Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: crime

Arrest of Lee Miller (Foxler) brings a call for witnesses to come forward.

by Patch O'Furr

Report tips to Detective Steve Bishop, Denver Police Department Sex Crimes Unit, 720-913-6903 

In April 2019, Lee Miller, a Colorado man who goes by “Foxler” in the furry fandom, was arrested for enticement of a child. Sources in the legal proceedings think other potential victims may be out there and want to talk to them. (Sex crime charges have protected info, but this site was asked for help and verified a need to share.) Please help if you can bring them forward.

Miller’s Wikifur profile gives an introduction to his history in fandom. In 2017, Dogpatch Press broke news about activity by his Furry Raiders group that went up to coverage in Rolling Stone and Newsweek. (Deeper details are in these loose notes that are being organized by a publisher’s request.)

Miller’s 2019 arrest was for an offense in 2015, before there was public dispute about him. It took time for police to investigate, but the reason was first reported to them as part of research for Aristide’s 2017 Dogpatch Press article.

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Fursuit theft in San Francisco leads to a lion hunt.

by Patch O'Furr

Meet Clumzy Lion from Toronto. He was one of 5,138 furries who came to Biggest Little Fur Con in Reno on June 1-4, 2017. His trip included a night in San Francisco’s popular Fisherman’s Wharf area before flying home.  That’s where he lost his head.  Clumzy’s car was broken into, and they even took his passport so he couldn’t fly.  Being robbed and stuck is much worse than just a sad feline.

Remember a similar fursuit theft that made local news by SFist and Broke-Ass Stuart? More about that below. They’re linked in case they can help.

(Update: thanks to @SFist for sharing the story!)

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Statement about the tragedy in Fullerton, CA.

by Patch O'Furr

Please visit this GoFundMe campaign for expenses for surviving kids.

There has been a lot of talk about a tragedy this weekend in Southern California.

I wanted to say something about these ties:

This is very sad for everyone. There might be unusual headlines about it, but the social connection could happen with a group of workers, students or anyone else. Killing is against everything our little fan group is for. Thanks are due to the OC Register for telling the purpose in the bottom line, with a quote from a local member: “People come to us to get away from the negative stuff in life.” 

This is a niche interest, so when something like this happens, it’s personal tragedy to us beyond just a news story to others. Many members have lost friends or have very close ties to those who did.  Please send thoughts to them, and the surviving kids most of all.

I felt a little responsible for saying something, because of the way things started to happen when news started coming out.  At first, it was just a call to locate a Missing Person (a fur) who was soon located.  I tweeted that and got a high amount of views.

When more came out, I looked into it deeply to write a big story.  I talked to people close to it, with personal knowledge that nobody else had.  Some info came out that was directed to the police.  Then I saw people local to the story asking for space.  They asked for it to be kept as their story, given time to process, and handled by professionals and cops.  That was when I decided this is beyond fan level.  I removed all my tweets and passed on their message.

I think it really is the worst thing that ever happened with ties to this community. It’s not that unusual compared to other crimes that happen in cities, but I think it’s disproportionately big to a niche group.  It might have to do with 2016’s explosion of interest and positive activity as well – things are just growing.

That wasn’t quite the end of it. The OC Register reporter had a lot of conversation with me due to my initial notice.  They were puzzled about what furries are and what they do. Of course they already knew this was part of the story – that wouldn’t be overlooked.  It made a dilemma – I thought that if tabloids were going to exploit this, maybe a real member should say something to real news.

So I sent the best info I could about the definition of “Furry” and referred the reporter to the same local person who I saw asking for space and respect.  I thought he was already doing a good job of handling it.  So when you see Bandit speaking in the piece, it’s not for attention, it’s because he was asked. Remember that he lost friends, like everyone else close to this story, and that’s the real deal.

There were a few missteps from the OC Register piece (nobody said anything about “sensitive” topics,) but Bandit seems to be getting many thank-you’s for doing a good job from local members.  He mentioned turning down other interviews, and I think that’s a good idea. Say it once and let it go.

I have been checking around to see what comes out. I expect tabloids to try riding this, but most of the few I have seen so far seem pretty negligible, and I hope they get little mileage.  They can say there’s weird stuff with misfit people, but nobody did a crime while participating in one of our activities. In the end it’s just between regular humans.

TL;DR: Was going to write a big report. Stopped to let locals and pros process. I think it’s beyond fan level. It’s awful and sad. There hasn’t been anything this bad in fandom before. Let it process and share good words to anyone who lost friends and family.

UPDATE 9/29/16:

Thank you to the OC Register and reporter Scott Schwebke for linking here.  And thank you to Scott for being professional and sensitive, and doing good detective work.  I believe that Scott’s reporting has helped to stop rumors and confusion.  There was a screenshot of a supposed murder confession that was degraded enough that you could see it was shared hundreds or thousands of times, before it was posted out-of-context on some trashy tabloid blogs.  Scott dug up the source and provided context that I think shows it could NOT have been a reasonable clue of real danger before the incident.  Thank you to everyone in the community who stepped up to provide such info to aid police investigation.  Everyone’s concern will help heal this incident to heal in time.

Zarafa’s stolen fursuit found in San Francisco, after big support response.

by Patch O'Furr

san-francisco-furry-zaraffa-cable-carHere’s a nice story of community problem solving.

Any time there’s a furry event in San Francisco, Zarafa Giraffe is there. He gets around so much, that he was the featured image (with me too) when SFGate news mentioned “furries” in a silly little story about “The Most Embarrassing Google Searches” per state.

Zarafa is iconic for SF Bay Area furries.  So it was a shock to hear that his fursuit was stolen:

SAN FRANCISCO FURRIES NOW TARGETS FOR ROBBERY.

That’s very nice personal coverage from Broke-Ass Stuart.  He’s a well known San Francisco personality who does travel writing, news blogging, TV hosting, and even ran for mayor.  The news tip came from Smashwolf.  It made great press, counting the city as a place for the wild and creative, and furries as a unique part of it.

Broke-Ass Stuart linked Dogpatch Press.  There was already a story here about the scene of the crime – a crossover between the subculturally hot Frolic furry party, the big party Bootie, and it’s venue, DNA Lounge.

Drag Queens vs. Furries at a legendary San Francisco Party – January 30, 2016.

The fursuit theft happened with a car break-in.  Furries speculated that they were specially targeted, but consensus held that the carry case was a random target.  There had already been high-profile efforts to reduce car robbery in the neighborhood with assistance from night life venues. NBC News reported about DNA Lounge: “After thieves targeted club staff, performers and guests, the promoters chipped in to hire security guard Jonathan Yancey.” (More at SFist.)

As crushing as the loss was, the stage was set for a very visible search.  (The attention shows what I take as a credo… if you don’t like what the media does, Be The Media.) The hunt was on to find a missing purple giraffe.  He’s a good fursona… how many of those are there?

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Oklacon is canceled, and you might want to call Oklahoma’s Tourism Department.

by Patch O'Furr

Oklahoma Department of Recreation and Tourism: 405-230-8303
Direct line to Dick Dutton – Executive Director:  405-230-8414

oOxlQAc
Oklacon
sounded like a fantastic event. (Here’s interesting coverage from an independent Oklahoma City news blog.)

Now comes sad news that Oklacon is canceled permanently.  The reason appears to involve a tangle of prejudice and bad faith, coinciding with a misbehavior incident.  It came to my attention via Reddit.  More info went out in a final statement that replaces the front page of the con’s official website. I have heard statements from attendees that lead me to share the story, and report their anger and frustration about it.  (Editorial comments here don’t speak for the con.)

Here are points and open questions that stood out to me.

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Who Killed Kathleen Gingers?, by Gary Akins – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Who Killed Kathleen Gingers?, by Gary Akins. Revised edition. Illustrated.
Austin, TX, Furry Logic Productions, February 2010, trade paperback $15.00 (136 pages).

AC01--Who_Killed_Kathleen_Gingers_[cover] (1)For those who object to funny-animal fiction – stories in which there is no reason for the characters to be anthropomorphic animals instead of regular humans – Who Killed Kathleen Gingers? can be easily skipped. For those who don’t mind it as long as the story is well-written, and who like crime noir murder mysteries in the Sam Spade/Philip Marlowe/Shell Scott/Travis McGee tradition, don’t miss Who Killed Kathleen Gingers?

Calico Rock sheriff’s office detective Allan Connell (ferret) is sent to investigate the reported murder of vivacious Hollywood star Kathleen Gingers (mouse) at her palatial Pacific Beach vacation home. When Gingers herself answers the door, it looks like the report was a prank – until Connell and Gingers find a real body, that of Gingers’ murdered private secretary, who looks very much like her.

Whodunit, and why? Does the popular Gingers have enemies? Or did the bland secretary, who was recently hired with nothing much really known about her? Was the secretary killed by mistake for Gingers, and is Gingers still in danger? Connell is faced with the crime noir detective’s usual comic-relief (but not totally incompetent) assistant, mysterious clues, and lots of suspects: an unconvincingly indignant husband, an overly-jealous wife, a too-affable producer and his hysterical associate who is very eager to accuse a particular suspect, a sultry mistress with a secret, the vengeful father of a long-dead friend 


Akins writes the right crime noir prose:

“The ocelot-fem was lying face-down on a beach towel by the edge of the pool, head cradled in her arms, sunning herself. She was sleek and well-toned, with graceful legs that went from firm, muscular thighs down to slender ankles and feet. The black and silver of the bikini pants made a nice contrast against her black-spotted, golden-yellow fur, and as near as I could tell that was about their only real contribution since the cut of the cloth left an extremely generous portion of each shapely buttock exposed to view. Her tail lay mostly limp along one leg, the tip twitching slowly every so often. Her fur had been carefully brushed and combed to a healthy, appealing luster, and I just stood there for a moment, appreciating the overall view of her.” (p. 39)

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Who Wacked Roger Rabbit? – book review by Fred Patten.

by kiwiztiger

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Who Wacked Roger Rabbit?, by Gary K. Wolf.
Colorado Springs, CO, Musa Publishing, December 2014, trade paperback $14.00 (306 pages).

who-wacked-roger-rabbitThis is the third “Roger Rabbit” novel by Gary K. Wolf in 30+ years. The first, Who Censored Roger Rabbit? (St. Martin’s Press, October 1981), was bought by Walt Disney Productions and turned into the considerably different animated feature Who Framed Roger Rabbit (June 1988). (For example, there is no Toontown; Roger talks through speech balloons; does not spray his P’s; and he is killed in the novel.) The movie was a mega-hit, and Wolf wrote a second novel, Who P-P-P-Plugged Roger Rabbit (Villiard Books, August 1991) that was not as much a sequel as a movie media tie-in. The title emphasized Roger’s distinctive stutter from the movie, and the dust jacket showed Roger and his wife Jessica as they appear in the Disney cartoon design in the movie. But the second novel’s new background was not that of either the first novel nor of the movie.

Now Wolf has written a third novel. Who Wacked Roger Rabbit? seems betwixt & between the first two. The date is 1947 or ’48, when “Walter Windchill” and “Luella Parslips” are still active gossip columnists.

Eddie Valiant, the private eye, is the hard-boiled narrator. “Me and my smog machine rattled our way down Sunset Boulevard to Columbia Studios, the toniest movie lot in Hollywood, where the bungalows are painted with the pixie dust that coats silver screens and the streets are paved with pure movie gold. A schmoe like me rarely gets an invite to a top shop like this. My gumshoes stick to the seamier sidewalks of Tinsel Town.” (p. 3)

Columbia is about to make a new movie starring Gary Cooper, but a deliberate change from his usual Westerns and sophisticated roles. Producer Barney Sands (a human) explains to Eddie that it’s to be set in Toontown, with Coop playing a low-class human living there.

“‘Coop will immerse himself in his role, actually living the life of the character he plays. I want him to hang out in Toontown. Get inside the heads of his Toon co-stars, find out what makes them tick. Use those emotions to structure his own performance.’ Sands flipped his Zip and lit another cigarette. I never saw a guy smoke so fast. Like he had a pair of suction fans inside him instead of lungs. ‘The end result will be sensational. The new Cooper. Crude, basic, and untamed. Giving a performance that delivers a punch straight to the gut.’
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Mask/hood bans: Haters love this excuse for war on fun and freedom.

by Patch O'Furr

3RANT! Sometimes, you don’t know how good it is to have tolerance, until you see it taken away from others.

In Vermont, fursuiters were mingling with crowds at a Mardi Gras celebration.  They were high-fiving people and making them feel like they were in magical unicorn-land, like fursuiters do.  Then a town official with a Sequoia up his butt decided that fun should be illegal. Or they weren’t paying the Smile Tax. Or whatever.

Vermont town selectively bans fursuiters: Prejudice complaint and update.

Here’s what happened since:  The sad fursuiters patiently worked with the town, trying to jump through their hoops to get permits.  The town officials stroked their Hitler mustaches, and came up with this scheisse:

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The Great Catsby, by Linda Stewart – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.download

The Great Catsby, by Linda Stewart
NYC, Cheshire House Books, September 2013, trade paperback $10.95 (143 [+ 1] pages).

This is the fourth novel in Stewart’s Sam the Cat series, officially children’s fantasies but often Edgar and Agatha Award mystery-fiction nominees. Stewart’s first, Sam the Cat: Detective (February 1993), was a generic hard-boiled mystery fantasy-parody, with Sam, one of a mystery-bookshop’s cats (the other is Sue, Sam’s sassy secretary), hired by an apartment building’s housecat to find their real human burglar and keep the apartment’s custodian from being framed. The next two novels, The Big Catnap (August 2000) and The Maltese Kitten (December 2002), were specific pastiches of The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939) and The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1929), with Sam standing in for Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade, who practically defined the crime-noir private eye genre. Not exactly kids’ stuff. The Maltese Kitten also won the Cat Writers’ Association’s 2003 Muse Award in the Best Juvenile Fiction category.

Stewart seemed to run out of famous crime-noir mysteries to parody after 2002. But, eleven years later, here is The Great Catsby. Presumably you know what this is a pastiche of, even if you haven’t read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age classic. Not exactly a hard-boiled mystery, and still not exactly kids’ stuff; but it does get the series moving again.

“The first time I saw Catsby he was sitting atop a diving board and staring across a swimming pool at a lantern hung from a tree. It was one of those green paper Japanese lanterns and it flashed, in the local distance, like the light of an alien star. Of course I didn’t know he was Catsby then, or anything else about him. By his looks, he was nothing special – just a pleasantly yellow fellow with a curve at the tip of his tail. What impressed me had been his gaze – an almost laser-like concentration – and the stillness that seemed to surround him the way a halo surrounds a saint.” (p. 1)

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Furries, self-esteem, and identity: perspective from a psychologist

by Patch O'Furr

‘If everybody’s doing it, it’s probably wrong’.

From The man who destroyed America’s ego: How a rebel psychologist challenged one of the 20th century’s biggest – and most dangerous – ideas:

“FOR MUCH OF HUMAN HISTORY, our beliefs have been based on the assumption that people are fundamentally bad. Strip away a person’s smile and you’ll find a grotesque, writhing animal-thing. Human instincts have to be controlled, and religions have often been guides for containing the demons. Sigmund Freud held a similar view: Psychotherapy was his method of making the unconscious conscious, helping people restrain their bestial desires…”

Furries: Do you like your fursona? Do you have higher self-esteem, and feel happier and better with it?

Or do you represent “bestial desires” of a “grotesque, writhing animal-thing?” Are you fundamentally bad, and need to restrain what you are inside?

The 1960’s brought an alternative movement of self-esteem, dedicated to boosting “unconditional positive regard” for the self. Education and public policy has now become deeply supportive for this. But there are dissidents to this, too. Meet Roy Baumeister.

ego
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