"In June 2013, the Criminal Investigation Division along with the town's animal control officer launched a six-month investigation into the abuse and death of the seven cats, who all died under suspicious circumstances, Detective Sgt. Paul Cherniak said. Police obtained a warrant for the arrest of Timothy Olschafskie, 20" [source]
For six months, local officials and animal control officers have been investigating the deaths of cats under suspiscious circumstances. According to the Journal Inquirer, Timothy Edward Olchafskie, 20, moved in with his fiance's family in Windsor Locks, And almost immediately, their cats (all fosters for local animal shelters) started to die. This began in January 2013, all the cats noted to have sustained "suspicious injuries."
Suffield Veterinary Hospital (used by the Coventry shelter Kitty Angels, though the name is never mentioned in any article or news report. I cannot verify that any of these cats were being fostered for that shelter), reported that a Windsor Locks woman brought in two foster cats she said had sustained injuries during a cat fight.
The first cat, Spooky, sustained severe head injuries and passed on immediately after being brought to the clinic. A necropsy showed that Spooky had sustained "blunt force trauma to the liver, chest and head, along with tearing of the lower jaw. The second cat, Smokey, was dead upon arrival, injuries reported being a fractured jaw and bleeding from the mouth.
Author's Note: As a cat care and behavior expert, best selling author, as well as someone who has fostered hundreds of cats and kittens within the last 25 years, for almost every shelter in northern CT, such injuries would have immediately raised a big red flag for me. Cat fights do not produce such types of trauma!! Such injuries should have been noticed immediately, from the very first cat, by someone allowed to foster cats that will eventually be going off to find their "forever homes." I personally feel, after this incident, that shelters need to screen foster homes much more carefully to assure cats are going to be fostered by folks with the most knowledge being responsible for their care. I do not feel the foster "parent" in this situation was entirely without blame. Even a foster "parent" should be very knowledgeable over their charge's physical needs, emotional needs, personality traits... and should know the difference between a cat injured from a fight with another cat and damage done by human hands.
The clencher is that Spookey and Smokey were not the first cats with such injuries that died under this woman's charge. How she could not clearly see that something untoward was happening in her own home is baffling. And 7 cats have suffered under the hands of a monster due in part to the naivete of this woman.
Timothy Olschafskie,the man who tortured and murdered the cats, made many claims in an attempt to get himself out of hot water. According to the police, there were fresh blood stains in the room where the "attack" took place as well as around the house, and Olschafskie had fresh scratches to his arms, precisely consistent with those made by a cat trying to defend itself.
Cats Cookie and Mocha were taken in as foster cats in May 2012, and the woman was immediately concerned at the rough handling her daughter's fiance (Olschafskie) exhibited towards the cats (red flag number one, Lady). By January 2013 Cookie was found dead bleeding from the mouth. Olschafskie claimed he found Cookie in a bedroom and attempted CPR on the cat (yeah right!!), then cleaned it up and moved it to the basement (uh, why?)
Two weeks later, Mocha was found dead under a computer desk, also bleeding from the mouth. (ok, who else thinks that by this time, something should have clicked in the woman's brain that this was really amiss and an untoward act of abject cruelty was going on here?). The cats were buried on the property without necropsies done (what is the matter with people?? How obvious can we get? Was the shelter aware of this?)
The family took in another foster cat from Connecticut Cat Connections (NOTE: I have recently fostered many cats and kittens from this shelter). Sharbay was innocent, heading to a death sentence he did not deserve. THREE days after Sharbay was fostered, he was dead. CCC conducted an investigation of its own (good for them, though I feel they and all shelters should look deeply into the credentials and history of homes before allowing them to foster. Just loving cats is not enough to make someone a good caretaker). Once again, the cat was bleeding from the mouth (this pattern was so prominent by this point, I cannot believe the foster woman who took in these cats actually took in another after having seen what happened to all of the others).
The next victim was Aladdin. This cat was taken to a Windsor veterinarian on June 13th. Alladin survived, but a month later, when Olschafskie was alone in the house, the woman came home to find her room disturbed and the cat dead. Same injuries. One would think by this time the red flags would be flying all over the place, and how she could miss them is beyond the scope of this author's reasoning.
Olschafskie was caught chasing Smoochy around the house in June, and told to stop by the woman's husband. Later in the day, the daughter reported Smoochy had "fallen from a window." Again, after extensive surgery, the cat survived, only to be found dead less than 2 weeks later.
By December, Olschafskie admitted to injuring and torturing and killing Spooky, Smokey, Sharbay, Aladdin and Smoochy. Olschafskie testified he threw Aladdin against a closet door and watched the cat die before casually lying down to take a nap. Olschafskie chased Smoochy, frightening the cat so fiercely that the cat tried to escape via a window and fell through a screen. He also admitted that he threw Smokey into a cement wall and Sharbay into a dresser, and kicked Spookey so hard as to send the poor innocent animal into a chair. Olschafskie stated he should have "put Smokey out of his misery" but instead simply watched the cat suffer and die. To top off this disfunctional family drama, the fiance admitted to hearing the commotion during some of the cases and doing nothing.
Olschafskie is now in jail on $150,000 bond and is set to appear in court near the end of this month. Let us hope the judge is a cat lover!!
NOTE: It has been scientifically proven that the area of the brain responsible for emotion is identical in cats as it is in humans. Hence, cats feel as we do... they are intelligent and feel the same pain, emotional and physical, as humans! Would you allow this to happen to YOUR children??