A string of gruesome cat killings have left a Japanese city in turmoil. As per a report by CNN, a woman discovered the severed head and paws of a brown speckled cat while walking along the banks of the Arakawa River in Saitama City, Japan. Days later, investigators found what they believed to be the rest of the body on the grounds of an elementary school. People discovered two more mutilated cat carcasses in a field and on the side of a small town road within 10 days, by the end of February, the report said.
What’s the Story?
These crimes have put this city in the Greater Tokyo area on edge. According to Japan’s official broadcaster NHK, local schools are urging instructors to accompany youngsters home and advise them to stroll in large groups; police have increased patrols, according to the CNN report.
The killings have triggered unpleasant memories in Saitama, CNN says, which recently imprisoned a cat murderer who tortured multiple animals and posted footage of his activities online.
They’ve also brought up the Kobe City child killings of the 1990s, in which a 14-year-old boy with a history of animal cruelty killed two children, ages 10 and 11, and injured three more.
“It’s been a while since I’ve heard of a terrible cat murder like this one in our prefecture," Kazuhiko Noguchi, who is in charge of citizen relations at the Minami police district, told VICE Global News in February.
A woman in her eighties told NHK she was “scared and uncomfortable" after learning about the cat killings.
According to Takuya Anzai, an official who has organised patrol activities on behalf of the Saitama educational board, children have been instructed to notify their professors if they come across anything suspicious, according to VICE World News.
Animal Cruelty Signs of Homicide?
Following the killings, some experts have warned that in certain people’s thoughts, animal abuse can serve as a gateway to even more horrible crimes.
As per an Independent report, Jeffrey Dahmer, the “Milwaukee cannibal" who mutilated 17 people three decades ago, began by dismembering dogs and cats and impaling their heads on poles.
Ian Brady, the Moors murderer who tortured and killed five children in the 1960s, boasted of killing his first cat when he was only ten years old, and then went on to burn another cat alive, stone dogs, and chop off rabbit heads before turning his attention to people.
Robert Thompson and Jon Venables used to shoot pigeons with air rifles and hang rabbits to railway lines to watch them get run over, until they killed young James Bulger in 1993, the report explains.
The links between early animal mistreatment and later violent and aggressive crime have been documented for decades, and some have suspected them for even longer.
Under a 2019 research by Teesside University, experts interviewed youngsters in Romania for the first academic study on the subject, and discovered that nearly nine out of ten - a stunning 86.3 percent - thought it was “normal" to see homeless animals harmed or killed.
The teenagers were also shown to be more prone to later self-harm or have suicidal tendencies than children in Germany, a control group. Almost all of those polled had witnessed street animals being trapped in a rope, poisoned, or hanged as children.
Famous ‘Cat Killers’
There is even a Netflix Original true-crime docuseries on a cat killer called, Don’t F**K With Cats. In 2010, an unknown guy broadcast a disturbing video of himself slaughtering cats and kittens. Fearful, an internet community decided to track him down. Luke Magnotta was caught in 2012 and is currently incarcerated for life.
In 2021, a security guard who killed cats in a series of eight-month attacks in Brighton was sentenced to more than five years in prison. Steve Bouquet, 54, a Brighton and Hove shopping centre security guard, had denied 16 counts of criminal damage to cats and one count of knife possession but was convicted.
The owners of four of the animals stabbed to death by Bouquet were present to witness him sentenced to five years and three months in prison. Nine cats were killed, including Hendrix, Tommy, Hannah, Alan, Nancy, Gizmo, Kyo, Ollie, and Cosmo, while seven more were injured.
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