Couple's nude photo shoot inside their dead horse

After Elizabeth Herrick and her boyfriend "euthanized" their 32-year-old horse with a rifle, they gutted it and Herrick climbed inside its carcass for a nude photo session. Then they posted the photos online resulting in some, er, "extreme emotional reactions" and a police investigation. I'll skip posting the photos, but you can see them on HuffPo. If you really want to. You don't. Trust me.

As well as photos of Elizabeth inside the horse's body, there are many others, one of which appears to depict the couple posing with the animal's heart.

The couple's explanation for the photos -- and later eating the animal? According to authorities at the department, the pair wanted to feel "one with the horse" and nature.

"This is definitely number one on the oddity list," (Washington County Sgt. Dave) Thompson said. "It's like nothing I've ever seen before."

According to the incident report obtained by The Huffington Post, detectives ruled no charges would be filed against the pair since nothing they did is technically illegal in the state of Oregon.

"Elizabeth Herrick, Oregon Woman, Took Nude Photos Inside Horse Carcass"


  1. “This may smell bad, kid, but it’ll keep you warm until I get the shelter up. And I thought they smelled bad on the outside.”

  2. “…detectives ruled no charges would be filed against the pair since nothing they did is technically illegal in the state of Oregon.”
    I think that is the most important thing to keep in mind here.  Try not to get too worked up over what people did to an inanimate object.  

      1. For what?

        Is ‘improper disposal of animal remains’ only real on Law & Order and CSI? It would seem like a likely charge since trash disposal is pretty heavily regulated.

        1. Is ‘improper disposal of animal remains’ only real on Law & Order and CSI?

          Do we have any indication that they didn’t dispose of the horse properly after they were done, uh, “using” it?

    1. I have defined ‘normal’ and anyone who deviates from my definition must be arrested, and/or put to death immediately!!

    2. Because “abnormal behavior” includes people like Marie Curie and Isaac Newton.   Do you stop and think about things before you speak or is it all just stream of consciousness?   That you don’t understand how broad a stroke  “abnormal behavior” is…  is abnormal behavior.  Where should I have the police collect you?

      1. Because “abnormal behavior” includes people like Marie Curie and Isaac Newton.

        What’s the atomic weight of horsefuckium?

  3. “After caring for a 32-year-old horse in declining health, Elizabeth Herrick and her boyfriend Joshua Washburn put it down with a single gunshot from a large calibre rifle.”

    Shotgun != rifle

    1. “”After caring for a 32-year-old horse in declining health, Elizabeth Herrick and her boyfriend Joshua Washburn put it down with a single gunshot from a large calibre rifle.”

      Shotgun != rifle”


      gunshot != shotgun

      Comprehension fail.

      EDIT: I have been informed that the window of relevance for Alvis’s comment had expired by the time I posted this retort. Please ignore.

      1. I believe in the original post the word “shotgun” was used and later corrected to “rifle”.

        Now – don’t you feel silly?

  4. Assuming the horse was humanely euthanized, I can’t condemn this couple for what they did. No living animal suffered.

    I would, however, avoid their company at all costs.

    1. I agree. This reminded me of a serial killer who is in prison here in Germany. I watched an interview with him several years ago. His ultimate fantasy is extremely close to what these two did. Not normal.

    1. Some of the photos actually are artistic, but they weren’t featured in the article because they contain nudity. 
      Artistic, not tasteful.

  5. Pierce Brosnan did a similar thing to a horse in Seraphim Falls, surprising the unflappable Liam Neeson.

  6. Some people who eat hamburgers will have no idea how far beyond this relatively innocent, though somewhat bizarre, photo session of wrapping a deceased pet horse carcass around a person is compared to the bizarre perversity of the origin and itinerary of their tasty meal.

      1. Maybe you could explain why you think it’s ludicrous and/or baseless. 

        People are doing much worse/weirder things to animals we use for food than these two did in these photos. If you are against bad weird things happening to animals, you’d best find a seat at the vegetarian’s table. 

        1. We aren’t going to agree on whether eating animals is generally or in most cases inhumane. And you’re not going to persuade many people to become vegetarians by pretending that *necro-bestial exhibitionist pet mutilation* is morally comparable to eating meat. It’s apples and oranges. It’s roadapples and oranges.

          1. It is not the eating of the animal that is the problem.  It is the treatment of the animal before it is eaten that is the problem.  I would say that cutting off a live chicken’s beak, dragging a pig around by its ears, and kicking cows too sick to move on their own all stack up pretty poorly compared to anything done to a dead horse after it was euthanized.

  7. Yeah…before people get all indignant about someone violating a dead horse, I suggest you run over to the nearest slaughter house and see how that meat gets into your fridge.  Creepy, none the less, and well…it is Oregon, after all, my home state.

      1. They didn’t mutilate or harm the horse when it was alive.  That makes them infinitely more humane than your average factory farm in the US.  Weird is not the same thing as wrong.

        1. I agree that mutilating or harming an animal in the course of slaughtering it for food is bad, that factory farming needs to be reformed. I still say mutilating the corpse of a pet is weird bad. They can both be bad, see? You don’t have to defend necro-bestial exhibitionist pet mutilation in order to say that factory farming methods are also bad.

          (Not just that factory farming “needs to be reformed”, I realize it’s bad for all kinds of reasons. Capitalism + farming is going to lead to people treating animals like commodities, just like capitalism + health care ends up with health as the secondary goal. I guess the question is whether there is any humane way for animals to be slaughtered for food. I think it can be, and that it’s not comparable to necro-bestial exhibitionist mutiliation of one’s pet corpse.)

  8. This couple’s only mistake was not making a minimalist Flash website with some pompous  statement about their ‘art’ and the ‘mystical circle of life’. Yes, it’s really gross and weird, but is it that much stranger than Lady Gaga wrapped in meat (just because she didn’t kill the cow herself?)?

    A while ago, there was a Canadian artist who got several thousands dollars in grant from the Canadian Arts Council for hanging rotting rabbit carcasses with photos stuffed in them. This sort of crap is rather ordinary in the art world, actually…

  9. Yes, it’s a pretty weird thing to do.  I think we all picked up on that right away, no need to beat a dead horse.

    1. I guess you’re replying to me. No. It did not involve humans, other than himself. It involved crawling inside a horse. So, pretty close to what these people did, eh?

  10. Prosecution is vital. Imperial Code Section 1138.47.42 clearly states “The carcasses of pack animals may only be used as shelter on planets facing impending walker attack.” Were there any huge mechanized war beasts bearing down on Portland? Didn’t think so.

  11. I want to buy these photos and have them be album covers for my new band “The Dothraki Pornographers”

  12. From the way the article read, I was expecting some fucked up pics, then I saw them and was disappointed at how tame they were.

  13. Assuming the horse was truly euthanized (as the horse was 32 and the average lifespan of a horse is 25-30, this is highly likely), are those who are against this saying that people shouldn’t be able to do what they want with their property? Or that paraphilia in which those disgusted don’t engage should be handled by the cool hand of the law?

    Honestly, cat-calling does more harm than this.

    I’m off to watch Real World and have missionary style sex with my wife. Got my god damned 9-5 tomorrow…

    Peter: I don’t know what your saying, as the article is quite clear that they crawled inside a carcass.
    Last time I checked, ‘carcass’ meant “dead”.

  14. I’m confused. Boing boing has no qualms about showing some truly horrific images of cruelty to humans (e.g. the recent Mexican drug decapitations etc), but you shirk from showing images of a dead animal? I looked at the photos and I don’t see what all the fuss is about. It’s an animal. It’s dead. As long as nobody forces me to climb inside it I don’t care what happens next. Let’s save our outrage for the important stuff folks…

  15. Just so I know where this falls, it’s not as bad as the dad beating his daughter (that gets embedded video) so you’ll skip posting a photo here?

    1. I think the difference regarding the daughter being assaulted by her father is that people need to see that stuff.  We need to be aware that this sort of stuff exists, and specifically for that case, the more people know about it, the more likely he’ll have to pay for his disgusting behavior.

      People don’t necessarily need to see a people inside a dead horse. What they did isn’t illegal and I’m not sure it’ll make a difference in how the world turns. It’s certainly odd and I’m not sure I’d want these nutter butters as my neighbors, but if they don’t have a history of crime (animal abuse, abuse toward humans, etc), then, eh, whatever. Of course, this is a subjective opinion.

      Same goes for @boingboing-a2d436321f525baeeb4021f7c9f3047d:disqus — we need to see that sort of stuff.  We need to be aware of the human depravity that exists.

      Also, there isn’t just one contributor to BoingBoing.  There are quite a few, in fact, and each uses their own common sense and reasonings to decide what to post and what not to post.  It may not always be the same as what a different contributor might decide. That’s what it comes down to, really: Separate people making separate decisions about separate posts.

      1. You may need to witness abuse and depravity in order to know that it exists but most of us are reasonable enough to be incensed by mere reportage. 

      2. Surprisingly, I actually do not need to see someone beating their daughter to know that it happens in the world.  Nor do I need to see it to believe that he should be tried, convicted and beaten to death with a fish (obviously I should not be on that jury).

        I’m not squeamish, I’m not afraid to see the dark parts of the human soul, I just don’t want  to spend seven minutes on that when I could spend that seven minutes reading about how law enforcement is watching the accused and how the daughter feels about it.  Same story, different POV.  I don’t want to give him any more of my time when she’s the one that deserves it.

      1. ?? WTF does this have to do with the NW?

        Read the whole thread. Or just Google ‘Enumclaw’.

  16. Their necrophilic behavior is disgusting and psychotic, even if legal in their State. These people may need to be under observation.

      1. That term doesn’t necessarily mean “fuck.” They killed a horse and took photos of their naked selves within its recently dead body. It smacks of a morbid attraction with sexual undertones.

          1. There’s nothing inherently sexual about human nudity.

            As a sometime nudist I agree. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to say some kind of sexuality is implied when people take pictures of themselves rubbing their nude bodies against warm piles of meat.

  17. OMFG. You can’t say “you don’t want to look at this, trust me” and NOT expect that we’re all gonna go look. Just for the sheer… I mean… THE SMILING FACES! OH THE HUMANITY!!

  18. Still… i wonder how that felt… naked. inside a dead horse. warm maybe. embryonic. Ok. I’ll stop now.

  19. In retrospect this couple wasted an opportunity to make a really unique centaur costume for Halloween.

  20. Eh – uh – I got nothing.

    It does remind me of the first series of seriously FUCKED UP images I saw on the internet. It appeared a guy and gal killed a fat Latino, posed (naked, as you do) with the corpse, and cut part of him up. I looked in vain to try to see if they were real. I am 99% they were real. It has haunted me I never learned the story behind them.

    But yeah… seriously, stop it, Elizibeth. This is why you don’t get invited to parties any more.

    1. I’m pretty sure I know what you’re talking about.  That was also one of the first really disturbing things I saw on the internet.

      1. BB has found two obscure answers for me that have been ear worms for awhile (the “Howie” scream sound fx in films, and a song by the Mexican Institute of Sound). I would be amazed if someone could link to the story behind this.

        Also – about eating the horse – I think because they are such valuable animals, horse eating is more or less taboo for most people, unless your on a failed expedition to the South Pole and need food. Same with dogs. But in France horse is a delicacy. I would imagine a 32 yr old animal would be tough as hell – but editable.  And of course Asians are known for eating anything you can and some places serve dog.

        I have no problem with them killing and gutting an old horse (unless they didn’t kill it cleanly). Crawling up naked in one, taking pics and posting them is a little…. crazy. Maybe not “Lose your kids and get a frontal lobotomy.” crazy. Probably more in the realm of “I have severe daddy issues and will ruin your life crazy.” I don’t find it an arrestable offense, but it would be awkward to see them at the next block party.

        1. Actually, it’s not just the French – most of us Europeans are more than happy to feast on horse.  And why not? It’s deeeeeeelicious!  Although, yeah, probably not if it’s 32 year old horse :-)

  21. Whoa whoa whoa…(see what I did there?)

    I would like to point out that these types of articles are entirely my domain:

    I am perfectly fine with you posting my material here, but you should really ask me in the future before you start posting anything like this that appears on the Huffington Post.

    I’m going to let this one slip by THIS TIME…only because 

    ….well….I didn’t see it first.

  22. Before work every day, I put my feet into bits of cow carcass which are stitched into little lace-up bags. They protect my feet from rocks and glass and things like that. 

    1. Well… yes it is. First off, leather generally comes from cows, not horses. Secondly, leather has been cleaned, chemically treated, and generally dyed. It has also been dead for months, and probably wasn’t anyone’s pet. It’s not really the same as crawling inside of something that was alive just a few minutes prior.

  23. It occurs to me that  being a police officer in a rural area probably gives you a very specifically grim of humanity. Like being stuck in a movie by a film student who saw a bunch of David Lynch but missed the point.

    Just an endless parade of people having sex with animals, drunken hillbillies and meth. Often in the same place.

  24. @yadayada – They don’t in any way compare to a serial killer.  They were exercising their contitutionally-protected right to be really creepy and offputting.

    1. Not saying they are serial killers.  Only saying they remind me of one. Believe me, they are *nowhere near* as creepy and offputting as the serial killer.

  25. WALDORF: I’m surprised that the comments on Boing Boing  about the naked lady in the horse  photos are fairly subdued.

    STATLER: Yeah, the commentors are exhibiting a more than usual amount of equine-imity.

  26. As long as the horse _was_ killed humanely … well, the distinction between work animal, pet, and food is pretty darned arbitrary and it is NOT rare for one animal to go through several of those stages (as any farm kid knows, and as some of us city kids know).

    And some artists, including performance artists, do work with foodstuffs. Whether it’s _good_ art is a separate question.

    And there are raw-meat cuisines. In fact, I think most cuisines have at least one raw or near-raw meat dish.

    Would you be any less squicked if these photos were shot on a pile of warmed steaks from the supermarket? If so, can you explain why?

    Would the photo with the heart bother you less if it was a bowl of chicken hearts from the supermarket? Again, if so, can you explain why?

    If you have general troubles with the concepts of raw meat and blood on skin, then that’s a legitimate reaction. Of course, art isn’t always _supposed_ to be comfortable.

    Personally, I think they’re kinky or pretentious or both. But as long as the horse is treated with respect and kindness while alive, what they do with it when it’s dead is their problem.

  27. BTW, the scare quotes around “euthenized” aren’t justified.  If you’re going to editorialize,  do so more directly.

  28. Personally there is one question that actually matters here:

    What’s PETA’s reaction going to be? I mean they are already all naked…I think the only response is gut a person and crawl inside the carcass naked…do a photo shoot…and well I guess you’d call it:

    “I’d Rather Wear Human Than a Gutted Dead Horse.”

    Fashion week should be pretty interesting next year. 

    BTW, thanks a lot you two…I’m all out of ideas for Halloween next year.

  29. @yadayada – I misunderstood your comment. I can now see that you weren’t calling them morally equivalent to a serial killer.  I think I was primed to do so by some other comments.  Sorry!

    1. No problem. It is kind of an emotionally charged thread, and it’s easy to misunderstand things, like, what the hell were they thinking?!

      And for those of you concerned about the horse (and those concerned about those concerned about the horse): I don’t think this is about the horse, or how it died, or what people did with it. It’s about the people who did it, and what the hell were they thinking?! (Said in my best Jon Stewart voice.)

  30. I’m not sure that the various vegetarian concerns. . .  valid as they are. . .  apply here. 

    It’s one thing to use leather and eat meat, it’s quite another to make a plaything out of a recently killed pet.  If you want to say that meat eaters have alienated themselves from the violence of their lifestyle, fine.  Good point.  But this doesn’t address that, does it?  If anything, their point seems to be to blunt any feelings of disgust we may have.  From pet, to cadaver, to prop in a photoshoot. . . and she’s smiling the whole time?

    This is squicky in all kinds of ways that I find hard to describe.

    1. How long do you have to wait before it is OK?  Leather is just skin that’s been dead for a while.   You think people that live on farms don’t treat animals as both pets and food sometimes?  I don’t pretend to know what their point was, if they intended any, but it has forced us to at least talk about the somewhat cowardly way most people do distance themselves from the disgusting things they pay others to do when they purchase meat at a supermarket.

      1. “How long do you have to wait before it is OK?  Leather is just skin that’s been dead for a while.   You think people that live on farms don’t treat animals as both pets and food sometimes? ”

        I would imagine that those who do treat an animal as pet and as food aren’t grinning while doing it.  I don’t think it’s just a matter of time, but it strikes me as odd how quickly they switched their perspective from “beloved pet” to “thing to be gutted and inhabited.”

        Unsettling.  And not  in an obviously constructive way.

  31. I can’t help but wonder what they were thinking.  Did they think people would understand when they put the pics on the web?  What reaction did they think would happen?

    Comparing them to serial killers is silly – there is one point of comparison with one serial killer.  Like saying Stalin had a moustache and so all moustache wearers are Georgian mass murderers. 

    I suspect they adored their horse – most horse owners do.  I don’t know what the hell they were thinking, but I bet they have a few regrets now.

    Also, what is it with the death threats every time someone does anything?  Are there legions of people out there waiting to push the death threat button every time they see something they don’t like?  Seems like every article I’ve ever seen about someone being weird (or just uppity, but that’s another issue) always mentions that the subject has received death threats. 

  32. “…detectives ruled no charges would be filed against the pair since nothing they did is technically illegal…”

    Extremely bad taste is not, in and of itself, illegal, nor should it be.

  33. Not sure why “euthanized” is in quotes up there. Are you implying that the horse wasn’t euthanized? Isn’t what they did weird enough that you don’t have to add in superfluous innuendo? It says right in the article:

    “After caring for a 32-year-old horse in declining health, Elizabeth Herrick and her boyfriend Joshua Washburn put it down with a single gunshot from a large calibre rifle.”

    These people are crazy weird enough without having to add in random accusations like that.

  34. Consuming the heart of a deceased loved one is a common practice among many religions throughout throughout the world, as is consuming the placenta of a newborn.

    PETA, I hope, would mainly be concerned about how the animal was cared or before being put down, and that that it was put down in a manner that it did not suffer unduly. People forget the “E” in PETA is for ETHICAL, and that includes putting down suffering and/or dying animals in an ethical manner in addition to taking proper care of animals you elect to keep for company and/or food.

    I personally wouldn’t post pics of something as private as what they did. Was it a case of loss of a beloved horse or youthful curiosity gone overboard? I can’t say since I don’t know these people. The way people bond with horses often goes light years beyond cats, dogs or even parrots. Even “Tony Soprano” drew the line at killing a horse for profit and even soldiers in the US Army were willing to go AWOL to try to protect their mounts from being sent to the glue factory when they were declared unnecessary. Just look at the reaction to Barbaro and 8 Bells….

    1. “Consuming the heart of a deceased loved one is a common practice among many religions throughout throughout the world,”
      [Citation needed]

  35. I hope their parents remember to name a different person executor in their Wills. You don’t want to die and end up as a sleeping bag for your nutty offspring.

  36. Well, that’s funny, because Liam Neeson did the same thing to a cow in Rob Roy.

    Is this a running theme in his career?

  37. This seems like an awesome thing to do. I’m with them on this one. I think the rest of the world has gone crazy and these two have it figured out.   

  38. What particular sub-species of homo sapiens are you that your body is not evolutionarily designed to be omnivorous?

    Responses along the lines of “it’s a choice to eat meat, not a necessity” do not count.

  39. I don’t see anything that should be illegal (I’ve seen more of the photos than what was posted on HuffPo).

    I do see things that tell me that she’s BATSHIT FUCKING INSANE, though. But nothing that should be illegal, assuming the story that the horse was humanely put down is true (and there’s nothing to say that it isn’t).

    (Also, finally, a story about someone batshit insane with no class whatsoever that ISN’T from Ohio…)

    1. (Also, finally, a story about someone batshit insane with no class whatsoever that ISN’T from Ohio…)

      Or, running in the GOP primaries.

  40. I’m shocked by the number of people who seem to think that we should arrest people for being weird or abnormal. The idea that someone should be locked up because they think and act differently from you is completely insane.

  41. This wouldn’t be half as disturbing as it is if she wasn’t smiling while playing with the remains.  Why… why would you be smiling?

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