CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Animal death investigators link severed fox head to Croydon cat killer cases

'Signature marks' at scene

27 January, 2018 — By Richard Osley

AN animal rescue group examining the discovery of a severed fox head have linked it to their investigations in the ‘Croydon Cat Killer’ cases.

The New Journal reported on Thursday how authorities had been alerted to the grim discovery in a garden in West Hampstead. The South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL) group, which has been leading an independent investigation into the deaths of more than 400 cats and small animals over the last three years, said one of its founders had been to the scene in Sumatra Road and believed there could be a connection.

“Just to confirm Tony [Jenkins, SNARL] attended this evening and has confirmed that he believes this is the work of the person /persons known as the UK animal killer,” said in a Facebook update.

Police have been informed but have not confirmed they are linking the case to the spread of unsolved animal killings which have widened beyond the first attacks in Croydon, leading the culprit to be known as the ‘M25 Cat Killer and then simply the ‘UK Animal Killer. But the rescue group look for ‘signature’ marks on the dead animals before reporting whether they think a case should be included in the investigation. These marks have not been disclosed publicly to avoid copycat attacks.

“We are seeing the exact same injuries, and he leaves a signature,” said Mr Jenkins last month. “If there is more than one killer, it is likely to be a joint enterprise rather than a copycat killer. We suspect he gets off on hanging about and watching people’s reactions. We can’t prove that, but we strongly suspect it is the case because of the way he is displaying the bodies.”

The reaction to the find in West Hampstead and how the news has been shared has split opinion with some appealing for calm and doubting the link, claiming media reports have been sensationalist and others saying pet owners have a right to know that a possible case has emerged in their area.

Labour ward councillor Lorna Russell said: “This crime is truly horrifying and, if linked to the notorious cat killer, could have much more serious implications for local residents and pets.”

She said: “I have passed this information on to the relevant authorities but I would also like to urge pet owners in and around the area to be extremely vigilant and to report anything suspicious to the police and Camden Council.”

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