Fifty-eight-year-old Bernann McKinney made news recently for paying a South Korean firm $50,000 to clone 5 puppies from her late beloved pit bull Booger. As her photo cuddling the puppies was flashed worldwide, some thought she bore an eerie – if bloated – resemblance to Joyce McKinney, a former beauty queen who allegedly kidnapped a Mormon missionary in England in 1977, tied him to a bed as her sex slave, then jumped bail and prosecution.
At first Bernann denied being Joyce, although both women’s full names happen to be Joyce Bernann McKinney, they were both born in Newland, N.C., on the same day in the same year, and they share the same Social Security number.
Now she admits it’s her, but says the alleged sex crime was a tabloid fabrication because the missionary was willing. She was caught stalking him again in Utah in 1984 and skipped out on that trial, too.
My question is: Should she be propagating pit bulls? Bernann claims she did it out of love for the dog she saddled with a gross name, who died of cancer two years ago.
She found Booger on the side of the road nearly 12 years ago. A month later, he saved her life by throwing himself on her mastiff Tuffy, who was chewing Bernann to bits. Joyce survived, and once Booger recovered from his own injuries, he became her self-trained service dog during her long recovery. He could pull her wheelchair, open doors, retrieve clothes from the dryer, and help her remove her shoes and socks.
Brenann had tissue from Booger’s ear preserved, then gave up her home to raise the money to produce 5 replacement dogs, all of which bear variations of the name Booger. She just can’t let that demeaning, gag-inducing name go.
The innocent puppies, just a few weeks old, are now being raised by 2 surrogate Korean mutts who bore them.
Bernann plans to keep 3 pups and donate 2 to be trained as special needs dogs. She already has 5 other dogs and 3 horses.
But should an unrepentant sexual predator be breeding a herd of potentially vicious dogs? Doesn’t it sound a little too Boys from Brazil?
With so many harmless, homeless dogs dying in shelters, it would have been a greater tribute to a former stray like Booger to save already-born dogs. For what Bernann paid for clones, she could have given many dogs good lives.
In the end, this nut case is just setting herself up for heartbreak x 3. Those puppies have identical biological clocks. If she thought Booger’s death was traumatic, how’s she going to take it when his 3 descendents pass all at once? Will she go pounce on another missionary?
I don’t think she should be given a chance to find out.