Hamptons Police Make Arrest for Shinnecock Canal Fish Kill

Reb Raymer was arrested for killing thousands of fish in Shinnecock Canal
Reb Raymer was arrested for killing thousands of fish in Shinnecock Canal, Photo: Ivonne Wierink, Chris Putnam/123RF

The Hamptons Police Department has arrested noted menhaden slayer Reb Raymer in connection with a massive bunker fish kill in Shinnecock Canal.

The scene was one of total devastation on Monday morning when locals found tens of thousands of dead menhaden, also known as bunker, fish floating dead on both sides of the Shinnecock Canal lock. First suspected to be a result of dissolved oxygen depletion in the waterway, it now seems one man may be responsible for killing all those fish.

The alleged culprit, Raymer, claimed responsibility for similar fish kills in the Peconic River back in June and July of 2015. At the time, Raymer said, “First I started picking them off with my 30 ought six, but those buggers kept comin’, so when I ran out of shells I went after ‘em with my fishing knife. And when the knife slipped and I dropped it into the river, I went to work with my bare hands.”

This time, Raymer has remained mum, according to Hamptons Police Department spokesman Larry Hirsch, but detectives feel confident that they have their man. “Mr. Raymer has had a longstanding grudge again menhaden, or bunker,” Hirsch said on Monday afternoon, pointing out that the suspect has claimed this particular species is responsible for killing his father, Bill Raymer Jr., who drowned after an attack by a particular aggressive school of bunker when his son, Reb Raymer, was just 9 years old.

While Raymer was not charged for his past menhaden mass murders, Hirsch says the Hamptons Police Department plans to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law, though they’re not quite sure he’s actually broken any known statutes since bunker are essentially just bait fish. For now, he added, detectives are building their case.

“Look, it’s quite clear to us that this guy did it,” Hirsch said, pointing out that after Raymer’s arrest, officers searched his home and found a disturbing secret room over the garage filled with hundreds of articles about bunker fish and photos of the aquatic animal pasted up on one wall, along with scrawled messages and “handwritten ravings” that prove his obsession with the fish has not diminished over the last 15 months.

“We also found a large contraption marked ‘oxygen depleter device’ hidden behind some boxes and refuse in the garage,” Hirsch said, noting the disturbing fact that Raymer appears to have graduated to more advanced and efficient methods of killing his enemies. “It’s not looking good for him, and the families of all these fish will want justice.”

Read more tales from the Hamptons Police Blotter

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