One of my first questions was "Why did it take 6 days to notify me that my cat had been killed when his collar was found with his remains?" That was a bureaucracy problem. The police department had assumed all responsibility for investigating the mutilations and the shelter was only to be a transporter of remains from the crime scene to the vet and then back to the shelter. The police had even confiscated the shelter's files on all previous mutilations as part of their ongoing criminal investigation. And naturally, the detective was overloaded with more pressing police work.
Also, the editor at our little teeny town newspaper had changed, and the new editor wasn't reporting every mutilation as the previous editor had done. The newspaper's circulation was primarily people with children in sports since that's what the paper reported. I don't have children, and therefore didn't subscribe, so I wasn't aware how many mutilations had been occurring even before the editor change.
The shelter supervisor told me that the mutilations that made news were when a concerned citizen/animal lover such as myself became involved and irate enough to make it news. She told me that she had attended a seminar for Animal Control Officers/Police Officers over in Arlington just that summer on animal cruelty and the perpetrators who commit these crimes. She told me that they were called "dabblers" because they were more "cult want-to-be's" than true cultists. And that the information on performing these sadistic rituals was readily available on the internet behind password protected sites.
So I set forth on my mission. I spoke with the vet who performed Davy's necropsy and found out that he was exsanguinated. She also told me that he had been surgically mutilated, as had all the others that she had examined. I later found out through reading occult books and speaking with people what the dabblers do with the blood.
I spent several days at the public library looking through every roll of microfilm for our little town newspaper and printing out every cat mutilation article. I then mapped out where the mutilations had occurred and where the remains were found. Typically, and this is worldwide, the remains are returned to either the owner's home, or within a couple of blocks of the home.
I began contacting any of the owners that were named, and my network grew as I spoke with more people who knew someone else, etc. I found people in North Dallas, Addison, and Carrollton who had been extremely involved in the mutilations in their area, and then found a police detective in that area who would actually talk with me about it.
I contacted the Southwest Regional office of the Humane Society of the United States and once I presented them with all the information that I had gathered, they contacted their national HQs and a crime expert came out to work with our police department. They also put up a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person(s) responsible. After they became involved, the remains were no longer necropsied by a local vet. They were sent to a forensics lab at Texas A&M.
I called the SPCA of Texas and asked why their $2500 reward had been dropped and was told they thought the problem had gone away, so I provided them with all the information and they posted their award again and also began working with our PD.
Although this was considered "old news" to the tv stations and our little town newspaper, what made it new was that remains were now being left where small children would find them, such as in parks and on school grounds. On August 29 and 30 two TV stations interviewed me and the police captain about the "new rash of mutilations". Our little town newspaper also ran several articles. Then a new mutilation occurred in Carrollton and the Dallas Morning News ran an article on it and mentioned our rash of mutilations. I was also able to get a couple of letters to the editor published in this timeframe.
The police passed out flyers on streets adjacent to the elementary school and the private school where remains were found by children asking for information. I received permission by the HSUS and the SPCA of Texas to use their logos and created a flyer stating a $10,000 reward was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person(s) responsible for the mutilation of cats. It also stated in bold letters "KEEP YOUR CAT INDOORS". Myself and 2 others passed out about 3500 flyers in the 2 neighborhoods that had been heavily targeted based on my maps. It devastated me to actually talk with people and plead with them to keep their cats indoors because my own cat had been killed only 2 streets away. They would invariably tell me that their cat wouldn't stay indoors. Arrrgghhhh!!!
Davy was number 36 out of 55 mutilations that I was able to track in this small suburb from October 1997 to May 2001. I couldn't continue counting. I was done.
Two boys were charged with the 5th mutilation when they were 14 years old. They went to trial in their suits and ties with their parents. Although teen witnesses said that the boys bragged about killing and mutilating cats and talked of Satanism and ritualistic killings, the case was dismissed because the owner of the Siamese cat never actually viewed its remains. The boys claimed to be Wiccan, vegetarian and animal lovers on the witness stand. In school, they bragged of their deeds, wore all black, and snake bone necklaces. By the time Davy was killed they were 17 or 18. By the next year, one of them had already reproduced. Ugghhh.
This city did at one time try to claim these were raptor and coyote kills. The first editor of the newspaper prevented that theory from taking hold. A raptor rehabilitator was interviewed and said that no bird of prey could attack and kill a healthy, adult cat. Also, the articles all reported the precise parts of the cat that were removed, and what parts were left at the home or nearby.
I found this to be true with the Santa Clara valley cat mutilations. The animals were drained of blood and surgically mutilated. Later, officials took the stance that these were in fact coyote kills. Aurora, CO took the same stance, although enough articles were well written and detailed prior to their official stance of coyote kills that if one knows enough, they know that these were humans performing cat mutilations. The city adjacent to mine also officially claims all of their mutilations are coyotes. I actually spoke to a woman in a vet clinic who was taking down her "Lost Cat" poster who said a coyote had killed her cat. I asked how she knew that. She said the police and animal control told her because the head was left in her front yard. I asked if there were signs of a struggle, blood, fur, etc. She said, "No, just his head." I thought that was so thoughtful of that coyote to return the head to the owner as a keepsake.
Cities don't like to be known as harboring teenage cult dabblers or people who practice the occult and prey on innocent animals. It sort of does damage to commerce and home sales.
Tomorrow I will wrap this up by telling you how Davy helped get "Loco's Law" passed.