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When two men kill each other in a run-down tenement, Columbo is ready to close the case until a fragment of a photograph is found clutched in one of the dead men's hands. The plot thickens when an insurance investigator, Irving Krutch, turns up at police headquarters claiming that the piece of the photograph is part of a treasure map leading to $4 million that was stolen from a bank several years earlier. Krutch produces a list of names of people which he claims have other pieces of the photograph, and tries to enlist Columbo's aid in tracking them down. When the people on the list start to turn up dead, Columbo has a full-blown murder case on his hands.
Edward Hibbert's character in this episode, the effeminate art dealer Bramley Kahn, is almost a clone of his more famous role as the food critic Gil Chersterton on radio KACL in Frasier.