Fraternity Turkey Torture Case: Update
The turkey shortly before she was viciously attacked, tortured and killed by the Beta Theta Pi
Follow-up coverage by Breaking News 6 Lawrence reporter Liz Zamora on April 29, 2013
Nearly a year has passed since the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at The University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS rented this female turkey for a party on Friday,
December 14, 2012, and proceeded to torture her to death, as reported in previous issues of Poultry Press. The Lawrence Police Department
responded to a call for help, an investigation was launched, the Police Department forwarded its investigative findings to Douglas County District Attorney
Charles Branson, and we wrote many letters urging a decision to prosecute the offenders under Kansas Cruelty to Animals Statute 21-4310.
On July 23, and again on September 30, 2013, United Poultry Concerns requested the court documents on this case under the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA).
Our second request was prompted by a media announcement that “the fraternity agreed to 1,000 hours of community service” and a payment of
$5,000 to the city of Lawrence for the cost of the investigation. In other words, a slap on the wrist was given to those who criminally tortured and killed
this helpless bird for fun, including breaking her wing and her leg before slowly choking her to death on the porch of the fraternity house.
On September 30, 2013, Assistant District Attorney Cheryl Wright Kunard responded to UPC’s KORA request stating: “the requested documents of
the District Attorney’s prosecution review and final charging decision related to the treatment of the turkey at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house
are not being released to the public.”
Kunard instructed UPC to contact the Lawrence Police Department for “any law enforcement documents you seek.” As we go to press, we await the
Police Department’s response to our KORA request filed with department in October as advised.
As for the KU Chancellor’s Office and the Beta Theta Pi national office, they appear to have done little or nothing to prevent future acts of
violence by students who will simply plead intoxication as their excuse to get away with more violence to animals and probably also to women, whom they
were overheard denigrating at the party just prior to torturing the female turkey, according to a witness’s account last December during a phone call
Please contact the University Chancellor and the Beta Theta Pi headquarters. Ask what steps, if any, they have taken and will further take to prevent and
punish future animal abuses by University of Kansas students and Beta Theta Pi fraternity chapters. Request a written reply.
Justin Warren, Director of Chapter Operations
Beta Theta Pi Foundation and Administrative Office
5134 Bonham Road, PO Box 6277
Oxford, OH 45056
Phone: 1-800-800-2382, ext. 264
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little
The University of Kansas
230 Strong Hall
Lawrence, KS 66045-7518