Accused Cat Killer Exonerated; Many Not Convinced of His Innocence
Some people still believe Tyler Weinman is guilty of killing 19 cats despite the million dollars investigators spent that failed to gather enough evidence to bring him to trial on the death of even a single cat.
They believe he is guilty despite the 200 witnesses that were subpoenaed and the two homes that were raided and the 30 “crime scenes” that were examined as investigators tried to build a case against the South Miami-Dade teenager.
They believe he is guilty despite the fact that the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office dropped all charges against him last week after two scientific experts determined the cats were killed by animals.
If anybody is guilty, it is us, including the media and the police and the State Attorney’s Office and the animal lovers who created Facebook pages calling for his head even though the evidence against him was circumstantial at best.
We are all guilty of ravaging his character like the pack of dogs that were most likely responsible for killing those cats in the Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay neighborhoods during the spring of 2009.
A Media Frenzy
And as one of the many reporters who covered the story, including the initial story on his arrest for NBC Miami and a follow-up article on Miami Beach 411 where I questioned if the accused was a serial killer in the making, I would like to take this time to say, we were wrong.
As Miami Herald columnist Fred Grimm admits, it was nothing but a media frenzy.
But other than that, there hasn’t been a lot of mea culpa from the media or from police or from prosecutors in this matter.
And there has been even less mea culpa from the internet army of animal lovers who were calling for his beheading as soon as he was arrested.
Judging by the comments in Grimm’s article, they either believe Weinman’s family had enough clout to pay off prosecutors or that investigators botched the investigation because they failed to preserve evidence or that it most definitely had to be him because the killings stopped once he was arrested, never mind the fact that two feral dogs were picked up by Animal Control that same day.
Even some of our own contributors on Miami Beach 411 are refusing to accept his innocence.
Doug, who wrote one of the original articles on Weinman for Miami Beach 411, asks the following questions in a recent thread:
- Why did Weinman agree at one point to cut a deal?
- Why did the mutilations happen in two separate neighborhoods that weren’t very close to each other?
- Why did some of the cats appear posed like trophies in the yards?
- How did animals get into fenced back yards in order to carry out some of the killings?
- How were the animals able to drain the cats of blood instead of spreading it all over the place?
- How would dogs not leave any paw prints behind in the blood or dirt?
- Wouldn’t neighbors or pet owners hear a cat if it were being attacked by a dog in the middle of a suburban neighborhood late at night?
- Why did the killings stop right after Weinman was arrested?
As if on cue, those questions were answered by a man named Warren Hart, who signed up to Miami Beach 411 to answer Doug’s questions.
Answering the Unanswered Questions
Why did Weinman agree at one point to cut a deal?
He didn’t. What happened was, he was interrogated for hours and hours and hours without a lawyer. He probably thought he was helping the investigation. Detectives were trying to trip him up because they incorrectly believed he killed the cats and at some point they offered him a fake deal. They said “if you tell us about some of the cats you did, we will make the marijuana charge go away”…Tyler said “OK, let me see if I understand, If I tell you about the cats I did, you will make the marijuana charge go away? I need to talk to a lawyer” That is if he even made such a statement. Detectives didn’t record it.
Why did the mutilations happen in two separate neighborhoods that weren’t very close to each other?
Cat mutilations were, and are, happening all over the place. At the time this was going on, there were many other dead cats they were trying to associate with a phantom cat serial killer. 33 right around that area I believe and there was also 17 “mutilated” cats in another small town not to far off in Lauderhill Fl. Police initially said they were killed by a person and sliced with surgical precision and displayed for people to find (sound familiar?). Later, police said dogs had actually killed those Lauderhill Fl cats. Authorities in Palmetto Bay, said at the town hall meeting about the cats, that as many as 50-60 cats were being killed in the area a month by roaming dogs and by being struck by autos etc… point being is that a lot of cats were dying in that area. That said, Tyler Weinman became a suspect very early on in the investigation according to detectives. The guy (Fernando) from Animal services, was the guy making the determination which cats were being killed by a person and which cats were being killed by dogs. Since Fernando was working very closely with the detectives, he probably knew that Tyler was the suspect, and knew where Tyler lived, and knew there were 2 houses involved etc..so he just picked dead cat cases that would make a pattern around the suspects residence. Fernando made the pattern by determining (without any physical evidence) which cats were killed by the human cat serial killer. He may have done this with or without intent. It’s hard to say. He was staring in this Animal Planet TV show at the time and may have let that influence his professional decisions.
Why did some of the cats appear posed like trophies in the yards?
The key word here is “appear”. That word was used a lot in this case (i.e. the cats “appeared” to have been cut with a sharp instrument). The cats were not posed, they just “appeared” as though they were. They “appeared” that way to this Fernando guy at Animal Services who made the accusations. There was no evidence whatsoever.
How did animals get into fenced back yards in order to carry out some of the killings?
Dogs can easily get over fences. They can actually climb them or simply jump over. Dogs are very intelligent creatures.
How were the animals able to drain the cats of blood instead of spreading it all over the place?
This is very common in these cases. It’s complicated, but to make a long story short - The K9 grabs the cat in it’s jaws and shakes the cats violently and breaks the cats neck or spine. This takes about 2 seconds and can be very quick. Once the cats spinal cord is severed its heart no longer produces blood pressure thus it will not spurt blood from it’s wounds. The blood will leak out and the K9 most likely just licks it up. K9’s love the taste of blood.
How would dogs not leave any paw prints behind in the blood or dirt?
How do we know they didn’t and Animal Services just over looked them? They didn’t seem very competent anyway.
Wouldn’t neighbors or pet owners hear a cat if it were being attacked by a dog in the middle of a suburban neighborhood late at night?
No, not necessarily or maybe they just ignored it. The place is crawling with cats everywhere. If you’ve ever been around cats outside at night you know that they very often scream and howl at each other. People may not have gave any attention to one more cat scream amongst all the other common cat screams.
Why did the killings stop right after Weinman was arrested?
Because the dogs that were killing them were picked up earlier on the same day they arrested Tyler Weinman. Anyway, since the claims that some human was killing the cats was just the opinion of this Fernando guy at Animal Services, perhaps he just decided the others weren’t killed by some person. It was all his opinion anyway (there was no evidence at all).
Who is Warren Hart?
Hart is the creator of the Tyler Weinman Did Not Kill 19 Cats Facebook page, which he launched the day after Weinman was arrested.
Hart’s experience with alleged cat killer cases date back to 2003 when a similar rash of cat killings started popping up in the Denver area.
“That was even more sensational than the Miami-Dade case was,” he said. “People acted insane. Seriously, I thought someone was going to get hurt.
“Now, I was not directly involved in that case either, a friend and myself figured out that it had to be some kind of wild animal killing all the cats, and started blogging about it. We were like the only people screaming that it was an animal, and few people would listen. I just learned a lot about animal predation on domestic cats because of that.”
Hart’s Facebook didn’t get nearly as popular as the Facebook page calling for Weinman’s head. His only has 68 members, including many members who joined to voice their disagreement with Hart.
On the other hand, the Facebook page titled THE MIAMI CAT MUTILATIONS! BRING TYLER WEINMAN TO JUSTICE! currently has 807 members, including a woman named April Vansnick who stated the following about Weinman.
He deserves to be tortured just the same as he did to all those defenseless animals…I hope you have a slow agonizing death you sick fuck!
And a woman named Caitlin Barney who stated the following:
i would absolutely looooooove to get my hands on this dirty mother fucker. actually, i hope he’s dead. harsh but i really do. he started fucking smiling when he was being walked to the court room. die, tyler weinman, do us aaaall a favor and die.
And a man named Jonathon Patrick Ryan Neale who stated the following:
If execution were allowed for animal murder I would pull the switch on this scum. Let him swing I say. All these idiots who support him say “It’s all just circumstantial!” Let me tell you something, all cases are circumstantial, everyone in law knows this, direct evidence is quite rare, but the combined weight of circu…mstantial evidence is enough to convict and I favor sending this guy to hell but will settle for prison.
And a woman named Cynthia Lou who left the following ever-ironic comment:
I posted comments stating the turth on the Justice for Tyler’s facebook account and they kicked me out….why you ask??? Because I was stating the facts and they had no answers to come back with so they booted me. I guess the truth hurts!!!!
But none of those members have commented on the Facebook page since Weinman was exonerated.
Here is a sample of comments from Grimm’s column from those who still believe Weinman is guilty.
Another bad column by Fred Grimm. Grimm always wants to support the government bureaucracy no matter how incompetent it is. Here they botched the investigation. It wasn’t two dogs. It was Tyler. More than half of the carcasses were lost. Tyler admitted to the killings. He was caught at the scene of a killing in the middle of the night. And dissection tools were found inside a wall in Tyler’s room. Tyler was just lucky that the authorities were morons.
WOW! I’m sure we’ll be reading about this kid a few years down the road…or watching an episode of Criminal Minds based on him. I could swear I read that cats were ‘posed’......how did a dog do that? And what about the tools stashed in a hole in his bedroom wall behind a picture? No DNA?......what if he were smart enough to wear gloves.. I have no doubt that a dog or other animal did get hold of these cats..after they were already dead. What animal doesn’t smell blood? This kid got lucky ........this time. A community needs to worry now.
When Tyler Weinman upgrades his sociopathic behavior to let’s say, killing humans, we will all regret how our legal system allows for rich people to hire rich attorneys to hire expensive experts who can turn rock hard evidence into reasonable doubt and can intimidate the State Attorney’s Office. Fred Grimm’s an apologist for Tyler and his influential family.
The affidavit against Weinman mentions unnamed witnesses who placed Weinman at the scene of the cat killings, including one where an unnamed witness told police a car matching Weinman’s car was seen speeding away from the incident. However, police already had a monitor on the car, so that could have easily been confirmed without the use of this nameless witness.
They also use the fact that Weinman joined the Catch the Cat Killer Facebook page as evidence in why they should be granted an arrest warrant.
And any other evidence outlined in the report is purely circumstantial.
But because of the mass hysteria the case caused, this circumstantial evidence was enough to prompt a judge to set Weinman’s bail at $249,000 and force him under house arrest for more than a year while the rest of us took our turns in joining the pile-on.
And even after investigators failed to connect DNA evidence to Weinman several months ago, they still insisted on proceeding with the case.
And even now after he’s been exonerated, too many people can’t grasp the basic principles of justice in this country. That we are innocent until proven guilty. Not the other way around.
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"Accused Cat Killer Exonerated; Many Not Convinced of His Innocence"
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