Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Crime

Sonic the Hedgehog artist injured by hate crime; life can be prickly for struggling artists

by Patch O'Furr

Milton Knight has a hand in works of animation and cartoon art seen by millions. For the 1993 Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog TV series, he did storyboards and animation and is credited with design for the villain Robotnik. In nearly 40 years as a pro, he’s made countless fans happy. But on February 25, he was hospitalized with “cuts, a broken nose, and more” at the hands of a racist stranger. Knight described enduring 15 minutes of provocative hate speech before it exploded with “endless punches to the head”. The attacker injured his fist and was jailed for battery.

Knight’s creative drive is inspired by retro style from the Golden Age of animation, and traditional ink and paint. As a pro since 1980, he got into animation on Ralph Bakshi‘s Cool World and The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat. In comics, he worked on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Mighty Mouse. Like his inspiration from untamed 1930’s cartoons, he also did mature work like Heavy Metal and his own indie comic Midnite the Rebel Skunk. A fact that readers here may like is that he experimented with “extremely adult furry” work in the independent spirit of 1980’s fandom. In the network where pros, fans, and art curators meet, he has done archiving for the International Animated Film Association (whose president Jerry Beck was very close to “fandom founder” Fred Patten.)

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Josh Acosta Sentenced for life in Fullerton Murder

by Rune AngelDragon

Rune’s Furry Blog showcases “people within the Furry Community… their characters, life, thoughts, and beliefs”. It also covers furry issues and media plus some personal blogging. Rune joins other guest posters to Dogpatch Press like Tempe O’Kun and Arrkay (Culturally F’d). Welcome Rune. – Patch

Acosta sentenced to life for triple homicide

Frank Felix (left) – Josh Acosta (right)

On September 24th, 2016, media outlets blew up with the news of a triple homicide in Southern California. Now known as the “Fullerton triple homicide”, the highlight of the headlines following the incident was that there had been a murder among “Furries”. Despite the hate and jokes that circulated due to misleading titles and information, the fandom itself was broken over this loss.

The victims were Christopher Yost (34), Jennifer Yost (39), and their friend Arthur Boucher (28). The loss ran deep as those involved were very active in the Furry community. They were known through several local groups, including the La Habra Fur Bowling social group, and as attendees at the Prancing Skiltaire monthly parties (the long running furry house owned by some of the founders of 1980’s fandom.)

For the local Furry populace, Jennifer Yost was seen as the “Mom of the community,” thus her nickname of Jen-ma. She was known for her kindness in listening and helping others with their problems, and her crafting… making clothes and stuffed animals for her children. It was her youngest child (then 6-years-old) who called the police to tell them that their parents were dead that morning.

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Zoosadism investigation: Capitalizing on abuse, and the ugly persistence of Kero.

by Patch O'Furr

Investigation continues – October 2018

Last month, furry fandom took a very dark turn. Zoosadism leaks: possibly the worst story to ever hit fandom was a mere introduction to the exposure of hidden networks for abuse and even snuff porn of animals.

The impact of it kicked up murky clouds of misinformation. After the shock, there was the usual speculation that comes with lesser dramas that usually die out in a week or two. There was smokescreening to hide evil that shocked even the most shady corners of the internet. There was rubbernecking, shit-stirring, evidence-tainting, and penny-chasing for views. And beneath it all was natural confusion. The ongoing story still defies explanation after a month, but on the good side, there’s significant work behind the scenes. That should have been done from the start to avoid a botched mess. Most of that work is for future updates. This update is mostly about public awareness.

One thing needs saying up front: you can definitely judge before a court does. “Innocent until proven guilty” is a legal standard to constrain government, not common sense about the evidence. There’s different standards between criminal court, civil court and society. (For example you don’t get a trial about fitness for employment, election, or safety with kids or animals.) Remember names like Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman, or OJ Simpson, and let a lawyer explain:

It’s not just about Kero, but apologism for Kero is the most obvious obstacle to progress.

If you followed so far and understand the evidence, then the name Kero may fill you with disgust and rage. Kero is a Youtuber exposed as a secret animal abuse fetishist, whose complicity got outsized notice due to his 100,000+ subscribers.

[UPDATE] Twitter Moment: “Kero is guilty – Evidence”

Kero had opportunity to own up or shut up. He didn’t. In the most self-serving way, he responded with cherrypicked and inconsistent denials, to brush this under the rug and keep his following, manipulate them to shield him, and even capitalize on notoriety built on puppy killing. I’ve never labeled anything obscene in my life, but making money from this is nothing less than obscene. Of course the info wasn’t leaked to target Kero and there’s a roster of worse offenders to account for. But his failure to at least relieve everyone from apologist bullshit makes him a poster guy for what’s wrong.

Kero dug a bottomless pit for himself, and the rest of fandom is on the edge. If you thought it was bad already, you haven’t seen anything yet.

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Zoosadism leaks: possibly the worst story to ever hit fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

Content warning: extreme animal abuse

Since 2010, US states have begun trying to implement registries for abusers. Take action here.

With no fanfare, public attention was riveted by a leak of private data spread by a Twitter account linking to a Telegram channel. It held compiled .rars hosted on Mega, containing chat logs, images and videos exposing years of activity. It was sourced from secretive chat groups connected to furry fandom.

The data implicated a ring of users sharing fetish material of unspeakably sadistic animal abuse. It was graphic evidence of rape, torture and murder of animals for enjoyment. The briefest skim of the Telegram channel was gut-wrenching. Among plain text chats and links, there was a thumbnail of a tied-up dog being raped with a baseball bat. The public response was tremendous shock and disgust.

There’s a list of some of those videos.

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Furries vs. Evil: Habits in geek social spaces

by Patch O'Furr

This was written as introduction for a planned series. I edited it to stand alone in response to recent events of bad things being exposed. Expect to see it reposted in the future to fit a series. It’s kind of a thinkpiece to provoke open ended conversation. Let’s start with a weird question… (- Patch)

Q: How are furries like Catholic Nuns? 

Aside from silly headgear or being anthropomorphic penguins… this isn’t about being moralistic, but it involves contrasting black-and-white appearances.

Do nuns make you think nice thoughts about The Sound of Music or Mother Teresa, with harmless ladies playing guitar and taking care of orphans?

For a huge contrast, now think of scandals with abusive priests, where churches shift them from diocese to diocese to cover it up. It’s easy to assume nuns don’t do abuse like that. Until news comes out that they do, but the church hasn’t been accountable. This news may be loaded with a certain counterintuitiveness that increases the WTF factor. But in both cases, it’s dishonest to blame individuals for an institutional problem.

Furry fandom is made of loose federations of groups. Almost all of them are super positive and friendly and it would be gross exaggeration to suggest an institutional problem like above. It’s not a church with a pope. At worst, dramatic stories like a ring of abuse in Pennsylvania was limited to personal friendships that didn’t go as far as alleged. (Lupinefox, who was accused of hosting it at his house, was found not guilty on all charges in court.)

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Hairy heist: Have you seen this fursuit? Truckload of Furry Burning Man gear stolen in Oakland

by Patch O'Furr

MISSING: Animosulo’s fursuit. Can you help? Ask these news sources for attention, and link this article on Twitter (or use their other contacts):

Nacho’s suit was mistakenly mentioned as stolen (relying on info referencing multiple suits.)

(You might add  @burningman, and do send suggestions.)

Last time this happened…

A few years ago, Zarafa Giraffe’s beloved purple giraffe suit was stolen. He became furry-internet-famous (and a San Francisco celebri-fur, even to average people on the street.) There were stories by SFist and Broke-Ass Stuart and a journalist flew in from New York. The theft was sad but the outcome was happy.

Zarafa had been at Frolic Party, a legendary monthly furry dance party at The Eagle in San Francisco (which helped spark a whole movement of them across North America.) His fursuit bin was a tempting target for car break-in thieves. Neonbunny, founder and organizer of Frolic, personally hit the pavement to post flyers, along with some help. Thanks to his tireless work not just to promote the party, but care for it’s goers, there was an answer and the giraffe rejoined Zarafa.

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One con, three predators – what this says about furry fandom

by Patch O'Furr

Want some scorekeeping about Dogpatch Press? The site is getting close to 1,000 stories in 4 years, with quadruple readership since 2017 and tons of positive news about fun and cool accomplishments furries keep doing.

Then there’s stories that expose hate and abuse from the fringes. People who don’t follow what the site does like to misrepresent it as nothing more than a source for “drama”, muckraking, “fake news” or angry mob “witch hunts”. These attacks often come from a vested interest in keeping things nice and quiet.

Here’s an example of such a story. (This one started before Dogpatch Press existed, so attacking the messenger is pointless.) This sheds light on the motivation of a former fandom celebrity who fell into disgrace:

(Links in here): Why doesn’t 2 Gryphon tell the truth about how his partner went to prison? Why does he attack abuse victims just like he Protests Too Hard against “SJW’s” and “witch hunts”? Why is he no longer welcome on convention stages?

An honest look at the links will find the answer. It’s complicity by a Quisling who doesn’t give a shit about this fandom. Complicity is a theme for this article, and solutions too.

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The Complexities of Problematic Kinks

by Patch O'Furr

Due to mob harassment, The Complexities of Problematic Kinks – guest post by Maybelle Redmond is now moved to the archive with this editor’s update.

“Say THING BAD, there are no complexities” … “If you talk about the bad thing then you must support it” … “Screw you for supporting the bad thing”

The original article was attacked for one niche issue: Of course cub porn is bad. But describing the problem isn’t. The original guest author was an abuse survivor who called it a dangerous thing that needs control. This site doesn’t support it but does welcome discussion.

It’s real to call it deeply rooted in the community. It was here long ago. Warner Bros threatened to sue furries for Tiny Toons porn in the 1990’s. It isn’t coming from outside and incongruent like racist stuff. It is furry. Anyone with a pencil can make it and anyone with a smartphone can share it. Some furries draw their art before they know there’s a fandom. Self-generating adult art is one reason why furry thrives without corporations that don’t make such things.

That’s a potentially infinite problem. When there are furry art sites like Inkbunny that thrive with it, condemning users at the bottom doesn’t stop distribution at the top. They will just keep coming to the furry platforms. It’s easy to get mainstream platforms to separate from it. But inside fandom, rejection creates opportunity. Perhaps the same opportunity that let the furry fandom grow as an autonomous, self-feeding creature apart from others.

It’s a good subculture that simply has human problems, like every part of the larger culture. If we take it for granted that cub porn is bad but intrinsic here, it’s like how drugs are illegal but people keep using them. Consider how the 1980’s “war on drugs” failed and made problems worse. If you imprison small users, they still need humane care or rehab, with a plan for bigger priorities like the distributors. Saying THING BAD and “screw you” isn’t a plan.

If cub art is condemned there can still be consideration for it being self-generated, or users may be led into it and trying to get out, or they may even include abuse victims who need help. Attacking someone who posts porn they made of themselves isn’t unlike making kids face jail for sexting pictures of themselves. (Read that news story. How is that fair? There are better options. And here’s a story of a minor, “babyfur”, and rape survivor who came to this site for help and understanding. Similar to the guest article author.)

That’s why there are complexities. This is one of those murky, dark topics people don’t want discussed. They just want to shun it. But that doesn’t get rid of it.

People who do age-play as consenting adults are already condemned with a bad reputation, and bringing this up will bring you harassment. Even in an appropriate place with a history of speaking about community things. The guest article was originally meant for [Adjective][Species] but their site went inactive so the author submitted it here instead. That was using the community access function this site often offered to anyone. It can’t be denied that it’s an ongoing topic that didn’t start here. Unlike here, places where it started have uncomplicated promotion for it. But that isn’t why the article was hosted here.

[Adjective][Species] and Inkbunny, a real source for the art, got no real challenge from harassers who targeted this site. But this site was open to discussing how to challenge it, and had a history of doing that.

Welcoming discussion is risky with an audience who don’t give the attention to read a long article about Heavy Stuff. That brought knee-jerk reactions and a communication breakdown. But apologize-and-delete-it doesn’t fix the problem. It keeps communication broken and enables everything from “did you stop beating your wife yet” type of baiting, to appeasing death threats. Harassers who use such tactics aren’t interested in the truth.

The harassment to this site put loyalty above getting to the root of the problem, with zero in return for catching flak for years of work on behalf of others. Ironically, the harassment served trolls who spent a long time pushing false accusations in retaliation for that work. People who pretended to be friends a day earlier then tried to score points with the same false accusations sourced from trolls, such as:

  • They attacked this site for not being a performing monkey with overwhelming amounts of “callouts” that weren’t useable to write news (and senders had no intention of helping with the labor.) These callouts were bait by a small circle of harassers to set up non-participants for new callouts.
  • They falsely claimed the site defended “friends” who weren’t friends, spreading lies about a photo taken with a stranger before knowing about their past. (Notice the post being liked by altfurries who originally started the lie).
  • Facts were ignored and words were put in mouths to harass, especially by playing “telephone game” with outrageously- out-of-context screenshots, then playing ping-pong with each other’s misinterpretations, adding rounding-errors and malicious distortion with each round, and convincing casual bystanders to form a mob.

It was very ironic that this site was bashed way harder than the original smaller target (Timburrs) who actually posted offending art. That was hypocritically carrying out different priorities that were suggested in a few comments that set off the harassment:

  • A post that literally said “pick your battles” about Timburrs was twisted into “pedo” attacks against this site. Suggesting that it was ineffective to blast random individuals as if they were crime bosses was twisted into “you support cub porn”.
  • Casual comments that small individuals were “low-value targets” (in other words, change would come from focus on distributors, instead of bullying single individuals) were twisted into false attacks that this site was chasing clout… ironically projecting what the harassers did.

The original target was passed over, and harassment of this site was encouraged from inside a Discord group by a troll who then deleted their account. The bad-faith callouts piled on manipulation when they pointed at blocking to justify what they did, as if abuse and death threats should be rewarded with apologies.

It’s sad to see no consideration for the difference between describing bad stuff and causing it. When reporters report about murder, they don’t have to say they don’t support murder — saying “Helter Skelter is a good book” isn’t supporting Charles Manson. Looking for understanding to reduce abuse isn’t encouraging it. A great deal of work done by this site shows that this site isn’t for that. It has never had anything to do with cub art.

But many people didn’t even read the article before lashing out. Nobody bothered to dispute for seven months (posted in May) until suddenly attacking in January. Since the article was seen enough, and the harassment was so thoughtless and toxic, it’s now archived or the author may host it.

___________________

Now here’s some feedback about the article that was stopped prematurely. We should have been able to discuss this.

It’s real to describe people using BDSM for coping, where it helps them take control over bad experiences in the past. BDSM isn’t abuse, just like furry art isn’t bestiality (or half the fandom would be targets for attack.) If cub porn is created by people who seek coping too, describing them isn’t excusing it. Of course it’s different because the art has a danger of being an abuse tool. The article said so, but it was a mistake to host the article without emphasizing the unacceptability more strongly. (Nobody bothered to bring it up for fair response when it published.)

That’s how the article is liable to be criticized for too much weaving between condemning abuse, but giving victims a grey area with the idea of a “walled garden” with “policing” inside. Ideally that has good intentions, but less ideally, policing can happen with blind spots or in corrupt ways.

The article talks about policing as a step forward for an imperfect world, with a need for more education. You can say a step forward isn’t enough but the article does recognize a problem. Perhaps it’s the wrong solution when expecting education from general society leaves things too far out of our hands, but at least it describes it. Perhaps it’s better to have an ideal of eliminating the porn with a plan for distributors.

There is no plan. Those who attacked this site for discussing will see history repeat when the problem keeps coming up, and they attack people instead of causes. That’s like putting a pin in a voodoo doll and thinking it solved the problem.

It was a mistake to let bad-faith callout harassers get too close to this site by helping some of them. This helper was crucified for suggesting that one-size-fits-all attacks could use better strategy.

After forgetting their first small target and mobbing this site, many harassers then wildly threw more false accusations at others with thoughtless targeting, excused themselves while attacking critics, excused cub porn users they likedturned on each other, denied involvement, deleted their accounts because of causing so much harm, then demanded to be left alone while realizing they have no plan to make real changes.

A plan is now even less likely.

Ironically, Califur was attacked like this by altfurries who killed the con. Pointless reaction like this helps their plan for a Burned Furs/gamergate/”Pizzagate” attack movement. (See altfurs discuss it: Burned Furs 2.0 Telegram channel.)

In private message to this site, a Califur staffer said:

I can really relate to the guest article thing. The Baby fur panel was used to kill Califur. A fur asked if they could run a panel and it was that panel. I do think “What if” on occasion.

As an important contrast, altfurries aren’t content producers, they’re parasitical on fandom. That’s how rejecting hate groups can work, but if the cub porn is intrinsic and self-generating, then the two problems are apples and oranges and call for different solutions.

What could be a better strategy that doesn’t just hurt people and drag things backwards? There is a way: organizing artists to change their marketplace, and make the art less accessible from the source.

Imagine an artist trade compact with mutual standards for members. This site has often suggested forming an artists guild for that. There are active examples like the Furry Convention Leadership Roundtable and the Furry Writers Guild. But nobody has cared or bothered to try organizing artists, even with growing businesses and websites distributing their stuff.

Instead, things have fallen backwards by using bad-faith harassment, and misleading a mob who didn’t bother verifying what they lashed out at. They didn’t even read the article, or treated it like a Rorschach test, picking out pieces to make false pre-judgement that this site “supports” cub porn and justify vicious harassment. Thoughtless callouts like that will only hurt people. Doing it one-by-one will be an infinite cycle while ironically, platforms will grow from it.  Indie furry platforms will gain users for the targeted content, and outrage-traffic will feed giant social media companies.

For many who sent private support for accommodating discussion, but were too afraid to speak openly, good luck with it.

This site was often asked to help report a heavy load of stories nobody else would handle, until that work was killed by supposed allies. It’s so abusive to do that thing where “I sent you callouts and you didn’t throw huge amounts of unpaid labor into them, be our slave or it means you support ___”. Obviously, with huge amounts of work done on the Zoosadist story that came out in September 2018, this site has to sort by priority but doesn’t support such things. You wouldn’t know it from harassers who dragged it down pointlessly. The fandom has a terminal problem if that’s how things are supposed to work. Until the most extreme zoosadist content trading is illegal, or there’s a plan for getting real policy changes with art sites, or Twitter goes away or takes harassment seriously, these will be lasting problems.

Another “eating their own” story about the game of clout-chasing:






Updated site policy at bottom of the About page:

POLICY NOTE (Updated Feb 2019.) Endorsement is not implied for quotes, tweets, community access guest writing, or other documenting that may appear on Dogpatch Press, and related info gathering elsewhere. In general, writing and sources will be kept secure and as published with all rights reserved. Outside directions to create, alter, or remove content will be declined except in these cases: 1) Factual errors like a wrong name or year. 2) By formal notice such as a lawyer letter. 3) A thoughtful request from one source may be considered. Assume good faith and independence of the site and guests, and use persuasion with no entitlement to labor. Non-response isn’t a statement of belief, affiliation or intentions. Targeting the site with harassment, mass brigading (such as with callout groups or hashtags), putting words in mouths with misquoting or mischaracterizing, and other abusive manipulation (e.g. “gotcha” ambush tactics, “did you stop beating your wife yet”, “silence about ___ means ___” or Catch-22 setups) will never be considered and will be blocked. TL;DR: declining is final and pressure ends conversation. This policy covers accounts connected to or followed by the site and may be cited with no further comment.

Remembering Kim Wall, a journalist who found the best side of furries.

by Patch O'Furr

Furries are on a list of news articles by Kim Wall:

  • How Cubans deliver culture without internet
  • Inside the Ugandan Mall at the Center of China’s East African Investments
  • Asian, queer and dancing defiance: ‘Everything we do now is resistance’
  • When China’s Feminists Came to Washington
  • Ghost Stories: Idi Amin’s torture chambers
  • The Magic Kingdom Meets the Middle Kingdom in Shanghai Disneyland
  • Tour Buses to Sri Lanka’s Battlefields
  • Can This Tiny Island Restore Haitian Tourism?
  • It’s not about sex, it’s about identity: why furries are unique among fan cultures

Does it feel special to be on such an interesting list? It’s on a site for Kim Wall and her work. She was an independent journalist writing about identity, gender, pop-culture, social justice and foreign policy. Tributes from people who knew her paint a portrait of a talented person full of curiosity, who made a warm and lasting impression. Her stories spread that vibe on behalf of their subjects.

This headline understands- “It’s not about sex, it’s about identity: why furries are unique among fan cultures”. The story mentions bad media attention and furries being targets of hate while they celebrate self-expression. In my opinion, we were lucky to get such a good story and it’s one of a handful of the best you can find. This is why to welcome media notice if this little subculture is going to get it.

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A furry look at an abuse story about John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren & Stimpy.

by Patch O'Furr

The animation business joins the  movement, a campaign for awareness of sexual harassment that started with powerful people in Hollywood.

John Kricfalusi, creator of the Ren & Stimpy show that gained a cult and influenced many 1990’s TV cartoons, is subject of a report about grooming and sexual abuse of young girls. They were taken under his wing as aspiring artists.

These aren’t just allegations; when he was around 40 he had an underage girlfriend, as mentioned in a book about him, and his attorney admits it was true.

Ren & Stimpy played at the Spike & Mike Animation fest in the 1990’s. I remember getting my mind blown when the fest toured to my town. It inspired me to do indie stuff (like this news site.) There’s more of a furry connection than just fandom, though.

There’s a general industry connection. Since the #metoo campaign came out in October 2017, I’ve been holding on to an animation story by request due to sensitivity about the climate (nothing more than that). Pro talk on a furry site can be a bit tricky because of general stigma.

There’s a personal story too. I didn’t expect this in 2018, because I hadn’t thought about John K. in a while – but I’m not surprised. In the early 2000’s, I saw blog commenters joke about him being a Svengali to pretty young girl artists (I had no idea about the underage part). 15 years ago, give or take, I went to a party at his house in Ontario and saw something myself there.

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