yours asshole!"
With that the Lieutenant finally found his lighter in one of his pockets and lit up a cigar. Blowing out a plume of smoke with a satisfied smile on his face he left the scene with his new-found ally Detective Chumper.
"Why do you think she did the murder Lieutenant?" asked Chumper, "What was her motive?"
"Who knows?" replied Columbo, "Money, jealousy, infidelity, madness? I've seen it all my friend"
"What are you going to do now Lieutenant?"
"I think it's time to hang up the badge Detective"
"Aren't you gonna go after Beaujolais?" asked Chumper, "He's obviously conspired against you"
"I know Chumper", agreed Columbo, "But ain't no use fighting the Department"
"But what will you do" asked Chumper,
"Maybe I'll give that Lansbury woman a call" replied Columbo, "You never know I might get myself on TV"
"I think you'll be a big star sir" said Chumper,
"Who Me? A big star? Nah!! Who the hell would believe it?"
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