The woman with cloned puppies is none other than the person accused of abducting a Mormon missionary in England, handcuffing him to a bed and making him her sex slave back in 1977.
Only last Tuesday Bernann McKinney hit international headlines when she received in Seoul five puppies cloned from her own pitbull Booger that died of cancer in April 2006. She paid South Korean scientists $53,000 for the cloning, it was reported.
"RNL Bio is commencing its worldwide services with Booger as its first successful clone," the company said in a statement.
Now news agency AP has successfully identified her as the person who was the subject of feverish British tabloid coverage once. She herself has acknowledged as much.
A North Carolina-born beauty queen who moved west, she won the title Miss Wyoming USA and went on to college at Brigham Young University, where she became obsessed with a Mormon fellow student.
When that young Mormon took a missionary trip to England, authorities say, McKinney hired a private detective so she could find and follow him.
She and a male accomplice were accused of abducting the 21-year-old missionary, taking him to a rented 17th-century "honeymoon cottage" in Devon and chaining him spread-eagle to a bed with several pairs of mink-lined handcuffs.
There, investigators say, he was repeatedly forced to have sex with McKinney before he was able to escape and notify police.
In a 1977 court hearing mobbed by the British press, Joyce McKinney said she had fallen head-over-heels in love with the Mormon man and acknowledged tracking him to England. "I loved him so much," she told a judge, "that I would ski naked down Mount Everest in the nude with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to."
But she denied a sexual assault, saying the young man was a willing partner.
"I didn't rape no 300-pound man," she said. "He was built like a Green Bay Packer" football player.
McKinney and her accomplice spent three months in a London jail before being released on bail.
Press reports at the time that said the pair then jumped bail, posing as deaf-mute actors in Ireland, to board an Air Canada flight to Toronto and eventually a bus to Cleveland, Ohio, where investigators lost their trail.
Joyce McKinney surfaced again in Utah in May 1984 and was arrested for allegedly stalking the workplace of the same Mormon man she was accused of imprisoning in England. News reports say that police found a length of rope and handcuffs in the trunk of McKinney's car, along with notebooks detailing the man's daily activities.
Set to stand trial for lying to police and harassment in 1986, McKinney again disappeared just before proceedings, and the case was dismissed.
It now appears Joyce McKinney may have escaped justice in the long-ago British case also. London police told the AP they have consigned the case to the history books because of its age and will not seek McKinney's extradition.
"They don't have a case," she said. "It's been 31 years. They don't care."
McKinney, who's now 57, maintains that Joyce McKinney of 31 years ago does not exist. She maintains her innocence and says the woman who made the news then is a "figment of the tabloid press. ... I don't want that garbage in with the puppy story."
In her call to the AP on Saturday, McKinney also said, "It's taken years of therapy to get past this," she said. "We go to church and serve the Lord and try to lead good lives and do good things."
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