Sometime after midnight this morning, police arrested 18-year-old Tyler Weinman at a party in Coral Gables for the recent string of horrific cat killings that have plagued Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay.
Weinman, who attended Miami Palmetto Senior High, is being charged with 19 counts of animal cruelty, four counts of burglary, and 19 counts of improperly disposing of an animal body. True Crime Report points out that at most, the animal cruelty charges carry a punishment of a four-figure fine and five years in prison, though the burglary charges might put him behind bars longer if he's found guilty.
Tyler had two MySpace pages (a personal one and one for music -- no, that's not his original composition) and a Facebook page, and was a member of the group "Catch the Cat Killer!" Not to be ridiculously speculative here, but it at least suggests he was aware of the media coverage and strong reaction. We're unsure of what part that might have played in his suspected crime spree and whether he enjoyed the reaction.
Tyler's parents are divorced, and he shuttled back and forth between them -- one in Cutler Bay and the other in Palmetto Bay, which explains the geographic reach of the crimes. Both houses had been under surveillance for weeks. Police were put on the trail thanks to community tips. At least four of the killings happened on the street where his mother lives.
Though multiple suspects haven't been ruled out, police suspect he worked alone. At a press conference this morning, they spoke as if the terror had ended... but various reports have alluded to more arrests.
Weinman was arrested May 29 for possession of cannabis. He had two previous arrests as a minor, but police can't release the details.
As for the reaction, every other comments section we go to contains the occasional reference to the fact that Weinman is a Jewish last name, as well as the requisite "fag" or "homo" (for the record, it seems he had or has a long-term girlfriend). A teenager butchering cats is enough reminder of the darkness that can lurk in humans for one day, without some needless antisemitism and homophobia thrown in.