Horse News

Necropsy: Race Horse Didn’t Die from Bullet

By Mitchell Grogg of Chicago’s NBC Channel 5

Humane Society offers $2,500 reward for information that leads to arrest, conviction of Lady May Z’s killer

An Indiana race horse found dead earlier this week was slain with a tool used to kill livestock, not a bullet as previously believed, authorities said Friday.

A necropsy performed on Lady May Z at Purdue University indicated the mare died from “blunt force trauma” that pathologists believe came from a “captive bolt gun.”

Lady May Z was found dead in a pasture on Tuesday, one day before she was scheduled for a run at Balmoral Park in Crete.

The results of the necropsy leads investigators to believe the horse was killed deliberately.

“In order for this weapon to be used in this manner, the perpetrator would have had to hold the device up to the horse’s forehead while the trigger was depressed,” a statement from the Lake County (Indiana) Sheriff’s Department said.

Authorities said they now believe whoever killed the mare had experience in the meat processing field.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the department at 800-750-2746.

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26 replies »

  1. The crazies are now coming out of the woodwork twisted ,demented mind, until there are strict laws to protect the innocent horses , they will suffer at the hands of these kind of people, what will it take to bring this demented person to Justice????? This is what walks among us!!!!! Freely……


  2. I agree with Arlene, it seems that more and more crazies and twisted minds appear every day. What possible reason would someone have to do this? A gentle horse that obviously could be caught and held, that was trained to stand for people handling her and the trust was betrayed with a bolt to her head.
    I wish I could have super powers, not joking…….


  3. Maybe someone so used to killing wild horses took a ride down from a Canada slaughter house. Crete, Indiana straight down from Canada’s two points of entry in Michigan. Or most likely, closer, Chicago’s slaughter hell. Anyway, this killing was criminal and sadistic. Who would have possession of a captive bolt (& know ho to use it)? I would think one of the nut cases, sociopaths, working in a slaughter house who enjoy the torture of horses or cattle, as we know happens regularly. I say, the norm.


  4. Thank You!!!! Kathryn, Horses are very trusting once it is won and given from them , they think everyone is to be trusted, it turns out to be to their disadvantage, they are powerful and strong, they could crush us without much effort, the reasoning they were given is all based on trust of a human, knowing this how can anyone use that against them, how horrible and demented is that ????? i am hoping what i said makes sense ????/ But it is what I believe of all our horses………..We have been intrusted with their care …… inturn they believe in us……………..


    • Arlene. Well said. I hate this individual and wish nothing good coming to him. He is a disgusting example of the human race and deserves the worst of life to come his way. Like you say, horses are powerful, could do harm to humans, and when they trust, they believe everyone will not hurt them. How I would love to see this person get what he deserves, and I don’t mean an easy punishment.


      • Dear Lynne, Whomever did this is highly dangerous to everyone who steps in his path , this is scarey real scarey………… he needs to be put away immediately , what he did to this trusting horse is inexcusable by any means of Justice, this is a sick demented person, I shudder just to think what this person is capable of, this person will be found , he will be a bragger, he will expose himself, he is a coward of the worst kind also………….He has told someone, whoever knows about this should report to the authorities immediately, this person is beyond sick !!!!!


  5. This person is a bonified danger to society and is in need of help desperately before he harms humans……….. and should be locked up……………………


  6. Whoever did this definately has worked in the slaughter industry but Ronnie (above writer), there are so many crazy people in this world and I don’t think the finger should be pointed at a Canadian!! There are many many people in the USA who have worked and do work in the slaughter industry! Whoever did this needs to be brought to justice.


    • To horselover55, I did not mean to “point to a *Canadian.” I was not even thinking this way. And I don’t believe I wrote my post in this manner. As you know, people come to work in a slaughter house from all over. I was just trying to put 2 + 2 together as to who could do this. I NEVER single out a country, province, whole state in U.S. in my posts. I have respect for the people. I am sorry you took this as an offense to the people in Canada.


  7. I had a horse who was mean and dangerous out alone in a pasture. Wish one of these nuts would have tried that on him. Nobody walked out of his field without bruises. Sad that he was made that way from being abused as a 2yr old but he had to learn how to protect himself and he was good at it. To think that animals get hurt because they trust us is so sickening.


  8. This is just crazy. Whoever did this should have the same done to them. These animals are suffering needlessly by all the crazy people running around getting a “kick” out of an animals suffering or their death. THIS NEEDS TO STOP NOW. IT’S ABOUT TIME THOSE OF US WHO LOVE AND WANT TO PROTECT THESE ANIMALS DEMAND, AND I DO DEMAND, THAT CONGRESS GET OFF THEIR ASSES AND PASS THE SLAUGHTERBILL AND THE TRANSPORTATION BILL AND PASS A LAW THAT PUNISHES THOSE THAT DO HARM TO THESE ANIMALS SUFFER THE SAME DEATH. MAYBE THIS WOULD STOP THESE ASTROCIES.


  9. This may well not have been random. It sounds very deliberate…The killer could have been, and may well have been someone this horse knew from the track or elsewhere. Also, this suggests that the killer not only had the tool, but was able to use it with skill (not what we see at horse slaughter plants). This horse may not have been particularly head shy, but most horses aren’t going to stand still in a pasture and give someone a shot at their head.


    • Arlene: Who cares about hanging this sob. I think he should be tied up and a captive bolt gun put to his head with it intentionally not at the mark to kill him. Then as he suffers, he should be hung up by one of his legs and let him suffer until he dies. As far as I’m concerned, this is still too good for him. He is a disgraceful sob that deserves the worst of the worst to happen to him. Hell would not even give him what he deserves. I don’t think like this normally, but this guy is beyond any human reasoning and he deserves the worst of the worst for what he did. There is no excuse for his actions. Anyone that knows he did this is an accessory to this atrocity.


      • Dear Lynne, If there is one thing I am sure of, is he will punished for this crime, There is many kinds of Justice one of them will find him…………he cannot hide from that !!!


  10. My first and only thought was that someone who owns another horse being entered in the upcoming race wanted Lady Z May (maybe a favorite?) out of the way. I guess I’ve read too many Dick Francis books!

    To me, this sad incident is a prime example of the close connection between the horse racing (flat track or harness) and horse slaughter industries. That connection, I regret to say, is embodied in three words: love of money.


  11. The sad thing about this is that there are small business that do process cattle and other livestock for people in the area. I knew as soon as I heard the story the violator had to be right up on the horse to do such a thing. Everyone needs to be vigilant about their animals. It almost appears to me that the person knew the area well and where the horse would be. What a sick sick person!!!
    I agree this killer should be hung up from a tree and left to die. Oh, and perhaps maybe someone will come a long with a captive bullot and do the same as they die.


  12. Definitely a deliberate equine murder!! This happened right before she was scheduled to race. Somebody wanted to make sure she didn’t race, or win, or wanted to send some kind of crazed “message” to the owner! It seems that lately, we’ve been hearing more of these horse murders. For no reason at all, some humans have gone completely insane! They kill innocent people, why not innocent animals & horses too? The apparent captive-bolt murder weapon was just the weapon of choice for this mad equine hit-person. Anyone working in any meat processing facility could be capable of using this, they wouldn’t have to come from Canada. The person obviously had one or more helpers, this was a planned, pre-meditated hit. This is a crazy, scary world we live in, it’s not even safe to leave your horses outside! I hope the low-life & his or her cohorts are caught & thrown in jail, but, sadly for this poor horse, it won’t bring her back.


    • Unfortunately our world is filled with unsavory characters who value only money and to whom no life except their own is important. I know of a fairly big breeder/barn owner who is said to use this “tool” to cull his own breeding mistakes (or the old, the sick, the ones he doesn’t like, who knows?) in his own barn.

      Why do I say that? Because, although it can’t be proven, an advocate’s beloved horse was killed in this same way but over the fence, in his own paddock, during the night. This is very old news, nearly ten years but still it is a fact. Someone killed that horse by the captive bolt in the middle of the night.

      The background: This happened right after the advocate got quite involved with a local environmental issue that this breeder was on the other side of and this evil monster made it known in veiled terms that the advocate would pay, they would not win on the environmental issue. So perhaps as an inducement to quit pressing the environmental issue or perhaps as payback for tying up a moneymaking opportunity, a beloved horse was hit, over the fence while everyone slept.

      Being in a rural area, it was easy to park far away and then cross the empty land until they reached that far side of the paddock, lure the horse over to the fence, probably with a treat and do it in. Speculation was that his barn hands did it, immigrants with negligible English skills – one can draw their own conclusions on that (did he threaten them with job loss or ICE report if they didn’t do as he wished? Or were they just evil too?)

      A University necropsy also was conclusive that this was done with the captive bolt, it was not an accident. There are no equine slaughterhouses in that area or other slaughterhouses for that matter. So, based on this and other secondhand stories about dead horses at the barn of this evil one, it’s assumed the breeder/barn owner keeps his own captive bolt handy for disposing of horses.

      How many other unscrupulous, evil breeders/trainers/owners are doing the same? This reported death in RT’s article may well have been a disposal — one can only wonder if there was an insurance policy on this horse or if this was a washed up racehorse or even if it was a rival owner taking out the competition. Sick bunch of monsters mixed in with the rest of us real horse lovers, eh?


  13. ANYONE and I mean ANYONE that owns a horse and understands HOW to place the kill shot on a horse, could have done this. to say it was someone in the meat processing field is stupid. because 90% of horse owners know where to place a kill shot on a horse.


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