Meet Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane.
Animal Killers. Thieves. Felons.
The media portrays this Bonnie and Clyde pair as just misguided animal lovers who are unfairly being punished for their compassion. The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) calls them political prisoners suffering for their cause. Social media abounds with petitions demanding they be freed from their ‘captivity’ and labels them as US-held political prisoners of state repression against revolutionary social justice movements.
The reality is, this felonious couple went on a cross-country two-year crime spree using the moral cover of animal love. They don’t love animals. They deliberately killed thousands of them. They are against environmentally friendly and renewable resources like fur. They demand that everyone wear plastic-based clothing and contribute to the ecological disaster that plastic has brought to this planet. In order to ensure you live your life the way they demand, they were determined to destroy as many farmers and businesses as they could. They deliberately caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to lawful businesses while they shoplifted to support their lifestyle.
“The couple vandalized furriers from California to Pennsylvania — gluing locks, slashing tires, breaking windows and trying to flood the home of a fur industry worker.”
They spray painted the word “murderer” and “killer” on stores and barns. They stole and ‘liberated’ thousands of mink who died horrific deaths at their hands. Let alone causing the deliberate mental anguish of dozens of motorists who hit and killed the scared mink on roadways. Every step of the way they issued press releases through the ALF websites and publications boasting of their crimes.
Unemployed bums, the vegan pair trafficked in stolen goods to pay for their crime ridden lifestyle. Serial shoplifters, they stole from REI, CVS and Michaels in particular and sold the stolen merchandise on eBay.
They hit the road in 2013 driving Kissane’s Honda Fit to San Diego, California to start their multi-state crime spree. They used various acids, paint stripper and super glue to vandalize one of the last small mom and pop fur stores in the area. They glued all the locks shut. They destroyed the store windows with etching chemicals. They sprayed acids all around the store floor. But that wasn’t enough for these two felons. They drove to the homes of the Graf family in two different cities vandalizing their houses and cars with paint stripper, acids and spray-painted murderer on their homes. They poured acid all over their driveways to destroy the concrete and painted their daughter’s car red. Furs by Graf closed shortly after their attack. Out of business for good thanks to these two criminals.
From there, they drove to Montana to steal and set free a bobcat from an exotic animal farm and vandalized a Montana Police Chief’s car. Oh, they didn’t stop there. They vandalized both the Darby Police Chief’s personal and official cars. ALF posted a press release about the stolen cat claiming the pair had ‘rescued it’ and were determined to cause a financial loss to animal owners through the damage and destruction of their property. So, tell me, what did they gain by vandalizing a cop car?
Kissane and Buddenberg were just getting warmed up.
Next they drove to Burley, Idaho to attack a mink ranch. They stole and released 1,800 mink from the farm. Many died terrible deaths. They were hit and killed by cars and carried off as dinner by the local coyote population. They destroyed all of the breeding records of the farm to ensure the business was destroyed for good. The terrorists bragged online that they had destroyed 30 years of genetic selection records and no recovery possible.
“They didn’t have a chance,” Cindy Moyle of the Moyle Mink Ranch in Burley, Idaho, wrote in a letter to the judge [regarding the minks terrible deaths]. She said her family’s farm has been on the forefront of raising mink in a humane way.
They briefly returned to San Francisco to glue the locks shut of multiple businesses, shatter the windows of a market and slashed the tires of multiple cars parked at a wholesale meat distributor. Can you imagine going to work one day at your job and coming out to find that the tires on your car and all of your co-workers have been slashed because some fruitcake is ideologically opposed to eating meat? That’s what they did.
After a quick few weeks on their Bay Area vandalism spree they hit the road again. Driving to Minnesota to vandalize a store in Minneapolis, then they vandalized and attempted to flood out the home of an employee of the North American Fur Auctions in Sun Prairie Wisconsin. Just three days later they drove to Keota, Iowa to attack the Conrad Fur Farm and stole between 400-500 mink and set them loose in the countryside while they high tailed it back to the west coast.
The San Diego Union-Tribune wrote about the incident in Iowa, saying the fur farmer found “dozens of mink turned into road kill, some with their backs broken but still alive. Hundreds more were running amok.” At least 130 of them died miserable deaths.
They spent three weeks at home shoplifting and reselling stolen goods to finance their next trip before driving to Ebensburg, Pennsylvania to steal 1,000 mink from a farm owned by 92-year-old farmer George Rykola. They destroyed many of the cages making it even harder for this elderly gentleman to recapture and return the animals to the safe cages they had been taken from. Less than 10 days later they stole 2,000 mink from a farm in New Holstein, Wisconsin. 24 hours later they hit a farm in Grand Meadow, Minnesota, stealing 440 mink before hightailing it back to the west coast. All together they stole 7,000 mink and setting them lose to die in the wild. Captive raised domestic mink rarely survive in the wild. Many die horrific deaths either hit by cars or starvation. They don’t know to hunt for their own food and are very territorial. They will kill anything in their paths including cats and chickens.
The FBI caught up to them at last in July of 2015 and charged with them conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). They should have been charged with thousands of state level charges of animal abuse and animal cruelty for their acts. When caught, they had two gallons of muriatic acid, multiple bolt and wire cutters, super glue, heat resistant gloves, knifes, night head lamps, encrypted computers and handwritten lists of farms to attack.
This wasn’t Buddenberg’s first rodeo. He had previously been busted for holding threatening protests at various private homes of University of California Berkeley professors. In 2010, a federal judge threw out the charges against him as being too 'vague'.
At first Kissane was offered a slap on the wrist plea deal of six months in jail. The judge rejected the deal stating that the pair had conducted a ‘calculating, premeditated campaign of terror.’ Instead, Kissane was sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay $423,477 in restitution. Buddenberg was more successful in getting his plea bargain deal accepted and was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $398,272. Later the judge in the case stated he regretted the sentences he issued and wished that he had sentenced Buddenberg in particular to a much longer and harsher sentence. U.S. District Judge Larry Burns stated of Buddenberg, “He got a screaming deal.”
“Vandalizing homes and businesses with acid, glue and chemicals in the dark of night is a form of domestic terrorism,” acting U.S. attorney Alana Robinson said. “Whatever your feelings about the fur industry, these sentences are a pretty strong signal that this isn’t the right way to effect change.”
The animal rights front has issued numerous press releases celebrating Buddenberg’s release from prison in 2018. At no time has either one ever been held accountable for the suffering and death they caused to numerous animals they professed to have loved. In an animal rights world, these activists believe animals are better off dead than owned and fed by humans.