Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Culpeper Cow Caper

There are some things in this town that make you scratch your head and wonder.   This is just one of many…it made the state’s Law weekly.

They closed the books on The Culpeper Cow Caper Feb. 5, when the two guys who dumped a dead Black Angus cow in the parking lot of the Culpeper County administrative building in the middle of the night pleaded guilty to same and paid a $25 fine each.

Okay, for those of you coming in late: Last month two ol’ boys in Culpeper, young farmers and cousins as it turns out, found a dead cow that had floated down a river onto their property. They got a call from the county Animal Control office, they said, threatening legal action if they didn’t remove said carcass.

All right, they said. The pair said they walked up the 40-foot-wide stream until they found the animal, realizing then it wasn’t from their herd. They waded into the chest-high frigid water, hooked a line to the sand-covered carcass, pulled it ashore and buried it.

They sent a bill to the county, to the tune of $700, for their trouble and their actual costs. Animal Control responded, um, we only pay $75 for removal and burial.

So they did what they thought was only right. They said, “Have a cow, man.” They carted the dead critter in the back of a pickup and dumped it. In the middle of the night. In the parking lot outside Animal Control.

The boys confessed a few days later and were charged. But getting a conviction on this one was potentially dicey, prosecutors may have realized. They had no eyewitnesses. They had no identification of the cow, and they had no evidence: Exhibit A, i.e., the cow, was in little bitty ground-up pieces somewhere; the county had paid a fertilizer plant 50 bucks to come get the carcass the day it was dumped.

So the boys’ lawyer and the commonwealth’s attorney struck a deal - a $25 fine each, half the fee paid to cart the cow away.

Case closed.


  1. Hahahaha you need to work on a tv show based on your community.

  2. If that happened in my sleepy little town, guaranteed somebody would've done some jail time AND paid a bigger fine. Here, we let drunk drivers who kill pedestrians at night get off with community service and a rinky dink fine, but you bet your ass we make up for it when somebody does something as dastardly as fouling up a parking lot with the corpse of an animal. It's how we roll. UGH. Lol (Most the time I really do love my town. Swear.)

  3. I come from a nice little country town too, Christine, and that sounds in tune with what the norm would be. You can drive down the road and see coyote corpses hanging on farmer's fences to supposedly keep them away from their herds. Not to mention the pranks the High School kids play... I love hearing all your stories, they make me smile and remind me of home... without the FBI agent neighbors. :)