From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1993:
Miami primate trafficker
Matthew Block abruptly withdrew his
guilty plea March 16 in connection with
arranging the 1990 Bangkok Six orang-
utan smuggling incident, in which three
orangutans of a shipment of six died en
route from Borneo to Yugoslavia. The
shipment was intercepted in Thailand.
Block pulled out, apparently, because of
the likelihood he would draw jail time.
Still trying to plea-bargain, he demanded
a no-jail deal rejected in December by U.S.
District judge James Kehoe as too lenient.
Convicted of pet theft on
February 22, David Stephens, 31, and
Brenda Linville, 33, of Lebanon, Oregon,
drew 10 months and eight months respec-
tively in federal prison, while Stephens’
wife Tracy, 22, got three years on proba-
tion as an accessory. Between 1989 and
1992, the three obtained more than 900
dogs via free-to-good-home ads and sold
them to research laboratories. They used
more than 60 aliases on the dogs’ identity
papers, obtained through Linville’s work
as a janitor for the Oregon Motor Vehicles
Division. They were nabbed largely due
to detective work by a small Portland
group called Committed to Animal
Protection, Education, and Rescue.
Authorities are investigating
the theft of at least 18 dogs from the
vicinity of York, Pennsylvania, and
Maryland Line, Maryland, since
December. Eight of the dogs were pedi-
greed Rottweilers and Dobermans.
Dogfighters are suspected.
Animal collector Norma J.
Stevenson, 46, of West Salem, Ohio,
pleaded innocent March 15 to charges of
animal abuse and of threatening sheriff’s
deputies and humane agents with a gun
March 6 as they removed 50 dogs from a
feces-filled house, garage, and barn. She
is now free on $1,000 bond.
Animal collector Estell
Weaver, 50, of Knox County, Tenn-
essee, was ordered March 9 to surrender
the 48 survivors of 63 dogs rescued from
her premises by the Knox County Humane
Society, and was barred from acquiring
any more animals for one year. Fifteen of
the dogs were euthanized due to the effects
of starvation and disease.
The Montgomery County
Humane Society, of Montgomery,
Alabama, has secured convictions in 41 of
the most recent 42 cruelty cases it has
taken to court. We hope to detail the
MCHS methods in a future issue.
Myer Taksel of the Coalition
to Ban Pigeon Shoots was fined $340 on
March 7, half the maximum, for dump-
ing six dead pigeons on the floor of the
Pikeville Sportsman’s Association gun
club restaurant in Pikeville,
Pennsylvania, earlier that day. Accord-
ing to Pennsylvania state police, the club
had scheduled a pigeon shoot that morn-
ing, but cancelled it upon finding out
protesters and news media would be
here. The pigeons Taksel dumped in the
restaurant were apparently victims of tar-
get practice the day before.
Steve Hindi of the Chicago
Animal Rights Coalition was find $350
and barred from the DuPage County
Forest Preserve for one year on February
25, for his part in disrupting a deer cull.
Although the preserve authorities had
state permission to kill up to 400 deer,
they stopped March 22 after killing only
253 and attracting numerous well-publi-
cized protests. Stopping the killing didn’t
halt the acrimony, however, as two pro-
testers reportedly were harrassed by
DuPage County rangers––outside their
jurisdiction––one day later.
Crimes Against Humans
Thomas Dillon, of Pike
Township, Ohio, is scheduled to go to
trial April 14 for allegedly murdering two
men last spring as they fished. Dillon,
who boasted of killing over 1,000 animals
just for kicks, is also suspected of mur-
dering from two to five fellow hunters, a
jogger, and of committing more than 100
arsons, but authorities said March 10 that
they don’t have enough evidence to indict
him on the additional charges.
Jack Olsen, considered the
dean of true crime writers, draws a
direct link between serial killer Arthur
Shawcross’ passion for hunting and fish-
ing and his sadistic murders––two chil-
dren in 1972, then 11 women after he
served nine years in prison. Olsen’s biog-
raphy of Shawcross, The Misbegotten
Son, is just out from Delacorte Press.
Brazilian rancher Darly Alves
da Silva and his son Darci Alves
Pereira, convicted in December 1990 of
killing rainforest protection advocate
Chico Mendez, are believed to be hiding
in Bolivia following a February 15 prison
break. The two are the only people ever
convicted in Brazil for killing environ-
mental activists, many of whom have