The Atlantic

The Link Between Animal Abuse and Murder

A forensic veterinarian is on a mission to convince law enforcement that people who harm pets often commit other serious crimes.
Source: David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters

In August 2007, Michael Vick pleaded guilty to the case that jettisoned him from celebrity into notoriety. The Atlantic Falcons quarterback’s dogfighting ring had been exposed in such graphic and shocking detail that his coterie of star defense attorneys panicked, then folded.

The person who dug up this hard evidence against Vick—by literally exhuming the bodies of dead fighting dogs and proving they’d been hanged—was Melinda Merck. An ace at forensics, Merck has helped crack cases involving crimes from pedophilia to drug dealing. She’s credited by the chiefs of both the FBI and the National Sheriffs’ Association with having revolutionized their crime-fighting efforts, and won awards from both the Department of Justice and the U.S. Office of Inspector General.

But Merck isn’t a run-of-the-mill crime-scene investigator. She’s a veterinarian.

For more than 20 years, Merck has been studying and solving animal-abuse cases. Now, she’s going a step further by persuading law enforcement that there’s a link between animal cruelty and other serious crimes, like domestic violence, arson, and murder. It’s CSI for animals, but with a twist: Look closely, says Merck, and you’ll likely find a clue that leads to a whole trail of criminal behavior.

* * *

In 1990, Merck discovered

Vous lisez un aperçu, inscrivez-vous pour en lire plus.

Plus de The Atlantic

The Atlantic3 min de lecturePolitics
The Atlantic Politics Daily: A Self-Funding Chaos Factor Joins the Debates
Tom Steyer—whose platform centers on climate change and impeachment—has spent his way onto the debate stage. Plus: the search for the next AOC
The Atlantic5 min de lecture
The Millennial Urban Lifestyle Is About to Get More Expensive
As WeWork crashes and Uber bleeds cash, the consumer-tech gold rush may be coming to an end.
The Atlantic3 min de lecturePolitics
Trump’s Middle East Policy Is a Fraud
Until days ago, a small number of United States troops were stationed in northeastern Syria alongside Kurdish forces who helped defeat ISIS and guard its jailed fighters. Now the troops are gone on President Donald Trump’s orders; Turkey is invading;