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Published April 24 2012

Letters accuse man of being cat killer

DICKINSON, N.D. – A Belfield man is once again the target of several anonymous letters claiming he is a cat killer, Stark County law enforcement said Tuesday. Officials have not found proof to support this, and the author may face criminal charges for harassment and slander.

This has happened twice to Jim O’Brien and no one reported their cats were missing, Capt. Fern Moser of the Stark County Sheriff’s Office.

The Dickinson Press received two unaddressed letters stating that O’Brien has lured, trapped and shot cats in Belfield and has bragged about it at area restaurants.

“I can no longer tolerate and I can no longer keep quiet about what I have heard and have been told regarding the killing of cats in Belfield,” the unidentified person wrote. “What a sick man! This person needs to be stopped before something worse happens.”

O’Brien denied the accusations.

“They just think because I don’t have a cat or a dog in my house that I don’t like dogs or cats,” he said.

The letters were sent to the Stark County Sheriff’s Office. Stacks of letters were also distributed at the Belfield Post Office and at bars, Moser said. O’Brien also asked the office to investigate the author’s identity.