Columbo (1971–2003)
28 user 4 critic

Murder in Malibu 

A successful writer of romance novels who is involved with a young, ambitious womanizer, is found shot to death in her Malibu home.


Walter Grauman


Richard Levinson (created by), William Link (created by) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Andrew Stevens ... Wayne Jennings
Brenda Vaccaro ... Jess McCurdy
Floyd Levine ... Lieutenant Schultz
Laurie Walters ... Helen Ashcroft
Sondra Currie ... Mrs. Rocca
Janet Margolin ... Theresa Goren
Tom Dreesen ... TV Host
Charles Walker ... Truck Driver
Ben Slack Ben Slack ... Doctor
Yolanda Lloyd Yolanda Lloyd ... Rosa
Efrain Figueroa ... McGee
Mary Margaret Lewis ... Mavis
Robin Gordon Robin Gordon ... Shorts
Bill Zuckert ... Father


Romance author Theresa Goren has finally been convinced of the truth: her lover, gigolo Wayne Jennings, loves her money, not her. That means their planned wedding is off, not to mention any hope Jennings has of getting his hands on her money. When Goren turns up dead, Jennings is suspected, but is apparently cleared by later evidence. But Lt. Columbo watches as Jennings turns his eye to Goren's sister, and begins wondering if he's really so innocent after all. Written by Leaper

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


One year before this episode came out, Brenda Vaccaro and Peter Falk were in a movie together; it was called Cookie (1989). See more »


In Jess McCurdy's office as Columbo is reviewing the tape, he has a band aid on his right pinkie finger. They both leave for the murder scene. When Columbo arrives a few minutes later, the band aid is gone. See more »


Lieutenant Columbo: I'm sorry, ma'am.
Jess McCurdy: Like hell you are. You're not sorry.
See more »


References Gung Ho (1986) See more »

User Reviews

Not the first
12 March 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

This was a strange Columbo story about a successful romance novelist Janet Margolin who announces on an afternoon talk show host that she's about to marry Andrew Stevens professional tennis player. Part time player and full time gigolo.

But after the show Margolin finds Stevens has been, heaven forfend, unfaithful. She cuts him off and he kills her and in a rather elaborate ruse to first raise and then throw off suspicion on himself. Not something you would think of on the spur of the moment which is the main weakness of the story.

But additionally Stevens is a love 'em and leave 'em type. Margolin is not the first I'm sure to have given him his walking papers. His kind would have gone out and found someone else. Definitely not have killed someone.

Best in the cast is Margolin's overbearing protective sister Brenda Vaccaro who despises Stevens and at the same time lusts after him incredibly. Can't really blame her, she dominates when she's on.

Interesting characters, but the plot makes no real sense.

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Release Date:

14 May 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meurtre en deux temps See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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