Sometimes, animals become involved in human
crimes through no fault of their own. They may
be used as a threat or a weapon. They may even
become the object of the crime, as in cases
where animals are stolen. At other times, they
may actually help police to solve crimes.
Following in the wake of this amazing list , here
are 10 more bizarre crimes involving animals.
10 The Mafia Menagerie
Some Mafia bosses in Italy raised their tyranny
to “Bond villain” status by threatening people
with exotic animals. One mafioso kept a
crocodile on his terrace and fed it live rabbits in
full view of his neighbors. Local business owners
were ordered to pay protection money or be fed
to the crocodile the same way.
The reptile was about 2 meters (6 ft) long and
weighed about 40 kilograms (90 lb). It was
confiscated in a police raid and sent to a
rehabilitation center while its owner was charged
with illegal animal possession.
In Villa Literno, mafia thugs smashed the back
window of a 58-year-old businessman’s car and
dropped a 3-meter (10 ft) boa constrictor
inside. “It was a clear message of intimidation,”
said a senior officer of Italy’s environmental
police in an interview with Corriere della Sera.
Mob-connected drug dealers also used a white
python to guard cocaine supplies and a
somewhat less intimidating parrot to threaten
people and ask what quantity of drugs they
required. A fully grown Siberian tiger, kept in a
cage on an estate to impress friends and scare
enemies, was confiscated from another Mafia
boss and transferred to an animal park in
9 The Pet Parrot And Indian
Suresh Sakharkar of India allegedly spent two
years training his pet parrot, Hariyal, to insult
and swear at his stepmother. Hariyal offended
the woman every time she walked past
Sakharkar’s home. When the stepmother
complained to local police that the parrot was
“hurling obscenities” at her, all three parties
were detained. “ We watched the parrot carefully
but it did not utter a word at the police station
after being confronted by the complainant,” a
police official told The Independent.
Though Hariyal resisted interrogation and was
ultimately unhelpful, another Indian parrot
actually assisted police in a murder investigation
with no leads. A woman and her pet dog had
been killed, and her widowed husband became
discouraged when police admitted that the case
had lost momentum.
However, the family parrot had silently witnessed
the crime . He began behaving strangely
whenever the dead woman’s nephew entered the
home or when the nephew’s name was
mentioned in conversation. The suspicious
widower soon told the police about it. When the
police began looking into the nephew’s possible
involvement, the man broke down and
confessed. Coincidentally, “Hercule the parrot”
was only a few letters off in sharing his name
with fictional supersleuth Hercule Poirot.
8 The Poison Frog Plot
Awaiting trial for allegedly defrauding investors
of £6 million, Hans Paulssen was remanded to
custody at London’s Pentonville Prison. He was
already facing a hefty sentence, but his situation
was made worse by codefendant Jennifer
Newmarch’s plan to implicate him as the
mastermind behind the crime.
So he came up with his own plan. He asked a
fellow inmate for help in having Newmarch killed.
However, this person immediately told
authorities of Paulssen’s murderous intention.
Posing as a criminal underworld contact, an
undercover policeman (who had been given the
uninspiring code name “David”) was sent to
meet with Paulssen and quickly discovered his
plan, which the prosecutor would later describe
as being like “a murder plot from some B movie
of the 1940s.”
Paulssen asked David if he had heard of a special
type of Amazonian frog—one whose poison
could cause a human heart attack without
leaving any trace of the substance in a person’s
system. An expert at Paulssen’s trial confirmed
that certain species of the poison dart frog
secrete a poison so highly toxic to humans that
it can kill in miniscule amounts, making it
untraceable . Paulssen had hoped to use one of
these frogs to kill Newmarch.
Besides being convicted of fraud, he was
sentenced to an additional two and a half years
for soliciting murder.
7 Revenge By Rattlesnake
Two Colorado men were charged with conspiracy
to commit murder after hatching a crazy plot to
kill Matthew Sowash, against whom they held a
grudge. They planned to construct a wooden box
that housed deadly rattlesnakes and then trap
Sowash’s feet and lower legs inside.
The two also planned to kidnap Sowash’s
children to extort ransom, supposedly to
compensate one of the men for a large
monetary debt owed to him by Sowash. They
began by sending threatening emails to Sowash,
who promptly ratted them out to the FBI.
In a separate case, a rattlesnake was once used
in Arizona to exact revenge on a supposed
snitch. Nathaniel Harrison broke into the
victim’s house, accused him of ratting out his
friend to police (which resulted in jail time for
the friend), and threatened to kill the man as
Then Harrison broke a board over the man’s
head and tried to get a rattlesnake to bite him.
Harrison’s plan could have backfired because he
used his bare hands to handle the venomous
reptile. Luckily, the snake refused to cooperate,
and Harrison was soon arrested on a host of
charges. The snake was released back into the
It was later revealed that Harrison had an
extensive criminal history and possible mental
problems. Apparently, he liked to use animals to
exact revenge. He had previously tried to throw
a hornets’ nest inside the home of a fellow
resident at the caravan park where he frequently
stayed when not incarcerated.
6 The Heretical Rooster Of
It was common practice in medieval times to try
animals in court for their “crimes.” Often, the
animals were literally brought in front of a judge.
Sometimes, they were even dressed in human
clothing. Although they could receive mercy,
these accused animals were more likely to
become convenient targets for human cruelty.
The idea for animal prosecution and punishment
was supposedly based on scripture found in
Exodus 21. There, it states that if an ox kills a
human being, the creature is guilty in the eyes
of God and should be put to death.
When people questioned if animals should be
condemned for their crimes, theologians clarified
the issue with arguments based on scripture .
This time, the text came from Genesis, where
God grants dominion over animals to humankind.
So if an animal revolted against this hierarchy, it
was guilty of inverting a divine decree. The
theologians also said that ignorance of sin was
no defense because the animal was witlessly
serving the aims of Satan by perverting God’s
order of things.
This theme of the Devil’s inversion of things
became a serious concern throughout the Middle
Ages, which is how a rooster in the Swiss town
of Basel found himself on trial in 1474. His
crime: He had reportedly laid an egg.
In those times, if an egg didn’t have a yolk and
wouldn’t hatch , it was believed to have been laid
by a cock. This was a sign that Satan was
gaining in his ongoing struggle to overturn the
decrees of the Supreme Being. Worse yet, if a
cock’s egg actually hatched, it supposedly could
produce a demonic reptile known as a
“basilisk” (aka a “ cockatrice“).
A basilisk could kill you with its stare and breath
alone. According to Pliny the Elder, the only
thing that could kill a basilisk was the stink of a
venomous weasel . Cock eggs were also believed
to attract sorcerers. Obviously, no one wanted
Basel to become known for its basilisks, black
magicians, and preventive weasel pong, so the
rooster was promptly tried as a demon or
sorcerer in disguise and burned at the stake.
5 Gorgeous Camel Rustling
In 2010, thieves attached ropes to five valuable
camels on a Saudi Arabian farm and pulled the
bewildered beasts through the gates into a
getaway vehicle. These abducted camels were
particularly valuable because they had previously
won beauty contests. In Saudi Arabia, camels are
prized for their beauty , especially if they have
pretty eyes, fine cheekbones, and an
The camels in question were collectively worth a
staggering 15 million Saudi riyals, which equates
to over $4 million. The daring thieves were
caught only a few days later, and the camels
Some Asian workers staying in Saudi Arabia were
also arrested for camel rustling the same year
after abducting a camel, beating it to death with
iron bars, and feasting on one of its legs .
Strangely, two camels were likewise rustled from
a farm in Columbia, Missouri, in early March
4 Siberian Hooliganism
Ethnic minorities in Siberia found they could
never fully return to their traditional, self-
sufficient ways of life after Soviet communism
brought modern infrastructures and systems to
the polar region. However, when the
administrative regime collapsed, the
infrastructures and systems broke down, too.
The indigenous peoples were now dependent
upon but neglected by the state. Alcoholism and
crime rates rose with the loss of economic
In recent times, criminals from indigenous
minority groups in Siberia have been outrunning
Russian police by employing “getaway reindeer .”
Police seem unable to stop the drunken fights,
robberies, and acts of hooliganism which are
endemic in the region. Modern snowmobiles
break down or run out of fuel, stranding officers
in the middle of the tundra before suspects can
be apprehended. The police have been
requesting their own reindeer or camels since
3 Fish And Slavery
Illegal fishing makes millions for transnational
gangs of organized criminals each year. In fact,
they sometimes make more money from trading
illegally harvested seafood than from trading
illegal drugs. If you’re in the US, you may think
that the seafood you’re eating has nothing to do
with that, but you could be wrong. On a national
basis, America only created systems for tracking
the origin of seafood products in early 2015.
Those systems will begin rolling out over the
next few years.
In Eastern Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia,
poverty is a bigger incentive for criminals and
corruption. International fishing laws are also
much harder to enforce. Filtered through
legitimate trading, seafood eaten around the
world may have originated from countries where
a human life bizarrely has less value than a
consignment of fish.
This is certainly the case in Thailand where
fishing boats have been crewed with boys
primarily abducted from Cambodian villages.
These children are given amphetamines and
forced to harvest fish 20 hours a days for
In the book Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business
of Modern Slavery , Colonel Suchai Chindavanich
of an anti-trafficking police unit in Thailand
reveals that many of these boys are shot and
thrown overboard at the end of the season.
Some of the murderous fishing boat captains,
finding their industry in crisis as the Western
world slowly wakes up, are now turning to
human trafficking instead.
2 Vineyard Vandalism By Evil
In another ridiculous case of animals being tried
in a medieval court , weevils in a French
provincial town were accused of ruining a
vineyard in 1545. The town’s priest intervened,
claiming that the weevils had been sent by God
to punish the vineyard owners for not paying
their tithes promptly. The trial was postponed
as the vineyard owners repented, and the priest
attempted to exorcise the pests by saying three
Amazingly, the weevils actually packed their
metaphorical tiny weevil suitcases and left town.
They disappeared for approximately 40 years,
which is spookily biblical . Returning from exile,
the weevils started vandalizing vineyards again
and were once more brought to trial before a
This time, the townsfolk went as far as gifting
the weevils with their own piece of land. The
pesky insects were ordered to live there and
threatened with excommunication should they
ever backslide into their grape-ruining ways. The
judge’s final verdict at this months-long trial is
sadly unknown because the final pages of the
public record were consumed by insects.
1 Lord Lucan And The
You might think you’ve already heard everything
about the Lord Lucan disappearance mystery .
But more witnesses have come forward with new
evidence. Although Lucan was found guilty in
absentia of murdering his daughter’s nanny in
1975, we now have new information about
where he went into hiding to spend the rest of
Most people now believe that Lucan was spirited
out of the country by his wealthy friend John
Aspinall, a renowned eccentric who had owned
two wildlife parks before he died in 2000. Over
the years, five of his zookeepers had been
horribly killed because Aspinall insisted that they
interact closely with dangerous animals to bond
with them. Aspinall was also sued for negligence
when a boy’s arm was ripped off by a
chimpanzee at one of his wildlife parks.
However, Aspinall was a keen conservationist. At
his wildlife parks, he successfully bred
endangered animals, including African gorillas
and black rhinos. Aspinall’s African connection
might explain why he allegedly helped Lucan
escape to that continent and supported Lucan
while he lived there in exile.
After Aspinall’s death, his former assistant
claimed that she had arranged an African holiday
for Lord Lucan’s children so that he could
observe them from a distance without revealing
his presence. This lends credence to several
alleged sightings of Lucan in Africa over the
years and the apparent discovery of his
wristwatch in a South African pawn shop.
As of mid-October 2015, Lucan’s son, George
Bingham, has sought closure by applying to have
his father declared “ presumed dead” under the
UK’s Presumption of Death Act, which became
effective in 2014.
HTR Williams was once charged with defacing the
side of an elephant in a shameless attempt to
promote his novel Jumping Tracks which,
incidentally, has a rabbit in it. Those refusing to
read the book were mysteriously attacked by
highly aggressive clouds of eye-devouring
locusts. The elephant never forgot. She suffered
great trumpeting nightmares and now consumes
three buckets of Valium per day.
By: HTR WILLIAMS
Sometimes, animals become involved in human