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December 15, 2018

FBI hunting rhyming extortionist for terrorizing owners of New Hampshire rescue farm with acts of violence and animal cruelty

November 28, 2018
The FBI is asking for the public’s help in identifying a riddle-writing extortionist who has been targeting a owners of Rickety Ranch in New Hampshire with violence and acts of animal cruelty for nearly two years. (FBI)

The FBI is asking for the public’s help in identifying a riddle-writing extortionist who has been targeting the owners of Rickety Ranch in New Hampshire with acts of violence and animal cruelty for nearly two years.

Diane and Gary Bergeron, the couple that runs the Hollis animal sanctuary, have been terrorized with a series of letters, sent in an attempt to collect $250,000. In exchange, the sender vowed to “spare the family from harm and claimed to be capable of settling their ongoing disputes with the Town of Hollis,” according to a news release from FBI Boston, which covers all of New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.




Authorities released one such letter with the hopes that it’s odd style and rhyming scheme may offer insight on the suspect or suspects.

“I saw your flag on your lawn/And time almost gone/I know your in,” the typo-riddled poem reads. “Just pay know and you will win/It will be simple and fast/I left instructions under glass/On your grass.”

In addition to the eerie blackmail letters, the family has also been subjected to a series of attacks in recent years, resulting in thousands of dollars of damage to their property and vehicles. The FBI is currently investigating a January fire in the Hickety Hills barn and whether it is related to the extortion attempts.

Authorities also released a photo of two brown and white spaniels they said were the victims of animal cruelty. While the dogs survived the incident, other animals have been killed on the farm. Police told WHDH horses at the ranch have also had their tails cut off.

“The vicious shakedown of this family and the use of violence to intimidate them will not be tolerated,” said Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston division.

“We’re asking anyone with information about who is terrorizing them to come forward and share this information with us so we can put a stop to it and bring whoever is responsible to justice.”

The FBI is offering a reward of $10,000 for anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest.

The Rickety Ranch bills itself as an educational farm that encourages children to “get involved in agriculture and learn how to care for animals.”

“As we say, ‘not only are our fences rickety but the animals are children have some rickety too,’” its website reads.

“Most of our animals come from abusive background and have been rehabbed by many caring children who can turn the animals’ lives around. As for our children, most of them also come from bad situations, have disabilities, of just a troubled home life. Whatever it may be, we accept all with open arms and provide a happy place for them to come and feel secure.”

While the extortion letter does reference the Bergerons’ legal woes with the the local government, it’s unclear why exactly the farm has been targeted.

According to the Union-Leader, the town of Hollis is suing the ranch owners over potential zoning code violations involving construction permits.

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