Florida Teen Charged with 19 Cat MurdersPublished June 16, 2009
Recently there have been a shocking number of horrendous deaths of dozens of innocent cats as a result of wanton acts of cruelty to animals; serious crimes allegedly performed by two attractive teen-agers. The news about these crimes has been flooding the media and is very alarming in nature. It is mind boggling to even attempt to conceive the motivation for such blatant brutality and malevolence. Cheyenne Cherry's story was but the first of two startling and highly disturbing recently breaking news. The second story began on May 13, 2009, when cat lovers residing in the Miami- Dade area in southern Florida started living under a dark cloud of fear for the safety of their beloved kitties. A serial cat killer was on a spree of abuse and cruelty, resulting in the mutilation and brutal slaying of more than a dozen cats. Photo credit: Miami Herald.com On Sunday, May 14, 18 year-old Tyler Weinman was arrested and charged with 19 counts of cruelty to animals, 4 counts of burglary, and 19 counts of "improperly disposing of an animal body". In an early morning statement, yesterday, Florida State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said, ''Our communities of Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay have been on edge for many weeks now because of the horrific and unspeakable slaughtering of many of their beloved feline pets. I sincerely hope that with his arrest, the residents will feel relieved and their cats will be safe once again. It is expected that the vicious crimes that have plagued these communities will not be repeated.'' Days before his arrest, several area residents while attending community meetings concerning the slaying of these felines, mentioned seeing someone fitting Weinman's description. They also said that the teen-ager lived in an area which allowed him access to both neighborhoods where the these cat killing rampages took place. While Weinman personally posted supportive messages hoping that the killer would be found, on an Internet Facebook site, "Catch the Cat Killer" created by friends of the suspect, police said that there were additional suspicious postings on the site that in conjunction with the information provided by the residents, lead them to his arrest. Weinman's attorney, David Macey says his client is innocent of all charges and will plead him "not guilty". After learning about Weinman's arrest, one Cutler Bay resident, Thomas Shad, whose cat, Miss Kitty, a small feral cat that he and his wife had fed and cared for a year, was one of the cats killed during the killing spree and discovered behind an abandoned house. Mr. Shad said, "It's shocking to think that someone who lives right here and is our neighbor would do something like this. Now we feel like we can let our cats out of the patio. Perhaps we have part of our life back." They have adopted a new kitten, Miss Prissy. A news conference was called for 10 a.m. at Palmetto Bay City Hall, and a hearing was set for the suspect on Monday afternoon. There has also been a string of other cat killings in Florida, with no arrests made so far. Visit http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami-dade/story/1097433.html for more information and to watch the video of the story. What reactions have you had to these reports and what do you feel may be motivating them? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.