Elaine Richman, 66-years old, was discovered dead with multiple dog bite injuries.
Woman Found Dead
Houston, TX - A woman was discovered dead with multiple dog bites at her home last week, police said. On Friday, around 8:00 am, police performed a welfare check at a home in the 12800 block of Susanna Lane. They discovered 66-year old Elaine Richman dead in her backyard with dog bites on her face, arms and hands. Two adult Doberman pinschers were located inside the home, police said. The Houston Fire Department pronounced the woman dead at the scene.
"Her dogs were like her children," her brother Bruce told media outlets. "She spent so many years showing dobermans. They were her life."
Witnesses told police they had not seen Richman at her dog training classes for the last two days. According to a preliminary autopsy report by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, Richman died of "sharp force injuries." The manner of death was ruled accidental. A male and female Doberman, 2 and 4-years old, were confiscated and are being held at BARC, the shelter and adoption center for the city of Houston. The final cause of death remains pending.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Richman had been involved in the Doberman Pinscher Club of Houston and was accused of stealing from the organization. Between Nov. 10, 2011, and May 31, 2012, Richman embezzled $23,250 from the club while she was its treasurer, reports The Chronicle. She was also accused of falsifying financial statements, inflating the amounts of funds available to the club. She was given probation for eight years, set to end in November 2020.
The Chronicle also referred to CDC dog bite fatality data, which is now 20 years old. During the 20-year CDC study period from 1979 to 1998, Doberman pinschers were involved 3.8% of human fatalities (9 of 238 deaths). A modern data set, examining the 13-year period of 2005 through 2017, shows that Dobermans were involved in only 1.4% of human fatalities (6 of 433 deaths). Despite their function as a protection breed, Dobermans are seldom involved in fatalities.
Rare Area of Fatal Dog Maulings
Show dogs and "protection" trained dogs rarely appear in fatal dog maulings. When they do, rottweilers perpetrate the most fatalities, including the deaths of 7-year old Logan Meyer of Wisconsin, 3-month old Dixie Jennings of North Carolina and 3-year old Vanessa Husman of Iowa. In 2011, Donna Conrad, 71, was killed by her Hungarian-imported protection trained Doberman. In 2009, Barbara Chambers, 59, died after being attacked by her Great dane "champion" show dog.
11/02/16: 2016 Dog Bite Fatality: New Dog Kills 4-Year Old Child, Injures Mother in Michigan
11/19/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: 7-Year Old Boy Killed by Trained Protection Dog in Wisconsin
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.
Generally I get annoyed when the pit bull people create conspiracy theories and alternate theories involving the attacks by pit bulls. But I actually have to question this attack. Where her dogs found inside because there was a dog door? I would hope they do bite analysis, especially if they find there’s no way the dogs could go freely inside and outside of the house. We have seen it before, pitbull’s breaking into homes and scaling fences to attack and then leaving afterwords. Knowing she had show dogs has a very high correlation that these dogs were not fixed so nce fixed dogs cannot compete. Her dogs would serve as a lure to a pit bull.
Agree with Christy. Swab for other DNA on the victim, especially If no human blood indoors.
Going back to 1984, there was the Old English Sheepdog show dog that killed a woman. Daralin Talisman’s King Boots killed his owner’s 87yo mother. That was a spectacle – the owners wanted the dog back and fought for it in an early example of baffling killer-dog owner behavior.
AKC does allow sterilized (fixed) dogs to compete in performance events such as agility. If she was involved primarily in that, she might have had the dogs spayed/neutered. The AKC people routinely sterilize their dogs after their conformation/breeding days are over, and some AKC people quit competing in conformation and focus on agility, rally, etc. If she’d been excommunicated from her local AKC group for stealing from them, she probably wasn’t breeding.
Aren’t fixed male dogs allowed if they have those implants, you know, the silicone balls that get inserted in the dog’s scrotum to make them look unaltered? Or if they have that neuter operation that is like a vasectomy, not a full testicle-removal neuter?
I thought I read that not too long ago, but I could be wrong; I don’t know much at all about the world of show dogs. (And it really doesn’t matter, I’m just curious more than anything else.)
I’m confused. One person on a different website said the attacking Doberman was a rescue dog. Was there a dog door? If not, was there evidence inside the house that an attack occurred? Human blood? Torn clothes? Was she inside and managed to get outside before she died? Or did someone else’s dogs kill her in her own backyard? Have the Dobermans been DNA’d? Was dog saliva detected on the body and DNA collected and compared with the Doberman’s DNA? Is there any possibility that someone with a grievance toward her could have intentionally turned loose a killer dog in her backyard? Did a killer dog on its own get into her backyard? Was her backyard fenced? So many questions!
While any DBRF is regrettable the big thing to remember is that fatal Doberman attacks are very RARE while fatal pit bull attacks are ROUTINE. The elderly and people with children should center their dog finding efforts on dogs that are known to be SMALL and GENTLE when fully grown. https://dogbitelaw.com/advice-for-parents-about-getting-keeping-dog/choosing-a-dog
We just acquired our third in a row dobe last year. We are old and she will be our last. I like to think we are different than pitbull enthusiasts because there’s not a chance on earth i want to see this covered up. I have questions as do many of you. It is peculiar that she was found outside and the dogs inside but im going to assume sloppy repor for the time being.
I love the Doberman breed. Hopefully DNA is being analyzed to confirm it was her dogs. People have the right to know the truth. Her dog looked gentle and kind in the photo. I would have never picked it out of a lineup as a future killer. I wish we did know what triggered each brutal attack so those triggers could be avoided in the future. I have a big, non aggressive type dog and after learning about dangerous dogs, I view my own dogs differently. If this professional handler dogs mauled her, I guess mine could turn on me. I’ll be waiting for future updates on this case.
Why will it take so long? They have already determined her death was not due to wild animals in that area. People are very interested in knowing if it truly was her dogs that killed her.
I wish they would say if the house had a doggie door or had any open doors or windows.
If the Dobermans has access to the yard and the house, yea they probably did it. If they were secured in the house, it would look like it was other dogs.
I am going to comment here but just briefly to say most of you doberman owners are in denial about the sometimes viciousness of the doberman! I have owned quite a number over the last 60 years and showed and even trained some. i recently had to put my 6 year old spayed female down because she viciously attacked me for no reason. I was one of the lucky ones as my husband was here and able to fend our dog. This dog had bouquet training, love, care, the works! I will go to my grave wondering why such a sweet dog that we had from 3 months could turn on me so! If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone!