Threats emerge after more sites reveal alleged cat killers
Published Tuesday, January 8, 2008 11:51AM MST
Students who knew the four teens who allegedly cooked a family's cat to death in a microwave said there has been an explosion of threats after the names leaked on the Internet.
Anger erupted on the Internet over the weekend after a Facebook group illegally identified the teens involved -- one aged 13, the other three 15.
Some students from a local Camrose junior high school said many people are shocked by the incident.
"There's death threats going around everywhere ... it's crazy," said student Matt Bowman.
Other students said they are surprised these four teens could be capable of such a crime.
"We honestly can't believe it," said student Drew Conlon. "We've known these kids since we're eight years old, (we've) been playing hockey with them. I don't understand why they'd do it."
"Everybody saying it's sick," student Dalton Schwab said.
Another Facebook group on the issue said the teens should be shot, while individual posters threatened violence.
Police allege the four teens broke into a house in Camrose, southeast of Edmonton, on Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 while its owners were out of town on vacation.
The second night, they allege, the group put an adult cat in the microwave, and turned it on, killing the animal. A family friend taking care of the house while the owners were away found the cat.
The school said they will not discipline the teens, although counselling is available to students affected by the crime.
"In terms of consequences for them at the school ... it isn't a role for us to play," said Battle River school division spokeswoman Diane Hutchinson.
Camrose police have since shut down the group after discovering the names were posted.
"We ordered the individuals to remove them immediately and that was done," Insp. Lee Foreman said.
By Monday afternoon however, another group containing the names was erected and the administrator told police not to interfere with free speech.
Each of the teens has been charged with unlawfully killing an animal, causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal, breaking and entering, theft, and possession of stolen property.
The teens are scheduled to appear in court in Camrose on Feb. 7.
With files from Deborah Shiry and the Canadian Press