Montana madman!

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by dontoe, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

    May 7, 2004
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    Hickory, N.C.
    [font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Police investigate macabre case of dog beheaded at campground[/font]

    [font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]By Leslie McCartney of The Montana Standard - 09/07/2005[/font]

    [font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A Butte family spent the weekend grieving after their dog was decapitated and its head thrown at them by another camper at a campsite near Bernice.[/font]

    [font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]John Sullivan said Tuesday that his 4-year-old chocolate lab, Gunner, was killed Saturday after his parents, Mike and Brenda Sullivan of Butte, took him along with them for a holiday weekend camping trip. The dog's head, severed by a chainsaw, was thrown at the couple Saturday afternoon by a man in an orange pickup who also shouted expletives as he drove by, he said.

    Jefferson County Sheriff Craig Doolittle confirmed Sullivan's story, calling the incident "a first" in his law enforcement experience.

    Arrested in connection with the dog's death — and on several other charges — was John Russell Howald, 30, of Basin, who is being held on $100,000 bond in Jefferson County jail in Boulder.

    John Sullivan said that events began earlier Saturday when Mike and Brenda Sullivan let Gunner and another dog out of their camper to relieve themselves near the Ladysmith campground, west of the Bernice interchange on Interstate 15, north of Butte. Time passed and the couple could not find the dogs, and they began to call for them from the campsite. Later, Sullivan said, a man in a truck roared up, threw the dog's head at them and took off again. The couple's other dog was apparently unhurt.
    [/font] [font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]According to court reports, Howald said that he noticed a couple of dogs hanging around his tent and shot at them to scare them. But he allegedly admitted to authorities that he chopped off Gunner's head with a chainsaw. Police found blood and fur in his orange truck, reports said. Sullivan disputed that explanation for the dog's death, saying that he didn't believe the dogs would travel the 21/2 miles between his parents' camper and Howald's camping site. He also described Gunner as a friendly canine who liked to run and was no threat or bother to anyone.

    "I would have rather found him," said John Sullivan, who said that his mother is so upset by the bizarre event that she is vowing to sell the couple's camper and never return to the forest.

    After Jefferson County officials were told of the dog's death, Doolittle said he sent deputies to the site to investigate and stay at the campgrounds.

    "They spent the night up there. We knew where these people were camped out and that there were guns involved," he said. He added that the department believes more people are involved, since one or possibly two others accompanied Howald in his truck when the Sullivans saw him.

    Howald's arrest came on Sunday following a report of a vehicle accident in that same area. Details are sketchy, but Howald was apparently attempting to pull a stuck truck out with his truck when police approached him. When confronted, Howald allegedly fired shots into the air and was arrested.

    "We believe that the person who showed up there to get the vehicle is the one involved with the dog beheading," Doolittle said.

    In addition, Howald is facing more charges because he is also accused of hitting a Whitehall boy in the head with a beer bottle, leading to a confrontation with that boy's father that same weekend.

    Howald was charged Tuesday with various felony and misdemeanor counts in Jefferson County, including aggravated animal cruelty, attempted animal cruelty, felony criminal endangerment and two counts of intimidation.

    Gunner's owner, who wanted to find Howald Saturday night but was urged to wait and call police, is pleased that Howald is behind bars and wants him to stay there.

    "I want him to go to prison, to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," he said.

    Doolittle said that the weekend's events involving Howald remain under investigation.

    Reporter Leslie McCartney may be reached via e-mail at
  2. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

    Jan 21, 2001
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    Undisclosed Location
    Too bad people like that meet some sort of unexpected death by a grieving victim that won't be prosecuted.............
  3. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status Premium Member

    May 8, 2001
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    Los Estados Unitos
    That's pretty messed up... I hope they throw the book at him and find anyone else involved. The guy obviously sounds like a basket case. I wonder what else he's done that he hasn't been caught for.

    HELLBENT DESIGNS 1/2 ton status

    Apr 2, 2005
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    bozeman mt
    well said!
  5. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

    Jul 24, 2003
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    Sick bastards...

    I bet anyone who'd do such a thing to an animal would not think twice about doing it to a human being either... :mad: :mad:

    I knew a guy who I thought was a friend in my teens---he pushed his fathers dog out his second floor bedroom window because it pissed on his carpet(because he was too F'n lazy to get up and let the dog outside!)...The dog suffered a broken leg,and 2 sprained ankles..but me and a few other "friends" took him for a ride out in the state forest,and beat the snot out of him,and left him there--and we told him we'd tell his dad what REALLY happened to the dog,if he ever told what we did to him--he deserved it!!--(he'd told his dad hit it got hit by a car! :mad: )...People who do things like that should get the death penalty..nice to know the moron camping nearby is a homocidal maniac with a chainsaw huh??...really makes you want to go camping... :mad: :eek1: :(
  6. big94gmc

    big94gmc 1/2 ton status

    Sep 1, 2004
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    No VA.

    If I was the dog owner, I could not contain myself. I would go after the guy, in custody or not.

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