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Screencaps for Ep 4.20 added

I have just added the screencaps for Clown of Death to the episodes' page. While a group of the National Circus is performing for ill children and other patients at the San Francisco Davies Medical Center, one of the clowns enters the building and kills a patient who is dependent on respiratory support. It turns out that the patient was a former circus rigger who was terminally ill, so Mike and Steve drive down to South San Francisco where the circus is giving its shows at Cow Palace. They talk to another clown of the circus, Red Ashburn, who informs them that their tightrope artist, young and smart Neil Ruggers, is related to the killed rigger and his brother, who were his uncles. While interviewing Ruggers, our two cops learn that he was obviously unaware of his uncle's death. After Neil’s mother had died, he was raised by his uncles until he became a young man who found his own life and role in the circus. Stone and Keller drive up to the uncles' apartment just to find him dead too. The landlady tells them that a younger man was asking for the old man early that day, and she identifies the young man to be Neil Ruggers. Now that mercy killing by his brother is excluded, Mike and Stone investigate for double homicide. Another connection appears when they find an old photography in the riggers' room showing the killed brothers, Ashburn and two other circus employees named Boylan and Murdock. Ashburn recalls there was some trouble between the people in the photo other than himself, but he cannot remember the details. Things are accelerating when a third victim, Ashburn himself, is shot during his performance, but his rope absorbs the bullet so his injuries are not life-threatening - at least, not immediately. Sent to a local clown museum, Mike and Steve receive more information on the other two in the photo by museum owner Freddie Olburn. Olburn recognizes the killer clown's make-up as the trademark of Cesar Volnak, a circus clown from Europe who later became a high-wire walker, and died in England a few years before. What attracts the cops' interest even more is the fact that Olburn tells them that one of the other two in the photo, Murdock, belonged to the circus as ringmaster and now lives in Vancouver. Alerted by the fact that the circus' next destination is aforesaid Vancouver, Mike and Steve decide to set a trap. After Ashburn dies from his injuries, Mike puts on Ashburn’s costume and joins the other clowns in their next performance. Nothing happens - but following the show a surprise is coming up.
This episode always bothered me plot-wise to a certain extent. Until Barbara unveals in the episode's climax that the circus artist killed in an accident was her father, this particular relationship was not indicated in any respect before which make the whole story quite arbitrary. Another problem is that Barbara would probably identify Mike behind Ashburn's make-up immediately, given that she worked all of her life together with her father's former buddies.

There are only a few locations used for filming of this episode. The group of clowns performs at the Ralph K. Davies Campus of what is today known as the California Pacific Medical Center at Castro and Duboce Streets, where most of the filming was accomplished at Cow Palace where the US National Circus held its shows. Reiner's apartment was located in Haight-Ashbury, and Steve picks up Mike at the original Wells Fargo Bank building at Montgomery and Post Streets. Finally, the 'Clown Museum' is located in the backyard of a gaming hall ('Games People Play Arcade') on Broadway.

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Some design elements taken from the official CBS/Paramount DVD release - with thanks! :)