Serial Pigeon Killer On The Loose In NYC!
Public menace or service?

There was a time when all you had to worry about when strolling through New York City parks (aside from being mugged, raped, or murdered, that is) were pigeon droppings. Now, it's pigeons dropping that has parkgoers worried.

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... by Jeff Morris
... in the Whoa! section
... from August 24, 1999

The winged body count now stands at 87. The first 15 pigeons were found dead in Stuyvesant Square at East 17th Street and Rutherford Place in Manhattan on Friday, August 13. Since Tuesday, August 17, the remains of 72 additional birds have been scooped into bags at Harlem Meer, a bucolic section at the northern end of Central Park.

Of the 87 birds so viciously poisoned, 72 were pigeons. Park personnel have also found the dead bodies of a dozen sparrows, a couple of ducks, and a grackle.

New York residents fear that unless the serial pigeon killer is apprehended, he will strike again. A $1000 reward is being offered by the City Parks Foundation, a non-profit organization, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the avian-icidal maniac terrorizing the city's bird population. So far, there have been no takers.

During a press conference following the gruesome discoveries in Central Park, a Department of Parks and Recreation Press Office spokesman said the dying birds were caught on film by local television stations.

"It was horrible," the spokesman said. "Birds were falling from trees, staggering around… It's the work of a depraved mind. They must have a resentment against pigeons."

The bodies of the dead birds have been sent to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, where thorough testing is being performed to determine the poison used by the serial pigeon killer.

Authorities believe it to be the work of a lone madman, according to a statement made by Parks and Recreation Commissioner Henry J. Stern to Reuters's News Service. "Our suspicion is that this is the same person. We don't think this is a copycat poisoner.''


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Jeff Morris is a professional journalist who subscribes to the highest ethical standards of reporting, and other magazines too.