Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Frances Galesko was a spiteful, wealthy woman in a loveless marriage to famous photographer Paul Galesko. She refused to give him a divorce (unless of course he was willing to part with his own fortune while she kept her own), so Galesko devised a plot to murder her. (The details of his plot made him the second most ruthless murderer in all of the cases investigated by Lieutenant Columbo.*)

Mrs. Galesko wasn't around long enough on our TV screens to really get to know her (although she was so vindictively mean that I wasn't upset when her husband finally killed her. I may have even pulled the trigger myself!) But thanks to the un-patented method of Toobish speculation, I think we can find a few relatives for her.

This is all conjecture, of course, but I believe her maiden name was Clavell. And like SO many characters in Toobworld, Frances had a twin sister.  Her name is Shelby Clavell.

During the 1960's, Shelby worked at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, in charge of expenditures and reimbursements made by American staff members as well as those made by... government employees with certain nebulous connections. Twice she dealt with spies Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott, dickering over their expense accounts (like a five dollar charge for "glass pants".)

When it came to her job, Shelby was just as strong-willed as her sister, but she never could be as cold and rancorous as Frances.

Again, it's just conjecture, but I'm going to claim that their great-grandmother was Janet Coburn, an animal trainer who once worked for big game hunter Warren Trevor in the wild, wild West. Thanks to a heightened sense of greed, Janet was more than willing to turn to a life of crime, helping Trevor to print legal currency made with the plates stolen from the mint in Carson City, Nevada.

But apparently she got away with it simply by making love to Secret Service agent Jim West. It was from this liaison that she gave birth to the grandparent of Frances and Shelby. (Jim West was one of those TV characters with "super sperm". Of course she was going to get pregnant!)

Paul and Frances Galesko had no children of their own, but it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Shelby Clavell eventually married (probably to a man she could better control than Kelly Robinson) and had children of her own. (And nothing says she needed to get married to accomplish the continuation of the family tree. I don't believe her great-grandmother let the strictures of Victorian society force her into a marriage just because she found herself pregnant.)

But even so, I know we can't trace Shelby's branch of the family tree far into the future to a "sorceress" named Sylvia who grappled with the crew of the starship Enterprise. Sylvia was in reality a strange little alien creature that looked like some kind of avian fetus. But she may have taken her human form from a descendant of Shelby Clavell.

  • 'Columbo' - "Negative Reaction"
  • 'I Spy' - "Return To Glory" & "Crusade To Limbo"
  • 'The Wild Wild West' - "The Night Of The Sudden Death"
  • 'Star Trek'- "Catspaw"
[Each of these women were played by Antoinette Bower.]


*The most ruthless murderer caught by Columbo, in my opinion, would be Nora Chandler in "Requiem For A Falling Star".

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