Enumclaw horse sex case
|Date||July 2, 2005|
|Location||Unincorporated King County, Washington, United States (near Enumclaw)|
|Cause||Acute peritonitis caused by traumatic perforation of the colon|
|Participants||Kenneth Pinyan (Mr. Hands), James Michael Tait, an unidentified male, and a stallion|
|Deaths||1 (Kenneth Pinyan)|
The Enumclaw horse sex case was a series of incidents in 2005 involving Kenneth Pinyan, an engineer who worked for Boeing and resided in Gig Harbor, Washington; James Michael Tait, a truck driver; and other unidentified men. Pinyan and Tait filmed and distributed zoophilic pornography of Pinyan receiving anal sex from a stallion under the alias "Mr. Hands". After engaging in this activity on multiple occasions over an unknown span of time, Pinyan received fatal internal injuries in one such incident.
Pinyan's death rapidly prompted the passing of a bill in Washington prohibiting both sex with animals and the videotaping of such an act. Under current Washington law, bestiality is now a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
In the 1970s, many statutes that had criminalized certain sex acts in various U.S. states were repealed, largely since they had criminalized some consensual sex acts between adults that were no longer considered appropriate to forbid (e.g., criminalizing all oral and anal sex). In Washington state, a law was repealed on July 1, 1976, that had said that:
Every person who shall carnally know in any manner any animal or bird, or who shall carnally know any male or female person by the anus or with the mouth or tongue; or who shall voluntarily submit to such knowledge; or who shall attempt sexual intercourse with a dead body, shall be guilty of sodomy...
An effect of the repeal was that bestiality became legal in the state of Washington.
Kenneth Pinyan had worked for Boeing for eight years. He had previously been married to a woman and had children with her. He had moved from Seattle to Oak Harbor, Washington. Before his death, Pinyan had been building a new house and a barn that he planned to keep a horse in, along the Key Peninsula Highway in Gig Harbor, Washington. He was about to begin making payments on the property's mortgage.
Pinyan had previously lost the ability to experience certain sensations after a motorcycle accident, and he had begun to seek out increasingly extreme sexual acts – such as insertion of extremely large dildos, fisting, and receptive anal sex with horses. In the early 2000s, he found a group of men online, nicknamed "zoos", who began meeting at a farm in an unincorporated area in King County, Washington, for communal weekends: they filmed one other being anally penetrated by horses, and sometimes engaged in sex with each other afterwards (which was also filmed). This was all later posted online. According to Charles Mudede, co-writer of the 2007 documentary film Zoo, the men trained the horses to penetrate them by stripping, applying a horse breeding pheromone, and bending over. In 2015, Mudede wrote that the men had a sexual fixation on large penises "that may have had nothing to do with horses." He also believed Pinyan did not truly love horses and was not a true zoophile, although Pinyan had a cast created of the penis of his favorite horse, Strut.
The incident that killed Pinyan occurred at a 40-acre (16 ha) farm, located in an unincorporated area in King County, Washington, five miles northwest of the city of Enumclaw. Sgt. John Urquhart of the Sheriff's Office said that "typically," men were having sex with a horse on the property of James Michael Tait, a truck driver who lived in a trailer next to the farm, "but on this particular night it is my understanding that horse wasn't particularly receptive." So Pinyan, Tait, and a third unidentified man snuck into the barn of the Southeast 444th Street farm that night. The men would often visit that farm for sexual purposes. Either Pinyan or the unidentified man recorded Tait being anally penetrated by a stallion known as Big Dick. After finishing, Tait then filmed Pinyan being anally penetrated by the same horse. During this incident, Pinyan sustained internal injuries including a perforated colon.
Pinyan was anonymously dropped off at the Enumclaw Community Hospital. On July 2, 2005, a man asked hospital staff for medical assistance for his companion. Pinyan was found dead in the emergency room, aged 45. The man who brought Pinyan into the hospital had disappeared by the time hospital staff came to contact him. According to the Medical Examiner's Office, Pinyan "died of acute peritonitis due to perforation of the colon", and the death was ruled accidental.
After Pinyan died, the authorities used his driver's license to find acquaintances and relatives. Earlier news reports stated that the authorities had used surveillance camera footage to track down Pinyan's companion. Using the contacts, the authorities found the farm where the incident occurred. The police tracked down the rural Enumclaw-area farm, which was known in zoophile chat rooms as a destination for people wanting to have sex with livestock, and seized 100 VHS tapes and DVDs, amounting to hundreds of hours of video of men engaging in bestiality. One of the videotapes featured Kenneth Pinyan shortly before he died on July 2.
It was only after Pinyan died, when law enforcement looked for one way to punish his associates, that the legality of bestiality in Washington State became an issue [...] The prosecutor's office wanted to charge Tait with animal abuse, but the police found no evidence of abused animals on the many videotapes they collected from his home. As there was no law against humanely fucking a horse, the prosecutors could only charge Tait with trespassing.
The prosecutor's office says no animal cruelty charges were filed because there was no evidence of injury to the horses.
Jennifer Sullivan, a Seattle Times staff reporter, said that originally the King County Sheriff's Department did not expect the newspaper to report on the event, because "it was too gruesome." After an Associated Press report stated that the farm where the event occurred attracted "a significant number of people" who wanted to partake in bestiality, the Seattle Times decided that it needed to write articles about the case, since multiple people were involved.
Criminal charges, guilty plea, and sentencing
The videographer, 54-year-old James Michael Tait, was charged with criminal trespass in the first degree – the owners of the farm, a third party, were not aware that the men had entered the property to engage in bestiality. The third man was not charged since he was not visible in the videos seized by investigators. On November 29, 2005, Tait entered an Alford plea, which is a form of guilty plea in which the accused maintains that they are factually innocent but acknowledges that the evidence would likely lead to conviction and thus accept being convicted. Judge David Christie gave him a suspended one-year sentence, a $300 fine, and one day of community service, and ordered Tait never to visit the farm again.
Mudede wrote that at the time of the incident the residents of Enumclaw were shocked and angered by the event. In 2015, ten years after the incident, Mudede wrote that Enumclaw residents were unwilling to acknowledge it.
"2 Guys 1 Horse"
After Pinyan's death, a video circulated on the internet of Kenneth Pinyan engaging in receptive anal intercourse with a horse. The video was nicknamed "Mr. Hands" or "2 Guys 1 Horse". The video, intended originally to sexually gratify the viewer, became one of the first viral reaction videos. This video is featured in the documentary Zoo. On episode 68 of The Joe Rogan Experience, Joe Rogan had Iliza Shlesinger react to Mr. Hands. On episode 796 of the Joe Rogan Experience, Joe Rogan had Josh Zepps react to Mr. Hands.
A documentary of the life and death of Pinyan, and the lives led by those who came to the farm near Enumclaw, debuted at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival under the title Zoo. It was one of 16 winners out of 856 candidates for the festival, and played at numerous regional festivals in the U.S. thereafter. Following Sundance, it was also selected as one of the top five American films to be presented at the prestigious Directors Fortnight sidebar at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
James Michael Tait and later events of 2009–2010
Some time after the events in Washington, James Michael Tait moved to Maury County, Tennessee, onto a farm owned by a man named Kenny Thomason housing horses, pigs, goats and dogs. On October 13, 2009, a woman associated with them, Christy D. Morris, was arrested and charged with three counts of animal cruelty. Two days later, an anonymous person e-mailed investigators a photo of a man having sex with a Shetland pony from Thomason's farm; Tait and Thomason were arrested that same day. Tait was charged with three counts of felony animal cruelty, while Thomason was charged with two. According to Tait's arrest warrant, he had been engaging in sex acts with a stud horse over a span of several months. Tait and Thomason admitted to engaging in sex acts with a horse. In January 2010, Tait pleaded guilty in a Tennessee court to engaging in sexual acts with animals, and was placed on probation.
Section 16.52.205 of the Revised Code of Washington
After Pinyan died, Pam Roach, a member of the Washington State Senate and a Republican from Auburn, crafted a bill to ban bestiality in Washington State. Senate Bill 6417, which made bestiality a Class C felony, passed on February 11, 2006, with 36 state senators voting in favor. The vote record was "passed; yeas, 36; nays, 0; absent, 0; excused, 13", meaning that 13 of 49 total senators refrained from going on record about the matter. Mudede wrote "It was an almost comically easy law to pass." Bestiality had no political support in the state, and no group in the state advocated for bestiality. The law is RCW 16.52.205(3). Mudede wrote that reading RCW 16.52.205 "is very much like reading hardcore porn." In addition, the law prohibits "videotap[ing] a person engaged in a sexual act or sexual contact with an animal" that is "either alive or dead". Because of the provision against videotaping, Mudede stated that the law "points an angry finger directly at James Tait." In 2015, Mudede said that he was unaware of any bestiality arrests in Washington State since the Pinyan incident.
In popular culture
- The episode "Game Over" from Broad City's third season contains a plotline where Ilana decides to share the Mr. Hands video on her company's Twitter, resulting in her getting fired.
- Chuck Palahniuk's collection of short stories, Make Something Up, contains a story titled Red Sultan's Big Boy, which follows the aftermath of an event extremely similar to the Mr. Hands incident.
- Jschlatt’s YouTube video titled YOU CANT HIDE! Featuring twitch streamer Ludwig shows them playing a video game titled SpyParty , nearing the end of the video Jschaltt notes of his wealthy knowledge on the enumclaw horse sex case.
- Sokol, Zach. "The Strange, Sad Story of the Man Named Mr. Hands Who Died from Having Sex with a Horse". Vice. Archived from the original on February 7, 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
- Mudede, Charles (February 23, 2006). "The Animal In You". The Stranger. Retrieved April 30, 2006.
- Lim, Dennis (April 1, 2007). "Zoo – Film". Retrieved February 13, 2019 – via NYTimes.com.
- "Horse Riding Mr Hands, Washington". Archived from the original on September 26, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- "Horse sex story was online hit". The Seattle Times. December 30, 2005. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
- Macdonald, Moira (July 3, 2006). "Infamous Enumclaw horse sex case to be made into movie". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
- State of Washington, Fifty-Ninth Legislature (March 8, 2006). "Animal cruelty in the first degree". RCW 16.52.205. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
- Hay, Mark (March 7, 2014). "Nobody Wants to Talk About Bestiality Until Someone Fucks a Horse". Vice. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
And the offenses that were in place were stricken from the books in the 1970s, when "Crimes against Nature" laws that had lumped bestiality in with consensual sexual acts between adults once labeled as illegal—like sodomy—were deleted wholesale.
- "The History of Sodomy Laws in the United States – Washington". www.glapn.org. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- "9.79.100" (PDF).
- Mudede, Charles. "Revisiting the Town of the Most Famous Horse Sex Death in Recorded History ." The Stranger. July 22, 2015. Retrieved on April 11, 2016.
- "A stable relationship?". Evening Standard. May 29, 2008. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- Frater, Jamie (November 1, 2010). Listverse.com's Ultimate Book of Bizarre Lists: Fascinating Facts and Shocking Trivia on Movies, Music, Crime, Celebrities, History, and More. Ulysses Press. p. 107. Retrieved February 13, 2019 – via Internet Archive.
- Sullivan, Jennifer (July 15, 2005). "Videotapes show bestiality, Enumclaw police say". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
- Rick Anderson (November 9, 2005). "Closing the Barn Door". Seattle Weekly. "Tait, a truck driver who lives near the Southeast 444th Street farm where the death occurred, "
- Rick Anderson (October 9, 2006). "Closing the Barn Door". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
- Keegan, Rebecca Winters (January 28, 2007). "Have You Seen the Horse Sex Movie?". Time. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
- Sullivan, Jennifer (July 15, 2005). "Enumclaw-area animal-sex case investigated". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
- Foundas, Scott. "Zoo." Variety. Friday May 18, 2007. Retrieved on September 17, 2010.
- "Charge filed in connection with man who died having horse sex". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. October 18, 2005. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
- Messer, Lesley (July 18, 2005). "When a Man Dies in a Sex Act with a Horse – What's a Reporter to Do?". Editor & Publisher. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
- "Man in infamous Enumclaw horse-sex case faces new charges in Tennessee ". The Seattle Times. October 20, 2009. Updated October 21, 2009. Retrieved on February 7, 2016.
- Mick, David Glen; Pettigrew, Simone; Pechmann, Cornelia (Connie); Ozanne, Julie L. (January 26, 2012). "Transformative Consumer Research for Personal and Collective Well-Being". Routledge. Retrieved February 13, 2019 – via Google Books.
- Lim, Dennis. FILM — A Lyrical Approach to a Subject That Shocks. The New York Times. April 1, 2007. Retrieved on October 13, 2010. "The sex in Zoo is merely glimpsed and barely discernible in a few seconds of a video that the police had confiscated and that was circulated on the Internet after Mr. Pinyan's death."
- "Iliza has to take off her sweater for 2 guys 1 horse". Retrieved February 13, 2019 – via www.ustream.tv.
- PowerfulJRE (May 16, 2016). "Joe Rogan Shows Josh Zepps "Mr. Hands." (from Joe Rogan Experience #796)". Retrieved February 13, 2019 – via YouTube.
- Westneat, Danny (December 3, 2006). "New movie is the spawn of horse sex". The Seattle Times.
- Dentler, Matt (May 4, 2007). "Matt Dentler's Blog: Cannes Countdown: Directors' Fortnight Lineup Impresses". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- "Zoo, which opens today in NY and LA, has just been selected as one of the features of the prestigious Directors Fortnight sidebar at this year's Cannes Film Festival". Zoo: Inside the Controversial Documentary about Bestiality
- Eugene Hernandez, "'07: Slate Set for 49th Directors' Fortnight", IndieWIRE, May 3, 2007.
- "3 accused of having sex with animals in Maury Co". WKRN. October 19, 2009. Archived from the original on June 5, 2016. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
- "Man in infamous Enumclaw horse-sex case faces new charges in Tennessee". The Seattle Times. October 20, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2017. "James Tait, 58, was arrested and charged Thursday with three counts of felony animal cruelty in Maury County, Tenn."
- "US Farmer in horse-sex arrest". Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- Sullivan, Jennifer (April 16, 2010). "Felon accused of running animal-sex farm in Whatcom County". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 11, 2016. "Tait, 58, pleaded guilty in January in Tennessee to engaging in sexual activity with animals and was released on probation."
- Sokol, Zach. "The Strange, Sad Story of the Man Named Mr. Hands Who Died from Having Sex with a Horse" (Archive). Vice. July 16, 2015. Retrieved on February 7, 2016.