August 31, 2009
Serial Cat Killer Arrested After Four-Month Spree
On August 21, ASPCA Special Agents arrested Manhattan resident Sean Lynde, 36, for allegedly killing four cats and seriously injuring two others. The cats were owned by Lynde’s ex-girlfriend, Rachel Strate.
Lynde, who has a documented history of violent outbreaks, was indicted by a Manhattan Grand Jury on six counts of felony aggravated animal cruelty, seven counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, three counts of aggravated harassment, one count of criminal mischief, two counts of criminal contempt and one count of stalking. He pleaded not guilty and is currently out on $5,000 bail.
“Incidents like these are especially chilling,” says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Department. “An individual who can commit such violent acts against multiple pets over a period of months is someone who the criminal justice system needs to take serious notice of.”
The four-month killing spree began last fall after Lynde moved into Strate’s Upper West Side apartment. Events unfolded as follows:
On October 5, 2008, Strate’s 15-year-old cat, Cleo, was found dead behind a dryer with her mouth full of laundry detergent. A necropsy confirmed she also suffered head trauma, including a broken jaw and bleeding eye. A short time later, her 12-year-old cat named Zoe was found badly beaten, suffered extensive head trauma and had to be euthanized.
In November 2008, Strate adopted two three-month-old kittens, Willie and Betty. Later that month, she came home to discover Willie was unable to walk and returned him to his previous owner. On November 24, she came home to find Betty on the floor dead. “Lynde stated that Betty fell from a countertop to the floor and stopped breathing,” says Assistant Director of ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement, Joseph Pentangelo.
On December 18, still not suspecting her boyfriend of any wrongdoing, Strate adopted two more kittens, Emo and Bonafide. Soon after his adoption, Emo suffered an unexplained broken paw and subsequently vanished. On January 23, Strate found Bonafide with a broken neckhe later slipped into a coma and died.
In January 2009, the ASPCA received an anonymous tip and began investigating the suspicious killings.
If you suspect that someone is committing an act of animal cruelty in your community, report it to the proper authorities immediately.
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