Crossing the Feline

A real-life Cruella de Vil, but with cats? No, just more fake news.

Claim:  An elderly Michigan woman was arrested for making purses out of her neighbors’ cats.


Origins:  On 16 October 2015, the Now8News web site published an article positing that a 91-year-old Michigan woman had been arrested after it was determined that she had skinned a number of missing neighborhood cats and turned them into purses:

A gruesome story coming out of Grand Haven, Michigan has residents at this small town shocked and disturbed. Marjorie Reynolds, 91, was described as a quiet elderly women who waved at strangers and neighbors as they walked by. But Reynolds had a more sinister nature, as neighbors are learning, after 19 missing neighborhood cats were found dead in her home. Not just dead, however, but skinned and cured — with some of them made into purses.

Yes, purses. Reynolds explained to authorities in her recorded confession that she had taken up a hobby of “arts and crafts.” Reynolds said the neighborhood cats would come to her all the time so she would feed them. But it was when one of the neighborhood cats died, that she brought it into the house and decided to “not have it go to waste.”

Soon afterwards, links and references to this Cruella de Vil-like tale were being spread via social media, with many readers who encountered them mistaking the underlying story for a genuine news report. However, the article was nothing more than another bit of fake news propagated by Now8News, a fake news site that attempts to lure visitors (and the ad revenues they generate) by publishing fake news stories with outrageous clickbait headlines.

Last updated: 10 November 2015

Originally published: 10 November 2015
Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort
  • Elyssa Young

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes