Archive for Monday, December 17, 2012

Police respond to animal cruelty complaint at KU fraternity

December 17, 2012


Lawrence police Friday night were called to the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, 1425 Tennessee St., to investigate an animal cruelty complaint involving a turkey, said Lawrence Police Sgt. Trent McKinley.

Police determined that a live turkey had been in a cage during a party the house was hosting.

Witnesses reported that the turkey had been "poked by individuals through the cage and heckled during the evening," McKinley said. The turkey was also "chased and abused by several individuals present at the party, seriously injuring the animal."

Someone killed the turkey, "stating he did so to end its suffering," McKinley said.

No one was arrested, but police have forwarded the investigation to the Douglas County District Attorney's Office for possible charging.

Representatives from the chapter did not return calls or emails.


Jeremiah Jefferson 4 years, 9 months ago

Uh yeah, not that I ever had any respect for the Beta Theta Pi fraternity to start with, but they just reinforced what I thought about them all along with this incident. What a bunch of cowards. I bet mom and dad are real proud. If it was me, I'd make em eat the damn thing, guts, feathers and all.

Topple 4 years, 9 months ago

Which frat is worthy of respect? Haven't seen one yet.

Bailey Perkins 4 years, 9 months ago

It's called Turkey Pull.

Thought they ended the 'live' turkey festivities years ago.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

You should hear what they do to the pledges. Around this time of year, they go several sleepless nights before this stupid holiday party just to weave a giant wall of evergreen limbs through chicken wire...

That's after several months of mandatory silent servitude, punctuated by being yelled at in their underwear before bed like army recruits. I have all this on expert authority and assure you, hazing is alive and well at 1425 Tennessee...

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Well, it didn't seem like there was much of a "cut" to make; my friend and roommate who left in protest mid-fall of his freshman year said that his pledge class had several morons unfit for college who had to be tutored by their more academically proficient pledge brothers...Am I bitter over how he was treated? Sure; anyone with half a brain and conscience would be...

I take it you "made the cut?" Billybob and FIshandGame, some of Beta's Best and Brightest...

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Wouldn't you like to know...sufficed to say he's out East, doing work of high character, and his achievements likely top those of just about anyone to come out of that frat in the past 20 years.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Seriously, billybob? That's about the pettiest thing I've ever read...

Yeah, I'm calling for some scrutiny of an institution that has abused young men for decades. It's a bit more than yelling -- there's silent servitude and loads of other B.S...Obviously, K.U. would be much improved if they could actually make the fraternities as transparent and upstanding as the sororities. "Devote your life"...because I posted about these abuses in a web forum?

"I guess that and your two cats keep your pathetic life fulfilled. I will chose to fill my holidays with the joy of helping others, while you will be looking for the next successful person to bash. "

Wow. So my owning cats means that you can just assign the stereotype of a single curmudgeon who resents wealth and achievement... nevermind that I mentioned the wife, kids, and sufficient success to give to charitable causes...

So just what work do you do to find "joy of helping others"? Do you volunteer at shelters or soup kitchens? Somehow that's hard to picture. But if you really mean that you're ending this dialogue to go find such joy, by all means.

Steve Bunch 4 years, 9 months ago

Deplorable behavior obviously, but how does one heckle a turkey?

sleepy33 4 years, 9 months ago

It's mostly Butterball taunts, shouted warnings not to look up when it's raining, stuff like that.

Bud Stagg 4 years, 9 months ago

They've been doing this for over 50 years. It's their annual christmas party named "turkey pull". Catfish, the Beta house at KU is probably the best Fraternity in the Country. They lead the campus every year in grades and sports and charity. They don't allow women above the second floor except during parties like this one (maybe twice a year). As a General rule, they don't party much. About as sharp a group as there could be on any campus. I bet their GPA is higher than most scholarship houses. I bet their percentage of doctors, lawyers, and high end exectives is higher per capita than any group on campus. How do I know? I'm not a beta, but I work with about 500 greek organizations accross the country every year.

Tim Quest 4 years, 9 months ago

It's true, the Betas are - IN GENERAL - good guys. Sounds like some very poor decisions were made over there, though.

Clickker 4 years, 9 months ago

Still, they should identify they guys who abused the Turkey and they should be kicked out of the house. Thats pretty juvenile to do that to the bird...what were they trying to do...impress their dates?

Biff1425 4 years, 9 months ago

That's what makes me sick to think of the sorority girls going along with it. Kappas and Pi Phi's no doubt. Sheep.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Oh please. There are always some excellent men there, but I'd fiercely contend that Beta did not make those men excellent; the collective animal in those walls is without a doubt a very sick one. You should judge a fraternity by what goes on behind closed doors in the wee hours, not how many high achievers got roped in and then were too socially invested to leave. And for every Phi Bi Kappa member, there at least as many backwoods Bluto's...

parrothead8 4 years, 9 months ago

So why didn't a single one of them stop what was happening before the turkey had to be killed? Of all these fine young men in the "best Fraternity in the Country," as you claim, nobody had the common decency to speak up before the fact and say, "Uh, guys? This is not a good idea. Maybe we should re-think this."

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

They had to stop that kind of individualistic thinking back when they pledged. Or, for those who still have some vestigial shreds of conscience, they avert their eyes and pretend not to be complicit in what the drunken Bluto's of the house do. This sort of denial also comes in mighty handy when witnessing the uglier aspects of the hazing program...

KiferGhost 4 years, 9 months ago

Yes, the doors that open when one is connected through the frat system.

zheisler 4 years, 9 months ago

Nobody cares how long Beta Theta Pi Kansas Chapter has been partaking in this ritual. If anything, the fact that they have done this more than fifty times just makes them guilty of more than fifty accounts of cruel murders of innocent turkeys. Being the “best fraternity in the country” is not an accomplishment. All that means to people that are not in Greek houses is that they have gotten caught misbehaving less than other fraternities. Leading the campus in grades and fundraising does not excuse them from acting like imbeciles when they get drunk. Nobody cares that they don’t allow women upstairs. Nobody cares how often members of Beta Theta Pi at the University of Kansas party. You don’t have to be a doctor or lawyer to be successful. The issue at hand is that they committed a crime. None of your points excuse them from that. The people involved in this “Turkey Pull” deserve appropriate punishments, no matter how rich and white they may be.

golfdude 4 years, 9 months ago

The turkey stays in the cage on the porch. this is the first time it has gotten out and been harmed. it's not some repeated sacrificial ritual like you are trying to make it out to be.

Biff1425 4 years, 9 months ago

None of that matters JoeHawk. Torturing an innocent animal for your own self-indulgent pleasure is wrong. I agree with the amount of professionals coming out of the Beta house. In fact, wasn't Bernie Madoff a Beta?

estespark 4 years, 9 months ago

They also led the campus in animal cruelty.

nhud 4 years, 9 months ago

Well, you failed to mention that they tout themselves as being "men of principle" but this hardly supports that or your ingratiatingly insensitive comments. This story isn't about what a superior frat this is, it is a story about making an animal suffer which typically isn't the behavior of such superior beings.

fourkitties 4 years, 9 months ago

With this on their record it will be hard to get those jobs.

Missingit 4 years, 9 months ago

The highest GPA comment reminds of the Lamda Lamda Lamda from Revenge of the Nerds. Was UN Jefferson at this party? Perhaps booger??

MarcoPogo 4 years, 9 months ago

Looks like a certain house needs to be put on Double Secret Probation.

geekin_topekan 4 years, 9 months ago

Never heard of a homeless person being cruel to animals.

Ku students, a far bigger problem than the homeless could ever dream of becoming.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for finding that. Here's the more detailed portion:

"Witnesses at the fraternity house at 1425 Tennessee St. in Lawrence told The Star they saw several fraternity brothers kick in a cage holding a live turkey. The turkey was rented for the evening and was not scheduled to be slaughtered.

When the men broke the cage, the turkey fled and raced through the dance crowd of about 150 people. It was allegedly chased, thrown like a football and choked by the neck. When the turkey’s wing snapped, and then its leg, the animal began screaming. A drummer playing in the band jumped off the bandstand and begged the college students to let her have the bird.

'They told me it was none of my business,' said Lisa McKenzie, whose blues band, Grand Marquis, was hired to play the house’s formal dinner party. The group has played this same traditional party for several years."

Charming. Also gotta love how they closed ranks at the end, essentially telling her "You didn't see anything..." So the turkey is obviously an easy scapegoat for all that repressed rage that finally boils over once these reprobates have had too much liquor to conceal their collective pathology...

But do KU and Lawrence authorities really want to know where this bullying arrogance and sadistic groupthink comes from? Do they really want to turn over the rock and find out just what these young men do to each other that would make them treat a defenseless animal this way?

I doubt it. If authorities were actually curious, they could just find some of the men who have left the house over hazing over the years -- I imagine there are dozens out there.

GUMnNUTS 4 years, 9 months ago

Thanks to the KC Star for publishing a real article on this, good job ljw.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 4 years, 9 months ago

They are obviously the best and brightest lords of darkness in the universe. Let them torture the world and all the life it has to give.

They need practice and understanding in the management of their killing fields and reign of darkness.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Sure, a turkey's life is cheap, but then they aren't usually subject to being batted around like volleyballs until their limbs snap. I guess "cruel and unusual" is a foreign concept to a guy named billybob?

FishandGame 4 years, 9 months ago

The turkey was trying to get away most likely. Turkey in a house with 150 people is going to get hurt. Thrown like a football more likely just grabbed and then flew away. Have any of you seen a turkey farm or chicken farm, that is abuse. Enough to make us all Vegetarians. The incident was an accident. The men at beta tried to catch the turkey to stop it from getting hurt or hurting someone. That turkey is treated like a god. Move on no story here.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

"The men at beta tried to catch the turkey to stop it from getting hurt or hurting someone. That turkey is treated like a god."

Nice giveaway. So I take it you're a Beta, but obviously not their president nor anyone who they would actually elect to make statements or conduct external relations. A little P.R. (and grammar) 101: "Move on no story here" is not only an idiotic run-on, but has the opposite effect on the reader, emphasizing not only that you're a clumsy partisan apologist, but that you're desperate to divert attention from a very real story that's already beyond your oafish control...

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Good one, brah. Now tell him one about his mom...

repaste 4 years, 9 months ago

Only Greek boys call Fratters "men" Sorority girls and the rest of us call them "boys". You gave yourself away Fishy.

like_n_Lawrence 4 years, 9 months ago

I have an idea. Lets break the legs and arms of those idiots involved and let them scream as they flail around in pain for a couple of hours. Woo hoo!! Now, THAT sounds like a good time. I think I would be willing to spend time in jail just to be a part of something like that. What a bunch of jerks. Truely unbelievable. I think everyone in the room should be ashamed for life and everyone kicked out of the university. Every day of your life you will remember the inhumane treatment you all caused an innocent turkey. I guess speaking for those weaker than yourselves is lost on the likes of you. Live with that.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

LOL. You go from "most likely" to:

"The incident was an accident. The men at beta tried to catch the turkey to stop it from getting hurt or hurting someone. That turkey is treated like a god. Move on no story here."

Sorry, Beta boy, but you're about as good at tamping down a story as your frat brothers were good at handling the turkey. But please, carry on with your "Move on no story here" pigeon-English; it's all quite amusing...

Pal 4 years, 9 months ago

This is insane! How could anyone heckler a turkey? Hecklering the innocent is not right.

It would have been much nicer had they thrown it out of a plane like on WKRP in Cincinnati.

FishandGame 4 years, 9 months ago

We all know what really happened. "Mob mentality". No just a bunch of guys trying to catch the turkey before it sliced someone's neck. "Choked by the neck" how else do you grab a turkey? "Thrown". More likely grabbed and flew. We all know the intention was not to harm the turkey.

Jill Jevens 4 years, 9 months ago

You've got to be kidding. Quit making excuses for them. That turkey could have ended up alive and safely returned as they promised on 6News the prior evening. It's not that hard to keep a turkey alive. Something is very wrong with these young men, and it's time to stop diminishing how inappropriately they conducted themselves. They tortured it in the name of fun.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

What "we all know" is that these were drunken idiots mishandling a bird whose cage they shouldn't have smashed, and who apparently were having great fun with their hapless fumbling of a life deemed totally expendable...

And we know a young woman whose band has played this gig for several years decided that regardless of losing Beta as a client, she needed to intervene.

Just save your boys-will-be-boys shrugging for the district attorney.

nhud 4 years, 9 months ago

AND PETA! I spoke to this chapter's national offices and they are more than a little ashamed as well these "men of principle" should be. They allege they will "investigate".

phoggyjay 4 years, 9 months ago

What a bunch of pathetic losers. Hopefully charges will be brought against those who are responsible.

Topple 4 years, 9 months ago

For these dips**t frat boys, everything is disposable. It's what happens when you're born with a silver spoon in your mouth and have your parents cleaning up your infantile messes for the first 30 years of your life. No one will be held responsible.

lionheart72661 4 years, 9 months ago

It's animal cruelty no matter how you look at it and someone needs to be held responsible.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Wow, billybob -- so very clever. Sadly, kids plus 2 cats is all I can handle, but I do give money to the Lawrence Humane Society, a no-kill shelter. Yeah, I have a good a friend who left this house, so calling out their abuses, both animal and human, is my pet project for the night. Care to guess how many things on this list the Betas do? I think you'd have a better idea than most...

Bud Stagg 4 years, 9 months ago

Ok, I'll admit they abused this bird and that was wrong. Why don't we just shoot them? Obviously they are a complete waste of skin.

They are a good group of young men who obviously had too much to drink and some of them acted like jerks.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

"Why don't we just shoot them? Obviously they are a complete waste of skin."

That's a nice false dichotomy from which you pivot back to minimizing language and apologism...Listen: I'm not saying that any individuals involved are beyond redemption. I'm saying the organization is sick to its core, and if you knew what their pledge program consisted of, you'd have no choice but to agree. They even thump their chests in private that they're the oldest and hazing-est frat on campus. Unfortunately, the quality of the men who they attract and who you've been impressed by is just the more palatable tip of an iceberg, and this "jerk" behavior is not at all limited to drunken parties. You simply can't vouch for a house with only superficial and anecdotal impressions.

BlueWaffle 4 years, 9 months ago

This is a common list of traits of psychopaths. Nothing more to say but much implied. Superficial charm and average intelligence. Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking. Absence of nervousness or neurotic manifestations. Unreliability. Untruthfulness and insincerity. Lack of remorse or shame. Antisocial behavior without apparent compunction. Poor judgement and failure to learn from experience. Pathological egocentricity and incapacity to love. General poverty in major affective reactions. Specific loss of insight. Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations. Fantastic and uninviting behavior with drink, and sometimes without. Suicide threats rarely carried out. Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated. Failure to follow any life plan.

Biff1425 4 years, 9 months ago

I read the KC Star article to my 12 year old daughter who burst into tears when she heard what these guys did to this poor creature. Glad to know she feels empathy for all of God's creatures. I had to explain to her that sometimes when people lack confidence they have to pick on something weaker so they can feel superior. I hope these soft Beta boys now feel better about themselves . I love picturing possible scenarios involving karmic retribution .

LWbored 4 years, 9 months ago

These students must be kicked out of KU or at least this frat. Unacceptable behavior.

skinny 4 years, 9 months ago

How come we have to read the Kasnas City paper to read the whole story. What is wrong with the LJWorld they can even write a simple news atricle about a turckey????

akt2 4 years, 9 months ago

Two of the band members were on Fox4 news this morning describing what happened. So thanks to a bunch of drunken heathens, their little frat house is involved in an ugly situation. Merry Christmas frat boys. I hope your families serve turkey for Christmas dinner.

happyrock 4 years, 9 months ago

Just another crummy local band trying to get some publicity.

Jeremiah Jefferson 4 years, 9 months ago

Good, productive standouts? Yeah, thats exactly who I want opening my chest cavity for surgery, or representing me in court, or designing airliners; someone who thought it would be funny to get plowed and torture a turkey like a savage. They are nothing more than cowards in my eyes.

patkindle 4 years, 9 months ago

This sounds like something the heathen Antlers from Mizzou would pull off. Not our precious little angels here in Lawrence,

Centerville 4 years, 9 months ago

Looks like some men are going to be looking for another place to live next semester. And, if they weren't black-out drunk, will be haunted by the memory of what they did.

MarcoPogo 4 years, 9 months ago

When is the house scheduled to be burned down?

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

It belonged to J.P. Usher, Lincoln's Secretary of the Interior. So I'd suggest they dowse it with enough disinfectant to help wash away the past 100 years' worth of disgrace and then make it an honors dormitory.

FlintHawk 4 years, 9 months ago

"Solomon 1 hour, 24 minutes ago: Who knew you could rent a turkey?"

And WHY is there a business that rents turkeys? Do they have any culpability? What do they think people do with rented turkeys? Specifically, what do they think a bunch of teenage frat boys do with a rented turkey?

Something smells bad about the rent-a-turkey business.

nhud 4 years, 9 months ago

Let them learn that actions have consequences.

geekin_topekan 4 years, 9 months ago

" Did_I_say_that 16 hours, 7 minutes ago

However, cruelty to turkeys - or the lack thereof - is seldom used as a measure of a person's contribution(s) to society."


From what I can tell, in terms of man power, time, resources, KU students are a far greater drain on public resources than the homeless could ever dream of becoming.

This is not the first case of KU students committing animal crimes. If I remember. there was one who was jailed for sodomizing a dog not long ago. How much did that cost the rest of us ?

When was the last time a homeless person murdered his girlfriend on Michigan St.?

When was the last time a homeless person mowed down an innocent in his car?

When was the last time a homeless person mutilated a woman's genitals?

Student behavior is a far greater menace than the homeless could ever pretend to pose.

happyrock 4 years, 9 months ago

You will all be happy to know that I made a few calls and have been assured there will be no investigation by either the police or the university. Power has its privilege. As for the rest of you pinkos, you can go back to making granola or drinking your chai teas or whatever else you do to pass the time instead of being productive.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Uh-huh, sure you made those calls. And you sound exactly like the sort of balanced, articulate person with whom the D.A. and the Chancellor's Office would gladly share their responses to a story that just broke...

happyrock 4 years, 9 months ago

Actually they would. Contributing to KU actually counts for something.

nhud 4 years, 9 months ago

If Grand Marquis hadn't reported this bunch of sadists, we just wouldn't know the true caliber of this fraternity. Support an ethical band, go to iTunes or their website and listen to and buy some really fine music from some collectively fine individuals, Grand Marquis...I just did.

happyrock 4 years, 9 months ago

I would like to see the list of the largest KU alumni donors who were not a member of a fraternity or sorority. All you pinkos like bashing the system that pays for Lawrence to exist.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

I really love your retro use of the word "pinko" you're either a stylishly nostalgic troll or an actual Baby-Boomer Beta alum. Yeah, most of us know quite well that KU is partially beholden to a bunch of good ol' boys. But rest assured that these Skull-and-Bones throwback cultures they're paying to maintain will eventually implode from disgrace.

happyrock 4 years, 9 months ago

Partially? Check you facts in between rolling another doobie. We run the country and I guess you need to be reminded of that fact once in a while. Nothing will happen with any of this. It has been fixed already.

happyrock 4 years, 9 months ago

I take it that you are one of the 99%.

fiddleback 4 years, 9 months ago

Yes, indeed it has been fixed already: the Beta Theta Pi national organization just suspended them. So much for "Nothing will happen with any of this"...

Yep, just pretend I'm a doobie-rolling OWS kid -- whatever would make you more comfortable...

"We run the country and I guess you need to be reminded of that fact once in a while." Sure, just keep telling yourself that. And afterall, Romney won the election. You, Jack Donaghy & co. are all still Masters of the Universe.

Here's your scotch; time for your morning nap; I'll have Joan hold your calls...

happyrock 4 years, 9 months ago

We shall wait and see. I guess you and your 'roommate' were scarred for life. At least I have Joan working for me. Who answers your phone? Your cat?

smot 4 years, 9 months ago

There seems to be a lot of people who hate the Greek houses on this forum. Any act of animal cruelty is unwarranted and sickening. Any member of Beta who tortured or purposely harmed an innocent animal should be dealt with in a swift and just manner. Kicking the whole chapter off campus because of this act would be similar to telling all of your children never to return to your house after one of them committed some similar misdeed (getting a DUI, getting into a fight where someone is seriously injured, etc). Beta should atone for their sins and pay retribution to whomever has been harmed....throwing the baby out with the bath water seems a little severe since it is unlikely the entire house participated in the crime.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.