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HOUSTON Police say a possible serial killer is on the loose, but he s targeting pets instead of people.

Authorities say several cats have been killed in recent months, some of their bodies skinned or decapitated. The most recent case happened in Lazybrook.

They believe it was cut in half, said Sgt. Virginia Brasher, of HPD s Major Offender s Unit. The back half was found in one location, and there was no blood, so they believe it was put there after cutting the cat somewhere else.

Dr. Oscar Bukstein, a psychiatrist and Director of Child and Adolescent services at the UT Health Sciences Center, suspects the person responsible could be dangerous and says his or her actions are real cause for concern.

It s one of the best ways to predict future anti social behavior, such as aggression, criminal behavior, delinquent behavior and violence against people, said Bukstein.

He said the mutilation aspect of the crimes is especially alarming.

It takes it a few steps further. In other words, it s not just an impulsive act, Bukstein said. You have to think about people actually going out and looking for animals to harm and having this thought out. Aggression is one thing. Torture is another.

They ve been mutilated and some have been placed in such a way to make sure the owners will see the cat. It s to alarm everybody in the neighborhood, said Brasher.

The case has even gotten the attention of Crime Stoppers, which is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest. If you know anything, call Crime Stoppers at 713 222-TIPS (8477).

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