Sage the Cat: private investigator and police agree on suspect. Should they arrest and name him?
In a public announcement on Facebook, private investigator Jason Jensen tells us that he has a theory on who tortured Sage the Cat. The police agree with his theory. They agree on the person who probably committed this crime. He has a recent and past history of violence. I’d bet my bottom dollar that this person is a man and that he is well known to the former caretakers of Sage the Cat. In other words the pool of suspects is small.
Being a follower of this case and being one of the many people who want to see justice done, I accept Mr Jensen’s assessment. I am pleased that he is on the case. I do question some of the points that he makes, however.
He says that it is impossible for him to accept that a family member would torture the family cat. It would be contrary to the bonds of affection, he says, between cat and cat owner.
I’m afraid to say that that is an incorrect assessment. There are many cases of family members hurting their cat. This is because sometimes one member of the family wants to get at another and they do it by hurting the family cat. There are many family disputes and sometimes the cat is in the middle of them and gets hurt in the process. Cats can be inncocent victims of intra-family disputes.
Secondly, not every caretaker loves and has a strong bond with their cat. Very far from it, in fact. There are many cat owners who are miserably deficient in their obligation to care for their cat.
Thirdly, in families, quite often there is one person who is more in favour of keeping a cat than the other family members. That person may dictate his or her terms upon the family to adopt a cat against the wishes of other family members. This can create tensions. One member of the family may hurt the cat or ill-treat the cat simply because he/she does not like cats. It is not axiomatic that in a family home all family members love the family cat.
Also, Jason Jensen stated that there are three motivations to kill: love, greed and revenge. He knows better than me but we’re talking about a family cat. There are more reasons than the three stated to kill a cat. One of them, as mentioned above, is to emotionally hurt the cat’s owner. Another is because a family member simply hates cats. Another is because the person might be frightened of cats. A further reason is because an intoxicated family member wishes to express his anger about an unrelated matter through violence towards the family cat.
I would also like to question whether it is possible to disclose the suspect’s name at this stage. The intention is to keep the investigation quiet and not to disclose anything about what is going on. The organisers of the Facebook page Justice for Sage are happy that Mr Jensen is working quietly behind the scenes. They are probably correct but I’d like to question that objective.
Firstly, there is an international interest in this case and its outcome. The investigator has a duty, I think, towards the public and towards those people commissioning him to disclose what he can when he can in their interests provided it does not undermine the investigation.
Judging by Mr Jensen’s words it would seem to me that there is enough evidence to have reasonable grounds to suspect that the unnamed person committed the crime. Therefore he could be arrested. When arrested he could be named. In naming a suspect you prevent further crime by the suspect or are likely to. Therefore this unnamed violent man would be prevented from potentially hurting somebody or another animal.
It would also allow the police to interrogate the suspect which may throw up some information. Thirdly it would force the hand of the suspect. It would kick up some dust and create a little bit of chaos which may unearth further information against him. Others may come forward with vital evidence which is sorely needed.
There are certain advantages to keeping quiet and in not disclosing information about a police investigation but there are also advantages in opening up the investigation to the public. I would suggest that at this stage in the investigation when the police have already more or less washed their hands of it due to lack of evidence that being transparent about the investigation would be a reasonable way to proceed. It may shake things up to progress the matter. I don’t see disclosure being detrimental to the outcome.
Finally, it is nice to know that they have a firm suspect. I will presume that the police had already had this person in their sights from an early stage. My guess is that Mr Jensen has confirmed what they had already thought. It is and has always been about evidence. Can they get enough of it to successfully prosecute? Have the police lost evidence?