Hamster Deaths Rip Bushwick Family Apart

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Photo: iStockphoto.com

When 9-year old Brandon Davis named his pet hamster Princess Stephanie, his mother, Theresa, should have known there was bad luck ahead. After all, was not the hamster's wild child namesake a participant in the deadly car crash that ended the life of Princess Grace of Monaco? Why not just go ahead and name it Princess Diana, to ensure maximum doom? Or Princess Chunk? But of course, Theresa couldn't have predicted the chain of catastrophic events that would end up with not one, but two dead hamsters, all of her children turning on one another, and one of them ultimately facing up to two years in prison.

According to the Times, Princess Stephanie was playing in her exercise ball when Brandon's 25-year-old older brother flew into a rage. He kicked the ball across the room, knocking Stephanie loose and ultimately killing her. Overwhelmed with guilt, the elder Davis went out and bought young Brandon three hamsters. (Because when one hamster isn't trouble enough, make sure you get a hamster hat trick.)

Seeing the three hamsters running around the apartment sent Theresa's 19-year-old daughter, Monique, into her own fit of rage. She picked up the biggest one, Sweetie, and killed it by slamming it on the floor. Unlike her brother, Monique showed no contrition.

Clearly having come to believe that when one hamster dies, he is replaced by three others, Brandon became upset. According to the Post, the 9-year-old then called the ASPCA emergency hotline and ratted his sister out. This kicked off a nine-month investigation, during which law enforcement officers from the agency pursued an evasive Monique. On Tuesday night, they caught up with her and arrested her. She's charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and is now facing up to two years in prison. Her brother, who replaced the original dead hamster with three new ones, has not been charged.

What's the lesson here, people? Nine-year-olds can and should be bribed. With hamsters.

19-Year-Old Is Charged in Hamster’s Death [NYT]
Ratted out by bro, 9 [NYP]