This link will take you to an entire page from RYS in 2007. The top three articles cover one of the central exchanges of that blog's life, usually called the "Gumdrop Unicorn" debate.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Indiana U Student Suspended for Torturing Cats. WARNING: Some Graphic Depictions in the Linked Article.)

By Mike Leonard and Abby Tonsing
Christopher Gugliuzza

The Indiana University student accused of torturing cats has been suspended by the university.

IU spokesman Mark Land said Thursday that student Christopher Gugliuzza has been notified of his summary suspension based on information gathered by Bloomington police and the office of Dean of Students Pete Goldsmith.

Gugliuzza’s suspension comes during the final week of classes for the fall semester and he will not be allowed to finish the term, Land said. He will be allowed to contest his suspension if he chooses.

Gugliuzza faces two felony charges filed by the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office, accusing the IU student of torturing a 3-month-old cat named Lennox and killing a cat, named Misty, about two months ago. If convicted, each charge can carry a sentence of 6 months to 3 years and up to $10,000 in fines.

(There are some graphic depictions in the full article. 
Please don't click if you don't want the details.)

49 comments :

  1. Christopher "the cat mangler" Gugliuzza.

    Sounds like a member of one of those mob families Al D'Amato "worked with*" in the 1980's-90s.

    [* Read that as "played flunky to/took money from" not "prosecuted" or "held hearings on."]

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  2. Probably isn't the first time he has done this. A serial killer in the making.

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  3. As is more than occasionally the case on this blog, this leaves me feeling lucky. I had a student in my office today who seems to have lost touch with reality somewhat, but in a very gentle, peace-and-love-to-all way. I did alert psych services, and have had a few moments worrying that I'm misperceiving the situation, and he has done, or will do, something awful, but, at least at the moment, I'm feeling that, alarming as the situation was, it could have been much worse. I'm still worried about him (and, of course, also wondering how to catch up with the work I was supposed to be doing during the time I spent listening to a long rambling account of his new philosophy of life, calling psych services, and writing up an account of the encounter for them), but I'm not immediately concerned that he is a danger to himself or others (including small furry animals).

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  4. Thanks for the warning about graphic imagery. Once, when I asked, "Is there anything else I can answer?" during an office visit to review a first draft, a student said, "So theoretically, could I get in trouble for having sex with a goat?"

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  5. Why wasn't he at least allowed to finish the term? That's not fair, since it was almost over. To be honest, I think he should not have been suspended at all, since his highly questionable activities had nothing to do with the university. I hate to say that, but at this point in the term, not allowing him to complete it is not just unfair but actually dishonest. Moreover, universities are supposed to provide education, not to judge people, and some of them are actually teaching prison inmates, or used to do so. Or, this student is not even convicted yet and, in theory, may never be.

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    1. He wasn't allowed to finish the term because the school does not tolerate some behaviors which are so contrary to the mission of a university. Indiana U can act without a conviction because the student does not have a right to attend the school. He can appeal the suspension if he wishes so if the cats had this coming to them, he'll be allowed to finish his exams later.

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    2. It won't be the same thing. The learning won't be as fresh in his memory, the opportunity to complete some course work (group projects, for example, or any time-sensitive work) may be lost forever and he will have missed the final week of classes that he will never get to attend. Even if something could be arranged, the experience and, presumably, the results, would be radically different. He'll never get exactly the experience and the grades he would have gotten if the university just let him complete the current term. Even if he were to technically pass the courses, with or without having to do some work or pass some exams later, the fact will remain that the university cheated him out of the opportunity to finish a term that was nearly completed. Even if he were to go to prison or never to return to university, that would not change the fact that he was a student and attended classes until nearly the very end, so why would the university deny that reality by pretending it never happened? I actually find that dishonest. Depending on your opinion, suspension for future terms may be justified or unfair (I find it unfair). However, denying the reality of the nearly-completed term is actually dishonest.

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    3. Hmmmm....animal cruelty is a real actual crime.

      Would you say the same if he had been found guilty of the same acts toward another living creature such as a human being?

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    4. I wondered about that, too. It does seem like it would be possible for him to finish his classes, and it doesn't sound like he poses a threat to other students or to professors, which would be my dividing line for keeping him off campus (I'm not big on the whole "conduct unbecoming" thing, given the fact that it's been used all too often against people with nonstandard sexuality, political protesters, etc.) I'm guessing that the university has some sort of uniform suspension policy based on the seriousness of the charge, and a felony incurs an immediate suspension. One could argue that if a judge didn't find him violent enough to lock him up pending trial, then he should be allowed in public places such as a campus, too (though perhaps not in the dorms), but you can imagine the protests that would arise if a student were accused of, say, rape (of course, rape charges have a way of creating protest on both sides, and there's such a thing as a restraining order for such situations). I wonder what they'd do with a student who seriously injured another in a bar fight, and had been arrested but not yet convicted?

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    5. He's admitted harming another living being because it annoyed him.
      I would not want to be the administrator who allowed that person free rein on campus.

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    6. Monica, the school is not denying reality. The man forfeited his privilege of being a student when he tortured animals. In the same way, I can be thrown out of a grocery store for causing a disturbance, even if I'm next in line at the cashier.

      Yes, the student's education will suffer. Should have thought of that before hitting the cat. There's another student waiting in line to take his place. Hopefully, that student doesn't torture animals.

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    7. If you are causing a disturbance at a grocery store, you are getting kicked out of that particular grocery store, not out of some other place. The student did not cause a disturbance at university and, at the time, had not been found guilty of any crimes. In fact, if he did not even get a hearing, technically, he was suspended because of third-party allegations. Of course he should have been "given free reign" to the extent that any other student is. Legally, if not morally or in fact, he was innocent, and he had never posed a danger to humans (not more than any other student does, hypothetically speaking, by simply being there). He may even get off on some technicality in court and then sue the university for having suspended "an innocent man". By the way, pests such as rats and cockroaches are living beings, too. Everybody kills, or has other kill, living beings for being annoying or just because their presence is not welcome. A pet is not supposed to be killed but then, that had nothing to do with the university.

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    8. There are simple standards of decency that I'm pleased to see are not balanced by a student's tuition payment.

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    9. Speaking of payment, didn't the university pocket the tuition money and related fees for the term and then prevent the student from finishing the courses and getting his final grades? How do you call taking the money and not providing the promised goods or services? Does that, by any chance, look like some kind of fraud, stealing, breach of contract, dishonesty, or anything like that? So far for the "standards of decency".

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    10. Had the student been kicked out for no reason, you would have a point. In this case, he violated the rules of conduct for the university. Violating the rules of conduct can carry a penalty of expulsion. The university was honoring the contract they made with the student, not violating it.

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    11. But he was, in fact, kicked out for no reason because what reason there was had nothing to do with the university. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, if you get my drift. It did not happen at university, nor was it related to academic performance.

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    12. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? What a trenchant argument.

      What happens in Vegas can get your ass extradited back to Vegas to face charges.

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    13. But he is, in fact, facing charges for what he did in Vegas, so to speak (actually, not in Vegas but somewhere outside the university). I have no problem with that. He should face charges and pay a fine or go to prison, or both, and that may, in fact, happen. What I have a problem with is getting kicked out of an institution where he caused no trouble because of unrelated issues that happened outside.

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    14. So if someone robbed a bank, and was caught on video doing so (as this student was stealing the cat from the shelter) so long as it was an off campus branch, it shouldn't matter?
      If a student beat another student to death off campus, it shouldn't affect his classes until the jury returns a verdict?
      I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that.

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    15. I'm perfectly comfortable with that.

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  6. Hadn't had my coffee yet. I could have sworn it said "tutoring cats".

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  7. anybody that sadistic IS a danger to his fellow students. The university was right to expel him.

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    1. Any such danger is purely hypothetical. In theory, the mere presence of a human being, especially a physically adult male, poses a danger to others. The risk may be higher for individuals who are killing and torturing cats. It's still a very small, unpredictable risk. Higher risks may, in fact, exist on campus without the university being aware of that. For instance, other students may have gotten into physical fights when they were younger. They may have demonstrated their violent tendencies more than the cat guy, since they were violent to people, not to animals, yet the university won't suspend them. Universities have a security or police department precisely because the presence of humans together poses some degree of risk. That may be a reasonable precaution. Simply banning humans based on stories about their cats that allegedly happened outside the university is not reasonable.

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    2. Did you read the entire article, Monica? And he admitted theft. Catnapping.

      Poor little creature. Disturbing, even if you don't like cats. How fragile and tiny a 3 month kitten is. What a tough little thing to survive.

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    3. I read the article. The fact still remains that he hurt cats, not humans, and not at the institution that got rid of him. He did not even threaten humans verbally. I don't like his actions either but the fact remains that any potential risk posed by him remains fairly remote, although perhaps less so than in the case of an individual who didn't kill any cats. For the time being, the law actually deems him innocent until and unless he gets convicted.

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    4. Monica, are you his mother? I feel its safe to say that, many killers start off by killing small animals. The enjoyment of ending a life. The school has every right to suspend him, at any higher education campus, there is a code of conduct that students and faculty must abide by. Usually consisting of honesty and integrity, and if you want to refute the fact that he likes to kill animals for pleasure. He robbed an animal shelter. and is now on bail. Is this the type of students t you want in college? You do know that many schools interview kids to see if they're worthy of enrolling. The hell, in my physician assistant program. I needed a criminal background check and a clean record. Think again Monica.

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  8. Research has shown that animal torture is a very real predictor of more violent crimes. Northeastern U has a sociology prof who has done extensive research into this.

    Your comment that "Everybody kills" is abhorrent, Monica. The issue here isn't the killing, it is the torture. And killing for a greater public good (e.g., extermination of rats and cockroaches because they are vectors for disease) is different than killing something for "being annoying."

    The man confessed to his actions. No, he has not been convicted, but a University can ban individuals from campus without a conviction.

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    1. A very real predictor still means that violent crimes are a mere possibility. It's just that the probability is somewhat higher. I don't think people should be kicked out of university only because of "a very real predictor" if they are not doing anything wrong there, at university. A university can ban individuals from campus without a conviction, but it stands to reason that it should not do so for reasons unrelated to what those individuals are actually doing at university, not somewhere else. If university regulations don't specifically say so, that doesn't mean that university decisions to ban students who didn't do anything wrong at university are morally right. Keeping such people in university may, in fact, help them integrate in society and encourage them to act somewhat normally. It's worth trying, since those people will still roam the streets and buildings somewhere in the free world. Only because they are banned from campus, that doesn't automatically remove them from society or make them less dangerous wherever they will end up. If it even happens, incarceration for something like the cat story can't last too long and then right back on the street they go.

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    2. So if I'm understanding your logic, Monica, universities should serve as an extension of the mental health system?

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    3. They already do by keeping people out of trouble and focused on their studies, as well as by providing various social outlets and access to their own mental health services. One could even argue that exercising one's cognitive and social skills in a university setting is promoting good mental health, thus akin to mental health treatment for highly intelligent people. However, that's not the point. That guy is not in prison and did not misbehave at university, so he might as well be allowed to remain a student unless and until the justice system locks him up. Suspending him does not make the world a safer place. He'll just be somewhere else (that is, as a free man). If he's dangerous, suspending him may actually trigger, not prevent, some violent incident. If he's not dangerous, then there is no reason to suspend him.

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  9. I find Monica's comments quite disturbing. Animal torture is positively correlated (yes, it's "only" a correlation) with becoming a serial killer. There is much research with robust results concerning this.

    We do not have the right to torture any animal - human or otherwise. To say that it is "just" a cat is abhorrent. People who torture animals have a need for control and dominance and they get their jollies by watching the poor animal writhe in pain and fear. They ENJOY cutting their eyes out, pulling their limbs right out their sockets, and squeezing their necks until they die a horrific death. This is not a good sign. This person needs to be taken off the street and he needs help. Going to classes at the university will not take away his strong desire to torture animals. He will not be able to control himself and eventually he will graduate to torturing and killing humans. Dennis Rader, the BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) serial killer started his illustrious career by torturing animals.

    It is NOT "just" a cat. It is horrific torture of a living being and it is a sign of things to come.

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    1. I fully agree that torturing and killing cats is horrible. That's why it's a crime. However, the justice system won't lock up such people for life. Do you think it should? If not, how long is long enough? Whatever the case, the maximum is 3 years per charge (there are 2 charges) and he may not even get it. One way or another, whether that's a good idea or not, he will be free. In fact, for the time being, he is. Or, if the justice system did not deem it necessary to incarcerate him, I don't think it should be up to the university to punish him instead. Free individuals and, as a matter of fact, some incarcerated individuals have the right to pursue an education. A university is supposed to provide educational services, not to punish people who committed horrible acts somewhere else. If the cat guy can't attend university because he's in prison, that's one thing. If he's free, he has the right to pursue an education as long as he's not causing trouble at university. Unpleasant people have rights, too.

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    2. It's one thing to be unpleasant, it's another thing to inflict your unpleasantness on helpless animals. What that meathead did was wanton cruelty and a sign of possible mental aberration. If he can do that to a three month old kitten, imagine what he could do to a co-ed. THAT was why the school said "Uh, fuck no with the staying here...get out."

      [Full disclosure: writer is not a cat person.]

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    3. Colleges have codes of conduct and can kick out students for breaching the code. The code of conduct in most colleges requires that students not violate any local, state, or federal laws.

      I'd bet a good amount of money that this guy has antisocial personality disorder (like BTK) and I'd also bet that it is too late to do anything about.

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    4. Yes, Monica, he has the right to pursue an education. IU has the right not to admit him. He can get an education somewhre else if IU won't admit him.

      Universities check for criminal behavior during admissions. I doubt any school would admit a student who was a known animal torturer and thief. Universities checks students' backgrounds for bad academic and personal behavior exhibited before attending that school. They filter out those that they do not want on their campus. The school is a community that screens its applicants. Not everybody gets in or is allowed to stay in.

      This is a similar standard applied to faculty and staff. There are some things I can't do if I want to keep my job, even if I'm not convicted, and I think that's a fair policy.

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    5. Who said anything of admitting him? He was an existing student, already admitted and about to finish a term when he was prevented from doing so. That makes a huge difference and is part of the reason why I feel so strongly that he had the right to be there. He was not merely applying for admission. He already had that right.

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    6. My point was that universities consider behavior outside of the university setting to be important. (You seemed concerned that the school would care about what a student does outside of academics.) For instance, they check a potential student's background before admission. Similar standards should apply to existing students also. Just because a student is admitted doesn't mean that the university doesn't care about the student's behavior at any point beyond that.

      Look, I don't have a problem with a school kicking a kid out because he tortures animals. That's it. I'm all for the university standing up proud and letting the world know that they don't tolerate their students (or faculty for that matter) torturing animals. There's really not much else to it.

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    7. I'm sorry, but I don't think similar standards should apply to existing students. Once admitted, they have acquired the right to stay at university as long as they don't cause trouble at university or fail to succeed academically. If the university wanted Gugliuzza out, all they had to do was wait for him to go to prison in case he wouldn't have returned, or throw the book at him if he actually caused some kind of trouble at university at some point. It may have been just a matter of time, but they should have taken that time. For now, he's the victim of a terrible miscarriage of justice.

      Let me also point out that, if Gugliuzza is indeed only a sophomore, that may have something to do with the university's decision. A certain attrition rate during the first years is to be expected. University officials may have cynically thought that he might as well be part of the statistics. Had he been closer to graduation, the university would likely have preferred to let him be part of another statistic: the graduation rate. Troublemakers who manage not to get kicked out early on are simply kicked out with a degree.

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    8. Both oars do not seem to be in the water. Colleges have codes of conduct and can kick out students for breaching the code. The code of conduct in most colleges requires that students not violate any local, state, or federal laws.

      I'd bet a good amount of money that this guy has antisocial personality disorder (like BTK) and I'd also bet that it is too late to do anything about.

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    9. The Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, Part II: Student Responsibilities states:

      Indiana University recognizes its responsibility to support and uphold the basic freedoms and citizenship rights of all students, and it expects students to be responsible for the following:

      B. Obey all applicable university policies and procedures and all local, state, and federal laws.

      H. Be responsible for their behavior, and respect the rights and dignity of others both within and outside of the university community.

      In addition to these on-campus responsibilities, the university may discipline a student for acts of personal misconduct or criminal acts that are not committed on university property.

      I. Personal Misconduct Not on University Property.
      The university may discipline a student for acts of personal misconduct or criminal acts that are not committed on university property if the acts arise from university activities that are being conducted off the university campus, or if the misconduct undermines the security of the university community or the integrity of the educational process or poses a serious threat to self or others.
      1. Indiana University is committed to the promotion of a civil community both on campus and off campus.
      2. Indiana University regards off-campus activity, including but not limited to university-sponsored events, as an integral part of a student’s academic, personal, and professional growth. Thus, the university recognizes the right of all students to expect that the university will subject individuals to the same responsibilities and disciplinary procedures when conduct:
      a. Adversely impacts the university’s mission, or the tenets of this Code, such as altering academic transcripts, harassment of any kind, trafficking in term papers, use of a computer or other electronic device to obtain unauthorized access to information;
      b. Presents a clear danger to the personal safety of any person or the protection of any person’s property, such as alcohol and drug offenses, arson, battery, fraud, hazing, participation in group violence, rape, sexual assault, stalking, or theft;
      c. Violates policies of an academic program and related facilities, including but not limited to an off-campus clinical, field, internship, or in-service experience, or an overseas study program.

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  10. The Thief And His Mother, by Aesop

    A Schoolboy stole a horn-book from one of his schoolfellows, and brought it home to his mother. Instead of chastising him, she rather encouraged him in the deed. In course of time the boy, now grown into a man, began to steal things of greater value, until, at last, being caught in the very act, he was brought to the Judge and sentenced to be hung. As he was being led to the scaffold, the mother bowed herself to the ground with grief. A neighbor seeing her thus, said to her: "It is too late for you to moan and sob now. If you had been as much grieved when he committed his first theft, you would have corrected him in time, and thus have saved yourself this sorrowful day."

    Moral: Nip evil in the bud.


    The concern that this student's cat-killing behavior might escalate to the killing of another student seriously underestimates the potential danger. My fear is that Christopher Gugliuzza might get promoted through the academy until he is an administrator who kills students, faculty, staff, the spirit of goodwill, and everything that is good about the academy.

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  11. Albert Disalvo (better known as the Boston Strangler) used to trap dogs and cats as a child and then shoot them with arrows.

    Edward Emil Kemper lll was convicted of killing eight women, one of which was his own mother. When he was thirteen yrs. old he would kill neighborhood cats and put their heads on poles. Kemper killed his own cat, decapitated it and then cut it into small pieces. This is the same thing he did to his own mother!

    David Berkowitz was convicted of thirteen murders and attempted murders. He used to abuse the neighborhood dogs. He shot one neighbors dog because according to him, the dog was an "evil force" that compelled him to kill.

    Ted Bundy was convicted of two murders though he was suspected of at least forty! Bundy used to watch as his own father tortured animals. Eventually, Bundy did the same.

    Andrew Cunanan was the man who killed designer Versace and was suspected in the murders of five other people. Cunanan used to gather crabs and then burn their eyes out with a lighted match. He would watch their eyes sizzle then turn them loose.

    Animal cruelty is a very serious crime in more ways than one as I think I've proved here. If you notice this behavior in a child, PLEASE take appropriate action and get them help immediately.

    Read more here: http://voices.yahoo.com/the-link-between-animal-abuse-serial-killers-622128.html

    Along with the fact that this may be the first time he's been caught at this. For all we know, he's been doing this for years. Anyone with such a complete disregard for the physical suffering of others, animals or humans, is potentially very dangerous to everyone.

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  12. I stopped in to see how the debate was going.

    Yes, it's still insane.

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    1. Cal, perhaps you could record a theme song for this debate? The refrain could be, "I'm mentally ill and I want more murderers on my campus."

      In B-flat major.

      And use out-of-tune instruments so that it sounds disturbing and macabre?

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    2. and we wonder where entitled snowflakes come from...

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