CSI – Minneapolis: Who Did The Ferret?

Police in Minneapolis are awaiting an autopsy to determine if Thomas James Hart, 23, is a killer. It is an all-too-familiar story: boy meets girl, girl dumps boy, boy drowns ferret. The whodunit will turn on the whether the victim has water in the lungs — evidence that Hart drowned him in a bowl of water. The problem is that the victim is a ferret.

Hart was breaking up with his girlfriend and planning to move out of their apartment. He had gone to a bar with her and her friend when he left in a huff — objecting that they were just having a “girl’s night.” According to the girlfriend, he went home alone. When she arrived with her friend, she says that Hart chased away the friend with a knife. The girlfriend also fled. She told police that he then said
“Yeah, Yeah, I killed the ferret.”

Police found a telltale crime scene: the ferret’s water bowl was lying on the floor and not in its case and a couch cushion was soaked. The corpus delicti was discovered behind some wood.

Faced with the evidence, Hart screamed “I didn’t kill that ferret! I opened the front door and just let it go!”

Now the question of rodenticide rests with the coroner. Hart is being charged with felony animal cruelty charges.

The girlfriend could also sue for intentional infliction of emotional distress. It is disturbingly common for pets to be killed or taken in retaliation of breaking up (here and here and here and here and here and ). The Restatement (2nd) of Torts, section 46, states:

One who by extreme and outrageous conduct intentionally or recklessly causes severe emotional distress to another is subject to liability for such emotional distress, and if bodily harm to the other results from it, for such bodily harm.

This would satisfy the standard if the ferret did not commit suicide. I am pretty sure a defective water bowl is out for a product liability claim.

What is clear is that if the autopsy shows drowning or other foul play, Hart is another example of someone who needs to be put away for the safety of the community. There remains a small but alarming percentage of society who seem to move easily from anger at other people to expressing that anger toward animals. What is lacking is any sense of compassion or mercy — making these individuals inherently dangerous for anyone in society.

Source: Star Tribune as first seen on ABA Journal.

14 thoughts on “CSI – Minneapolis: Who Did The Ferret?”

  1. How could he drown a ferret without getting his hands shredded?

    Incidently, “autopsy” is reserved for humans. The animal equivalent is called a “necropsy.”

  2. raff

    then he’d just have a bunch of idiots hanging around his basement

    i would say hang pictures of michelle bachmann but the trees need their bark.

  3. Angryman,
    You should go organic in treating your home to get rid of insects and pest. . Just hang up pictures of Rick Perry around the basement walls and you should be safe.

  4. Blouise, good observation. They need to be cellmates IMO.

    Judge Dredd would know how to handle this ferret-killing deviant.

  5. “I will use poison to rid my home of insects and/or spiders. ”
    efficacious+non-toxic=diatomaceous earth

  6. There isn’t much more to say so I’ll just say that I agree with those who find animal abuse as bad as human abuse. i wouldn’t hit a person to avoid a squirrell but i also would never purposely hit a squirrell. I agree with hunting if for no other reason than that I have seen the slaughterhouse videos and I have been a hunter and there is no; I repeat no question which is more humane. I am literaly getting nauseous just mentioning them.
    I am however opposed to any kind of cruelty to any kind of animals. i include pouring salt on slugs, Mousetraps that kill, and various other types of torture devices designed to rid us of those we consider pests.
    But don’t start building that Saints pedestal yet. I am also a total hypocrit as I will use poison to rid my home of insects and/or spiders. I really do feel guilt for this but when I find no natural remedy I resort to murder like most other people.
    I prefer natural answers like black pepper to drive ants out etc.
    Did I say there wasn’t much to say?

  7. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Thank you. To Mr. Turley and all the other decent Lawyers and Police and Judges who have to deal with this drecht everyday.
    I have learned a lot from this blog (and probably dumped more than my share of pee and vinegar), the world is not all like this stuff. Your microscope is so necessary but as you look at that speck of crud through it, do please remember that the bigger and better part of the world out there not only does NOT look like this…but it is worth fighting for and protecting. So please keep doing your jobs and please, do hold on to your humanity and your compassion….immersion brings with it levels of exposure to things that can become toxic to your soul over time.

  8. What a crazy world … this dude is getting charged but the piss poor bear hunter who killed a man walks freely among us. Crazy

  9. AY, that’s really the crux of the matter. If this guy killed a ferret because he was sensing a loss of control-type experience with his girlfriend, there are lots of negative consequences and, as far as I can see, two GOOD ones:
    1. Ferret-drowning is easier to prove in court than girlfriend-abuse and is not subject to the same kind of rationalization (“she deserved it”); and
    2. A few people will follow this story because it is bizarre (farher out than “man bites dog” for sure!) and so the issues of “dominance means total control means dominant male has the right to ‘punish’ and hurt or even kill one of HIS OWNED CREATURES” gets another turn on the examination table. Recently in the news we saw several examples, including “Father kills infant child to hurt mother, then gets executed by Alabama” and “boyfriend drowns ferret in bowl to hurt insufficiently pleasing girlfriend, then gets in trouble and gets bad press.” The formula is the same but the variables getting plugged in are different, sometimes quite surprising to those of us who are just expecting: “Guy gets mad and gives the gal a split lip and a black eye.”

  10. This is a probably a good indication of control….and it is probably good that she is, or should be getting out of this relationship…if such can be called that….

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