Rashad Gober is a 31-year-old residing in Cambridge, Massachusetts who used the public’s distrust in police departments about racial injustice to try and distract suspicion for a spree of animal cruelty attacks against local cats.
Gober entered a not guilty plea to four counts of animal cruelty at his arraignment hearing at Cambridge District Court on Thursday. He’ll be held without bail until his next court date on July 7th.
According to Massachusetts Live there’s a total of three cat victims between March and May 2021.
- “Tammy” was injured by a BB gun on either March 3rd or 4th. But otherwise recovered.
- “Buddy” was inflicted with “chemical burns” at some point between May 2nd and 5th, but recovered.
- “Gosha” on May 6th was fatally wounded. Her legs had masking tape around them, large portions of their furs were removed, and they were shot 11 times with a BB gun, before being left to die under a car.
It was the death of Gorsha that sparked an investigation. In the case of Buddy, according to TB Daily News, Gober took credit for finding them in a response to a missing pet report on the NextDoor app. He went as far as telling Buddy’s owner that the Cambridge police were racially profiling him.
The same people expressed distraught about being manipulated after the “Cambridge Cat Killer” was arrested.
Rashad Gober’s views on racial justice in the post-George Floyd age played a role in this story. He wrote his own obituary fan fiction in July 2016, authoring a biography as if he died at the hands of police.
Several tweets from what’s purported to be Gober’s Twitter account pointing to his disdain for the Cambridge, Massachusetts Police Department.
"@CambridgePolice You are all incompetent and do not serve or protect the community. You’re insecure children who were given a salary and a uniform."
"@CambridgePolice may be the most incompetent group of insecure pieces of shit that I’ve ever encountered."
The local WHDH station in Massachusetts listed Gober’s Google search history. Listed below are entries that referenced cats:
- “Ways to torture a cat without killing it”
- "Will Clorox burn a cat"
- "Will ammonia knock a cat out"
- "Keeping a cat hostage"
- "What happens if you throw bleach on a cat"
- "Sounds to lure cats"
- "Where can I buy cat nip"
- "I stole a stray cat"
- "I hate cats and caught one"
- "How to force feed a cat"
- “Blowing weed smoke in a cat’s face”
- “Cat cruelty video clips”
- "Desire to harm cats in adulthood"
The other entries mentioned revolved around the BB guns, and a few were questions about the psychology of people who torture animals.
Maintenance man David Petrillo broke the case open. At first seeing a flier about missing cats on a pole, he was called to fix Gober’s washing machine and noticed not just cat food, but also BB gun pellets, sticky traps, and a camera and wire.
“There was cat food placed near them because he was trying [to] lure them and stick them on the trap,” Petrillo said. “Then see it on the camera and come down and get them.”
Gober’s landlord apparently filmed this video of the scene at his tenant’s house.
Police found towels with blood and clumps of fur on the premises.
The report from Newsweek has remarks from Cambridge Police Department Commissioner Branville G. Bard Jr. about the situation.
"We recognize and can understand the great alarm these cases caused to the East Cambridge community and particularly to the cat owners. We have invested significant resources and closely collaborated with the Animal Commission, the MSPCA, and Middlesex District Attorney's Office to ensure justice would be served following these very disturbing acts."