Peter Falk – Animal Protector
Insisted on cruelty-free products on “Columbo”
Most people will remember Peter Falk, who died on Thursday, for his signature “Oh, just one more thing …” line in the TV detective series Columbo.
But people in the animal protection world knew him as a great spokesperson for animals of all kinds.
He was a passionate supporter of animal causes, including Best Friends Animal Society and PETA.
He helped defeat a defamation lawsuit by Las Vegas animal trainer Bobby Berosini, who had been caught beating the orangutans he used in his nightclub act.
In 2000, he wrote to law-enforcement officials, reminding them that cruelty to animals is often a precursor to other violent crimes.
“You don’t have to be a detective to know that Ted Bundy, David Berkowitz, Jeffrey Dahmer, and the young shooters at Columbine High School all had something in common: Each of them abused or killed animals before murdering humans,” he wrote in the letter.
“Did you know,” he added, “that every high-profile young assailant involved in a school massacre recently (from Springfield, Ore., to West Paducah, Ky.) has had a history of torturing or killing animals?
“Please remind your officers and staff that torturing animals is not innocent childhood behavior, it is a chilling sign of violent acts to come. If they take it seriously, they can go beyond solving crimes—to actually preventing them.”
Falk also wrote to the Fraternal Order of Police to ask police and sheriff’s departments not to use elephants in fundraisers.
And he insisted on having only let cruelty-free cosmetics on the set of Columbo.