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Catch the cat killer

By Linda Gibson (Chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2010-02-11 10:12
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Police might want to think about joining the volunteers patrolling Yuyuantan Park, on the lookout for a cat killer.

If the person they catch is a teen, there might still be time to keep him from growing up to become a killer of people, as well as animals.

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The link between cruelty to animals and violence against people is well established by law enforcement authorities in other countries, especially in the United States. With its bloody history of serial killers and shootings at schools, American police officers and prosecutors have learned to take crimes against animals seriously.

Here's some of their data, from the National District Attorneys Association.

In seven school shootings between 1997 and 2001, every one of the boys involved had previously killed small animals. Some shot dogs, others set cats on fire.

Albert DeSalvo, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and Dennis Rader, serial killers who murdered at least 70 people among them, tortured and killed animals before stalking human victims.

Police in the U.S. also now link animal cruelty to domestic abuse of women, children and the elderly. When they encounter organized dog fighting, they know they're likely to be dealing with violent gangs involved in other crimes, as well.

The volunteers patrolling Yuyuantan Park say they have seen dozens of dead cats, beaten to death with sticks and possibly tortured with knives. The killer even leaves his murder weapons, such as a meter-long stick, at the scene near the body.

Whether he's taunting those looking for him or leaving a twisted cry for help, he needs to be stopped. Since there's a police station right next to the park, it ought to be easy for them to keep an eye out.

If they don't catch him now, they'll have to clean up his crime scenes in the future, and explain to grieving families why they didn't take his crimes against animals seriously.