Although fairly rare (but less rare than we believe) serial cat killers are all around us. They could be anywhere. Mostly they’re never discovered. We only hear about them in online news media stories through the discovery of their victims. We hear about a batch of cats which have been killed in a certain area of a certain town in a certain country and that is the end of the story. We hear no more because it fizzles out. It’s just a bunch of dead cats after all and the police didn’t bother to try and find out who killed them. Perhaps they were not killed? No, that is not the reason why the police do not follow up and try to investigate. It’s because cats are cats and the authorities believe that if they roam outside they take a risk and if that risk goes wrong then that’s the way life is. Also there is much talk about eliminating feral cats and there is mass slaughter of unwanted domestic cats. These activities lessen the value of the cherished domestic cat and encourage cat killers.
Often we hear of cats being killed with antifreeze. This masks whether the deaths are accidental or deliberate. However, if several or more cats are killed in a certain area but in different places with antifreeze then it cannot be accidental. Then we have the grisly serial killing of cats by psychopaths such as occurred in New York. These are obviously the work of serial cat killers because all the signs are there.
A more recent example of the serial cat killer is the one reported on ABC 7 News. This is going through the criminal court process at the moment and therefore I have to use the word “alleged” serial cat killer. Robert Ray Farmer, 24, has been charged with the serial killing of four cats. The problem with serial killers is that there are often more dead cats than have been found or disclosed by the killer himself. This is all part and parcel of the problem with serial cat killers. We don’t know how many cats they kill. We just know that cats go missing and their owners become a bit nervous and they might keep their remaining cats inside for a while but that’s about it.
One of the great problems is that owners don’t know if their cat has been killed or simply disappeared. Outdoor cats do disappear sometimes or are killed accidentally. This helps to protect serial cat killers.
Robert Ray Farmer attended court in San Jose California. The court room was packed. Concerned cat caretakers are interested in justice being done and they feel that they can achieve it by attending court proceedings and sometimes protesting outside. In this instance it is believed that many of the people present were owners of missing cats; possibly killed by Farmer. Farmer was arraigned on three felony animal cruelty charges, one charge of misdemeanour battery against a person and one charge of attempted animal cruelty.
Apparently, Farmer was asleep in his car with a dead cat and without further information I presume that this was a cat that he had killed. Somebody had tipped off the police and there was also surveillance footage which led to his arrest. He is suspected of many cat killings during the autumn of 2015 and, as mentioned, the number of the victims is unclear.
Many in the gallery of the court room brought with them photographs of their lost cats. They were angry and they were deeply upset; looking for justice. One local resident, Mary Crowder, made a common sense statement that she did not want to see Farmer released pending further hearings because she felt that he was a danger to people as well. We all know by now of the numerous studies which link animal abuse to violent crimes against people. I wonder whether serial cat killers go on to be serial human killers? I am sure it has happened multiple times.
Farmer was released on bail of $75,000 which was somewhat of a success for the prosecution because Farmer’s lawyer asked for him to be released “on his own recognizance”.
It appears that Farmer has allegedly been seen grabbing a cat to kill him/her. Footage was picked up by a security camera on a woman’s property. The footage showed a man in a car making a U-turn and then stopping near her cat. The cat was just lying there and the man walked up and grabbed him. I presume that that was the last time she saw her cat.
One cat allegedly killed by Farmer was found in a box with plastic around him and rocks on top of the box. A veterinarian confirm that the cat had died from blunt force trauma. Another cat recovered had also been killed in the same way.
In the UK, not so long ago, there was a spate of disappearances of domestic cats in the Ipswich area of Suffolk. These sorts of disappearances are not uncommon in the UK.
I would argue that greater effort needs to be exercised by police forces to investigate serial cat killing activity. We know that the FBI in America take animal abuse seriously as it can assist their investigations into violent crime against people. British police are missing out on a chance to investigate other crimes because serial cat killers are often involved in other crimes and their crimes can lead to serious violence against people. These are good arguments as to why the police should take serial cat killing seriously.
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