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Crab killer on the loose

January 6, 2012

Is that soap we see? Photo/John Hill


The crabs are gone. All of Mammoth mourns.

They were good crabs, too. 

Everyone agrees. Really, really good. But Crab Shack/The Bear Den owner John Hill said that last week, just as the big New Year’s rush for orders hit, he arrived at his new business to find about 625 pounds of live crabs no longer alive. “Someone put soap in the tanks,” he said. “When I got there, there was an ungodly amount of soap coming out of the tanks. It also really, really stunk.” When asked if he had enemies, Hill said, “That’s kind of a long story.”


“The bottom line is I lost a lot of money, somewhere around $5,400,” he said.
Mammoth Lakes Police Chief Dan Watson in an email Tuesday that the police department has been in contact with Hill on this “and other issues.”
“His crabs did die, but we don’t know the reason,” he said. “At this point, there is no criminal investigation.”
Regardless of what Watson said, Hill maintained someone deliberately killed his crabs.
“It was positively, absolutely on purpose,” Hill said. “Proving it is a totally different situation, though.”
Are the crabs coming back?
Not likely, said Hill, who spoke to the Mammoth Times Thursday from Tahoe, where he was carving more bears to try to make up for lost revenues.  “I’m not sure, but I’m not leaning that way,” he said.
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