Somebody's gonna label me a sympathizer of the cat killer (again), but this line in a Sun-Sentinel story on Tyler Weinman's release from jail just leaped out at me like a kitty going after a raised piece of string (the italics are mine):
Family pictures of his son depicted a smiling boy enjoying outdoor activities with his father. The elder Weinman acknowledged there was a divorce, but said his son dealt with it and truly loves animals. He said the boy's stepmother owns nine cats.
I'd read another report that said it was more like a dozen cats that his new stepmother owned. Either number qualifies the woman, technically speaking, as a "Cat Lady." We read in another story that a neighbor of Weinman's was harboring 17 kitties (one of which was gruesomely offed during the killing spree of 19 cats, or "almost 20," as the more ambitious publications note).
Again, I'm not excusing these brutally insane acts, but if Weinman did, in fact, commit them, I really do think the fact that he was apparently surrounded by -- and living with -- wanton cat hoarders mitigates the crime a tad. Ditto the fact that his teachers at Palmetto Senior High School taught him how to gut cats during dissections in biology class. It's a lot easier after the first time; any seasoned mutilator of mammals will tell you that. And easier still when the first time came under the approving eyes of your town elders.
One thing you can be certain of: Weinman was smirking when/if he did it. That's been all but established by the Miami Herald. That half-smile in his mug shot? It's a smirk, according to the Herald. And it's become the smirk seen 'round the world, as commenters across the country claimed it proves that the kid is an unremorseful cat assassin. And today in court, Weinman had the audacity to smirk at his father, the same newspaper reported. The Sentinel, apparently absent from the room, had to borrow the courthouse scene from the Herald but left out the smirk. I agree with that decision. It's a bit prejudicial to keep bringing up the kid's facial expression. I was a teenager once, and I'm pretty sure at one point I smirked for five years straight.
But, alas, the omission did nothing to ameliorate the bloodlust of those who wish for Weinman to be gutted, his head crushed, and his corpse thrown on his own front lawn. Read some of the 1,600-plus comments on the story. A large percentage demand that Weinman be killed.
You can just see the kid smirking as he reads them.