25 Cats Found Murdered in Yonkers, New York: An Atrocious Act of Animal Cruelty

Hardly a day goes by when my email box isn’t filled with news items about animal cruelty. While these stories are always shocking and greatly disturbing; an article published on April 26 in the New York Times was blood curdling.

25 Cats Found Murdered in Yonkers

25 Cats Found Murdered in Yonkers. Photo Credit: SPCA

However, a word of warning to our readers. This material is gruesome, so discretion is advised before reading further. There are monsters who may still be roaming the streets of Yonkers, New York!

His or her horrifying acts of cruelty to cats were uncovered on April 25, by a crew of workers from the Yonkers Department of Public Works while clearing debris from an area of the county overlooking the Hudson River. Glenn Stefanik, a member of the crew all suddenly spied something that appeared to be extremely puzzling.

Initially it was hard to determine what the object was; but on closer inspection he saw a white cat hanging from a branch of a tree. The cat had been eviscerated making it difficult to identify the object. Alongside the dead cat there hung a black bag.

Stefanik said:

“We pulled on the bag and a little black kitten fell out. It was a day or two old.”

But as they were thoroughly searching the area, much to their horror and dismay, they discovered more than two dozen identical bags hanging from tree branches amongst the beer bottles and entangled vines.

The crew quickly contacted the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,(SPCA). The agency’s Director of Humane Law Enforcement, Ernest Lungaro arrived on the scene shortly thereafter. He said,

“We have never been confronted by a scene like this.”

More than twenty five dead cats were found at the grizzly scene; all in different stages of decay. Every cat was stuffed into plastic shopping bags. According to authorities, after examining the skeletal remains they determined that these cat killings may have started as long as a year ago, and have been continuing through the present.

The results of the necropsies performed on the more recently deceased cats indicated that blunt force trauma to the head was used to kill them. Also recovered from the area was a metal pipe, two shovels and a wooden baseball bat. The police were notified immediately. Both the SPCA and the police are working together to find the people responsible for these killings. According to Lt. Patrick McCormack of the Yonkers Police Department, the motive for these cat killings remains a mystery, nor have any suspects been identified.

In New York State, killing a cat in a “depraved and sadistic” fashion is a felony. This crime is punishable with a fine up to $5,000, with a jail term of up to five years.

According to the S.P.C.A, Westchester County is home to a large feral cat population and there is a colony of cats living in an area close to the location where the dead cats were found.

McCormack said that due to the fact that the crime scene was so bizarre, local residents have been wondering if these murders had a ritualistic tone. But other than the amount of work that went into hanging the remains, McCormack claimed that they didn’t appear ritualistic. While no reports of missing cats have been called into the police, recently, authorities are questioning people living in close-by neighbourhoods.

A woman who regularly feeds over thirty stray cats commented that she had noticed something strange. She said, “There was a smell on this block for a while. We were thinking it was trash.”

Alley Cat Allies, the leading cat advocacy group in the United States is taking action. Becky Robinson, its founder and president commented that it’s well known that animal cruelty is wide spread in the United States. Robinson said, “But this is the most horrific case we have ever heard of, and it is very disturbing.” The organization is offering a $750 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for these horrendous crimes.

As far as the consequences of these crimes is concerned, this writer feels strongly that a fine of up to $5,000 and five years’ imprisonment is only a “slap on the wrist”. Penalties for such brutal acts of animal cruelty should be far more rigorous and stringent. What punishment would serve to fit these crimes and get the message across that any acts of cruelty to animals will not be tolerated? What do you think? Tell us in a comment.


Source: the New York Times

Facebook Discussion


25 Cats Found Murdered in Yonkers, New York: An Atrocious Act of Animal Cruelty — 40 Comments

  1. Thanks Dee for posting that. I used to live just a few miles from there- and I definitely would be there if I were still living there.

    But I will be there in spirit- as I am sure all of us will be! We could all have a moment of silence at that time to take part in the memorial service.

    Of course since we all live in different time-zones just note our correct time.

  2. A reminder…

    A peaceful memorial service will be held for the cats recently murdered in Yonkers:
    WHEN: Saturday, May 10, 2014
    TIME: 10:30 a.m.
    PLACE: Meet in the parking lot behind 2 Palisades Avenue at John Street & James Street, Yonkers, NY.

  3. DNA is providing evidence . All responsible will be convicted and justice will be served. There is someone who witnessed this crime. The reward is also helping in this investigation. Call the police immediately. Neighborhood watch always helps. The organization for all of these cats have been doing a great job. Let these criminals be registered for the crime. Again if you see any assault on any animal please call the police and give a description of what they look like and a license plate if they get into a car.

  4. Hey, look at that! All your cats died of “attrition” — just like Alley Cat Allies, HSUS, and SPCA want all your outdoor cats to die. It’s in their rules and advice in how to practice TNR! Then the more suffering cats that they can find in the media to exploit for donations for themselves the wealthier they all become! (Alley Cat Allies’ yearly income alone has now surpassed $7million with $6million in assets from fools like you.)

    Don’t you know how this works? Are you THIS astoundingly stupid and easily manipulated? These “humane” groups ensuring that tortured and slowly dying and suffering cats are everywhere through their TNR programs is their latest main bread & butter! It’s how they all afforded to fly to Hawaii for another “cat conference” not long ago. Forcing cats to suffer to death is a highly lucrative business today! Just ask Alley Cat Allies, HSUS, and SPCA how much money they make on donations for forcing feral cats to suffer to death with their TNR programs! It’s in the $MILLIONS. Support yet another organization that perpetuates and exploits the suffering of animals for their own personal financial gain, then try to sleep well at night.

    What’s the matter? Didn’t you read the rules of what happens to every last outdoor hoarded cat that is allowed to roam free? They die of “attrition”. Do you know what that means? It means death by ANY means. How loving and humane of you!

    ………..remainder deleted as some rudeness in it.

    • Woody, don’t you think you are being a bit cynical? Are seriously suggesting that these major charities want to perpetuate feral cats and stray cats so that they can collect more money. I agree that these large charities are businesses and that objective can get in the way of cat welfare but they don’t need to work at ensuring there are feral cats dying or being shot etc. It just happens. I will always happen.

    • Can you please rethink your opinion . The agencies don’t get a commission, they get donations . Everything goes to the welfare of the animals. The agencies help these orphan cats and dogs that are abandoned by selfish, ignorant, irresponsible at one time pet owners. They are very affectionate, adorable, loving cats and dogs. Aside from being adopted, these animals provide compassion to many sick people in nursing homes, are trained as seeing eye dogs,also in criminal investigations as Police dogs. All of the above would not be possible without the help of the agencies and they the spend a lot of personal time seeing to the welfare of these animals they don’t have much time for vacation.

      • Cristy the person who made that comment (which I allowed to publish but heavily amended) is a idiot. Sorry to use strong language but it is true. He’ll never change his mind. There are lots of people like him unfortunately which is why I published part of his comment.

  5. jmuhj just commented on another article but also posted this:

    A peaceful memorial service will be held for the cats recently murdered in Yonkers:
    WHEN: Saturday, May 10, 2014
    TIME: 10:30 a.m.
    PLACE: Meet in the parking lot behind 2 Palisades Avenue at John Street & James Street, Yonkers, NY.
    A Facebook page has been created entitled ‘Yonkers Cats Memorials,’ please visit, ‘like’ and leave compassionate comments:
    Other events are being planned; we will notify everyone of additional events shortly.
    This is not over; this will not be swept under the rug and we must make sure something good comes of this disaster
    Animal Defenders of Westchester

    I can’t attend but will be having a long moment of silence at !0:30 AM EST a week from tomorrow.

  6. As an aside, I really wish people would stop blaming alcohol for the horrible actions of disturbed people. An abuser abuses whether they’re drunk or sober. Let’s blame it on the perpetrator. Normal people don’t have a few (or even a many) drinks and say, “I know what we should do! Let’s beat a bunch of cats to death and hang their carcasses from trees!” Untreated mental illness is to blame. Wagering the killer(s) is/are psychopaths, the knowledge of right and wrong is there but doesn’t matter. This is the blame, not alcohol.

  7. One day there will be a registry set up that is nationwide with the names of people who have been convicted of cruelty to animals.

    I think a registry is crucial. While it may not stop animal cruelty completely- the people who have been convicted will have a hell of a time every getting another animal. It is a start!

  8. They made the statement this may have started a YEAR ago! How does someone hang plastic bags with dead cats in them for a year and they are not seen until now? Also you don’t call the police when your cats is missing you call the local shelters. The police are much too busy to handle calls like this. Don’t get me wrong I am very sick that something like this happened! I find it disgusting and completely evil. I would assume to a certain point these were probably mostly feral cats that were some how trapped and them killed. I pray this person or persons are caught soon and receive the punishment allowed by law. I also pray that their pictures are posted in every newspaper and telephone pole, electric pole in the entire city. People have to know who they are and report them to local authorities.

  9. This makes me physically ill. Somewhere out there is a very sick and twisted person. If it was brought to my attention I think I would have staked our the area and waited to see who showed up and nabbed them then. People like that are so sick and twisted. SOmetimes I wonder if the punishment should fit the crime.

  10. The $23K reward should provide incentive to someone to come forward, especially if people add to it. Someone knows something. The sentence would be appropriate only if the criminal were to serve 25 five year sentences consecutively for a total of 125 years. This is someone who needs to be away from society for the rest of their life as they will only continue killing. Get them off the streets before anymore innocent cats — or any other animals or people — are killed.

  11. How horrifying! I pray they find the person(s) who did this and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law for each cat!! Thanks for posting this Jo!

  12. They’d better catch this person immediately. For my part, I think they should just hang whoever it is without the blow to the head first, but they won’t do it for cats. Studies have shown a nutjob like this moves on to small children and/or women before long though, if not men.

  13. The only punishment fitting for the cold hearted murderer of those cats is to do the same to him once he is caught.

  14. Terrible, awful news, so cruel, sick and monstrous, I wish pain and a long tortuous death on whoever is responsible for these murders and would happily spit on their grave(s) it makes me ashamed to be human.

  15. When they catch whoever did this, they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, fined $5000 for each cat killed, then perhaps eviscerated and hung upside down in a tree to die. He/she deserves no better. Society will have been done a favor, for those who start out with animal abuse generally turn in to either child abusers or sociopaths. (sp?)

    • They are finding cats in Florida as well, tortured and some cut in half. Our society is totally sick and in need of some hard justice.

    • Agree 100%. Like for like. Make the punishment fit the crime. There is no crime greater than those against the innocent, blameless, and vulnerable, and cats are at the top of that list. May someone with nothing to lose “take out the trash” as soon as these devils are found.

  16. I think its all down to materialist ennui. The life, the american dream, the whatever you want to call it, is what is leading to bored heartless serial killing monsters.

    Few beers and a baseball bat – the people who do these things destroy the world for everyone else.

  17. I had posted this link on “P.O.C” a few days ago having read about it on the “New York Daily news online edition” in Mumbai. Was not surprised on reading this news as strangely America is also known as a “Superpower” for producing “SERIAL KILLERS” only difference being that it was “CATS” and not “HUMANS”.Hope this “Cat Serial killer” does not progress to “Human killings” and is tracked down and put to justice swiftly.

    • I saw this article link in your comment and read it, Rudolph.Appalling.
      What’s more so is that the article stated that this similar act happened a year ago too.
      If they weren’t caught then, it’s pretty unlikely they’ll be caught now.

  18. Disgusting. Not suprised they drink alcohol – beer of course. Wherever you have alcohol you have things going wrong.

    I would be happy to add to the reward.

    They won’t find the person.

    Unless they are already convicted and left finger prints on the bats, cans and poles.

    Is that right Michael? They won’t have fingerprints on record if the person has never been charged with anything?

    • They won’t have fingerprints on record if the person has never been charged with anything?

      Depends on the country and the legal system. In the UK lots of people were fingerprinted who subsequently were not convicted for a crime and for a long time their fingerprints were kept on database. People thought this was a breach of their human rights and as I understand it these records have now been deleted.

      It is possible that in America people charged with a crime based on for example fingerprint evidence may have their fingerprints on record for their lifetime even though they are not convicted and therefore are innocent.

      So yes, I agree that you have to be charged with something or at least a suspect before having fingerprints on record.

      • In regard to fingerprints, a person having no run-ins with the law could have fingerprints on file. I work for a social services agency so mine and all my colleagues are on file. I’m in communications & development, but most people who would be on file are: social workers; teachers; law enforcement; government employees; youth care workers. Basically, anyone who works for a company requiring FBI background checks.

        Considering that fact, I’m really hoping someone who was already in trouble with the law did this. I seriously hope it wasn’t someone who is responsible for/trusted with children or people with special needs. Harming animals is almost always the training ground for harming people. I don’t understand why the punishments aren’t the same. A monster is a monster.

        • Thanks for the information about fingerprint records in the USA. Interesting. Seems a bit like big brother though. It seems to be inline with the recent revelations about smartphone hacking by the NSA.

  19. oh michael words just cant explain the dissappointment and sadness i feel of hearing stuff like that. It just annoys me that anyone would do such a thing to any animal. I hope the authories deal with whoever did this and that bad karma comes to whoevr done that. 🙁

    • Michael,

      The latest breakdown on the donations for the reward is:

      The five organizations offering the rewards are the ASPCA, $5,000; the Humane Society of the United States, $5,000; the Animal Legal Defense Fund, $5,000; In Defense of Animals, $2,500; and Alley Cat Allies $750.

      That news was found on the “Examiner” this afternoon.

      • Thanks Jo. Impressive. Hope it works. Wouldn’t it be great if they found him? Perhaps the police should have kept quiet about it and set up a surveillance operation because he was going back to the place recently. I think they dealt with this rather crudely to be honest.

  20. Out of respect I’ve turned the adverts off on this page except in the header which I can’t turn off.

    There is something dark at the heart of humankind. Sometimes the darkness festers into evil which seeps out of humankind in the form of disgusting acts of violence against the most vulnerable in society. This is an example.

    What sort of demented person takes pleasure in doing this sort of thing or who is motivated to do this sort of heinous act of cat cruelty.

    Sometimes, it seems to me that the worst kinds of cruelty are perpetrated against the feral cat because they are the most vulnerable and because no one hates as hard and is viciously as a cat hater.

    RIP. If the person is caught I know that on conviction his sentence will never be long enough.

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