"The Henhouse Murder" by Jack Blanchard
Note: This story first appeared in my newspaper column. Some editor apparently took it seriously, and ran it as a news item, without my usual picture at the top. The whole town was talking about the County employee who went berserk. * * * HENHOUSE MURDER TRIAL BEGINS. Reporter: Jack "Scoop" Blanchard Jury selection has begun in the notorious Henhouse Murder trial of Adrian "Cluck" Rydzinek, suspended county livestock inspector accused of the killing of seven hundred thirty-one chickens, three pigs, one horse, and the assault of Mrs. Fannie G. Heimeier, 87, of Heimeier Farms, Inc., 8212 Wyless Road, who had been sitting innocently on the porch. Herman Heimeier, the farm owner, according to police reports, returned from a delivery to find his farm a bloody mess, and the assault of his grandmother already in progress. According to Heimeier, she shouted, "Keep out of this, Herman. I can handle it!" Mr. Heimeier, nevertheless, clubbed Rydzinek into submission with a deceased chicken. Judge Fern B. Fowler, in a preliminary hearing, ruled that the charges would be "Destruction of property, because chickens are not people, and not subject to murder", and the assault charge would hinge on the statements and attitude of Mrs. Heimeier, who has not spoken since the incident. Doctors are encouraged by the pleasant smile that never leaves her face. Court appointed Psychiatrists believe Rydzinek was suffering from "Chicken Fatigue". After twenty-six years of chicken inspecting he just snapped. "Suddenly I hated every chicken in the world", sobbed Rydzinek, when taken into custody! He made no mention of the pigs, the horse, and the grandmother. Copyright © Jan. 13, 2005, Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.