An expert on deviant animal behavior was arrested Sunday on first-degree murder charges in this seaside community of rock stars, movie celebrities and corporate executives.
Dr. Patrick Finley, 68, who taught and lectured throughout the world and was a frequent contributor to National Geographic, is being held without bail in connection with the murder of his 26-year-old wife, Donna Merwoman.
Ms. Merwoman was beaten to death in the famed Malibu Colony, home to Hollywood’s rich and famous.
Dr. Finley, who holds doctorates in biology and sociology, is a consultant to NBC’s new series Humans and Beasts. The show, originally titled The Beast in Some of Us, deals with the interaction of humans and animals in what the network bills as extreme bonding situations.
NBC was attempting to top Fox’s successful extreme bonding series, Temptation Island.
In Temptation Island, according to Scot Sequees, an NBC V.P. of creative affairs, “happily married couples were paired with sexy guys and gals who tried to shag them. We kicked up the intrigue in Beasts by placing men and women in proximity to attractive animals such as fun-loving Panda bears and amorous dolphins.”
From its inception Humans and Beasts was plagued with problems.
Jan Witless, a spokesperson for the SPCA, filed suit against the producers, charging the show with exploiting animals. “Face it,” said Jan Witless, “although it’s possible for a human being to sexually excite an animal, it’s impossible to determine if that animal is a willing participant in some antic that the networks dream up to boost ratings.”
Ms. Witless’ temporary injunction against the producers was overturned by ACU lawyers who filed briefs supporting the rights of any animal of legal age to participate.
It was during the filming of the pilot of Humans and Beasts that Dr. Finley and Donna Merwoman met. She was a production assistant with several minor acting credits in movies of the week.
Dr. Finley, honored for his Dolphin Camera, had perfected a method of attaching his tiny movie camera to the dorsal fins of dolphins. “My Dolphin Camera,” said Dr. Finley, speaking at the National Endowment for the Arts in May, where he accepted the prestigious SeaCreature Award, “allowed us to record the ocean world from the perspective of the dolphin.”
According to Sergeant Grindley of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Dr. Finley’s wife had been swimming in their pool with a male dolphin. “Ms. Merwoman and the dolphin had apparently developed an infatuation for each other. We have film of the two cavorting and mating under water.”
Authorities speculate the film was taken by a second dolphin, wearing Dr. Finley’s Dolphin Camera.
A member of the Humans and Beasts film crew claimed that after Dr. Finley saw the film, he attacked his wife, then purchased a harpoon and was almost to the dolphin tank when police arrested him.
Tricia Merwoman, 28, said that she and her sister, Donna, had participated during college in a series of soft porn films involving marine animals.
They used stage names for the series called Deep Dolphin. “We did it for kicks and because we dig fish. They’re really cool. I doubt that Patrick had any knowledge of our involvement since we wore mermaid costumes with masks. I warned Donna when she married Patrick that he was as uptight as a sturgeon on speed.”
The producers of Humans and Beasts said that Ms. Merwoman and the dolphin’s relationship was consensual, in good taste and is slated to be used as a part of the pilot.
The show will run against Who Wants to be a Millionaire in late August.
Note: As astonishing as the above story may sound, there are cases of humans and dolphins getting it on. As a matter-of-fact, there are websites that explain the thrills and pitfalls of dolphin love.
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