From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1994:

Collector cases
A 32-year-old man from Barrie,
Ontario, drew five years in prison on October 5
for three counts of sexual abuse and one of
obstructing justice, while his female companion,
33, drew two years for obstructing justice. In
November 1991 the pair locked the woman’s four
girls and a boy in a feces-filled basement for 18
months, along with 19 cats and four dogs, after
police visited the home to question the man about
allegedly anally raping the two oldest girls, then
nine and 10. The children were discovered, res-
cued, and placed in foster care in April 1993.

Lori Beckwith Clay, 30, was charged
with child endangerment and her parents Richard
and Carol Beckwith, 57 and 53, were charged
with both child endangerment and animal cruelty
on October 17, four days after police removed
Beckwith’s three daughts, ages 2, 3, and 7, from
a rented 39-acre farm in San Jose, California,
where humane officials also found 1,500 diseased
and neglected pigs, goats, chickens, ducks,
turkeys, rabbits, parakeets, cocktiels, finches,
and fighting cocks, along with numerous dead
animals. Humane Society of Santa Clara Valley
officials said two of the girls slept in a house on
the property that had been used as a family
cesspool since 1991; 4,000 gallons of sewage
were pumped out of the basement.
More than 17 months after sheriff’s
deputies in Clatsop County, Oregon, seized
117 malnourished dogs from a feces-filled school
bus that owner Vickie Rene Kittles called a no-kill
shelter, the dogs are still impounded, ineligible
for adoption, and Kittles is still finding ways to
delay her trial on 42 counts of abuse. The dogs’
upkeep has so far cost $85,000––$40,000 in dona-
tions, the rest in tax money. Kittles, with a long
record of animal-related arrests in Florida, is also
suspected but not charged in the disappearance of
her elderly mother, who was last seen confined to
a van on Kittles’ former Florida property, guarded
by several large, aggressive dogs.
Metro Animal Control in East
Nashville, Tennessee, on September 17 seized 19
dogs and 19 cats from the feces-filled home of
Anna Sandhu Ray, ex-wife of James Earl Ray,
convicted assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King––but
found no trace of Sandhu Ray herself.
Joyce Witman,
of Shamokin,
Pennsyl-vania, faces 50 counts of cruelty after the
September 14 discovery of 41 flea-ridden terriers
plus numerous allegedly starving cats, gerbils,
rabbits, hermit crabs, a ferret, and a potbellied
pig in her home––80 animals in all.
The Peninsula Humane Society in San
Mateo, California, on September 28 removed 22
purebred huskies, Dobermans, and Akitas from
the home of backyard breeder Ronald Bona, previ-
ously convicted of animal neglect in 1990.
Farmer Kurt Nelson, 36, of Herkimer
County, New York, on October 11 drew 89 days
in jail and was ordered to pay $1,000 restitution to
the Herkimer County Humane Society, for allow-
ing 25 cattle, pigs, and dogs to starve in his barn
last spring. Some of the tethered animals were
found eating the haunches of a still living cow.
Only six months earlier, on October 26, 1993,
Nelson was charged––and later convicted––for
allowing 20 pigs to starve to death on another farm
he owns. The 81-year-old Herkimer County
Humane Society is reportedly near collapse from
the cost of handling the Nelson case.
No charges have been filed against
mother and grandmother Dianne Fabiano and
Virginia Steele, of Halifax, Massachusetts, who
allegedly locked Fabiano’s three sons in portable
doghouses for disciplinary purposes. The boys,
who did not attend school, were in September
removed from the home and placed in foster care.
Crimes against humans
U.S. District Judge Marilyn
Hall Patel on October 4 barred
California from executing prisoners
in the gas chamber, based partially on
testimony that gassing is no longer con-
sidered a humane way to euthanize dogs
and cats, and therefore is “cruel and
unusual punishment,” violating the
Eighth Amendment. California may
now turn to using lethal injections.
Described by hunting bud-
dies as “a decent family man,”
William Burdick, 28, of Granville,
New York, was arraigned October 21
on two counts of second-degree murder
and one count of sexual misconduct,
after confessing in a five-page statement
that on September 19 he strangled his
17-year-old niece Stephanie Sady, who
was mother of a five-month-old boy,
during an attempted rape; hid her body
under the bed while having lunch with
his wife; choked the body again, this
time with a stereo speaker wire; and
videotaped himself raping the corpse.
Sady’s remains were found under
Burdick’s workbench nine days later,
during which Burdick helped lead the
search for the missing girl and accused
her boyfriend of abusing her. Letters to
local newspapers objected to publicity
about his alleged deeds, lest it cause
hard feelings within the family. He was
charged only with second-degree mur-
der because local authorities said he
hadn’t set out to kill Sady, but was
charged with unpremeditatedly murder-
ing her twice, once for each effort.
In the same region, police
apprehended fugitive Joel O’Keefe on
October 8 at a sandwich shop in
Bennington, Vermont, after body odor
tipped clerk Jason Metcalfe to his iden-
tity. “He looked like a complete grub,”
Metcalfe said. “He was wearing
hunter’s clothes and he smelled,” and it
wasn’t yet hunting season. Known as an
avid hunter, O’Keefe escaped from a
patrol car on September 23 while await-
ing trial for allegedly locking a six-year-
old in a closet and threatening to kill her
while he sodomized her aunt. While at
large he became a folk hero to many
locals––and became the lead suspect in
two earlier rape/sodomy cases when the
victims said they recognized him from
wanted posters.
Already convicted August 16
in St. Louis of the 1989 rape/murder
of Aree Hunt, a six-year-old boy,
Lorenzo Fayne, 23, is next to stand
trial for allegedly raping and killing four
St. Louis-area girls, ages 9 to 17,
between March 1992 and July 1993.
First arrested at age 13, Fayne had a
long record for animal abuse and sexual
assault, among other offenses, in both
East St. Louis and Milwaukee.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
judge Bill Brown on September 15
awarded $650,000 in damages to the
parents of Yoshihiro Hattori, a 16-year-
old exchange student whom hunter
Rodney Peairs gunned down on his
doorstep on October 17, 1992. Hattori
and a companion had mistaken Peairs’
home for the site of a Halloween party
they were invited to attend. A local jury
earlier acquitted Peairs of manslaughter.
New evidence introduced at the civil
trial included testimony that Peairs once
shot a dog with little provocation and
had uttered a death threat against his
wife’s ex-husband.
Towson, Maryland circuit
judge Robert Cahill on October 17
sentenced hunter Kenneth Peacock,
36, to just 18 months in prison and 50
hours of community service for shooting
his wife Sandra, 31, on February 9,
four hours after finding her in bed with
another man, whom he chased away at
gunpoint. Cahill said he regretted hav-
ing to give Peacock any prison time at
all. “I am forced to impose a sentence,”
he said, “only because I think I must do
it to make the system honest.” Peacock
spent the four-hour interim drinking and
berating the victim.
Hunter Jack Kidd Jr. was
killed in a shootout with police near
Seney, Michigan, on October 19, a day
after he killed fellow hunters Adam
Hills, 27, and Donald Bonifield, 48,
while wounding Johnny Lee Bowler,
21, in a dispute over who had the right
to shoot bears at a baited ambush.
Bowhunter Andrew McCoy,
17, of Brighton, Colorado, drew 32
years in prison on October 4 for encour-
aging fellow bowhunter Michael Breau
to shoot McCoy’s stepmother, Helen
McCoy, in the back with an arrow on
June 28, 1993. Breau also lived with
the McCoys. The two and a third
teenager then told Helen McCoy they’d
get help, unhooked her telephone,
locked the house, stole her car, and left
her to die. She is now confined to a
wheelchair. The attempted murder was
to be the first of a projected 3,000 the
boys intended to commit together.
Stud farm horse handler
Sergei Golovkin, 35, was sentenced to
death October 21 in Moscow, Russia,
for raping, castrating, disemboweling,
and partially eating 11 boys between
1984 and 1992. Golovkin himself was
severely abused as a child by his father,
a noted physicist.
Farm animal handler Pietro
Paccinani, 69, was charged October 19
in Florence, Italy, with the dismember-
ment murders of eight couples––seven
heterosexual and one gay––between
1968 and 1985.
The state of Maryland on
October 5 posted a $3,000 reward for
info leading to the conviction of two
men who allegedly poisoned 72 deer last
February after they couldn’t get permis-
sion to hunt in the area where the dead
deer were found.
California wildlife officials
on September 21 charged Mark
Rommel Osterholt, 28, with multiple
criminal counts in the May and August
seizures of 2,479 dead and dying turtles,
whom Osterholt intended to sell for
human consumption. More than half of
the turtles died; the Los Angeles SPCA
nursed the rest back to health, for even-
tual return to their natural habitat.
American SPCA executive
vice president John Foran says the
October 6 seizure of 400 fighting cocks
from a farm in Ghent, New York, will
cripple the clandestine east coast cock-
fighting circuit. Farm owner William
Mink, faces 410 counts of cruelty and
illegal possession of the birds, whom he
said he was keeping for other people.
Commercial fisher Vincenzo
Terzoli, a crew member of the ship St.
Joseph, has been charged with the 1992
killing of a California sea lion named
Oscar, also known as Jelly, who was
unofficial mascot of San Pedro Harbor.
Terzoli allegedly fed the sea lion a fish
containing an explosive device.
Anchorage Superior Court judge John
Reese on October 1 ordered the state of Alaska to
pay Friends of Animals nearly $10,000 in legal
fees for filing a spurious libel suit against the orga-
nization in 1993. Outgoing Alaska governor Walter
Hickel directed that the suit be filed in response to
FoA’s campaign against his wolf-killing policies.
Norwegian Navy deserter Bjorn
Ursford, 27, named Sea Shepherd Conservation
Society crewmember of the year for his part in this
summer’s campaign against Norwegian whaling,
will probably be sentenced in December to time
served on a decade-old possession of marijuana con-
viction and be released, Sea Shepherd captain Paul
Watson says. Ursford was arrested in Scotland and
extradited to Norway in August.
Dog theft
Donnell Sloan, 14, is awaiting trial in
Philadelphia for his part in the February 9 murder
of Michael Yancey, 40, who was fatally shot by
Sloan’s unidentified juvenile companion as the two
allegedly tried to steal his pit pull terrier.
Police in Pawtuckett, Rhode Island, are
stumped by the August 30 theft at gunpoint of a
115-pound Rottweiler, who was out for a walk with
his 25-year-old master.
As 700 protesters stood vigil outside the
courthouse, Roy Elliott, 21, Jason Tapper, 21,
and Jan Pyatt, 23, of Bucks County, Pennsyl-
vania, were charged with multiple felonies on
October 21 in the torture-killing of a Dalamatian
named Duke, obtained via free-to-good-home fraud.
Animal dealer Jerry Branton, of
Stevenson, Washington, has been fined $2,500 and
barred from USDA licensing for a year for selling at
least 46 dogs and cats to labs without a permit.
Cleo Bledsoe, of Lafayette, Indiana,
has yielded his Class B dealer’s permit for five
years, for multiple Animal Welfare Act violations.
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