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Council and police meet to end cat crucifixions

The garbage bag covers the carcass of a crucified cat found hung to the gate of a chapel in San Anton Abbati Street, Mosta, on January 17 last year. Photo: Jason Borg

The garbage bag covers the carcass of a crucified cat found hung to the gate of a chapel in San Anton Abbati Street, Mosta, on January 17 last year. Photo: Jason Borg

Mosta council will hold a meeting with police tomorrow to try and find a way to end the macabre crucifixion of cats in the town.

If we collaborate more, we can try and pre-empt where and when the next case will take place

Four cats have been found nailed upside down to wooden crosses in Mosta since January last year, with the latest case having taken place last Wednesday.

The serial crucifixions of animals in Mosta had actually started in 2011 when two dead puppies were found nailed onto crosses.

Mayor Shirley Farrugia said there were no leads so far into who could be carrying out these cruel acts and residents were concerned.

“We [the local council] have already had informal meetings with the police… Police are already patrolling the area… But perhaps, if we collaborate more, we can try and pre-empt where and when the next case will take place and act accordingly,” Dr Farrugia said.

Police sources said the latest case was being investigated and the police were taking the killing of the animals “very seriously.”

Most of the cases have occurred on the 15th or 16th of the month but Dr Farrugia said these numbers had no particular significance in Mosta.

Investigators initially followed a potential link between the first case and a 1999 murder because the house where the first puppy was found was where Franġisku Buhagiar, now aged 81, had shot dead his sister following an argument over burnt toast.

Two forensic psychologists, who spoke to The Times after the crucifixion of the puppy agreed that the offender was probably a delusional adolescent male suffering from some form of personality disorder and who lived close to the crime scene.

In the majority of cases the offender left a note attached to his animal victims. In the two 2011 dog killings he or she said the suffering s/he had gone through was worse than that of the dog.

Notes were also left in the most recent two cases. They were sealed with tape and lifted as evidence by police who will be carrying out forensic tests.

Mosta crucifixions

January 16, 2013. A cat is found nailed upside down to a wooden cross hung on the gates of the Mosta primary school in Grognet Street. A note, sealed with tape, is stuck to the cross.

December 16, 2012. A month earlier, a wooden cross is found on the iron grating surrounding the statue of St Joseph in Mosta. A dead cat is nailed to it, upside down, as well as a note and a five-pointed cross made out of wire.

February 10, 2012. Another cat is found nailed to a wooden cross on a door in Baskal Buhagiar Street, Mosta.

January 17, 2012. In the first incident involving cats, the upside down wooden cross and its poor animal are found attached to the gate of a chapel in San Anton Abbati Street.

November 16, 2011. A Chihuahua cross-breed is found crucified on the gates of the Sacred Heart oratory, together with a note on which the perpetrator says the suffering s/he has gone through is worse than that of the dog.

October 16, 2011. A priest walking along Main Street is confronted by the sight of a dead dog nailed to an upside down wooden cross. A note is also found.

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