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Serial Cat Killer Arrested After Four-Month Spree

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On August 21, ASPCA Special Agents arrested Manhattan resident Sean Lynde, 36, for allegedly killing four cats and seriously injuring two others. The cats were owned by Lynde’s ex-girlfriend, Rachel Strate.

Lynde, who has a documented history of violent outbreaks, was indicted by a Manhattan Grand Jury on six counts of felony aggravated animal cruelty, seven counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, three counts of aggravated harassment, one count of criminal mischief, two counts of criminal contempt and one count of stalking. He pleaded not guilty and is currently out on $5,000 bail.

“Incidents like these are especially chilling,” says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Department. “An individual who can commit such violent acts against multiple pets over a period of months is someone who the criminal justice system needs to take serious notice of.”

The four-month killing spree began last fall after Lynde moved into Strate’s Upper West Side apartment. Events unfolded as follows:

  • On October 5, 2008, Strate’s 15-year-old cat, Cleo, was found dead behind a dryer with her mouth full of laundry detergent. A necropsy confirmed she also suffered head trauma, including a broken jaw and bleeding eye. A short time later, her 12-year-old cat named Zoe was found badly beaten, suffered extensive head trauma and had to be euthanized.
  • In November 2008, Strate adopted two three-month-old kittens, Willie and Betty. Later that month, she came home to discover Willie was unable to walk and returned him to his previous owner. On November 24, she came home to find Betty on the floor dead. “Lynde stated that Betty fell from a countertop to the floor and stopped breathing,” says Assistant Director of ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement, Joseph Pentangelo.
  • On December 18, still not suspecting her boyfriend of any wrongdoing, Strate adopted two more kittens, Emo and Bonafide. Soon after his adoption, Emo suffered an unexplained broken paw and subsequently vanished. On January 23, Strate found Bonafide with a broken neck—he later slipped into a coma and died.
  • In January 2009, the ASPCA received an anonymous tip and began investigating the suspicious killings.

If you suspect that someone is committing an act of animal cruelty in your community, report it to the proper authorities immediately.

Do you Twitter? Use this hashtag to tweet on this article: @aspca and #CatKillerArrest

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August 30, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

18-year old charged in Florida cat mutilations

updated 6:34 p.m. PT, Sun., June 14, 2009

MIAMI – A teenager faces charges in a gruesome string of cat mutilations and killingsCat Collage that have horrified his neighbors and shaken animal lovers in two South Florida communities.

Tyler Hayes Weinman, 18, was charged Sunday with 19 counts each of animal cruelty and improperly disposing of an animal body and four counts of burglary related to the deaths.

In the past month, residents in the Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay neighborhoods have reported finding the bodies of more than two dozen cats. Police said some were likely killed by dogs. Some were missing fur — neighbors said some had been skinned — and appeared to have been cut with a sharp, straight instrument, police said.

“I hope it’s not true,” 77-year-old Robert Ehrman said about the teen, who lives across the street from her in Cutler Bay. He called his mother a “lovely person,” but said he didn’t know the teen well. “It’s like a death in the family, I’m sure.”

Cat Killer Weinman was taken into custody at a party and was being questioned at Miami-Dade police headquarters. Four of the confirmed cat killings were reported on the street where Weinman lived.

His attorney, David W. Macey, said in an e-mail that Weinman is innocent of the charges.

“Tyler welcomes his day in court, so that he will be completely vindicated,” Macey said.

According to online jail records, Weinman was being held on $154,500 bond. Jail officials said a court date was set for July.

Received hundred of tips
The curtains at the small, beige house in the Cutler Bay neighborhood listed on Weinman’s arrest affidavit were drawn shut and there were no cars in the driveway. Knocks at the red front door went unanswered. A welcome mat dotted with pictures of paw prints playfully encouraged visitors to “wipe your paws,” and a yellow and black crime watch sticker was displayed in the home’s front window.

A similar crime watch sticker was displayed in the window at another address for Weinman in nearby Palmetto Bay, along with a red and black warning that told rescue crews a cat lived in the house, in case of a fire. Lights were on inside, but no one answered the door.

Messages left at phone numbers for his parents were also not immediately returned.

“It’s shocking to think that someone who lives right here and is our neighbor could do something like this,” said Thomas Shad, whose black cat, Miss Kitty, was killed.

Shad, whose house is near Weinman’s, said he had suspected a local resident might be behind the killings, which investigators started to examine in May. Police said they investigated more than 30 cat deaths and received hundreds of tips from concerned citizens.

“This is so important to our community,” Miami-Dade Police Department Maj. Julie Miller said of the arrest. “So many lives have been affected — children, adults, citizens who didn’t even have animals affected.”

Arrested twice as a juvenile
Miller said more arrests might be coming, but she declined to name other suspects. Police said they have been watching the house where Weinman stays with his mother, and neighbors said he was taken to the police station for an interview on his prom night a few weeks ago.

Weinman was still wearing a tuxedo when officers whisked him away that night, they said, and he missed the dance.

“If they do get the wrong guy and it’s not him, they’ve ruined his life as it is right now,” said 19-year-old Kyle Hantzis, who lives next door.

Hantzis, who said his father dates Weinman’s mother, called the teenager quiet and well-spoken. Authorities said Weinman was spending his summer doing odd jobs, and his Facebook page says he graduated from Miami Palmetto Senior High this spring.

Police said Weinman was twice arrested as a juvenile, though they said they could not provide details.

Hantzis said he had a hard time picturing the teen as a serial cat killer. “I don’t think, the way he acts and his demeanor, I don’t think he could physically do it,” he said. Weinman is listed on the jail record as 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 140 pounds.

For the Shads, his arrest brought a sense of relief to their quiet suburban neighborhood that they haven’t felt since Miss Kitty’s body was found in the grassy yard of an abandoned house.

“I felt that I could rest,” said Mary Lou Shad, who said she cried while she watched the televised police news conference on Sunday. “I was at peace with what was happening.”

In order for the police to make an arrest and release a photo of the 18-year-old in this case they have to be pretty sure that they have the right person.  It is important that if found guilty that Tyler Hayes Weinman and his accomplices are punished to the full extent of the law.  Animals are God’s creatures too and do not deserve to be tortured.  Also children and young people who victimize animals often go on to to do the same to children, spouses, the elderly and anyone else who in their mind wrongs them. Sociopaths often begin by abusing animals.

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June 16, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, animals, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments