Cats’ DNA Solves Cases
DNA use in criminal cases has been around for a long time—thirty-five years, or so. And it’s been the cornerstone of numerous cases, sending lots of bad guys to prison.
Well, for the first time in New York City (Brooklyn), DNA was used to convict someone for animal cruelty. In 2008, an apartment manager found Scruffy, aka “Tommy Two Times” (pictured above) with large areas of his fur burned off. His skin was also badly burned, to the extent that the damage had reached the deep muscle of his legs. The building manager notified police and an investigation was opened. In the meantime, vets determined that Scruffy’s injuries were too severe for him to survive. He was euthanized.
Back at the apartment building, detectives searched a vacant room and found what appeared to be burned flesh adhering to a section of flooring. So they removed that portion of the floor and sent it to the lab for testing. DNA from the extracted tissue matched a DNA sample taken from Scruffy. In short, detectives linked two teens to the vicious attack, Angelo Monderoy and Matthew Cooper.
Cooper recently pleaded guilty, stating that he and Monderoy had taken the cat to the apartment where one of the men stepped on the aninal, holding it down, while the other poured lighter fluid over it and set it on fire. Monderoy, however, elected to go to trial. He was convicted on March 8 of this year and now faces 15 years in prison for his violent crimes. Incidentally, Moderoy’s reason for burning the cat…he was bored. He also faces deportation back to his native Trinidad.
Another case of animal cruelty was recently solved using DNA. Madea, a four-year-old family cat, was beaten so severely that her lungs were lacerated. Again, the cat had to be put to sleep. Cat DNA found on the sheath of an umbrella linked 33-year-old Lordtyshon Garrett to the brutal beating of his mother-in-law’s beloved Madea. He was charged for the crime.
In other cases, animal DNA has linked several abusers to their crimes. In North Carolina, for example, blood and hair of burned animals were found on the suspect’s clothing.
Also, scientists have established the country’s first DNA database of dogs used in dog fights.
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On another note, in my first Detective Jackson story cat hair is used to place the perpetrator at the crime scene. That was a fun wrap up.
I agree, Jonathan. I do not understand the sick people who hurt kids and defenseless animals.
Hubby and I have rescued 5 cats to keep them safe. Smoki and Jakette are still with us. The other three, Snowflake, Frisbee, and Lady Leo lived long, healthy lives with us before they went to heaven.
I think there does need to be more attention paid to people who do things like this. A bored kid finds amusement in burning a cat? And if his boredom comes back what does he do then? Maybe see what it feels like to do a Leopold and Loeb.
That scum who burned the kitty will be plenty of time–15 years–to be “bored” in prison. I’m glad that cities are finally aggressively prosecuting animal cruelty. Monsters who hurt defenseless animals are despicable.
Some say teens harming animals is a stepping stone to harming humans. I hope the serve full terms. Those poor kitties. I have been fostering rescues for a while now so this really bugs !
Never used DNA in cat related cases but I have used it quite a few time in Falcon and Hawk cases both in Wildlife Crime and theft/Deception cases.
I get so angry when I hear about animal cruelty. We take away their natural defenses, get them to trust us and then we aren’t trustworthy. I love hearing about the convictions and the deportations (if they’d only stay away!). In some of the cat mystery series I read, I always champion the cat who defends its owner. No one suspects that the cat could be dangerous! I love it.
I agree with Jonathan. Stories like these make me weep. I’m off to give both my pampered kitties hugs right now.
Animal cruelty should be a felony in every state. Good show on going what many would consider a waste of time in gathering and examining the DNA evidence.
There is a special place in hell for those who abuse defenseless children and animals.