Obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2006:

Trina Bellak, 47, died on May 28, 2006, from
complications arising from cancer. “I have been involved with horses
for over 35 years,” Bellak told California radio station KWMR in
July 2005. “My interest was sparked at the age of two when I was
read Black Beauty,” by 19th century horse advocate Anna Sewell,
“and insisted on being read the story weekly for years. At age nine,
I began riding classes, which led to participation in many different
types of competitions and shows. At age twelve, I was horrified to
learn that the federal government was rounding up and killing our
wild horses. With several close friends I held bake sales and used
book sales to raise money to help pass the Wild Free-Roaming Horse
and Burro Protection Act. This experience developed my interest in
horse and animal welfare, and taught me that animals can suffer at
the hands of the government.” Bellak was associate director of
federal affairs for the Humane Society of the U.S. for six years in
the 1990s, then formed the American Horse Defense Fund in 2000. She
counted as her most distinguished achievement winning passage of the
Humane Transport of Horses to Slaughter Act, which took effect in
February 2002. Bellak relocated to Captain Cook, Hawaii, in 2003.

Vicky O. Armel, 40, a detective employed for nine years by
the Fairfax County Police Department, was fatally shot on May 8,
2006 outside the Sully Police Station in Chantilly, Virginia, by
Michael W. Kennedy, 18, of Centerville, Virginia. Armel left two
young children and her husband, a fellow Fairfax County police
officer. In the attack, Kennedy wounded two other officers, who
rushed outside after hearing that an armed man had hijacked a van in
the parking lot. “Dressed in camouflage and a black face mask,
armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, five handguns, and a
high-powered hunting rifle, Kennedy fired at least 70 rounds before
he was shot and killed,” reported Ian Urbina of The New York Times.
“Though the authorities said they did not believe that Mr. Kennedy
had intended to hit specific officers, this was not the first time
he and Detective Armel had met,” Urbina added. “In February,
Detective Armel served a criminal warrant on Kennedy resulting from
an argument in which a dog was killed, county officials said.”
Washington Post staff writer Tom Jackman described the incident as
“the nonfatal shooting of the family dog. Sources close to the
investigation said Kennedy told officers he had been holding a gun
because he was suicidal,” Jackman added, “but decided against
killing himself, then accidentally fired it.” Police were not
allowed to see the family gun collection then, Jackman wrote. In
addition to the seven guns Kennedy used in the police station attack,
nine more guns were found in the family home afterward. Kennedy
voluntarily committed himself to the Potomac Ridge Behavioral Health
Center in April 2006, but fled soon afterward, hijacked a truck,
and held the driver at gunpoint. Surrendering to police on April 19,
he was released on bail three days later. The son of a butcher,
Kennedy “used to joke about wanting to kill animals,” high school
friend Peter Kirschner, 18, told Urbina.

Colin Watson, 63, of Selby, Britain, fell to his death
from a 40-foot larch tree circa May 25, 2006, near Campsall,
Doncaster. Described by Alan Hamilton of the London Times as
“Britain’s most notorious illegal collector of rare birds’ eggs,”
Watson was a retired power station worker who was “believed to have
specialised in the eggs of birds of prey and rare crows,” Hamilton
wrote. “The height of his infamy was when he travelled to Loch
Garten in Scotland and took a chainsaw to a tree that contained the
nest– and probably the eggs–of an osprey. After a raid on his home
in 1985, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds found more
than 2,200 eggs in his house and in that of his disabled son.
Specimens included golden eagle, osprey, sparrowhawk, and red
kite.” Convicted six times of related offenses during the past 20
years, Watson was fined the cumulative equivalent of more than
$10,000.

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