Four people associated with a triple homicide in Fullerton (CA) on September 24 were involved in the Southern California furry community reports the Orange County Register — one of the victims, two men charged with the murder, and an unnamed teenager who may also be charged.
Christopher Yost, 34; his wife, Jennifer Yost, 39; and their friend Arthur Boucher, 28, were found dead in the Yost home in Fullerton on Saturday morning. Two of the couple’s daughters, ages 6 and 9, were home when police arrived. The younger girl alerted police by calling 911, saying their parents had died.
On Sunday morning, police arrested Frank Felix, 25, of Sun Valley; Joshua Acosta, a 21-year-old U.S. Army mechanic based at Fort Irwin; and a 17-year-old female on suspicion of murder.
The trio were arrested after police had asked for the public’s help in finding Jennifer Yost’s missing daughter, Katlynn, who is 17.
Katlynn Yost was located, but police said state law prevents them from saying whether she was the arrested teenager.
According to reports from KTLA, the teenager is expected to face murder charges as well.
Katlynn, known on the OC Furry Facebook Fan Page as Daydreamer, was reported to the group as missing on Sunday.
The Register interviewed the SoCal Furs videographer Christopher Parque-Johnson.
“A lot of people in our community were devastated,” said Christopher Parque-Johnson, 23, of Garden Grove, an artist, performer and videographer for the SoCal Furs, which has members from San Luis Obispo to San Diego. “I’ve been hearing from a lot of people. It bothered everybody.
“It makes no sense.”
Parque-Johnson led a group of furries, as they call themselves, to the site of the homicides Sunday night. They laid roses, left cards and lit candles to honor victim Jennifer Yost, Parque-Johnson said, because she was a mother figure to the SoCal Furs. The two men accused in the killings are also furries, as is Yost’s daughter Katlynn Goodwin Yost, Parque-Johnson said.
“All of them were always nice to everybody,” said Parque-Johnson, known in the furry community as Bandit, a raccoon inspired by the film “Over the Hedge.”
The Los Angeles Times carried details of the charges against the two men arrested in the murders.
A soldier in the U.S. Army and another man were charged with murder Tuesday in connection with the slaying of a Fullerton couple and their friend over the weekend, according to authorities.
Pfc. Joshua Acosta, 21, of Ft. Irwin in San Bernardino County, and Frank Sato Felix, 25, of Sun Valley, each face three felony counts of murder, with special circumstance allegations of multiple murder, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.
Prosecutors also charged Acosta with a sentencing enhancement because he used a firearm, according to the district attorney’s office. Both men have been ordered held without bail. If convicted, the men face a sentence of at least life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Parque-Johnson also told the Orange County Register quite a bit of background about furries which was published in the article.
Parque-Johnson said he knew the two men and Katlynn Yost, who identifies herself as a furry on her Facebook and Twitter accounts, but did not associate them with one another.
“We’ve never seen them huddled together,” Parque-Johnson said. “We didn’t know them as friends of each other.”
Parque-Johnson said he was closest with Jennifer Yost.
“People looked up to her,” he said. “A lot of people cared about her.”
Joshua Acosta and Frank Felix were helpful in setting up and breaking down weekend events, Parque-Johnson said.
“They were trying to be outstanding citizens,” Parque-Johnson said.
Furries have been around since the 1980s. They admire anthropomorphic animals – characters that walk on two feet and speak like humans. Most of them are “non-suiters,” meaning they don’t spend $1,000 to $5,000 or more on full-body animal costumes. Instead, they create characters and wear badges with their characters displayed.
Parque-Johnson said furries have been unfairly characterized in the media as a group of sexual deviants. Sexual activity involving some people in furry costumes has happened in the three-decade history of the furries, according to media accounts.
“If we see it, we don’t allow those people back,” Parque-Johnson said. “We feel that behavior would be very inappropriate in our group. We think that is very weird.”
The furry community comprises mostly adults under 30, although there are some older furries who were fans of Disney movies involving animals with human characteristics such as in “Robin Hood.”
Furries watch movies, play video games, draw pictures and trade cards, Parque-Johnson said.
“People come to us to get away from the negative stuff in life,” he said.
That’s very sad. My condolences to friends and family of the victims.
My sympathies as well for the furry community who have not only lost a friend but now has the lurid media eye turned on them in horrific circumstances.
I’m curious what
translates to. So they’re charged with each murder and also a special charge because it was a mass murder? I looked for more details in the LA Times piece but it wasn’t helpful.
I really don’t get this habit of using the real names and pictures of the accused before they have been convicted. Of course if they are in a position of influence in politics or the like, but otherwise?
Different cultures, I know…
Way to go, kinkshaming. 🙁
I believe “special circumstances” classifies the crime as one which could potentially be punished by the death penalty.
Hampus. The names of accused minors (under 18 years old) are protected. Although in this case, they published the age and gender of the daughter, published that the daughter, who they named, was missing, and published that someone the age and gender of the daughter was arrested. Which does rather lead one to join the dots, correctly or incorrectly. Honestly, I wouldn’t call that protecting the privacy of a minor…
I think they’re protected by journalistic convention, not by law. The media sometimes identifies them, as it did with Amy Fisher.
That’s the norm here in the U.S. after someone is arrested or charged with a crime that attracts media attention.
It’s also becoming common for newspapers and other sites to run mugshot galleries from petty crimes. Here’s an example.
The land of the free loves incarceration and public shaming.
rcade, that’s true; it might be journalistic convention rather than law. I’m not a lawyer. In the case cited in the OP, the protection does seem to be a rather inadequate figleaf for the reasons I cite. If the 17-year-old arrested is NOT the daughter, the daughter has still been smeared in the press by implication.
As a former newspaper reporter, I don’t know what the media could do differently in a situation like this one.
Kaitlyn Yost was named when the authorities thought she was missing and endangered. Now she’s known to be safe and might be arrested. California law forbids police from naming juveniles in police custody.
The media could name the 17-year-old murder suspect who appears by implication to be Yost, but they normally require police confirmation before naming someone.
It’s highly unlikely that the media doesn’t know who the suspect is. The way the news is being reported likely reflects off-the-record information from police.
Is it common for furry news stories to include the nickname and inspiration for the costume of a quoted person? In a serious article about murder I found it kind of messes with the tone of the article but maybe they’re trying to be respectful and I’m not understanding it.
-Matt, known as Bigfoot, inspired by all of the Bigfoot documentaries
Well, yes, that was poor wording and definitely judgmental, but I will cut Parque-Johnson (or Bandit, if he prefers to be called that) some slack for the following reasons:
a) he was close to at least one of the victims, and it seems he knew the accused perpetrators,
b) he seems to have been designated Official Furry Spokesperson and Educator,
c) everybody’s heard of that CSI episode, right? The one that portrayed furries as sexual deviants?
d) it sounds like the gatherings being referred to were intended as family-friendly, so it makes sense that those engaging in sexual activity would be removed. Because it’s inappropriate for the setting, not inappropriate in general.
I knew a furry who, after he let it slip (and it did seem like an accidental revelation), was very quick to clarify that it wasn’t a sexual thing. He seemed afraid of being judged. I wonder if that’s the same mindset at play in the quote you referenced.
Given the reputation that furries have in the media, I can’t fault him for wanting to differentiate his local group of furries from the ones who are kinky in their pursuit of the fandom.
We also don’t know what the reporter asked to solicit that answer.
I find the US habit to publish full names and photos of people accused of crimes rather disturbing as well. Ditto for the US habit to publish full names and photos of victims of crimes and disasters.
However, what makes me actually angry is when a foreign journalist (often, but not always from the US) violates German journalistic norms and publishes photos and the full name of either people accused of crimes or victimised by them, as happened in a couple of high profiles cases such as the Germanwings crash or the Munich spree shooting.
In the case of the Munich spree shooting, a US journalist not just photographed the grieving families of victims, but also spread the full name of the shooter (who was 18 and would therefore have been tried as a minor, if he had survived, i.e. special protections applied) via social media, which is pretty disgusting.
Meanwhile, Russian journalists published the full name and photo of a 13-year-old Russian-German girl who claimed to have been raped by refugees. The accusations later turned out to be false – the girl had run away from home and was terrified of her parents.
I happened to watch the CSI furry episode together with my Mom and had some explaining to do, since she’d never heard of furries before. I suspect there are a lot of people for whom that crappy CSI episode was their first contact with furry fandom.
I heard the guy who was a technical consultant for the CSI episode talk about it. He told the writers everything and they said to him, “Nope. Not weird enough.” He kind of marveled that it was the only time he’d been told that being a furry wasn’t weird enough. But IIRC, Grissom was all for it; whatever they needed was fine with him.
I don’t think of most furries as being under 30 — maybe that’s a SoCal thing? I mean, it’s hard to tell age if they’re in fursuits, but I had the impression they spanned many ages, though I can’t say as I can think of any elderly furries.
Sounds like a garden-variety rebellious teen girl hanging out with “bad influence” violent older men story, otherwise. I’m sad for the friends and especially the little girls.
Hampus: the story says “If we see it, we don’t allow those people back,” Parque-Johnson said. I know Sweden is liberal, but is public sex typical? I thought I Am Curious was a fantasy and the couple on stage at a concert (Scandinavia but maybe not Sweden), etc. were edge cases?
Mike: typo in your wraps around the quotes: “Katylnn”
There’s definitely still a lot of worry about public perception in furry fandom, and a lot of that has to do with the “CSI” episode and a couple feature articles from about the same time period. This continues to manifest in odd ways throughout the fandom; one of my novellas is sold as “Adults Only” despite the fact that you could find way more explicit scenes on any given science fiction shelf of your local bookstore, and this is apparently mostly due to the insistence of a few furry cons that anything that could be remotely described as sexytimes needs to have censor tape plastered all over it.
The median age of furry fans has always been somewhere around 23, I think, although there are certainly those of us who’ve stayed in the fandom long enough to be, uh, considerably older than that. While I try to be something of a “furry advocate” in some contexts — I’m currently the president of the Furry Writers’ Guild — I admit that I’m a bit hesitant to mention it in many other contexts, simply because “furry” has entered mainstream consciousness as “person who likes to dress up in animal costumes, possibly for prurient reasons,” and I’m not always interested in getting into that discussion.
The reasons you cut “Bandit” some slack are the same reasons I’m not prepared to cut him some slack. If he is a spokesperson and educator, he should know the importance of *not* shaming people for their sexuality.
Well, I have been to parties with animalplay (basically the sexual side of furries) and yes, there has been public sex. And I have tried animalplay myself. I do not appreciate being called weird.
We furries have our liars, thieves, thugs and extremists — and worse. Did anyone ever think it would be otherwise?
A very sad and shocking story, and I’m not looking forward to the inevitable dramatisation which will show up on some cheap true-crime channel in a few years’ time.
He’s part of a local group of fans in which two were brutally murdered, either two or three are now accused of the crime and three children have lost their parents. If that’s not a reason to cut him some slack for how he represented furries to the media, I don’t know what is.
Rcade: Would you have said that if he called gays weird?
A group of furries has as much right to exclude sexual behavior as another group has to include it. He’s talking about the norms of his own group, which included minors and would thus have concerns to be family oriented. He’s also defending the reputation of friends he just lost to murder, knowing what the media is likely to say about furries.
Could he have phrased it better? Sure.
The SoCal Furs mailing list on Yahoo has this language in its intro:
Uh, by saying that dressing up as an animal and having public sex is the equivalent of being gay, are you saying that being gay is just “a lifestyle choice” like dressing up as an animal and having public sex, or are you saying that dressing up as an animal and having public sex is a trait that you are born with, like being gay?
I had a long post written out but I think no good can come of it so I’ll just say that maybe the most important issue here is maybe the murders and not “kinkshaming”. Lets just say I disagree with you on this Hampus, and this is coming from someone who is definitely not new to the furry community.
Hampus: I’d say there’s a substantial difference between a “party” and a “convention”, but I don’t know how you define “party”.
Hampus: If this were any other kind of convention and he said that anyone being overly sexual in public at the convention would be asked to leave, would you be this wroth about “kinkshaming”? Or is it only different because the costumes make it kinky?
Because there’s a big difference between kicking out a (gay) couple for starting to get sexual in a con suite and kicking out a gay couple for being gay. (In the former case, I would only consider it problematic if, as is still common too many places, straight people got a pass for the same level of PDA. The latter on the other hand is never, ever, right.)
I feel like we’re talking at cross-purposes here. Considering that we know at least one attendee at these gatherings/conventions was 17 years old (and by my reading, underage furries were welcome), it makes sense that sexual activity was considered inappropriate for the group. It was not a play party where sex was welcome/expected/encouraged. I think the “very weird” line was harsh, but I also recognize that the person who said it was shocked and grieving, and also that it was considered weird in the specific context with the specific group he was talking about. I did not see it as a judgment on animalplay in general.
ETA: I agree with Schnookums Von Fancypants that the murders are the most important issue, and it’s sad that the furry aspect is overshadowing it.
I assisted the reporter from OC Weekly in preparing his article – he was in touch with me at my Furry News blog before much of this came out. He got a definition of “Furry” and asked to speak to a local, so I directed him to Bandit. Bandit was asked to speak by me and the reporter and is not a designated leader. He’s a friend of a victim and community member.
If you have questions, I’m happy to chat more in comments at my “Statement about the tragedy in Fullerton, CA.”
By the way there has been a lot of drama about putting “Furry” in headlines at all. I have to thank Scott, the reporter, for doing good detective work to uncover and clear up some things that could have caused confusion, rumor, etc.
So the mailing list has much better wording. Good. Note that I have not been arguing against exclusion. Because I do agree that that is a correct decision.
But I do not find it ok to call people weird because of having different sexual needs.
No, but I am absolutely getting pissed of at you for calling peoples sexual orientations “lfestyle choices”. That a sexual orientation, fetisch or paraphilia is uncommon does not make it a matter of choice.
Again – I find it ok to kick people out. I do not find it ok calling people weird. It is enough saying that they are in the wrong arena and that kind of behaviour is not accepted for that arena.
If people are having ordinary vanilla sex in public, they are told to stop and take it home. Not told that they are weird.
If people think the murders is the absolutely only interesting part, they are free to stop commenting on what I write as they shouldn’t think that is important anyhow. For some strange reason it seems to be impossible for them to that.
No kidding. I’ve got furry convention T-shirts that are older than 23. (Yes, from conventions I was at.) There’s still a good cluster of us around from when the fandom really got going, getting in close to the 50 mark since the first explicitly Furry con started about 25 years ago..
And Fred Patten’s what, 75? And still attending conventions occasionally.
(Reminds me, I need to update my FWG bio section.)
You absolutely, positively, 100 percent missed my point entirely. By equating calling someone weird for dressing in an animal suit and having public sex with calling someone weird for being gay, it is you you who equated the orientation of being gay with the choice of dressing in an animal suit and having public sex. You. You, Hampus Ericman, are the one who impled being gay to be a “lifestyle choice”, like dressing in an animal suit and having sex in public. You are the one giving the same argument as Pat Robertson on this one. If fact, it reminded me of a page I had read just a couple of days ago where people were discussing just how offensive it is to compare fetishes (like BDSM and being a brony) with the civil rights movement for LGBT people. I’ll try to chalk the confusion up to English being your second language and not willful, duplicitous attempt on your part to turn it around on me.
You are as offensive and assholish towards others as usual. It is like this. If on a large convention, a young couple found a secluded place and had sex and then was caught, they would most likely be thrown out. But they would not be called weird.
Now, if they do the same at a convention where people are dressed as animals, they are weird. Why? Because we do find all furries weird? Or because we think that all persons who have sex somewhere where they might be caught are weird?
Pat Robertson is an asshole and a bigot and you can honestly fuck off for trying to associate me with him.
And in Sweden, BDSM-activists are proud members of the Prode-movement, working together with all LGBTQ-people for higher acceptance for those with different sexual orientation. We are part of the civil rights movement where people have screamed insults against me at the metro and I have friends who have gotten fired when their BDSM-orientation was outed.
It is only six years since we stopped being called sick people according to swedish law. But for you, we are just another minority to insult. To not have to listen to.
I can’t speak for other countries, but in the US, people who have sex somewhere public and are caught are called “criminals”, “inmates”, and “on the public sex offender registry for the rest of their lives.”
Yes, yes. Guns are good. Violence is ok. But beware anyone who does something sexual. That is dangerous.
Also, US seems to be a country without young people who do things for the thrills. They are all criminals, inmates and should be registered for life. Because they had consensual sex in the wrong place.
Signal boosting the GoFundMe campaign to help with expenses for the orphaned children, as linked on Patch O’Furr’s blog post.
Thanks Dawn 🙂 LA Weekly asked me for more comment. I’m wondering whether to do it or keep things private, so I have a post out about it on their local private group.