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February 2, 2006

Wiarton Willie suspected in double murder

WIARTON, ONT. – An official in small-town Ontario is being accused of covering up a murder, but she says she was protecting the town from bad publicity.

Francesca Dobbyn told Wiarton town council on Monday that she knew Wiarton Willie might have killed his two understudies, but hid the facts so the town’s summer tourist season wouldn’t be hurt.
Wiarton Willie is an albino groundhog that is brought out every Groundhog Day to predict the coming end of winter. He is also the town’s mascot and main tourist attraction.

The Wiarton Willie Festival held every February generates about $750,000 for the town. That makes Willie a powerful rodent.

So last May, when two Willies-in-training stopped coming out of the burrow specially built to house the three, Dobbyn, who looks after the animals, kept quiet.

The missing pair were found last week, deep inside the burrow.

Groundhogs are naturally territorial, and some believe Willie eliminated his rivals.

On Monday, town council wanted an explanation. Mayor Carl Noble, however, rejected calls for Dobbyn’s resignation.

Written by CBC News Online staff

Way to ruin my favorite holiday Willie!

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  • At 10:38 am on February 2, 2006, Radioactive Jam commented:

    Anyone who knew him could see this coming.

  • At 12:58 pm on February 3, 2006, OldOldLady Of The Hills commented:

    Do you think Willie did it? I know nothing about Ground Hogs except that thry are for, some inexplicable reason , able to tell us the weather better than the Weather pEople!!! It would be so very sad if Willie turned out to be a murderer, wouldn’t it?

    I’m here from Michele and so happy to Meet & Greet you!

  • At 5:00 pm on February 3, 2006, Im Chele In [dot] LA commented:

    Came over from the other MIchele’s……….
    Went to visit Carmi his site is down..

  • At 2:52 pm on February 4, 2006, rashbre rashbre commented:

    I hear that the same thing happened last year.
    Here via Michele’s!


  • At 2:54 pm on February 4, 2006, Sarcasmom commented:

    Here via Michele. Hoping that Tommy Burgers migrate east to Philadelphia.

  • At 4:43 pm on February 5, 2006, Andrea commented:

    Good thing hamster’s don’t hold this job or there would be a scandal every year!

    Poor Willie

    Here via Michele’s

  • At 6:48 pm on February 5, 2006, Valderbar the cat commented:

    Hello Michele sent me. What a constoversary you uncovered. I can understand not wanting to share your territory with 2 other quadrapeds, especially 2 guys. Not that I would do more tahn harrass until drive the others off myself…

  • At 3:22 pm on March 15, 2011, witness commented:

    Maybe if Francesca had kept the pens clean and hadn’t let the grass get so high, these naturally territorial animals would have been safe. But that would be asking her to do her job in the first place, not her strong suit.

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