In September of 2015, cat owners in and around the city of San Jose feared for the lives of their feline friends. Dozens of cats had been reported as missing or murdered, with at least one cat owner reporting that she had found her beloved furry friend buried in ritualistic fashion days after he disappeared.
These mysterious cat-related crimes were no coincidence, they were all related. On the night of September 21, 2015, a homeowner’s surveillance camera caught a glimpse of a car pulling a u-turn on her block and returning to her yard. There, her outdoor cat had been lured over and taken. This cat, named GoGo, has never been found.
It would be several weeks before police would track down the serial cat killer. A drifter and son of a retired San Jose Police Captain had been found sleeping in his car. Beside him a tabby cat was found dead, presumed to have been as a result of blunt force trauma to the skull. This man would later be identified as Robert Roy Farmer.
Farmer was charged with 21 counts of animal cruelty. In a shocking revelation, it was learned that not only had Farmer been abducting and brutally slaughtering the cats, but he had been sexually assaulting them as well.
Pet lovers from across the San Jose-area crowded the courtroom as a judge set Farmer’s bail at the abnormally high amount of $75,000. Residents told ABC7 News reporters that they were shocked to hear the motion to release Farmer on his own recognizance. Some believed that Farmer was not only a danger to pets but to the community at large. Others suggested that Farmer belonged in a mental institution.
In October of 2016, Farmer pleaded guilty to torturing and killing the cats. He is currently facing up to 16-years in prison. A judge is currently considering whether or not Farmer will have to register as a sex offender upon his release. Experts are expected to testify in order to help the judge reach a decision on this case in April of 2017.