The bizarre story of a man who tried to murder a 600-year-old tree

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In May 1989, a bizarre murder attempt in Austin, Texas, gripped the nation and made worldwide news. The details of the case were unusual, and unlike anything police had seen before. The victim? Austin’s oldest resident, a nearly 600-year-old tree known as Treaty Oak.

Man accused of trapping, killing cat thought to be ruining patio furniture

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A man faces a third-degree felony charge after police say he trapped a cat and shot it to death with an air rifle, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Hien Tran, 66, is accused of cruelty to a non-livestock animal after an officer arrived of his home to see a metal trap with a can of can food and dead black and white cat inside, the affidavit says.

The officer asked Tran what happened to the cat, he said he shot it with a BB gun “because it was tearing up the cushions on his patio furniture,” the affidavit says.

Woman stabs several people in random attacks in downtown Austin, chief says

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A woman had just gotten out of a car with friends in downtown Austin on Thursday night and was heading toward Sixth Street when Austin police say a homeless woman approached her and stabbed her in the back of the head.

The attack was one of several that happened in the area within a 30-minute time span before police arrested a suspect, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Friday. Authorities believe the same woman randomly stabbed at least four people. One victim’s wounds are serious; none of the victims’ injuries are life-threatening.

Hometown Murder: I met Esme the Night She Was Murdered

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In Austin in 2011, the city had an escalating serial rapist. The attacks started out as a man flashing runners along the hike and bike trail along Town Lake, and his flashing quickly turned into sexual assault. I was 29, the same age as Esme, and often walk around Town Lake. I would hear about the attacks from friends, and about a friend of a friend who had been flashed while running.