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33 thoughts on “2009 Dog Bite Fatality: Dog Kills Retired Librarian in White Mills, Kentucky

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  1. "Clemens had few details at the scene, though he did confirm some “animal activity” occurred. The suspected dog belonged to the owners of an adjacent property where Gillespie was found. The dog’s owner, Howard Miller, had placed a sign on his premises warning visitors of the presence of dogs. But Clemens said it is unclear if the wounds were the cause of the death."

  2. A comment left:

    White Mills Woman Found Dead
    "The photo accompanying this article shows a white dog that appears to be a pit bull breed, although no mention of that is made in the text. The sign in question is faded, laying down near the driveway, and could only be seen by the passenger in a car driving up the driveway. These dogs (three) have been known to run out to the road barking aggressively at any passerby. They do not stay on the property, which is not completely fenced in either. The sign says "The dogs will bite. Honk horn for help." This is a case where the home owner thinks having aggressive untrained unsecured dogs will protect his property from trespassers and an unseen unknown unproven danger of a burglary or robbery. Is that worth a precious human life? They are either not home all the time or completely unaware or uncaring of their dogs' activities."

  3. Pit bulls.

    God knows, probably a dog fighting breeding operation in plain sight.

    Problems. Animal control and authorities DO NOTHING.

    Now a corpse.

    We are living in a war zone. Pit bulls ARE KILLING US. We have no freedom.

  4. Did you see the comment by the AKC breeder type?

    "love people who sterotype and blame the animal and not the human who is usually responsible"

    These dog breeders are sociopaths.

  5. By posting that sign, this homeowner has acknowledged FULL liability for his dogs' actions.

    This happens frequently. People think these warning signs exclude them from liability. Instead they PROVE liability.

  6. Depraved Indifference Law & Legal Definition

    To constitute depraved indifference, the defendant's conduct must be 'so wanton, so deficient in a moral sense of concern, so lacking in regard for the life or lives of others, and so blameworthy as to warrant the same criminal liability as that which the law imposes upon a person who intentionally causes a crime. Depraved indifference focuses on the risk created by the defendant’s conduct, not the injuries actually resulting.

    In one case, People v Register, 60 NY2d 273, 469 NYS2d 599 (1983),while exploring the meaning of "depraved indifference recklessness" the Court of Appeals ruled that intoxication is not a defense or excuse to "depraved mind murder," although it may be to intentional murder. Its analysis started with distinguishing reckless manslaughter from the "depraved indifference recklessness" necessary for murder:

    "to bring defendant’s conduct within the murder statute, the People were required to establish also that defendant’s act was imminently dangerous and presented a very high risk of death to others and that it was committed under circumstances which evidenced a wanton indifference to human life or a depravity of mind. . . . . The crime differs from intentional murder in that it results not from a specific, conscious intent to cause death, but from an indifference to or disregard of the risks attending defendant’s conduct." 60 NY2d at 274.

  7. No criminal intent?!? What is it going to take to get some sense in these laws?

    And, really, this just underscores the need to ban ALL fighting breeds, not just pit bulls. Dog fighting is outlawed, fighting dogs should be outlawed, period.

  8. This woman died of GRUESOME head injuries in an off-property dog attack (a dog that had previously bitten) and Kentucky is going to do NOTHING ABOUT IT.

    How GROSS is that?
    How GROSS is that?
    How GROSS is that?

  9. I also received a bite from one of Howard Millers dogs late last spring while me and my wife were down by the river checking water conditions for the following weekends kayak trip.We were on our way to another site when i saw Mr Miller mowing grass along side Web Mill rd, i stopped to ask Miller about some property along the river bank, before stopping i noticed he had three dogs following him around as he mowed, i stepped out of my SUV and approached miller as he got off the riding mower.I didn't have any fear of the dogs what so ever as i was talking to Miller and didn't pay them much mind, i noticed that two of the dogs including the white bull dog were just kind of sniffing around, but a third mixed colored dog sort of walked off to my right and behind me, with in seconds i felt his fangs in the rear of my upper thigh, in an instant reaction i turned to kick the dog off but he had moved just out of range of my boot as i kicked at him.I have a CDW but my gun was in the SUV at the time, if it was on me the dog would have been laid to rest on the spot, of coarse i probably would have went to jail for protecting my own life!.My left leg was stinging and burning with severe pain so i realized that he must have gotten me pretty good, i said to Miller your dog just bit me and his remark was quote"Oh he just likes to nip at people sometimes", and i said to him, i think that was a little more than a nip.We had other stops to make on the river that day so we went on, After arriving home some hours later my leg was still in pain so i dropped my pants to find one puncture wound and four black and blue marks where the dogs teeth clamped down on me.I've known Karen Gillespie and her family for close to thirty years, she was a great person and we will never forget this tragedy.Yesterday i went to the spot where her body was found only yards from Millers home.Their were no posted warning signs of any kind that i could see and the fence if you could call it that was only a
    barbed wire fence that had only one strand at the top of the post about eye level.

    "In my opinion"

    Did miller do what was necessary to warn others of vicious dogs on his property: No

    Did miller do what was necessary to keep the dogs on his property: No

    Does Miller have any concern for his neighbors or his dogs actions: No

    Is the white bull dog the only vicious dog Miller has on his property: No

    Could Gillespie’s death been prevented: Yes

    Can this type of incident happen again on the Miller property: Yes

    Should harboring vicious animals be only a misdemeanor: You decide

  10. "but a third mixed colored dog sort of walked off to my right and behind me, with in seconds i felt his fangs in the rear of my upper thigh"

    This dog BIT YOU — it did NOT KILL YOU. Dogs that KILL adult human beings are typically amongst a tiny handful of breeds with pit bulls wearing the prized "Grand Champion" belt. One cannot ignore the "breed" conversation when talking about an adult human fatality. Second to this, the State of Kentucky appears to not have a felony negligence criminal law nor do many other states! Kentucky does however provide civil recourse.

  11. How is this dog owner not involved in court and legal activity from the census worker bite?

    Who is protecting him?

  12. I hate American bulldogs. One of them was involved in a vicious mult-dog attack on me last year. The other was a pit bull. Ambulls are just pits on steroids. I think the breed should be outlawed. The only people I've ever met who own them are low lifes and criminals.

  13. I think anyone who has been bitten by a dog should report it to the police, no matter how small a bite it is….

  14. Clear case of Manslaughter here…Hopefully, the prosecutor has the gonads to pursue it.

  15. [QUOTE=by Anonymous Anonymous 11/30/2009 5:00 AM
    Brummitt please contact the police with your story.

    [QUOTE=by Blogger gary_laura_g 11/30/2009 8:21 PM
    I agree, Brummitt. Or the prosecutor.

    [QUOTE=by Anonymous Anonymous 12/02/2009 5:08 AM
    I think anyone who has been bitten by a dog should report it to the police, no matter how small a bite it is….

    The incident was reported to Larry Walker at the Kentucky State Police Headquarters in Elizabethtown on Monday 11/30/09.Mr Walker said their is another attack that accrued in September and he would every much like to here from that person, if anyone knows who this person is please contact the Kentucky State Police Headquarters in Elizabethtown.If this is confirmed that will be five people that have been attacked by Millers dogs this year…. this is incredible to say the least.

    A celebration of life was held for Karen at the Manakee funeral home in E-Town Tuesday evening after she was cremated earlier, from what i understand she was very badly mutilated by the attack.We all said good bye to Karen in our on way and hope she finds peace.


  16. So clearly what seems to have happened is that Miller and his pit bulls have been ENABLED and tolerated by local authorities.

    Then someone dies as a result of their negligence, and suddenly state authorities are looking into the dirt.

    As far as animal control goes, there clearly is a problem when an animal control officer is attempting to deceive with the usual "boxer mix" ploy instead of being honest about what this dog is- a pit bull or equivalent thereof. A FIGHTING DOG.

    This death could have been prevented if local authorities were doing their jobs.

  17. Remember that when this first happened, the local detective tried to brush this under the rug and immediately declared it an accident and said Miller wasn't to blame! Despite the fact that the dog had already attacked someone else and there was a history of problems with Miller!

    This whole local situation stinks, and sounds like the southern good ole boy network that has been protecting its own.

    Kentucky has a lot of dog fighters and I wonder what the situation is in this county.

  18. Not sure about Hardin County Kentucky but in my city and in my state it is a crime to NOT report a dog bite.


  19. It turns out that the firefighter whom i spoke to at the funeral home 12/2/2009 said that he was bitten twice, once on the arm and on the leg, but as fate would have it, it turns out that he is a good friend of the Millers and said he want press charges, and that, [/QUOTE]they were just good people that made some bad decisions.However i spoke to Steve yesterday and he knows that when and if he needs me I'll do my part… This kind of tragedy needs to be stopped and not allowed to happen again!.

    November 27, 2009
    Hardin County Dog Attack Kills Woman

    We have learned about another victim of a vicious dog attack in Kentucky. Karen Gillespie, a 53 year-old retired librarian was found mauled to death in a field near her home in White Mills, Kentucky on Wednesday. Hardin County Animal Control removed a dog from an adjacent property that is believed to be responsible for Ms. Gillespie's death.Vanessa Cantley, partner at Bahe Cook Cantley & Jones in Louisville, has represented dozens of victims of vicious dog attacks and is currently litigating a case to the Kentucky Supreme Court asking it to hold dog owners even more accountable for injuries caused by their animals. She states: "My heart goes out to Ms. Gillespie's husband and her other friends and loved ones. This is a terrible tragedy and could have been prevented. Kentucky's dog attack laws have been interpreted several
    different ways over the last few years, but it is my position that the laws are written to hold dog owners strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs – i.e. if their dog causes injury or death to an individual, the owner is liable for the damages regardless of whether they knew the dog had vicious tendencies. I hope the Kentucky Supreme Court will agree with me and decide to interpret the laws as they were written by our legislature." If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog attack, or you would like to learn more about the legal rights of victims injured by dangerous dogs in Kentucky or Indiana, please contact Vanessa Cantley directly at (502) 587-2002.

  20. When will people understand that protecting their "friends" who own dangerous dogs only means that some innocent operson will die!

  21. Clearly there needs to be a lawsuit just to find out what part Animal Control, the DA, and the county played in this.

    Previous bite incidents that "disappeared" from the record? That is a crime.

    This is not just a tragedy. There is criminal activity going on in this county, and a health hazard for all.

    A lawyer will be able to get to the bottom of this injustice, which is what the civil courts are for.

    There is also a need to see if dog fighting interests are playing a role in this entire incident. We have had occurrences of county workers in Kentucky involved in these activities, and related to those in these activities.

  22. All that's left to the family now are civil recourse, fighting to get the law changed, and seeing to it that if the person or people responsible for this not being tried as a felony are in an elected position that they lose that election next time. Want to get away with MURDER in the USA? Get a fighting breed and let it run loose.

  23. "the level in which the authorities bungled the investigation of this crime is unreal."

    I don't think this is bungling.

    i think this is intentional obfuscation, evidence tampering, and dereliction of duties. As well as shielding a criminal.

    I think this is criminal behavior on the part of authority figures.

    This needs to go to the state capital.

  24. I believe the Gillespie family might very much agree with you ItsATragedy. Since day one this case has been "off." For instance, "Well, we don't know if she was killed by a dog," then, "Well we can't determine the breed of the dog," then "Well, the dogs had a history of biting and being vicious but we can't find those records now," then, "Well I can't comment what the grand jury might do, then "Well oops, we forgot to seize the immediate area dogs and the owner had time to make at least one disappear," then "Shucks, it seems we failed to present convincing evidence to the grand jury…"

    Intentional obfuscation, evidence tampering, and dereliction of duties.

    You nailed it!

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