Washington state is famed for its serial killers, but 2018 earned the gruesome distinction as the year a serial killer explicitly started targeting cats.
Over the course of the year, authorities found 13 animals cruelly killed and dismembered, with their body parts cruelly discarded in front yards, public parks, and even a church around Thurston County, which encompasses Olympia, Washington’s capital city. All of the murdered animals, including Olly (pictured below) were brutally tortured. Some even had their spines removed.
“This is not normal, and it’s very sick behavior,” Erika Johnson, a Thurston County Animal Services Officer, said at the time.
But the killings tapered off at the end of the summer, leaving cat owners hopeful the killer had finally abandoned this cruel mission. Those hopes were finally dashed 10 months later when a resident discovered a cat’s hind quarters on a city sidewalk.
Now authorities have redoubled their efforts to quickly capture this sick person, and time is of the essence. “This is the worst case of serial animal mutilation in my career,” Johnson told The Olympian in the following video, “and I’ve been doing this a long time.”
“A lot of people think, unfortunately, it’s just a cat,” Thurston County Sheriff’s Detective Ben Elkins said. “Well, it’s not just a cat,” he said, describing the Sheriff Department’s commitment to quickly finding Washington’s latest serial killer.
Johnson, meanwhile, remained dismayed by the brutal nature of these attacks, which exhibit a level of violence even beyond typical animal cruelty cases.
“Not only does this person have to be indifferent to the suffering of an animal,” she said sadly in the following video. “I think it’s a pretty dark mind when you resort to something like this and you actually carry it out.”
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J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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