It's been close to a month since last we heard of cats being mutilated in Northwest Dallas, and we thought, well, that's that -- an isolated case, nothing more to see here. Which isn't the case, not even close: This morning I called Senior Corporal Kimberly Crawford, a detective in the Northwest Operations Division and the lead investigator on this case, because in recent days the in-box has been filling up with accounts of bodies being discovered not only in my neighborhood, but further south and east -- at least one in an area called Midway Hollow, which is bound by Walnut Hill Lane, Marsh Lane, Northwest Highway and Midway Road.
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On Wednesday, a Friend of Unfair Park reported a dead cat found on Clover Lane; she later said that, nope, it was killed by a coyote. But Crawford says no, as a matter of fact that's a confirmed human kill -- she just visited with the vet on Westmoreland Road this morning. "And the vet thinks that was a different killer," Crawford says, "because it was gutted," as opposed to chopped into pieces.
That's what recently happened to a cat found near Marsh and Forest Lanes: Its head and two paws were discovered by a man who'd gone out to retrieve his morning paper. (A neighbor had sent word this morning that the pieces were found in a mailbox, which Crawford disputes.) There aren't any other cat-mutilation cases like this in the city, which now has Crawford thinking that perhaps earlier theories about the killer might have been off: "We used to think it's a juvenile up to no good. Now we're thinking it might be an older guy who lives nearby, snatches these cats, mutilates them, then takes them back to where he finds them. I wish I had better news." With the reward up to $7,000, offered by the SPCA of Texas and neighbors, she's surprised no one's been caught yet.
"Am I getting concerned?" Crawford says. "Of course."
And, on top of that, there have been at least two confirmed kills due to animal attacks -- one this morning, actually, and Crawford says the vet believes it wad caused by a bobcat recently spotted in Northwest Dallas. The other was done in by a coyote.