Woman sets house on fire and stabs her 3 dogs to get rid of ‘evil spirits’

In Pittsburgh’s Brighton Heights area, authorities are saying a woman started a fire in her home late Friday morning and stabbed three of her dogs to get rid of “evil spirits.” Two of the dogs died; one dog was rushed to the Pittsburgh Specialty & Emergency Center.

According to CbsLocal Pittsburgh, the elderly woman, who has not bee identified, has been suffering from mental illness and had been treated in the hospital a month ago. Neighbor Paul Klemz told media the woman had knocked on his door, and she had been obviously in a very distressed emotional state:

“She had a gash on her hand and she was shaking and crying, and said she had to get out of the house and she had to set the house on fire to get rid of evil spirits. Then she had to stab the dogs that were attacking her.”

Klemz knows the woman’s family, and acknowledges the tragedy of the entire situation. Mental illness can be a very difficult condition to diagnose and treat. The woman was taken to Mercy hospital. Police are investigating the incident. It is not known if any charges will be filed at this time. Most of the damage to the home was in the kitchen.

Rest in peace sweet dogs. No updates have been provided for the condition of the surviving dog.

(Photo of woman stabbing her dogs to get rid of “evil spirits” screenshot via WtaeNews)

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19 replies
  1. Gizmos Mommy says:

    Mental illness or religious fanaticism can be connected. Either way, the woman needs to be under observation and denied to have any pets ever again.

  2. Mary Ann Clark says:

    Does anyone know how and where the surviving dog is being cared for? I hope they intend to permanently institutionalized this woman!

  3. Stormy Wallace says:

    So why, if she is mentally ill, does she have dogs? Why do the animals always have to suffer? We need to take care of animals in situations like this immediately – I feel sorry for them….

  4. Cynthia Como says:

    If it was known that she has mental issues why in the hell did she have ANY dogs? She most likely is barely able to care for herself let alone any pets! This is a woman who should not be allowed to live alone unsupervised because not only is she a danger to herself but everyone else too! So very sad the dogs had to pat the price for this woman’s mental instability! Praying the dog survives! RIP FUR BABIES

  5. Barkley's Mom says:

    If the woman had been treated for mental illness, why didn’t her family do something with her before she killed her dogs and set her house on fire. People need to realize their relatives need help and do something with them before they hurt themselves or others! Too many times the family doesn’t want to believe it’s happening and then something like this happens. God I hope should I get this way in my elder years, my family puts me away before I hurt someone or thing!


    Jesus christ, why do we so many filth psychos in this planet? Hope she rots mental institution. She needs to be hanged to end her evil spirits!


    So many evil psychos in this planet! If she only has a brain to realize she is the evil spirit? Hope she rots in hell where she belongs!


    Why is the animal people let her have dogs knowing he’s a psycho? I don’t care if she’s an elderly or not she needs to be locked uo for good!


    She’s not even fit ti be in a group home, but in a mental institution where she spends the rest of her miserable life until satan takes her demented soul!

  10. Nancy Raymond says:

    Someone had to know this woman was incapable of caring for anything and yet, she was left to murder innocent dogs and commit arson. She was previously treated for her mental illness and apparently was allowed to return home with no aftercare. Two dogs died because of inadequate, negligent and lousy aftercare – what a shock!

  11. Sherry says:

    I am sorry she is so mentally ill but I’m even more sorry these three dogs wound up with her as an owner. There should be a screening process to own an animal; It is a privilege and should not be everyone’s right . Ya know, I mean there are things some people just should not have and can not be trusted with. …weapons, animals. If there were requirements, then so many animals wouldn’t get into the wrong hands constantly. I know the problem would not end, but it could be curbed. I recently adopted a dog and they screened me pretty good and asked me a lot of questions, called my veterinarian, etc. I was impressed not insulted. If you have good intentions, why should you mind going through a little process to protect them…HMMMMM

  12. pamela bolton says:

    REGARDLESS of mental illness, the woman took two lives and attempted the third. Charges should be filed. If she is mentally ill, what is she doing with animals in the first place?? Now two animals have lost their lives and maybe a third one.Time to start using your brains people.

  13. Amanda says:

    The woman who is suffering mental illness was left alone for 30 minutes as she lived with her family after being released from Western Psych. She is not the caretaker of the dogs unfortunately was left alone. The system is completely unhelpful to families who have suffer from mental issues. Insurance doesn’t allow them to stay in a hospital and ships them back home. This family has had it so rough and they needed real help which they had no place to turn. The woman is suffering cancer and is going through treatment and suffers from mental health issues. What she did was tragic but you cannot fault someone who is mentally ill. You fault the family for leaving her alone even though they need help and you fault the mental health system for not taking her case seriously two weeks prior when her family took her to get help. It’s an unfortunate situation.


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