Suspect's Killing of Cats Was an Ominous Sign

Boston Herald July 27, 1998

What initially piqued psychiatrists' interest in Russell Eugene Weston Jr., charged with gunning down two policemen at the U.S. Capitol on Friday, was another shooting that Weston committed the previous day in America's heartland, 1,000 miles away.

His father said Weston picked up a shotgun and killed a dozen or more cats in his hometown of Valmeyer, Ill., although he maintained yesterday the younger man had been asked to "to do something" about the felines on the family property.

Dr. Harold Bursztajn responds:

Killing animals certainly is a good indicator that someone might escalate their behavior against other human beings. It is a very steep, slippery slope.