Krystal Cherika Scott of Kokomo, Indiana, has been arrested and charged in connection to the “Crazy Cat Lady,” an anonymous social media user who shared graphic videos and images showing the torture and killings of cats and dogs. The disturbing content was shared online starting in early May, federal authorities say. Multiple social media users came together to track down the individual creating and sharing the videos and images.
On July 15, in a press release from the United States Department of Justice’s Southern District of Indiana Attorney’s Office, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced Scott’s arrest. As per the release, Scott has been accused by federal authorities of sharing graphic images and videos depicting her “torturing and graphically killing cats and dogs by hanging, skinning and other means.”
She has been charged with two counts of making and distributing animal crush videos. The violation falls under the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act and if convicted of the charges, Scott faces up to seven years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a maximum fine of $250,000, according to the release.
Minkler said, “As decent human beings, we have a great responsibility to protect and have compassion for the animals that inhabit this earth. It is unconscionable to think that any human being could [possibly] bring themselves to such acts upon an animal. We cannot allow this behavior in a decent and moral society. That is why Ms. Scott must face the consequences of her choices.”
Officers Found Animal Parts & Bones, as Well as 12 Live Cats & Other Animals at Scott’s Home
According to the Indiana U.S. Attorney’s Office, Scott has been accused of creating and sharing the videos and images on different social media platforms, including Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, from around May 3 until at least July 8. In early May, when the graphic posts began gaining attention online, social media users from different platforms worked together to identify the person dubbed the “Crazy Cat Lady.”
The concerned citizens gathered information and shared it with local law enforcement and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the release stated. After that, an investigation was opened. On July 14, FBI special agents and other law enforcement officers executed warrants on Scott’s residence, vehicle and person.
While searching Scott’s residence, officials found animal parts and skulls consistent with the size of cats and dogs, according to the release. About 12 live cats, three live dogs and multiple lizards were also found at Scott’s residence. Scott’s cellphone, which officials say was used to produce and distribute the content, has also been seized by law enforcement. Investigators are in the process of analyzing the phone’s content.
Multiple Jurisdictions & Agencies Worked Together in the Investigation
19-year-old Krystal Cherika Scott of Kokomo has been arrested on federal animal cruelty charges for producing and distributing “animal crush videos” – videos that depict the brutal torture of animals. https://t.co/gPogACSebw pic.twitter.com/1o4x0QBi51
— FBI Indianapolis (@FBIIndianapolis) July 15, 2020
The press release indicates that the investigation was conducted by multiple bodies: the Boise, Idaho, police department, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, also in Idaho, the FBI Resident Agency in Boise and the FBI Indianapolis Field Office. The Kokomo Police Department also assisted in the investigation.
On June 16, the Boise Police Department opened up an investigation into the graphic content after receiving information from citizens. According to the press release, Boise Police Department Deputy Chief Ron Winegar said, “The Boise Police Department is thankful to have played a role in the investigation into this disturbing crime. We had concerned people from all over the world contact us about the terrible images they were seeing on social media. Our officers and detectives worked hard to investigate leads here in Boise and partnered with the FBI as the investigation grew and moved out of state.”
According to the press release, FBI’s Salt Lake City Special Agent in Charge Paul Haertel said, “This case is an outstanding example of society’s intolerance to animal cruelty and the public’s willingness to do the right thing. Tips poured in from all over the world, assisting in an intense and technically complex investigation to find the alleged perpetrator and put a stop to the senseless and horrific abuse of innocent animals.”
In a statement on July 15, FBI Indianapolis’ Special Agent in Charge Paul Kennan said:
Animal abusers have total power over that animal, and if someone is willing to be that curled to an animal, evidence suggests they may target vulnerable humans as well. In November of 2019, the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act was passed to address this issue and to assist law enforcement to better target intervention efforts with respect to animal cruelty and the crimes for which it serves as a marker. Our agents and law enforcement partners will continue to work diligently to identify and investigate those who would perpetrate these crimes.