I hate to be that guy who deviates from both a plan and a theme (This week was supposed to be exclusively holiday content.) but a news story I literally heard nothing about popped during work this morning and it left me aghast.
The story is a Washington Post animal section report dispelling a rural Virginia conspiracy that a killer was on the loose after a young local woman was found murdered. What really happened? She was mauled by dogs. Her dogs.
Titled “People couldn’t believe two dogs killed their owner. So the sheriff described the horror.,” the story is a nightmare. Not only is it a “Fear this.” anti-dog something but it’s the sort of bizarre wtf read that quite possibly could represent one of the worst ways to die. As the title notes, it has to be spelled out to be believed.
The story goes that the woman – Bethany Lynn Stephens – and her two Pit Bulls went for a walk that Stephens never came back from. She was found days later quite literally torn apart. Speculations swirled regarding human-to-human foul play but canine bite marks and wounds suggest that the dogs did it. To assert people of this claim, the sheriff explained that, “I observed, as well as four other deputy sheriffs observed…the dogs eating the rib cage on the body.” There you have it.
That’s not the weirdest part of the story. While another animal could have struck or an injury could have enabled hungry dogs to go Gerald’s Game on the body, these no-bullshit police have an idea of what happened. The story explains.
Stephens had been living elsewhere and had left the dogs with her father. The dogs, which were previously indoor animals, were left in a kennel outside with little human contact, aside from a visit from Stephens about five times a week, Blackwood told reporters.
“Just trying to create a little background with what might have occurred with that when they became a little distant from their owner towards the end,” he said.
I buy this – and not. As a friend of Stephens said somewhat crassly, these dogs that she had raised from puppies were more likely to “kill you with kisses.”
We may never know the truth behind this story, how the dogs went wild or why they did in fact “eat” Stephens. The dogs did weigh around a hundred pounds each so their forcing themselves upon her isn’t in any way surprising. What is surprising is that, well, they ate her. What happened between their being outdoorsy to their being killers is unclear but, sadly, they too have become casualties of this fucked up story.