Members of a politically active Franklin farming family found one of their lambs decapitated outside their home on June 2, according to an article in the Daily Star.
In act reminiscent of the "horse head" scene in the movie "The Godfather," the lamb was reportedly found headless outside the home of Linda and Pete Bevilacqua.
The Bevilacquas say that they had returned home after a rancorous town meeting about a proposed gas pipeline compressor station slated to be built in the Delaware County town of Franklin, which the Bevilacquas oppose.
According to reporter Joe Mahoney, the Bevilacquas suspect that there is a political motivation for the slaying:
While the couple has been deeply involved in a local grassroots group called Compressor Free Franklin — launched to counter the proposed Tennessee Gas Co. natural gas project — they said they have no evidence to connect the incident with their activism. But that possibility is one they have strongly considered, they said, especially since they were attending a Franklin town board meeting, where the opposition group presented town board members with an anti-compressor petition signed by more than 500 people. "There was definitely a message being sent with this — 'the next time this could happen to you,'" Linda Bevilacqua said.
Pete Bevilacqua is a Democratic candidate for town supervisor in Franklin, running against Republican Jeff Taggart, the sitting supervisor, this November. Taggart has said that he is "not sold" on the compressor, but that he is willing to consider it.
According to the story, the couple's 15-year-old daughter was home at the time the lamb was killed. The couple have offered a reward for information related to the incident.