‘Croydon cat killer’: Forensic scientists to re-examine deaths
Attacker believed to be responsible for up to 250 feline killings in Britain
The ’Croydon cat killer’ is believed to be behind as many as 250 feline murders. Stock image: Reuters
The notorious case of the “Croydon cat killer” - who is believed to be behind as many as 250 feline murders - is to be re-examined by Britain’s first forensic science laboratory to focus solely on crimes against animals.
Some of the animals will be re-examined by ArroGen Veterinary Forensics, a new service in Surrey dedicated to helping police and the RSPCA to bring prosecutions in animal-related cases, the Times reported.
The bodies of some of the cats have been stored in freezers during the hunt for the killer, who has eluded police for two years.
He is referred to as the “Croydon cat killer”, but as bodies began to turn up in other areas of London and beyond the capital, he was also called the “M25 cat killer”.
However, attacks on cats have since occurred as far afield as Manchester, Birmingham, Brighton and the Isle of Wight.
Alexander Stoll, the operations director and lead forensic veterinary pathologist, told the newspaper that DNA would be used to try to track down the perpetrator.
ArroGen Veterinary Forensics is a partnership between the school of veterinary medicine at the University of Surrey and ArroGen Forensics.
Dr Stoll, from the university, and Dr Jo Millington, the scientific director and lead forensic scientist at ArroGen, recognised the lack of a service focusing on animals meant potential prosecutions were slipping through the net.
The discovery of two dismembered cats in bags on their owner’s doorsteps in Northampton added to concern that the animal killer may be operating across the United Kingdom.
The latest incident occurred on September 7th when the owners of 15-year-old Topsy found the mutilated animal outside their front door on Brookfield Road in Kingsley.
A teenage girl had previously found the cat Rusty dumped in plastic bag on her doorstep with its ears, head and limbs cut off. The family’s other cat survived being set on fire a couple of days earlier.
South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (Snarl), a south London charity, said the two new killings “bore wounds indicative of the UK animal killer”.
The charity published a description of the perpetrator. He is said to be a white man in his 40s with short brown hair, dressed in dark clothing, possibly with acne scarring to his face. It also says he may be wearing a headlamp or carrying a torch.
The description was based on witness accounts of three recent cat killings in Caterham in Surrey.