Columbo

Columbo (1971)

27 factual errors

(34 votes)

Starring: Peter Falk

Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

The Most Crucial Game - S2-E3

Factual error: Probably an in joke - the wheels of the "airliner" shown landing at LA international airport are those of a B52 bomber. They are very distinctive and look nothing like those on any airliner ever made.

PEDAUNT

The Conspirators - S7-E5

Factual error: Devlin proclaims himself to be a staunch Irish Republican but he refers to the Northern Irish city of Derry as "Londonderry." This is the name imposed upon the place by the British and is despised and rejected by Republicans. Devlin would refer to the city as "Derry."

Old Fashioned Murder - S6-E2

Factual error: In common with many other episodes, Columbo and all the other police officers at the crime scene hopelessly contaminate it - none of them wear gloves or protective clothing. Not one artifact recovered from the scene would be usable as evidence.

PEDAUNT

Ashes to Ashes - S13-E3

Factual error: An important plot point is that diamonds do not burn and can be recovered from the ashes of a cremated body. This is completely wrong - diamonds would combust freely at cremation temperatures, and since they are pure carbon they don't even leave any residue.

PEDAUNT

A Trace of Murder - S13-E2

Factual error: In common with many other episodes neither Columbo, the attending police officers or forensic investigators wear gloves or other sterile gear while examining the murder victim's body or the crime scene. Columbo hands out bananas to other people on the scene which they happily eat. The senior crime scene forensics officer, Kingsley, hands out coffee and doughnuts! Eating and drinking are absolutely forbidden on a sterile crime scene, which has been hopelessly contaminated with fingerprints anyway.

The Most Crucial Game - S2-E3

Factual error: In the middle of summer in southern California, water spread thinly on an outdoor ceramic surface would start evaporating immediately and would be gone in about fifteen minutes. The surrounds of the pool would be bone dry by the time Columbo arrived at the scene, nearly an hour after the murderer sprayed the water there.

PEDAUNT

Undercover - S12-E3

Factual error: At the crime scene, the landlady of the dead man is brought into the room in order to identify one of the dead men. This is never, ever done - she could contaminate the crime scene in a dozen different ways. She would be asked to identify the corpse at the morgue after the scene had been cleared by forensic examiners.

It's All in the Game - S12-E1

Factual error: Despite the fact that other officers are doing so, Columbo does not wear gloves while examining the crime scene. He also eats and drinks in the room - both absolutely forbidden - leaving eggshells scattered about the place. The crime scene is now totally compromised and nothing found can be used as evidence.

PEDAUNT

A Friend in Deed - S3-E8

Factual error: Columbo parks across the street from a house where a murder has occurred. The address is given as 1278 Fairfax Drive. Columbo investigates and returns to his car. A house number, 400, is painted on the curb. The house across the street from 1278 would have an odd number, probably 1277 or 1279. It would not be 400.

Troubled Waters - S4-E4

Factual error: In common with a number of characters in numerous episodes, Columbo hopelessly contaminates crucial evidence - at the end of the episode he handles the surgical gloves used by the killer with bare hands.

PEDAUNT

Blueprint for Murder - S1-E8

Factual error: When Columbo initially latches onto the radio dilemma (which ultimately solves the case) the dial is tuned all the way to the left. He later tells someone that the radio is set to 'Classical 52', but an AM radio starts at 54, meaning 540KHz. There is no 52.

Joe Brown

Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star - S10-E3

Factual error: They talk about Wednesday as day of the murder. On the other hand, we see a speeding ticket with 3-11-91. In 1991, March 11 was a Monday and November 3 was a Sunday, so whichever way the date is written the day is wrong. (01:17:53)

Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star - S10-E3

Factual error: Champagne corks have a metal cap between the cork and the wire cage. (They can be seen when both Creighton and Columbo open bottles.) When Creighton injects the chloral hydrate into the champagne, he does not have the difficulty he should have getting through the metal. The needle does not come out damaged as it should, and it did not go far enough into the cork to put the liquid into the champagne-it would get lost in the cork itself.

Leicaman

Death Lends a Hand - S1-E3

Factual error: To make a call, Mr. Bremer enters a seven-digit number on a push-button telephone. The first three keys he punches are 1, 2 and 4. No telephone number in the United States begins with a 1.

A Case of Immunity - S5-E2

Factual error: Rakman Habib's driver's license shows that he lives in "Beverly Hills CA 91605." That is the ZIP code for North Hollywood, not Beverly Hills.

Show generally

Factual error: In the series, Columbo does not carry a gun, and in several episodes it is mentioned that he doesn't like guns and/or that he doesn't know very much about them. In the real world, all LAPD officers must carry guns, and they must re-qualify with them at the range six times each year. Also, due to the very nature of their work, they are knowledgeable about numerous types, makes, and models of guns.

mdwalker

Candidate for Crime - S3-E3

Factual error: Near the end of the episode, Jackie Cooper fires a bullet into his hotel room from the balcony using a revolver fitted with a silencer. Hayward also uses a revolver with a silencer to kill Stone. This is a classic Hollywood error, as silencers do not work on revolvers (unless noticeably modified), due to the gap between the barrel and the cylinder. They also don't make gunshots nearly as quiet as shown.

mdwalker

The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case - S6-E3

Factual error: A "silencer" (properly called a "suppressor") does not muffle a gunshot to a whisper. An unsuppressed gunshot is about 160 dB, equivalent to a jet airliner taking off, but a suppressed gunshot still registers about 100 dB, equivalent to a power lawn mower. Also, a suppressor on a revolver is totally useless, because most of the noise comes from the gap between the front of the cylinder and the rear of the barrel.

mdwalker

The Most Dangerous Match - S2-E7

Factual error: Clayton tells Columbo that he had purchased a new transistor for his hearing aid. Hearing aids - even the old types in use in the 1970's - do not have any user-replaceable parts. The only thing that can be replaced is the battery.

mdwalker

The Most Crucial Game - S2-E3

Factual error: Probably an in joke - the wheels of the "airliner" shown landing at LA international airport are those of a B52 bomber. They are very distinctive and look nothing like those on any airliner ever made.

PEDAUNT

More mistakes in Columbo

Columbo: Oh, I didn't come to ask any more questions. I came to arrest you.

More quotes from Columbo

How to Dial a Murder - S7-E4

Trivia: A clever, subtle hint as to Mason's guilt - Columbo arrives at the animal pound just in time to stop him feeding Laurel and Hardy (the dogs he trained to kill on command) a large amount of chocolate treats. He has planned this murder meticulously, and he would be aware that chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs. The amount he is planning to feed them from the bulging bag of large chocolate balls he is holding would kill both dogs within hours if ingested.

More trivia for Columbo

Answer: "Apparent" drowning answers your question - things are not always as they seem. Drowning could be accidental, but it could also be a murder in disguise. Moreover, the actual cause of death has not yet been determined - accident, suicide, murder, or natural cause (e.g, heart attack while swimming). Columbo would be there to investigate if anything looks unusual for it to be a mere drowning or if there is evidence or suspicion of something else.

KeyZOid

This was just on TMZ.com's "Aaron Carter Dead at 34" (11/05/2022): "Law enforcement sources tell TMZ... homicide detectives have been dispatched to the scene but we have no information or evidence of foul play. It's standard operating procedure for homicide detectives to investigate such [drowning] death scenes."

KeyZOid

More questions & answers from Columbo

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