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The Baltimore Sun


Detective name: Columbo (Peter Falk) in "Columbo" (1971-2003) Sleuthing style: Immediately identifying murderers and then spending the rest of the case making them squirm — complete with bumbling anecdotes about the elusive Mrs. Columbo. Claim to fame: The culprit is identified at the beginning of every episode, so instead of who-done-it drama, viewers tuned in for how-he-proves-it satisfaction.

Gene Trindl / ABC