The appearance of at least four mutilated cat corpses could be the work of a feline serial killer here in Northampton.
That is according to the London based organisation SNARL, which has been investigating a spree of attacks on family pets since the so-called Croydon Cat Killer emerged in 2014.
Last Sunday, horrific mutilated bodies of two more family pets were left in a black bin liner in Bants Lane, Duston.
The incident comes little more than a month after two feline bodies were discovered in the Kingsley area, mutilated in much the same way.
In September, the owners of 15-year-old Topsy found the mutilated animal outside their front door on Brookfield Road.
Days before that a teenage girl had found another cat, Rusty, dumped in a plastic bag on her doorstep with its ears, head and limbs cut off.
The family’s other cat died after being set on fire a couple of days earlier.
South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL) founder Tony Jenkins worked with the victims of the Kingsley attacks and was given permission to take the bodies away for postmortem examination.
While SNARL has had limited contact with the victims of the Duston attacks, he believes early reports suggest there is a link.
“Both sets of forensics (from the Kingsley attacks) suggest it is most likely to be the same person,” he added.
“We can’t comment as to whether these latest ones were a victim of the same killer yet.”
Mr Jenkins did say that on the face of it, the latest attacks bear the hallmarks of the so-called Croydon cat killer.
They could also be the work of a deranged imitator.
The mutilated heads of the animals believed to have been victims of the Croydon Cat Killer are often not found but, certainly in the case of the Kingsley attacks, the head has been placed inside a plastic bag with the rest of the cat’s remains.
“It could be a local copycat, or it could be linked to our guy,” said Mr Jenkins.
“The Northampton cases are slightly different in that all the parts cut off have been put into a bag
“Usually we would not find the head.
“Even with the postmortem evidence, it is difficult to say whether it is the same person.
“I would like to think there is only the one psychopath going around doing this.
“But maybe someone in Northampton heard of the Croydon cat killer and thought: ‘I could do that, just slightly different.’”
Northamptonshire Police has reported the Kingsley attacks to the Metropolitan Police, which is carrying out a major investigation into the Croydon killer.
SNARL says it wants to hear from anyone who works in a B&B or hotel in Northampton to get in touch if they had a guest that “aroused suspicion” over the weekend of October 7 and 8.
Calls can be made to Northamptonshire Police on 101. SNARL can be called on 07957830490 or 07961030064.
RSPCA NEEDS TO 'WAKE UP' SAYS SNARL
Mr Jenkins has accused the RSPCA of burying its head in the sand over the spree of cat killings.
The animal charity’s reaction to the latest attacks in Duston prompted an angry response from SNARL and Chronicle & Echo readers this week, when a statement appeared to suggest the attacks could have been the work of wildlife.
The statement read: “This predation can leave a very clean wound which can easily be confused with a knife wound.”
But Mr Jenkins said the RSPCA needed to wake up to the possibility of a serial cat killer on the loose.
“A fox wouldn’t put a cat in a bag,” he said. “This is a response the RSPCA is giving to a number of similar news items.”