A Serial Killer Who Freezes the Corpses of Cats and Dogs in Blocks of Ice and Then Exhibits Them on His Neighbors' Lawns Is on the Loose in Dawson Creek
"It is absolutely appalling that a cruel incident like this would occur once, but to have it happen again in the same neighborhood is extremely upsetting."
-- Marcie Moriarty of the BC SPCA
"The mind of man is capable of anything -- because everything is in it; all the past as well as the future," Joe Conrad wrote in his celebrated 1903 novel, Heart of Darkness. When it comes to the abhorrent mistreatment of animals, however, the minds of some individuals contain nothing but unadulterated evil.
In tiny Dawson Creek in northeast British Columbia (BC), for example, there is a cold-blooded, calculating monster on the loose who is getting his kicks by killing cats and dogs and then freezing their corpses in blocks of ice. As proud as punch of his devilry and passionately craving the public's acclaim, he then appropriates the lawns at the Mile Zero Mobile Home Park, located at 9117 Seventh Street, as his de facto art gallery in order to brazenly exhibit his victims.
His latest atrocity was discovered around noon on March 13th and contained the body a dark-colored cat of unspecified gender. Since the block of ice also contained considerable blood, the cat without a doubt was brutally killed and possibly even tortured before being entombed. A necropsy has been ordered but, as best it could be determined, the results of which have not been made public.
Given the size and shape of the block of ice, it appears that the murderer first killed the cat and then placed its body inside a large rubber trash can before adding water. He then either placed it inside a large freezer or left it outside overnight to harden in the near-zero degrees Fahrenheit temperatures that the region experienced on that date. (See photos of the cat above and below.)
"It is absolutely appalling that a cruel incident like this would occur once, but to have it happen again in the same neighborhood is extremely upsetting," Marcie Moriarty of the SPCA said March 14th in a press release. (See "BC SPCA Seeks Public's Help in Solving Shocking Case of Animal Cruelty.")
By that oblique reference she is referring to the corpse of a medium-sized black dog that also was discovered entombed in a block of ice only a stone's throw away on January 15, 2011. (See photo of it further down the page.)
In that unsettling case, the unidentified resident of the trailer park who made the grisly discovery later pleaded ignorance to both the identity of the dog and why it was deposited on his lawn. A necropsy was ordered but, as is the case with the cat, the results have not been posted on the SPCA's web site. (See BC SPCA press release of January 25, 2011, "Animal Cruelty Officers Seek Help in Solving Bizarre Case in Dawson Creek.")
Despite the simply horrific nature of the murders of this cat and dog and the known causal link that exists between animal abusers and serial killers, there is absolutely nothing in the public record to even hint that the SPCA is seriously investigating either case. Instead, the public is being fed the standard fare of shock and moral indignation.
"Realistically, in my seven years in this position, I haven't seen anything like this," Moriarty exclaimed to Toronto's Globe and Mail on March 14th of this year. (See "Cat in BC Found Frozen in Block of Ice.") "You see some sick things and this is definitely concerning."
She insists, however, that her agency is serious about solving these cases. "This is not a joke, this is not a prank," she added to the Globe and Mail. (See photo of her on the left below with a black and white dog.)
The SPCA's offer of rewards and appeals to the public for information have not, predictably, borne fruit. "Unfortunately, no one came forward with info regarding last year's case but we are hoping that someone in Dawson Creek knows something that will help us identify the individual responsible in this new incident so that we can seek justice and ensure that a sickening crime like this does not happen again," Moriarty stated in the March 14th press release cited supra.
Time and time again it has been demonstrated that declarations of moral outrage, offers of minuscule reward money, and appeals to a largely apathetic public for information are virtually worthless when it comes to solving animal cruelty cases. If the police treated offenses against individuals and property in the same lackadaisical fashion that humane groups deal with animal abuse, the most probable result would be widespread mayhem.
Only good old-fashioned detective work can solve crimes of this nature and the SPCA's intransigence demonstrates writ large that it is a good-for-nothing organization. The same can be equally said for the slackers at the RCMP and their refusal to intervene.
Any even remotely serious investigation into the deaths of these two totally innocent animals would include, at the bare minimum, door-to-door interviews of all residents of the trailer park. Should that fail to produce any positive results, the residents should be hauled into headquarters and interrogated one-on-one.
The SPCA also needs to become more proactive by patrolling not only the trailer park itself but various neighborhoods in and around Dawson Creek. Since it obviously cannot be everywhere all the time, it should install hidden surveillance cameras inside the park.
The frozen ground nearby where the victims were found should have been closely examined for tire tracks and impressions taken of all that were found. The fur of both animals should have been combed for forensic evidence as well as samples taken of all substances found underneath their claws.
DNA samples also should have been collected and stored so that they could be compared with those taken from any future victims. Above all, close-up photographs of the cat and dog, without their frozen shrouds, should have been published in the media and circulated throughout Dawson Creek and surrounding communities.
The SPCA supposedly had the bon sens to scan the animals for implanted microchips and found none. That also likely would preclude the possibility that they came from shelters in that it is rare nowadays for homeless cats and dogs to be sold back to the public without them.
Nevertheless, it would be a good idea to double-check with shelters as well as to interview all local cat and dog breeders. Any notices offering free kittens, cats, puppies, and dogs to the public, whether listed in newspapers or on billboards, should be given close scrutiny.
In spite of its pleas of helplessness, the SPCA already knows a great deal about the perpetrator. Since the killer is unlikely to be either a woman or a child, that reduces the number of potential suspects amongst Dawson Creek's eleven-thousand-five-hundred-eighty-three residents by approximately two-thirds. Unless he is a loner, then someone surely knows his identity and is shielding him.
Secondly, he obviously has the means, financial and otherwise, in order to procure cats and dogs. Thirdly, he owns a vehicle of some sort along with either a residence or a place of employment that has rubber trash cans and, possibly, even a large freezer.
Fourthly, he obviously has the leisure in order to plan and execute his diabolical crimes. That fact alone would tend to eliminate as suspects most men who have full-time jobs and families.
Although it is by no means a certainty, the culprit may not reside at the trailer park but rather simply dumps his victims there as a red herring designed to divert suspicion away from him and his actual abode. After all, it is not uncommon for residents of such facilities to be erroneously stereotyped as "trailer park trash."
The only other obvious reason for selecting the trailer park would be to repay a vendetta against either its management or one or more of its tenants. It is even conceivable that he could be a former tenant. That is, admittedly, a long shot but it still might be worthwhile for the SPCA to explore it nonetheless.
Ultimately, the SPCA may be forced into expanding its investigation beyond not only the trailer park itself but Dawson Creek as well. If it does not get on the ball and make some progress soon, however, it may be necessary for pet detectives, bounty hunters, and other concerned individuals to take action.
Although British Columbia has a reputation as an idyllic place both to live and visit, a spate of recent animal cruelty cases has revealed a far darker side of the province. On March 6th, for instance, a three-year-old tortoiseshell named Libby was found buried alive in Squamish. (See Cat Defender post of April 4, 2012 entitled "Buried Alive in a Culvert for Weeks Without Food and Very Little Water, Libby Is Rescued Battered and Bruised but, Thankfully, Alive.")
Back in 2010, an assailant in the Vancouver suburb of New Westminster killed Harley by dipping him in turpentine. (See Cat Defender posts of July 30, 2010 and August 30, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Harley Suffers Severe Burns to His Tongue and Mouth as Well as Lung Damage after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine" and "Hope, Prayer, and Veterinary Intervention Ultimately Prove to Be Insufficient in Order to Save Harley after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine.")
When the police in New Westminster categorically refused to even investigate Harley's murder, a cat named Vincent also was dunked in turpentine shortly thereafter. (See Cat Defender post of January 3, 2011 entitled "Another Cat, Vincent, Is Dunked in Turpentine in New Westminster as the Police and Animal Control Continue to Laugh Up Their Dirty Sleeves.")
Kill traps are another huge problem throughout the province. (See Cat Defender posts of August 18, 2005 and December 24, 2005 entitled, respectively, "Brave Orange Tabby Cat Dubbed Hopalong Cassidy Loses a Limb to a Leghold Trap in British Columbia" and "A Cat Named Trapper Falls Victim to Another Rusty Leghold Trap in British Columbia.")
Even when ailurophobes are not abusing and killing cats, birds of prey take a heavy toll on the species. (See Cat Defender posts of February 16, 2012 and July 31, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Hawk Suffers Puncture Wounds to His Stomach and One Paw When He Is Abducted by a Raptor Hired to Patrol a City Dump on Vancouver Island" and "Fifteen-Year-Old Cat Named Bamboo Miraculously Survives Being Abducted and Mauled by a Hoot Owl in British Columbia.")
As abysmally as cats are treated in British Columbia, the unspeakable abuse meted out to dogs is even far worse. For example, between April 21st and 23rd in 2010 Robert Fawcett, general manager of Howling Dog Tours in Whistler, single-handedly either shot in the head or slit the throats of one-hundred perfectly healthy Siberian Huskies which he later buried in a mass grave. Although he was raking in £200 for a three-hour sled ride during the 2010 Winter Olympics in nearby Vancouver, the dogs became redundant once the games ended. (See photo below of him and his dogs waltzing around a pair of tourists too lazy to walk.)
Far too cheap and greedy to continue feeding and housing them, Fawcett attempted to get a local veterinarian to kill them but when he was rebuffed he turned to the BC SPCA which refused to take in the dogs. "Why does it suddenly become a humane society's issue because (a company) decided they (sic) want to unload a dog?" Moriarty bellyached to the Calgary Sun on February 2, 2011. (See "SPCA Drawn into Husky Controversy.") "It's not acceptable to make money off them and then dump them. We are not here to take people's unwanted animals."
That certainly is a revealing statement for an employee of the BC SPCA to utter. Au contraire, most members of the general public have been led to believe, falsely as it turns out, that taking in homeless animals is precisely the mandate of the BC SPCA and other so-called humane groups.
By contrast, Animal Control in Calgary and the Calgary Humane Society have policies in situ that preclude them from turning away unwanted animals under any circumstances. The difference between Calgary and the BC SPCA is largely semantic, however, in that all traditional shelters kill just about all cats that they impound and a majority of the dogs.
It also would appear from her own declarations that Moriarty would not have had a problem with this en masse liquidation if it had been carried out by a bona fide knacker. "Slaughterhouses have very strict rules for how supposed culling takes place," she told the Daily Mail on February 1, 2011. (See "Pack of One-Hundred Huskies Shot and Knifed to Death Before Being Tossed in a Mass Grave by Tour Operator Trying to Save Money.") "This violated every one of them."
She, quite obviously, has either little or no regard for the sanctity of life. What she and others who think like her fail to realize is that the moral transgression lies not in the method employed in order to snuff out a life, but rather in the taking of life itself.
Despite Moriarty's anti-life rhetoric, the BC SPCA and the provincial government ultimately did allocate C$225,000 in order to exhume the bodies of at least fifty-six of the dogs in May of 2011. (See Daily Mail, May 3, 2011, "War Game Experts Exhume Bodies of One-Hundred (sic) Sled Dogs Killed by Tour Operator in Post Winter Olympics Massacre.")
In September of last year, the SPCA handed over thousands of pages of evidence that it had collected against Fawcett to crown prosecutors but, as far as it is known, no charges have been filed against him. (See Macleans, October 27, 2011, "Whistler's Sled Dog Massacre.")
For what it is worth, Outdoor Tours, which owns Howling Dog Tours of Whistler, has pledged to in the future inveigle veterinarians into killing off its unwanted dogs for it. Besides being morally repugnant in itself, there is reason for skepticism because bullets to the head long have been the preferred method that mushers have used in order to dispose of their unwanted dogs and, with that being the case, it is highly unlikely that these predatory capitalists now are going to be willing to pay a veterinarian to do what they can do considerably cheaper themselves with a firearm.
More poignantly, the naked exploitation and extirpation of sled dogs is so endemic and widespread across Canada that Fawcett's atrocities more than likely would have gone unreported if he had not had the unmitigated gall to apply for a disability pension from WorkSafeBC. On January 25, 2011, Allan Wotherspoon of the agency approved his claim on the grounds that he was suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder brought on by his killing spree. In particular, Fawcett claimed to be afflicted with nightmares, panic attacks, and depression.
CKNW AM980 of Vancouver shortly thereafter discovered a heavily-censored copy of Fawcett's disability claim on the web site of an unidentified lawyer and in turn forwarded it to the SPCA. Even then, that did not occur until nine months after the mass slaughter.
Fawcett most likely was lying through his teeth because it is difficult to believe that anyone who would commit such atrocities possibly could have anything remotely resembling a conscience. Even if he should be relating a semblance of the unvarnished truth, he, like America's imperialist soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan who have made similar claims, only received a small measure of what he deserved in retribution.
"I've no doubt he has suffered posttraumatic stress, but there is a thing called choice," Moriarty, in one of the saner moments, told the Calgary Herald on February 1, 2011. (See "Canmore Firms Shocked by Slaughter of One-Hundred Sled Dogs in Whistler, British Columbia.") "I absolutely would not have done this and he could have said no, this is a Criminal Code offense, and to have just stopped. I don't feel sorry for this guy for one minute."
WorkSafeBC's decision to reward Fawcett for his heinous crimes stands in stark juxtaposition to how the American judicial system treated serial canine exploiter and killer, Michael Vick. He at least was forced to serve twenty-one months in prison for killing, most likely, hundreds of pit bulls that he previously had nakedly abused in the operation of an interstate dog fighting ring. Over the strenuous objections of both PETA and the Humane Society of the United States, who wanted the surviving dogs to be immediately killed, United States District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson of Richmond, who later was destined to become the first jurist to strike down Obama's new health care law, instead wisely fined Vick $1 million which he set aside for the care and rehabilitation of his dogs.
At last report, the lives of all but two of the fifty or so dogs seized from Vick's compound had been spared. Some of them have been adopted while others live at sanctuaries. A few of them even are gainfully employed as therapy dogs. (See New York Post, October 3, 2010, "Fighting the Past: Michael Vick's Fight Dogs Find True Homes.")
It would be unfair, however, to label Canadians as the only ones who abuse sled dogs. The Iditarod, which covers more than a thousand miles between Anchorage and Nome, is run each March and it claims the lives of numerous huskies either during the race itself or in the training that leads up to it.
Yet, these atrocities seldom even are reported by the capitalist media. In fact, veterinarian Elizabeth Cohen extolled the virtues of both the breed itself and the life of a sled dog in a totally outrageous piece of propaganda that she delivered for her paymasters at WCBS AM880 in Manhattan on February 13, 2011. (See photo of her and her dog, Allie, directly above.)
Even someone as callous as Moriarty has considerably more integrity than that. "There is a problem with the sled dog industry in general. People see these twenty sled dogs, an idyllic setting with snow in the background and think 'how great'!" she explained to the Calgary Herald in the article cited supra. "But what they don't see is the two-hundred dogs tethered and sleeping out back, chained to a barrel."
In another scurrilous report delivered for WCBS-AM on July 3, 2011, Cohen recommended that anti-anxiety drugs be administered to pets frightened by thunderstorms. That is in spite of the fact that as a veterinarian she knows just how dangerous it is to prescribe drugs to cats and dogs. Besides, there are numerous non-hazardous alternatives, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, that do a much better job of desensitizing animals to loud noises.
Anyone who either has read Jack London's novels about sled dogs or been thrilled by the exploits of Yukon King on the old radio show, "Challenge of the Yukon," readily can appreciate the value of these dogs. (Thanks to the invention of the web, these timeless shows now are available gratis at www.otr.net, Internet Archive, and elsewhere online.)
These wonderful dogs, who for way too long have been shamelessly abused, nakedly exploited, and then rewarded for their hard work and loyal service with bullets to the head, deserve decidedly far better than what they currently are receiving on either side of the Canadian-American divide. Above all, they have the right to live long and full lives and never should be harmed under any circumstances.
The total disregard for the sanctity of animal life exhibited by some residents of British Columbia coupled with the appalling do-nothing attitude of the SPCA has placed the welfare of all cats and dogs residing in the province in grave jeopardy. This is especially the case for those currently living in Dawson Creek.
The individual responsible for killings the cat and dog desperately needs to be apprehended and permanently removed from society for the sake of not only other felines and canines but the the general public as well. Unfortunately, the total unwillingness of citizens to demand that the authorities act does not portray them in a favorable light either.
Photos: BC SPCA (cat,dog, and Moriarty), Whistler Dogsleding via The Gazette of Montreal (Fawcett), and WCBS-AM (Cohen).