Friday, August 29, 2014

The Dog Killer: Is our war in the Middle East having a ripple effect in Northwest Arkansas?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 2:49 AM

When she heard the news of his arrest, she was thunderstruck. As she told a reporter from KFSM, “They said ‘animal cruelty’ and I said ‘what, you've got to be crazy.’” She added that he had animals in his own home.

John Christopher Short of Fayetteville was arrested this week on suspicion of aggravated animal cruelty. It seems that a dog which had belonged to his girlfriend died some months ago under conditions which can only be described as suspicious.

The dog Esther’s rear left leg was fractured, an injury so severe that its left leg had to be amputated. Even that was not enough to save her life, though.

Soon after, his girlfriend took in a new puppy, Hector, to replace - what a stupid word to use - Esther, her dead dog.

According to the police report, the woman came home from work one day only to find her new puppy dead. Short is said to have told her that “It is not breathing.”

He added that he thought the puppy was dead.

Hector was indeed dead, the victim of multiple skull fractures.

I don’t know John Christopher Short, and I don’t know anything about him, save for what I have heard on the news.

But this is what I do know about John Christopher Short, and I will tell you in the reverse order that KFSM told the story.

In 2005, Sergeant Short was in Afghanistan, when his Humvee was hit by an IED. Besides having his own leg amputated, according to his aunt, in addition to undergoing several surgeries on his elbow, he suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Returning stateside, Short has been no stranger to legal troubles.

In the past two years, two women have filed protection orders against him.

In February of this year he entered a plea of guilty to assault and domestic battery.

In 2012, he shot and killed a man while struggling over a gun at his home. No charges were ever filed in that case.

So, just who is John Christopher Short? A violent man, evidently, but at least one relative loves him and has nothing but kind words for him. Is it possible she sees only the man who left for war, but not the man who returned?

Was he always the man he is today?

Or is John Christopher Short just another cast-off from a terrible war, a man whose victims in peace time are like the fast-moving ripples in a pond?

******

Quote of the Day

With all due to respect to the cheering section the man who gets down on the field and tries to spill a few of the trick plays is doing a great deal more. - Heywood Broun

rsdrake@cox.net

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