Amanda Westerman

Amanda Westerman was the first St Petersburg police officer assigned to the case once it had been established that Amy had been killed deliberately. Young, and with maybe three to four years experience on the street, she also appeared to be a cat lover. She told me how she had paid $600, I think, to buy a couple of cats at a cat show that she thought were being mistreated.

She did a lot of the preliminary and essential work, such as tracking down the witnesses (who had made the call to the St Petersburg Police Department that had been originally ignored), getting all the necropsy information from Noah’s Place, the veterinary hospital which Amy had been taken to, and she also contacted Animal Services and obtained a list of all registered animals in the zip code 33713, which covers the Historic Kenwood neighborhood, over the past three years.

However, when the case got some attention in the media, it was decided by the SPPD that Officer Westerman would no longer be the principle investigator on the case, and it was handed over to Officer Libby Roeser, who had more experience.

Based on the limited interaction that I had with Officer Westerman, I was impressed, especially with the data that she collected. In an ideal world and with hindsight, I would have preferred her to have remained the principle investigator, for the following reasons:

1. young and full of enthusiasm, maybe less jaded than a more experienced officer
2. well disposed towards felines
3. apparently well regarded in the department, she appears to have been off patrol since late 2008 (according to the St Petersburg Crimes web site, and being sent out only for computer crime cases, which leads me to believe that she may have a particularly analytical mind

This is certainly no way denigrates Officer Roeser’s ability.

St Pete Police, as with most agencies will pay overtime to officers for special events, like security and traffic for baseball games. If it was possible to hire an off duty officer for investigative work, then I’d probably choose Amanda Westerman to pursue the case against Amy’s killer.

Historic Kenwood and St Petersburg’s Hard Hearts

I was just thinking. If Amy’s head had been as hard as the hearts of the people of St Petersburg, she would have survived.

Since the crime, only one person in St Petersburg offered any additional reward money. That was Sandy Ewing, former president of Historic Kenwood Neighborhood Association. He offered $100. No one else that I can identify from this city offered a cent. Someone who has a business in St Petersburg but resides in Bradenton did.

More about this on some later date.

Officer Libby Roeser

Officer Libby Roeser was the second St Petersburg Police Department Officer assigned to case to find Amy’s killer. With 17 years experience, many of it as a detective, on paper she looked like the person to do the job. Amanda Westerman, the first officer, had only three years experience, I believe. When the case hit the media, my feeling is that the higher ups in the SPPD decided that a more experienced officer was required. However, even Officer Roeser admitted that someone like Officer Westerman would be out there full of beans and “pounding the pavement”.

Officer Roeser did follow up on the leads that I gave her from tips from the public, however, the quality of these is variable, but that is not my fault. One tip led us to a guy who actually got arrested for a series of bank robberies, though I don’t really think it was him. He had a rottweiler if I recall correctly but no dachshund. He may have been shorter than the described suspect. The witnesses weren’t able to pick him out from the Photo Pack.

She also spoke to a local kid who walked his friend’s dachshund but said he “denied all involvement” and didn’t match the description. A official description I have never seen because police reports are not available to the public.

She was surprised when I revealed to her that Pinellas County Animal Services had produced a list of all animals registered in our zip code at Officer Westerman’s request. “Westerman did that!?” she exclaimed. She was keen to see that list and gave me her private email to send it to her. St Petersburg Police better get their act together and allow officers to have email addresses. As well, maybe Officer Westerman should have documented her request to Animal Services. Or perhaps she did, and Officer Roeser didn’t see it.

And why do Police Officers refer to each other by last name like that? I think it is the military command structure thing.

I don’t think she acquired any leads of her own. When I called her later in 2008, about three months after last having contact with her, she didn’t return my calls. I finally contacted Jeff Danner, my local councillor, to complain. Officer Roeser called back that day. She obviously had given up on the case. I asked her about the list from Animal Services and she ridiculed the idea that she would have to go looking for every “domestic short hair” Well, DSHs are usually cats not dogs.

But, I think she did a fair job. The St Pete police department has its priorities and getting violent people off the streets doesn’t appear to be one of them. Hot Dog Vendors, yes, but killers, perhaps not. On paper, I could have lodged a complaint of “inefficiency” because she didn’t return my calls, but it is no big deal.

I sent her a Christmas card thanking her for her work and I will rate her 6.5 out of 10.

John Makholm

John Makholm is a former police chief who now works as an attorney representing police officers, their unions and agencies. He contacted me when the article about my St Pete Crimes web site appeared in the St Petersburg Times. He asked me what time the culprit was seen walking down the street, which I thought unusual since it had occurred a long time ago. I placed a call to him a few weeks after that, which wasn’t returned, but today did get thru to him. He didn’t sound that interested but said his reasoning was that people do have patterns or habits that they stick to.

I told him that I was aware of that, but in all my time of observing since, hadn’t seen anyone with a dachshund matching that description.

In a previous email I did offer to help him with the SEO of his site if he could help me. There are a few typos there as well.

He is probably a good guy, but probably too busy to actively help on this case.

St Petersburg Police Department Investigation

After the original 911 call which was routed through the Pinellas County 911 center to St Petersburg Police Department Communications Division, apparently no officer was dispatched, though the Police say there was.

On April 14 I called in again, and Officer Amanda Westerman, a young officer of some three years experience was dispatched and met me at my home. After the publicity emerged in the newspapers, TV and radio, another Officer, Libby Roeser, was assigned to the case, replacing Officer Westerman. Later in the year, after we approached Deputy Mayor Tish Elston about the case, a Sergeant Smith was working on it.

I will examine the performance of all these individuals in subsequent posts. Until then, I will say that they at least did a fair job, so won’t be condemning anyone for “inefficiency”.

Did Pinellas Count Animal Services’ Linda Britland lie?

I saw this in a Panhandle newspaper web site:

Man beats cat to death

The interesting thing is the second last sentence which says: Bay County Animal Control took over the case.

When I asked Pinellas Count Animal Services’ field enforcement manager Linda Britland if they could investigate Amy’s case, she said it was a “police matter” and her agency couldn’t be involved. Even to my request that her operatives, while driving around the field, keep an eye out for the perp, she said it wasn’t their job to do that sort of thing. I looked up the Florida Statute and it looks like it is their job to do that sort of thing.

When the police asked me to ask her to provide a list of registered dachshunds in St Petersburg, specifically the zip code just south of here where the majority of citizens are black, she told me that she would get back to me. She didn’t, and didn’t respond to my followup attempt to contact her either. Who knows where the $7000 worth of taxes I pay to Pinellas County each year goes then huh? Not to customer service, apparently.

Tenth Anniversary

Ten years ago today, Amy was rescued by me from Tompkins County SPCA in Ithaca, NY.

I have also disabled comments on this blog today, as it was getting to be a bit of a spam target. If you want to comment, please use the contact form on the main Siamese cat killing site, and I will add it on the blog or the comments page there.

Since my last posting, I have set up a site St Petersburg Police Department Crime Reports, which will bring attention to the crime rate problem here in St Pete, Florida, and specifically to the killing of Amy.

At some stage, in the near future I hope, I will be writing a full assessment of the whole event and the performance of Saint Petersburg and its Police Force.

Leah Moody

I contacted one of our local news anchors:

Dear Ms Moody

Marissa Segundo of the SPCA suggested that I get in touch with you. She said, that being a cat / animal lover you may be able to help me.

Back in April my cat was beaten and killed by a man in the street. The crime was witnessed and 911 was called but so far the police don’t have any suspects. You can read about it all at a web site that I have set up,

The man was distinctive in that he was young skinny black man with a dachshund on a leash. This description was not made available earlier in the year when it was in the media. We will be distributing flyers to parents and older children on Friday when they come to get candy urging them to Catch A Real Monster This Halloween.

Is there any way you can help us to get this description out on Bay News 9

From The Lunatic Fringe

It had to come. All the contact I have received has been sympathetic up until now. Then I got this email from some crummy little town in Romania (the same people that brought you Vlad the Impaler , Nicolae CeauÅŸescu, and an alliance with the Nazis in World War 2).

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by Who Killed Amy? Contact Form Submission ( on Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 22:00:35

clientname: wickerman

phone: 666

Comment: you look like a gay. your “kitten” was killed? i hope it was with cruelty, because all the cats must die. Die you and your bastard creatures. In hell with you and with your cats. I’m very happy, and i’m glad he suffer very very much.

I googled the email address and it belongs to some guy called Cipciri Adrian in Oradea, Romania. He owns a couple of porno web sites. It may not have been him who sent me the contact. Unless he is stupid (putting his email in the contact form) or someone is posing as him. Whoever it is is from Oradea, as that is where visits to my site came from on that day.

A knew a Romanian guy back in the 90s. He was OK, so I am sure that this porn webmaster is just another desperate loser. All countries have them.

I emailed Adrian and he did respond to me. It turns out a cat bit his uncle at some point and the uncle died of rabies. I told him his beef should be with rabies, not with cats.

His email:

yes i am evil with cats, i see my uncle die from rabbia, from a cat.
now you are happy?

My reply:


I am sorry about your uncle.

But hate rabies then. A cat with rabies cannot be blamed for biting your uncle, any more than if it were a dog, bat, skunk, rabbit or a raccoon. Do you hate all those animals too? Even people can give people rabies. Rabies makes animals and people crazy.