NY dairy farmer kills 51 cows, commits suicide

The News Leader

January 23, 2010 10:47:08 AM PST
Officials say a New York dairy farmer who methodically slaughtered 51 cows before taking his own life may have been trying to spare his family the burden of caring for the animals. Dean Pierson was found dead Thursday on the floor of his barn in Copake.

Nearby, half his heard lay in their milking stalls, also dead of gunshot wounds.

Pierson left no explanation for what he'd done, just a note on the barn door warning whoever found it not to come in and to call the police.

But there appeared to be a method to his bloody work. He killed only the cows that required frequent milking.

Pierson's wife says she wants to figure out how to keep the farm going.

She says she doesn't want "all that work he put into it to go to nothing."