Some men hoard vacuum cleaners. This man hoards snakes. Police discovered hundreds of snakes in the California home of teacher William Buchman. Many of the snakes were dead. Neighbors had been complaining of a horrible smell coming from the house. "The stench is overwhelming," neighbor Forest Long told CNN. "It's like something's dead." And, indeed, something was dead. Many, many pythons were dead.
Some of the snakes had died from starvation or cold or both. "They're very cold and it appears that most of them haven't eaten in quite a while," Sondra Berg of Animal Services reported. "There's various stages of dying and dead and underweight." It's estimated that there were about 400 snakes in all. Needless to say, police found mice and rats running around, too. Some of the rats had resorted to eating each other.
Buchman was arrested on suspected animal cruelty but has not yet been charged with anything.
According to neighbors, Buchman had lived with his mother, who died a few years ago. Since then he had become increasingly reclusive. He was well regarded as a teacher. But it sounds like he had some psychological problems.
The snakes were not just slithering around free, by the way. They were in plastic bins, all labeled and cataloged. Buchman may have been trying to breed the snakes for different colors and patterns to sell. What started out as probably a hobby for an inquiring mind had spun dangerously out of control.
Why do you think Buchman had so many snakes?
Image via CNN