FULLERTON (CBSLA.com/AP) — A triple homicide that shocked the community of Fullerton over the weekend has brought added attention to the little-known subculture of “furries” — enthusiasts who dress in colorful animal costumes and take on animal personas for social events.
The two men arrested in the killings of Jennifer Yost, 39, her husband, Christopher Yost, 34 and their friend, Arthur “Billy” Boucher, 28, were active in the furry community, as were the Yosts and their teenage daughter, Katlynn.
They were affiliated with the group SoCal Furs, according to the Orange County Register.
The “furry” subculture is believed to have its roots in homemade zines in the early 1980s, although some cite Aesop’s Fables, dating to around 500 BC, as the origin of anthropomorphic literature.
A friend of the Yosts told the Orange County Register that furries have been unfairly portrayed in the media as sexual deviants and that sexual activity among furries is discouraged.
Ray Arechiga, a 23-year-old college student, said Jennifer Yost, who was a stay-at-home mother, was known for helping furries cope with problems.
“She really is a lovable member of the community,” Arechiga said.
Christopher Yost was a newer member of the furry community.
“The furries? That was a new thing they kind of got into,” said Stacy Businger, Chris’ cousin.
Jennifer Yost and her daughter, who is known in the furry community as “Daydreamer,” met Melinda Giles last year at a gathering of furries.
Giles later recalled seeing the two men charged with the murders — Frank Felix, 25, and U.S. Army Pfc. Joshua Acosta, 21 — at furry events, too. Giles said she had also met Felix at least once at the Yost family home.
She said Jennifer Yost told her several weeks ago that she had forbidden Felix from seeing her daughter.
Authorities have not released information on how the killings unfolded.
At a candlelight vigil held outside the family’s home Sunday evening, those who knew the Yosts said they were loving parents and friendly neighbors.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to raise money for the victims’ funeral expenses and to raise money for the education of the victims’ children. A GoFundMe account was also set up to help pay for Boucher’s funeral expenses and to provide financial assistance to Boucher’s 5-year-old son.
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