Monday, July 06, 2009

Serial Cat Killer of Miami-Dade Florida

(police mug shot released by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office)

During the month of May, residents of the Miami-Dade area were warned to keep their pets indoors and to report any suspicious activity, due to a cat murderer roaming the streets. Residents woke to find their beloved cats’ lifeless bodies lying mutilated on their front porches and lawns. The first cat victim was found at the end of April, and it was on May 19th, when the initial report was filed with the Miami-Dade police that eight cats from the Cutler Bay area were missing.

On June 15th, Tyler Weinman, 18, was formally charged in Miami-Dade court with 19 counts of felony animal cruelty, 19 counts of improperly disposing of an animal body, and four counts of burglary. He has pleaded "not guilty" and is currently free on bond, though he is under house arrest.

According to police reports, Weinman was spotted on different accounts (from neighbor witnesses) in the vicinity of the murders and a tracking device placed on Weinman’s car by police also revealed he was parked in close proximity to individual’s whose cats later were found dead. Not to mention, during the first interview with Weinman, the teen spoke of cat scratches on his neck and back (allegedly from his mother’s cat), and he spoke of his high school’s dissection program, where he gave police details on how to dissect a cat.

After consulting a psychologist about animal cruelty, Detective Dominick Columbro states in the affidavit that he believes that Weinman fit the profile of the killer. And after reading the affidavit myself, I would agree; whoever is responsible for these heinous crimes definitely fits the profile of a killer (and I don’t say that just because I am a cat lover, but because of the details in which each cat was killed; see link below only if you have a strong stomach). Weinman has a wrap sheet of two prior offenses as a juvenile, and “experts say cruelty toward cats, as opposed to other animals, can fulfill a deeper need for control. Cats, unlike dogs, can be more difficult to control. They don't come when they're called and are often more independent, said Dr. Randall Lockwood of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and author of "Forensic Investigation of Animal Cruelty” to The Huffington Post. Behavioral profiling long ago identified three key, aberrant behaviors in youth that may predict a serial killer: bedwetting, arson, and cruelty to animals. Studies have shown that kids who display violent acts towards animals have the potential to inflict violence on humans. Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and David Berkowitz all delighted in torturing animals before moving on to human prey.

If Tyler Weinman does turn out to be the serial cat killer of Florida, may justice be served and may the courts not sentence him lightly. With such links between animal cruelty and violence towards humans, it would be foolish to allow such a crime to go unpunished. I would hate for him to receive a slap-on-the-wrist and then later be charged with a more violent crime, especially one committed on a human. If convicted, Weinman could face more than a decade behind bars. I guess we’ll see…

To view the entire affidavit, visit the below link. Please note the document is graphic in nature.

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