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Homeless William Bednar charged in Youngstown puppy killings

Published: Fri, February 17, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.



By Robert Guttersohn



When Dave Nelson from the Mahoning County Dog Warden’s office on Wednesday came across William Bednar, 55 and homeless, pushing a cart filled with dead animals and two syringes, he was running into a familiar face.

Police arrested Bednar for the syringes and the dog warden’s office confiscated a dead peregrine falcon from the cart.

The next day, police filed charges against Bednar for the killing of two German shepherd puppies Jan. 30 in the West Federal Street boulevard in front of the Western Reserve Transit Authority station.

Police charged Bednar with two felony counts of cruelty to companion animals. He has two prior convictions of animal cruelty, one in 2000 and one earlier this year.

City Prosecutor Jay Macejko said Bednar was a person of interest almost immediately after the investigation started because he has a history of animal abuse, and security cameras filmed him in the area about the time of the dog killings.

Mahoning County Dog Warden Matt Ditchey said the shoe laces that were tied around the dogs’ necks and the blanket that covered them also linked the killings to Bednar, but he would not say how.

Wednesday night while he was in custody, the dog warden’s office obtained a witness statement regarding the German shepherd puppies, leading to the animal cruelty charges, Macejko said.

Bednar will be arraigned 1:30 today at Youngstown Municipal Court and may have more charges filed against him if further investigation shows the falcon was killed, Nelson said.

Macejko said because the two dogs had collars on their necks, authorities believe they were pets, though there are no reports filed for missing dogs matching their description. Because they are believed to be pets, the prosecutor was able to bump the charges to two felony counts.

Nelson saw Bednar pushing his cart through a parking lot along Oneta Street, the same street where a black Labrador retriever was found with part of its right rear leg cut off. It is also close to where authorities found a dog starved to death in the woods just south of Ohio Works Drive and where they found another dog alive and tied up near Mahoning and Lakeview avenues.

But Macejko said they have found no link between Bednar and the other dog abuse cases within the last few weeks.

“We are investigating those as individual cases,” Macejko said.

In 2000, police and the dog warden were called to Bednar’s then home at 53 Oneta St. after neighbors reported hearing the sound of crying puppies. Nelson said he arrived on scene first and said he found Bednar standing over a 55-gallon drum barbecue. In the drum, Nelson found the charred remains of puppies.

“I’ll never forget what he told me,” Nelson said. “He said, ‘Well, they eat dogs in China.’ I told him, “Well, you’re not in China.’”

Nelson said they were unable to charge Bednar with cooking the animals because a necropsy could not determine the cause of death. They did charge him with cruelty to companion animals after finding a neglected dog chained inside the home, Nelson said. He was convicted of the charge later that year and sent to North Coast Mental Facility in Cleveland.

In 2011, while living at the Phoenix House at 850 N. Meridian Road, he stole a dog from an Austintown home and chained it in the woods behind the complex and left it there. He was convicted of theft and animal cruelty on Jan. 20, 2012. He was ordered to undergo six months of mental counseling and a year of probation during which he was not to harbor any animals.

On Thursday afternoon, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife picked up the falcon to determine its cause of death, Nelson said.


1Stingrae(15 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Ok. He is apparently not fit for society. Insane or not, he needs to be locked up somewhere. I hope the prosecutor comes down hard on him. Whether or not he is responsible for the other animal abuse cases recently, it's time to clamp down and make sure there are harsh and consistent deterrents to these disgusting crimes against animals.

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2CassAnn(252 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Why do they keep turning this guy back out on the streets??? He is obviously very sick and needs to be institutionalized.

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3kfromtheburbs(23 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

I know, lets bring him to my house. I will fire up the BBQ. Guess who will be fried? First I will see to it that the noose around his necks sucks the life out of him.This guy is way to sick to be in society. Maybe I am too. because I would really enjoy that.

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4whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

This guy could use a labotomy.

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5jshome(4 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

i chased this looser away from my neighbors dog over the summer he was giving the dog some yellow liquid from a milk jug not sure what was in it when i asked what the *#$@ are you doing he said it's hot i'm giving him a drink i doubt that

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6Scope9137(7 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

who is stan everyone keeps talking about? Do you think he hurt those other dogs?

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7mollylm(16 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Even with his long history of seriously sick abuse, including stealing dogs, he was sentenced to "time served" and a year's probation in Jan. If Judge Douglas EVER took crimes against animals seriously, these puppies and whatever other animals he harmed in last few months would have been saved. He should have been put away at that time. And of course these are just the times he's been caught, Let's hope perhaps someone will NOW see he needs to be off the streets, or should we wait until he happens across an unattended child?

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8ytownoh(9 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm very concerned that he is not the only one going around killing or abuseing the dogs. Hope everyone across this valley is guarding their pets. And our animal abuse laws across the board are too weak in this state. Look how many if them are being arrested for having sex with animals, its just sickening.

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9JustStop(7 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

-- Really Just Stop --

Some of the comments listed here are just wrong.

The person has an serious illness, that doesn't excuse what he or she does.

The problem is we have no system that can help a person with a mental illness.

So many times everyone just passes the buck. Put the person in the proper place get the person help and monitor the person. If the person strays take more serious action.

Don't just ignore that the person has a mental illiness and put them back on the street after sitting in jail. Was any medical mental attention provided when the person was in Jail?

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10yng00128(67 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Woodside needs to reopen. Dogs and cats today....humans tomorrow for this guy. Seriously needs locked up in mental institute forever.

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11yng00128(67 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

@ falconeddy......Hello clarice......

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12JustStop(7 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago


I would definitely watch how you threaten people online.

You may think your being cute but it is a serious statement that can be taken as a threat.

I think your last conclusion may be correct.

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13dees2cents(38 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

I agree with Mrrjytown.
Bednar is NOT the ONLY person that is harming these animals.
He is homeless in downtown Youngstown, but the two dogs that were thrown off the bridge were taken by van from a home on the southside, Brownlee Woods Area.
I do not think that those actions were caused by Bednar.

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14excel(1307 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago


Not enough posts to be Stan. He would be plastering the board.

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15Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago


"So many times everyone just passes the buck. Put the person in the proper place get the person help and monitor the person. If the person strays take more serious action."

He was sent to North Coast Mental Facility in Cleveland. He was to have six months of mental counseling and not harbor any animals.

What else do you want society to do??

"Don't just ignore that the person has a mental illiness and put them back on the street after sitting in jail. Was any medical mental attention provided when the person was in Jail?"

Who is ignoring that Willy has a mental illness?? Again read my comment above.
What are your suggestions??

We need STAN back! lol

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16Stingrae(15 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

It's a fine line between mental illness and evil.

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17bmanresident(607 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Stan would have some great insight on how the culture of the city had something to do with this.Miss ya Stan!

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18justonevoice(94 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

This "person", and I use that term loosely, is a serial killer in training. If William Bednar does this to innocent animals, he is obviously perfecting his skills and there is not a doubt in my mind that he will, if he hasn't already, escalate to torturing and murdering humans. Mentally ill? Obviously - but he is a threat to himself and others and he needs to be incarcerated for the remainder of his life. I don't believe for one minute that "treatment" would cure this...monster. As a tax payer, I will gladly pay for him to be in prison for the rest of his life.

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19lumper(301 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

ronald reagan put the mentally ill onto the streets by closing institutions. now, nobody wants them. the prison system doesn't want this guy -he's too expensive to treat and house. mental institutions would take him for a short time, but there are many mentally ill people in need of his bedspace too, and he would be discharged after a short ( few months ) stay, told to take his meds and sent on his way.

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20JustStop(7 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

I love the headline -- Homeless

A more accurate way to state it is Mentality ill.

Lumper -- I think you state it well.

Skyone, Biggeorge --- Strong Statememts but that doesn't solve the problem either. Because then you would be next head line.

The frustrating part with dealing with the Menality ill is when they are off their medication there is no place for them but out on the street.

People try to help but it's a lifetime of work. Many people give up because it takes a toll on them. You can't be there 24/7 to monitor everything a person does short of being in an institution.

Serious mental illness just doesnt go away. Meds may help the person function if your lucky enough to find the right meds.

But once a person is off their meds there truely is not way of knowing what a person will do.

The jail system doesn't want them and there isn't a long term place for them.

He was just in jail but released. Was he evaluated to be a threat to anyone else?

If he was getting meds after being in jail after 30 days he's better he's let him go , then he is back on the street. Without a support structure in place it a matter of time before he's back again.

I know you want to torture and kill him.

Then the society should just start lining them up. We have a whole prison system full of them.

When does the line stop beore the convicted drug users or after the person convicted of a DUI.

There has to be a long term place for people like this.

Oh I know it's going to cost money we can't spend money. We spend money on everything else.

The list of socal issues that we spend money on is mind boggling. I can understand if mental illness isn't one of you want to spend money on.

Who gets to decides everyone can probably list their top five or ten they don't want to spend money on.

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21frogcrazy(1 comment)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

this is not the first time this man has been in trouble he has had amental problem for a long time he should have never been on the streets

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22XBROWNSX(35 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

This LOSER needs to be put down. He is not needed or wanted by a normal society. Quit making excuses for him, if anyone deserves to being shot and put out of his worthless existence, it's WILLIAM BEDNAR. BEDNAR is Satan on Earth, pure and simple. BEDNAR needs to return to his birthplace: HELL.

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23cometman1(2 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

I grew up with Bill. I knew his dad, his brothers, his grand parents. He came from a great family. To all of you saying shoot him etc., this is sad, he is sick. Just plain mentally ill. Thank God everyday that he is not you, your brother, mother sister or friend. Bill was a normal vibrant nice productive guy. Somewhere in his early 20's best I can recall things happened like they happen to many. He desperately needs help. His family is no doubt spent and don't know what else to do. Society has decided to throw him away. He is a living breathing but sick creation of God. Please understand what has happened in our world. In the past 10 years most all of the mental health facilities in Ohio have closed. There has been a great push to dump the Bill Bednars onto the streets. There is not funding, there's no one to look after them. This is what we now have. 20 years ago he would be institionalized. Let's get Bill help, if he gets it in prison, fine. It breaks my heart to see him this way.

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24Rooster(80 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Good Lord Almighty, what does it take to keep this boogeyman off the streets? Cooking live puppies, taking the leg off a live dog, munching on hawks. Paper says he was caught cooking live puppies a long time ago. Better worry about what else he wants to taste. He says people in china eat puppies. Hope he doesn't know any people eater stories. Mental illness sure takes some strange turns. Here is someone real focused on trying out the loose proteins around him. Someone better follow him around some, might find some missing folks.

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25Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago


"Let's get Bill help, if he gets it in prison, fine. It breaks my heart to see him this way."

Then you shelter him and get him on his medications and take care of him.

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26cometman1(2 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

No lifes2short, we all will suffer the consequences, you will pay, I will pay, the community will pay.

If there's a point to all of this, it's that we have money in our society for stupid things like to keep people on unemployment for 99 weeks but we don't have money for the severely mentally ill like this.

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27JustStop(7 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Life2short ---

I would suggest that the authorities that had him in custody for 70 some days ignored the mental illness. Or the laws dealing with mental illness didn't allow them to do any more.

The system is messed up. It's not easy just to lock up a person or to committ a person. Plus there's not many places to committ a person to unless then committ a very serious crime or a threat to someone else. The authorities must not have thought that he was threat to anyone else so they let him go.

I can't speak for them but they were making the decision. So that's where my comment about passing the buck comes from.

It does sounds like he recieved mental health treatment for the 200 charge in Cleveland. So it's been a 9 to 11 year run without him falling off meds or getting into serious trouble. It may not sound like long enough but ask any mental health case worker who deal with the seriously mentally ill.

It should have been obivous that he had a relapse but there is not where to put a person like this.

So the game is you hope like hell he doesn't hurt anyone before he committs a crime that you can lock him up for a longer period of time.

Its a process that social workers go through on a regular basis. I wonder why there is such a high level of burn out.

If you can't understand why a person my be heart broken to see someone they knew in a situation like this well that says a lot about you.

A single person can't solve the problem. The laws, the system the support structure needs to be in place for a positive outcome to occur. ( A positive outcome does not mean let him go each case is different)

I am not defending the crimes that he committed or may have committed. All I know is there are many people in the city and country in the same situation.

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28JustStop(7 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago


Simple minds say simple things.

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29Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago


All your babbling you still didn't answer my question. What is your suggestion to do with him???

"If you can't understand why a person my be heart broken to see someone they knew in a situation like this well that says a lot about you.

McFly, you don't know me so don't even go that route. I see you like to judge people on comments. Says a lot about you.
Anyway, why don't you take him in if you feel that strongly about William?
Obviously he can live by himself and take care of himself, for he's been doing that for years, but he has a problem with killing animals and eating them. What's your suggestion?

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30JustStop(7 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

My suggestion is change the system so that you have a place to house the mental ill. Get them medical treatment that is necessary.

Change the system and the laws so that you can put the person in the appropriate place before they committ crimes but that wont happen.

You can't just lock someone up because they are mentally ill. They have to committ a crime. Then everyone is outraged that someone with mental illiness committed a crime.

They can't reason and God only knows what thoughts go through their mind. You take the chance to see if they will the harm someone else or not.

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31legend33(169 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

I miss Stan!!

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32kfromtheburbs(23 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Just stop
Thanks for your comment. mind ya own business.

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33sherry24d(9 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

how on earth could he do something like this. i find it totally appalling. i think he should have the same punishment and torture that he inflicted on those poor defensless adorable animals. i hope that he is locked up for the rest of his miserable life. he needs to feel every bit of pain and agony that he imposed on the animals. i hope that law makers wake up and once and for all do something about it. he needs to go to prison for the rest of his life. he is a MONSTER

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34kfromtheburbs(23 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago


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3544509resident(46 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Its obvious that this man needs mental help. Crazy, that he said they eat dogs n China because I'm ALWAYS hearing jokes about Chinese restaurants killing n cooking cats and dogs...This man's actions could lead to humans. Jeffrey Daumer started off killing pets.

At far as Stan he probably reached the maximum # of post allowed. Or he could b deceased, because you would think he was an elderly man who sat online all day. When he was here everyone ganged up on him, now hes gone and people are missing him....MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!

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36Azalearosen(1 comment)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

No matter what he is insane and there is no hope for him. If they can't keep him locked up for good I hope someone shots him. He is a worthless piece of human life and first pets then comes humans. We all wouldn't say " Oh he needs some help get over it " if he was killing and torturing humans. Animals are easy to get to but so are children. I wouldn't feel safe being near him / living near him with helpless children. i could never be a cop or a dog warden because if I would of caught him roasting puppies I would of killed him right then and there. WASTE OF LIFE NEEDS TO DIE!!!!!!! AND ROT!!!!!!!!!!

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37Life888(17 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

I cried when I first heard this story, and I still cry at it! Why would someone kill dogs and puppies? Punish the people who murdered the dogs and puppies! Make animal abuse a felony!

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38XBROWNSX(35 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

JustSTOP, I wonder if that had been your puppy, DEAD, in that bucket of other DEAD puppies, you'd look at Bednar and say - "Sir, we need to get you some help". Your weak, pampered reply to myself and others here are the reason why sick puds such as Bednar walk. Gutless judges and gutless people like you. Take Bednar into your own home, and maybe you or one of your loved ones can help poor Mr. Bednar. Based on reading this article, Bednar knew EXACTLY what he was doing to those innocent young dogs. Even people with a mental illness would know that is wrong. You sir, are out of touch with reality. My first and foremost concern is justice for those innocent puppies. I'm sure if the Vindicator published clear, in color, photographs of Mr. Bednar's "Dead Puppy Bucket", then perhaps Mr. JustSTOP your opinion of Mr. Bednar might become more aligned with mine and others' thought on this gruesome matter. On the other hand, maybe not.

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39ascar1nthasky03(1 comment)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

This is simple. This man has no refuge. He walks the streets trying to get by, and in that time he commits these crimes in hopes of being caught by the police, dog warden, citizens, etc., so that he CAN be locked up to have food and a roof over his head. Being out on the streets, he has everything readily available to him to continuously cause mischief! I do not know anything about him personally, but this is the most logical reasoning to this behavior. When he is locked up, he is in his heyday. Think about it. Free food, shelter, warmth, and people to give him attention. This guy is thriving for it all. The more he does, the longer he stays behind bars. He doesn't give a rat's behind. Literally? Anyways, keeping psychopaths like this behind bars is a decision hard for people to make. He stays behind bars for X amount of time, and guess what? Taxpayers begin feeding him, housing him, clothing him, etc.! Literally, what the hell do we do?

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