Uvalde And Buffalo Mass Shooters Both Had History Of Killing Cats

One of the takeaways from the 2019 documentary Don’t F*** With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer is the connection between violence toward animals and violence toward humans.

The 30-year-old who killed college student Jun Lin previously announced himself to the world with a series of videos in which he killed cats and kittens, then led online groupies on a years-long goose chase, parceling out crumbs of information to keep them interested until he finally “graduated” to humans and murdered Lin.

If police had taken the cat-killing videos more seriously, some of the documentary’s subjects believed, detectives could have caught the killer before he set his sights on a person. Of course, this blog’s position is that animal life has intrinsic value and animal abuse should be investigated for its own sake, but if police are more motivated out of fear that animal abusers could commit violent crimes against people, that helps cats and other animals too.

Now we’ve learned that the 18-year-old gunman responsible for the Texas school shooting and the 18-year-old who gunned down 10 people in a Buffalo, NY, supermarket were both cat killers before they were murderers of human beings. The former murdered 21 people, including 19 children and two teachers at a school in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24 while the latter took the lives of 10 people, all black, in a hate-motivated massacre on May 14.

The Texas shooter filmed himself grinning while holding “a bag of blood-soaked dead cats,” the New York Post reported on Sunday. David Trevino Jr., who knew the shooter, said he was “known for hurting cats.”

“He liked hurting animals,” Trevino told the Post. “I’m told he killed the cats and carried around the bag of bodies for s–ts and giggles The video shows he was not right in the head. He’s not all there. The video raises all sorts of red flags.”

The Buffalo murderer told online acquaintances he’d beheaded a cat, and wrote about it in a journal as well. Like the Texas shooter, his animal abuse wasn’t a secret. His mother knew, and gave him a box to bury the dead animal.

brown tabby cat lying down on gray bed sheet
Credit: Mark Burnett/Pexels

The shooters both fit the profile of animal abusers who move on to hurting people: Most animal abusers are men younger than 30, according to the Humane Society, and studies have found men who abuse cats often target them as an emotional proxy for women. More than 70 percent of women who have companion animals and were in an abusive relationship reported their significant others harming their pets.

Classmates of the Texas shooter described him as “eerie,” “scary” and quick to lose his temper. He was known for physically threatening girls and women, and for harassing them online. One classmate, 17-year-old Keanna Baxter, said he got “super violent” when he dated her friend.

“He was overall just aggressive, like violent,” Baxter said. “He would try and fight women. He would try and fight anyone who told him no — if he didn’t get his way, he’d go crazy. He was especially violent towards women.”

The Texas shooter spent a lot of time creeping on women on social media and in group chat services, which brings us full circle back to Don’t F*** With Cats. In a conversation with a teenage girl on group video chat app Yubo, he told her he “wanted his name out there” like the deranged killer at the center of that documentary.

The shooter, who lurked in group chats uninvited, also showed off the guns he bought after he turned 18 on May 16.

“He would be active every day and join our lives, repeating girls’ names until they paid attention to him,” the girl said.

Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone was widely condemned for putting one of the Boston marathon bombers on its cover as if he were a rock star, but the issue was its best selling of the year.

Although the blame game begins while the bodies of the victims are still warm, as shrieking heads speculate on cable news, no one ever talks about the obvious and uncomfortable truth, which is that these disaffected young loners desperately want to show people they’re important, that they matter.

If they can’t find fame, infamy is a second prize they’re happy to embrace, and they’re motivated in part by the notoriety that previous members of their grim brotherhood “achieved” by massacring fellow human beings.

Major media figures aren’t merely willing to grant that wish. They’re wholeheartedly, enthusiastically in on it, filling hours of airtime looping the same short bits of footage, breathlessly reporting every nugget of information, and holding court over panels of “experts” who are happy to speculate on motivations regardless of how little they know. They blame video games, society, the lack of nuclear families, the lack of male role models, white supremacy, bullying, guns — everything but their own role in turning the killers into household names.

After all, almost everyone who was alive in 1999 can name the two trenchcoated murderers who perpetrated the Columbine massacre, back when things like that still shocked the country. But how many of us can name a single one of the 13 victims?

That’s why I won’t name the killers on this blog. It’s just one blog, in one small corner of the internet, and it won’t make a difference. But if everyone stopped naming them, stopped making them household names and the stars of obsessive crime porn, stopped turning them into objects of fascination whose faces are plastered on magazine covers like rock stars, maybe it would change things.

If would-be killers knew infamy was off the table, that if they survive they’ll remain anonymous nobodies without prison groupies begging for face time, journalists begging for interviews, and grief vampires discussing them for years in “true crime” books and on podcasts, would they go through with it?

9 thoughts on “Uvalde And Buffalo Mass Shooters Both Had History Of Killing Cats”

  1. Good article even though it’s hard to read about the depravity of these killers. Animal abuse is a danger sign and all too often ignored. This pretty much puts the usual “but there were no warning signs” excuses to bed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right about that. The warning signs were there and were ignored repeatedly, in addition to the botched response in Texas.

      In the Uvalde case as well as the Stoneman Douglas shooting, police cowered outside while the gunmen slaughtered kids. We still don’t know all the facts about Uvalde, but I think we’re going to see a major reexamination and overhaul of police responses to active shooters.

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  2. I don’t know if you’re up for doing more research into this topic, due to the fact that it may affect you emotionally, but speaking of the mass murderers who target women’s pets and then women, I recently read the book Men Who Hate Women. (present company excepted) It made my hair stand on end.
    Apparently there are groups of men who have organized on the Internet, known as incels, PUAs, and MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists – not to be confused with actual men’s rights groups who are working to improve the lives of men in this culture), who blame women for their unhappiness with life.
    And they don’t stop there: the author linked several well-known mass shootings to members of these groups, and who were subsequently made into heroes by them. She pointed out that none of the authorities made the connection between their online hate speech and their subsequent actions.
    Apparently the same blindness is at work here.
    I encourage you and all decent men to read this book and find out what is going on in the dark corners of the Internet.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Susan. I’ve read a bit about the incels and the pick-up artists, who seem like two sides to the same coin in that they don’t view women as human beings. Rather, they seem to view women as objects to be “achieved,” with the former group pining after women and the latter group pretending they have to fend them off.

      I still find it odd that cats are viewed as proxies for women. What a bizarre expression of impotence, to harm innocent 10-pound animals due to some perverse psychological remapping of frustrations with women.

      I’m not an expert on this stuff, but it seems to me that one of the difficulties is in determining if online speech is “serious” or if it’s just teenage angst. Then there’s the issue of police resources (how do you monitor potentially tens of thousands of frustrated teenagers?) and the privacy issues that come up whenever the government wants to monitor the data of private citizens.

      The one thing I’m sure of is that we are doing society no favors by turning the perpetrators of mass shootings into household names.

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  3. Hello Buddy & Big Buddy…I only got thru 1/3 of article & threw up! I get the gist of what the article is about. It is so well known that people who purposely kill animals go on to bigger & better prey (sot to speak!)
    Dear G-D I can not imagine the agony any animal has suffered at being …you know…
    And the hatred all these killers show to other people…they all deserve Death Penalty…..just saying!
    ****shudders**** BellaSita Mum an ***shakess*** BellaDharma

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well that is shock!! And why does ANY social media outlet allow this animal killings?!!! That is why i left Facebook years ago. Not going to say what i saw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They don’t care until they get in trouble or they’re shamed. YouTube has sickening content and the company has been aware of it for years but hasn’t made any serious effort to get rid of it. I don’t know much about what happens on Facebook as I log in once or twice a year, and even then I only keep an account there because I’ve been able to connect with people I haven’t seen in years. Even found out I have a sister that I didn’t know about when she contacted me on Facebook, but that’s a whole other story.

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