Analysis of Samples from a Cow Mutilated June 27, 2001 (Conrad, Montana)


A Red Angus cow was found mutilated in Conrad, Montana. There were no obvious tracks from vehicles, people, or predators around the animal. The mutilations consisted of very clean excisions of the left eye and eyelid, rectum, genitalia, and tongue. When the hide was cut away from the neck by law enforcement officers and the rancher, they found an area that was dark green.

They did this to determine whether the animal had been injected. Tissue samples were taken underneath the left jaw-bone from area of green colored tissue. Additionally, samples of vitreous fluid and a maggot mass were obtained. The object is to look for any components that should not be normally present in the animal.


1.) One unusual compound is present in both the green tissue and vitreous fluid of the mutilated cow. This is oxindole. This component is known to possess a sedative property. It is also a decomposition product of tryptophan, another powerful sedative. 1 The other materials detected appear to consist of the expected natural products or decomposition products from the animal.

2.) The dark tissue (mostly muscle tissue) is suggested to be in more advanced state of decay when compared to the pink tissue (primarily fatty tissue) from the mutilated animal. Furthermore, the analysis suggests the mutilated cow is in a greater state of putrefaction than the control heifer.

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The Analysis

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This post was published on October 13, 2016

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