New Paper 20090203: On trail of Seletar cat killer


Chronology of reports on this now infamous case (updated as of 8 Mar 09), guest-starring the chairman of club rad himself, Mr Tony Tan Tuan Khoon:


The first I knew of this case was from Dawn’s blog:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Abuse or hoarding?

I heard about this case and was waiting for more details and here they are. Also as Anonymous in the last post said, do go to the SPCA website for more information.While some people are suspecting abuse, my guess is that it’s a hoarder. Why? There’s the presence of two kinds of food bags – dog and cat food. Also the sheer number of cats is to me fishy. Yes it’s possible that there is someone killing all these cats – but in most abuse cases we’ve seen, the bodies are thrown out. In this case, someone has taken quite a lot of trouble to conceal the deaths. We’ll find out more and hopefully whomever it is will be stopped.

Click on the blog post title to read the discussion, which I find interesting. Below is the article itself


The Electric New Paper :
On trail of Seletar cat killer
Dozens of cat carcasses found in bags buried at roadside
THEY looked like ordinary trash bags lying along Seletar Road, waiting to be picked up by the waste collection truck.

By Teh Jen Lee

03 February 2009
THEY looked like ordinary trash bags lying along Seletar Road, waiting to be picked up by the waste collection truck.

But they contained the bodies of cats, carefully sealed in plastic containers or bags.

It is understood that there could be up to 45 cat carcasses in the bags.

They were dug up by the police, after getting a call.

It’s not known who killed the cats. Or why. Or how.

But it appears to have been the worst mass killing of cats that Singapore has seen (see report on facing page).

There are few clues, and it is not even clear yet exactly when the cats died.

It is illegal for anyone but trained veterinarians to put down any animal in Singapore.

The New Paper was tipped off by the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) about the grisly finds.

SPCA understands that a woman caller, believed to be a resident of Seletar estate, had alerted the police to the stench.

SPCA took some of the dead cats to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) Animal & Plant Health Laboratory to see if a post-mortem can be carried out.

Three of them, said executive officer Deirdre Moss, ‘were in a white plastic box securely taped on all sides’.

She said: ‘The SPCA is urgently appealing for witnesses to come forward, who may have seen any persons burying the bags in the different locations along Seletar Road.’

Following the examination of the three bodies, the SPCA veterinary report found that the cats were likely to have been dead for at least a week.

Further investigation would be necessary by way of a post-mortem to establish the cause of death.

The police informed SPCA around 8.20pm on Thursday night that ’45 dead cats had been buried in the vicinity of 1 Stratton Place, along Seletar Road, within Seletar estate’.

Holes in the ground

When The New Paper went to Seletar Road on Friday morning to investigate, we found 13 bags lying along the road. They were in three separate locations within a distance of 500m.

This was after the SPCA had removed some of the carcasses.

Near the bags were holes that had been recently dug up, measuring about 30cm deep.

Someone had taken the trouble to bury the cats. But why? And how did the animals die? Was it painfully?

Ms Moss said: ‘The cats have been dead for a number of days and this may hamper establishing the cause of death for these animals.’

The stench of the decomposing bodies was overpowering.

With plastic bags acting as gloves, The New Paper team opened up one of the black plastic bags found at the end of Seletar Road, near a construction site.

We found a dog-food plastic bag inside, that had been taped securely. When we opened that bag, we found another layer of red plastic.

But at the bottom of the bag we opened, we could see some dark brown liquid that had possibly seeped out from the decomposing body.

By then, the smell had become unbearable and we decided to stop because if the liquid spilled out, the stench would have affected the surrounding residential area.

A Bangladeshi construction worker who declined to be named said the police were there at 9am on Friday, but he didn’t know what they were looking for.

‘I didn’t hear anything about dead cats,’ he said.

Said a 36-year-old Sri Lankan domestic helper living across from where the bags were found, who gave her name only as Mala: ‘It was very smelly this morning. While I was watering the plants around 7am, I could smell something but I didn’t know what it was.

‘I’ve never seen people keep cats around here.’

Her employer, Mr Kish Ranai, 50, told The New Paper that his neighbours had called the police because they had noticed the foul smell.

‘The first time I smelled it was yesterday evening when the police were around and they were digging up the bags. I didn’t know that they contained cat carcasses,’ he said.

‘I’ve been a resident here for more than 15 years and it’s the first time something like this has happened. It’s cruel. Those culprits must be dealt with.’

He wondered aloud why the cats were not sent to SPCA to be put down humanely.

The New Paper’s efforts to speak to the neighbour who called the police were unsuccessful.

Mr Justin Chiam, 20, a jogger who happened to be passing by, noticed the strong stench.

‘It’s my first time jogging here and I noticed the smell immediately. This is animal cruelty,’ he said.

A spokesman for AVA said they received a total of 10 cat carcasses submitted by SPCA on Friday.

Preliminary examination indicated that all 10 carcasses were in a highly decomposed state. Post-mortem examination is still ongoing.

AVA will investigate all reports of animal cruelty.

For an investigation to be meaningful and productive, the report should be accompanied by sufficient evidence that an act of animal cruelty has been committed and information that could lead to the identity of the perpetrator, said AVA.

Witnesses willing to testify in court against the perpetrator will help in the prosecution.

Anyone found guilty of animal cruelty can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed 12 months or both.

Members of the public can contact the SPCA at 62875355 extension 9.

Ms Moss said: ‘We’re desperately hoping that someone will come forward and shed some light on this horrific find.’


MYSTERY 1Who called and left details about dead cats?

MYSTERY 2

Why bury them in a row along a road within sight of others? Killer ignored dump at construction site nearby.

MYSTERY 3

Why were so many bags used to wrap dead cats?

MYSTERY 4

Where did all the dead cats come from?


Previous cases of cat abuse

DECEMBER 2006

A cat was found hung from a staircase railing with a blue nylon string tied around its neck.

Residents at Block 245, Simei Street 5 called the police after they saw the cat hanging between the sixth and seventh floor.

The incident happened on 29 Dec. It was the second time in a week that a cat had been tortured.

On Christmas Eve, a cat was found bleeding from its mouth and nose at Yishun Ring Road.

The SPCA was informed and the injured cat was taken to a veterinarian to be put to sleep. SPCA executive officer Deirdre Moss said: ‘It was in extreme pain and suffering from respiratory distress.’

AUGUST 2007

A cat was discovered at the West Coast Car Mart with its head and front legs cut off.

The SPCA offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension of the cat killer who likely struck early in the morning.

The cruel act was likely done by someone skilled with a knife, indicated by the clean cuts on the cat’s body.

As there was very little blood at the scene, it is also likely that the killer had cut up the cat somewhere else before dumping its body in public, said Ms Moss.

MAY 2008

Seven vicious attacks on cats in Pasir Ris prompted animal lovers to offer a $10,000 reward for information. They also started patrols around the neighbourhood.

The sum of money has been pledged by SOS Animals, the Cat Welfare Society, the SPCA and an unnamed family in Aljunied.

The first attack was discovered on 2 May at Pasir Ris Street 21. Two cats found dead there were believed to have been dunked in thinner.

A third cat found there, also dunked and barely alive, had to be put down.

Ten days later, residents found three cats dying of stab wounds in Pasir Ris Town Park. A fourth cat was dead with a fractured jaw.


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