9-Month Hunt for Hamster Killer Finally Ends in Arrest


In today’s 24-hour news cycle, sometimes you almost get used to the tragedies, each surmounting the next in awfulness. And then you hear about hamster-murder. Double hamster-murder. A hamster named Princess Stephanie, owned by the 9-year-old son of Theresa Smith, was in its exercise ball in Bushwick when, the New York Times City Room blog reports, “the trouble began.” (Cue ominous hamster-abuse music.)

An older son, by all counts, an adult at the age of 25, flew into a rage, kicking poor Princess Stephanie’s ball.

“He kicked it deliberately, the ball flew across the room, the hamster flew out of the ball, and it died,” Ms. Smith said. After he had calmed down, the older son felt terrible, she said.

The remedy for his crime was to buy the 9-year-old three more hamsters. That was not the end of it.

This act of contrition, however, only angered Ms. Smith’s daughter Monique, Theresa Smith said. Monique picked up the biggest of the three hamsters, Sweetie, “took it out of the cage, and she slammed it on the floor,” Theresa Smith said. “It died on impact.”

Last night, “after a nine-month hunt for a suspect they described as evasive and uncooperative,” Monique Smith, who is 19, was finally arrested and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, plus “two misdemeanors, torturing animals and endangering the welfare of a child.”

The 25-year-old has not been charged. The other two hamsters are staying with a friend for safety reasons. This entire post is not a joke.

R.I.P., Princess Stephanie and Sweetie.

19-Year-Old Is Charged in Hamster’s Death [NYT]