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Episode 33 - Cherish Perrywinkle & the Kentucky Meat Shower

Updated: Jul 18, 2023


The Case of Cherish Perrywinkle

Cherish Perrywinkle
8-year-old victim, Cherish Perrywinkle


Cherish Lily Perrywinkle was born into an unusually chaotic world on Christmas Eve in Jacksonville, Florida in 2004. Her parents, Rayne Perrywinkle and Billy Jerreau met at a bar, and Cherish was the product of their one night stand. Rayne didn’t tell Billy about Cherish until she was 3 years old, when she took him to court for child support. A raging custody battle ensued, and Billy truly wanted to be a part of his daughter's life that he had just found out about. Rayne made it seem as though he only wanted to be part of her life now to benefit his bank account when it came to what he may owe in child support. She called him an absentee father, which is not even close to the truth. He hadn’t known Rayne was pregnant, you can’t be an absentee father without knowing you’re a father-to-be in the first place. Sadly, this battle went on throughout Cherish’s entire lifetime.

Robert H. Wood came into the mix as their custody evaluator. He spent time with both parents watching their parenting styles and their relationships with Cherish. While watching the interaction between Billy and Cherish, he realized they had not quite formed a father/daughter bond yet, but were definitely working on it. However, that can be expected, as she hadn’t grown up with him, and had recently met him, let alone met him as her father. But Billy was more than willing to take the time and put in the effort to be the father he knew Cherish needed, and the father he so desperately wanted to be once he met her. He had a very stable job, a stable income.

Whereas Rayne was not working, so no steady income. She had a knack for neglecting her children when her boyfriend was around, or any male figure in general. They took priority, and not her children. Robert Wood claimed that he heard outbursts from Rayne that were ‘side effects’ of her bi-polar disorder diagnosis. He is quoted as saying “Neither parent is perfect, however, between the two, I believe that Mr. Jerreau can offer the child some semblance of normalcy in an environment where at least there is a potential for her to thrive. I fear the child’s future living with Mrs. Perrywinkle.

Even with that statement from a professional custody evaluator, the courts chose to let Rayne keep custody of Cherish, due to the bond they already had formed, and her siblings being in the same home.

Unfortunately, this is a decision that would cause great harm in the future. One that would shock the area they lived in, as well as the rest of the country.

An Odd Encounter

Around 8 pm on June 21st in 2013, Rayne took Cherish and her two sisters shopping at a Dollar General store in their hometown. While there, the girls were all wanting to buy something, but Rayne had to keep denying them because she was struggling with funds, and could only get the necessities they had gone in for. An older man walked up to them and offered to use a $150 gift card to Walmart to help them get clothes and whatever else they couldn’t afford. Now again, with Rayne’s work pattern being extremely inconsistent, and most times non-existent, she took advantage of the deal while it was presented. She took the man’s offer, who by then had introduced himself as Donald Smith, and the whole Perrywinkle clan got into his white van and headed to Walmart.

(I don’t know about you…but something about anyone in a big white van just gives me the heebs! Like, an INSTANT red flag for me.)

The Perrywinkles shopped at Walmart with Donald for the next 2 hours. Around 10:30 pm, Donald offered to go get them burgers from McDonalds that was inside the Walmart, near the entrance. Cherish decided she was going to follow him to help carry things back. Surveillance cameras showed Donald and Cherish skipping the McDonalds inside, and walking straight out the front doors. This would be the last time Cherish was seen alive.

A mere half hour after Donald and Cherish walked out the front door, Rayne made a phone call to the police reporting that her daughter, Cherish, had been abducted. Five hours later, an Amber Alert was sent out. By that point it may have already been too late.

Morning broke, and Cherish’s body was found in a creek behind a church. Investigators believed that Donald bound her up inside the back of his van, and sexually assaulted her before strangling her to death.

Donald Smith

Donald was what the numerous psychologists that worked with him over the years had called the worst kind of child predator. He knew what type of parent to look for that he knew would take advantage of his “kindness” and allow him time with their children. Which is exactly what he did to Rayne, and her three daughters. His brain doesn’t function as a “normal” person's brain does. He had permanent brain damage from a head injury, and to add more to that, it was skewed at a younger age due to the sexual abuse he himself had endured as a child, the drug abuse he put on himself, and sexual relationships he had with his family members. A psychologist stated that he lacked basic impulse control. Due to the brain injury Donald has, another psychologist said that the part of the brain that was affected not only allowed him to dive into his dark side, but didn’t really allow him to stop once he started.

His father was physically abusive towards him, but wound up dying when Donald was fairly young. He was sexually abused by family members, and neighborhood bullies. With his father dead, this left his mother to take care of him. And in doing so, the two formed an eerie closeness with one another. She never acknowledged his drug problem, like him speeding through (pun intended) over $100,000 in one weekend on cocaine. Psychologist Joseph Wu said that the damage on the right side of Donald’s brain caused the hypersexuality and could release pedophilic orientation. Wu also stated that the verbal abuse from Donald’s mother, the physical and verbal abuse by his father and the sexual abuse that happened to him by neighborhood boys had created the perfect storm that could possibly lead to immense failure and impulse control which would result in a destructive life or lifestyle. Which is exactly what happened.

At the age of 10, Donald began exposing himself in public. By public I mean places usually inhabited by kids, so parks and playgrounds. He would show his penis to anyone and everyone he came across, adult or child, it didn’t seem to matter to him. When he hit age 18, he would start masturbating while in public, seemingly “getting off” on the confusion and shock on everyone's faces around him.

When he turned 21, he was arrested for masturbating inside of a park, and in front of a child. He was given a 5 year jail sentence. While he was incarcerated, there were psychologists and other professionals of the nature that stated he should not be released back into the world. They said this was due to his inability to be rehabilitated. With the mixture of his brain injury and the severe adolescent abuse he lived through, it was never going to happen. Again, because his brain wasn’t wired as it should be. Donald was released in 1987. The court really should have listened in this case.

In September of 1992, the then 36 year old Donald, attempted to kidnap a 13 year old girl named Kerri-Anne Buck by approaching her in a van as she walked to one of her friends houses. Even being young, Kerri-Anne knew better when Donald tried to get her into the van. She told him no, at which point he started screaming at Kerri-Anne and demanding she get in and leave with him. Again she said no and then took off running to her friend’s house. She made it there only to run up to a door that wouldn’t be answered. She knew she had no choice but to continue running until she hit the school playground. She climbed inside of a tube slide and positioned herself in a way that wouldn’t allow her to slide down. Now, the whole time she was running, Donald was chasing her in the van. He made it to the playground, but was unable to find her. So Karri-Anne stayed inside the tube slide until she heard him walk away, get in and start his van, and leave the area. Karri-Anne waited a bit longer to make sure he was gone, and then she exited the slide and ran back to her friend's house where they called the police.

When Kerri-Anne was home later on, she noticed the same van with Donald in it driving around her street. She immediately told her mom, and mom went into mamabear mode. She grabbed her kid and her keys and they took off to follow the van so they could get the license plate number as well as the make and model of the van to hand over to the police. While driving behind Donald, Karri-Anne said he saw her in the car, and looked like he was going to kill her. Back at the house this time, Karri-Anne’s mom called the police and handed over the information and it took no time at all for Donald to be arrested again. This time it was for attempted kidnapping and 2 counts of possession of child porn, which he had hoped to sell. Donald wound up getting sentences to six years on the first charge, and then 5 years for the two counts of child pornography.

Donald was released from this stint in jail in 2003. The same year as his release, he was rearrested again, and subsequently released at the age of 51 in 2007.

After the last arrest, Donald had no choice but to move back in with his mommy who saw no flaws in her son, let me rephrase that…who CHOSE not to see any flaws in her son. She even went so far as to say that every crime up to this point had been done by other people, and that those people were trying to frame her son. Talk about a fucking enabler of the worst kind. She flaunted him around to her friends in the community, and they would go on to say he was a nice and funny man, and how even though he was a pedophile, he seemed quite normal. Seriously…he is a pedophile before he is anything else in my book. With his new community connections and the façade he was surely playing, some of these yuppies decided to let the fucker into their homes as a handyman. And the entire time, he had not curbed his pedophile ways.

On January 11, 2013, a phone call was made to Crime Stoppers in regard to an older silver haired man that was making her feel extremely uncomfortable, and it wasn’t even her that was the target. The call came from a woman who had been shopping at Walmart. She noted how she saw this man walking around slowly, watching the random women that were shopping, and how he would linger even longer if one of the women had a child with her. The way he was lurking around made the caller so anxious that she felt she needed to alert authorities.

10 days after this call was made, the unthinkable would happen.

January 21, 2013

Rayne and her kids went to Dollar General as I mentioned earlier. They were there to pick up last minute necessities needed for Cherish, as she was heading to California the next day to spend time with her father, Billy. She was so excited to see him. Rayne had only $100 in her bank account, thanks to her boyfriend giving it to her so she could get Cherish to the airport and shipped off to her father. Cherish had found a dress that she really wanted to buy and take to wear while she was in California. It was a little dress with hearts all over it. Rayne told her she couldn’t afford it, and for Cherish to put it back on the rack. Rayne is quoted in later testimony that Donald had walked over to her and Cherish and said “If you really want that dress, I will get it for you.” Donald stated to Rayne that he had the $150 gift card that was gifted to him and his wife, and then he offered them the Walmart trip, which Rayne agreed to. Not knowing that Donald was in fact not married, but using that as a tactic to make her feel more comfortable. Donald said that his wife headed to meet him at the Dollar General to drop off the gift card. While waiting, Rayne kept asking where his wife was, and he said she’s coming, and that she would be driving a gold car.

During the wait, Donald would give Rayne information about himself that would make her feel even more comfortable. Information like his name being ‘Don’ and where he was supposedly working, things to make him seem more human and less harmless. He worked Rayne like a fiddle, and she gladly sang its tune. At this point, they got in the van and headed to Walmart.

Rayne described the inside of the van as being dark. There were shades in the windows, there were no seats in the middle of the van. The front passenger seat was laid flat like a dentist's chair. There was a bench seat in the back of the van, which is where the three girls sat, while Rayne sat up front next to Donald. The two made small talk. He asked how old everyone was, and he gave up the fact that he was 61 years old. He continued to talk about his job, and his wife who he said was from the Virgin Islands.

Once they made it to Walmart, they waited in the van for a little bit on his wife in her gold car to pull up. He told Rayne to take the girls inside and head to the girls department and he would meet them there. So she got her girls - Nevaeh, Cherish and Destiny, out and they all headed inside together, leaving Donald alone, sitting in his van.

Rayne and the girls began to shop. They went to the shoes, and then the clothes. Donald showed up and started walking around with them as they shopped in the little girl’s section. Rayne asked where his wife was, and again he stated that she was coming. Donald continued to follow until Rayne said her girls were getting fussy because they hadn’t eaten, so Donald jumped at the chance. He asked them what they wanted to eat, and Rayne gave him a list of what they wanted. He started walking away and then motioned for Cherish to follow him, which she did with no hesitation. Seeing her mother trust this man, trickled down to her, and she felt safe. They walked up to the McDonalds, and then right out the front doors, for Cherish to never be seen again.

30 minutes after Donald and Cherish walked away from Rayne, she started becoming worried because they hadn’t come back yet, and the McDonalds was inside the Walmart. She said she went and checked by the shoes, and there was no sign of Cherish or Donald. She started walking the building numerous times looking for the pair, when she heard a Walmart employee state over the speakers that they were closing soon and to head to registers to check out. This is when Rayne’s anxiety took hold and she started yelling, asking for someone to let her use their cell phone since hers was dead.

In the 9-1-1 call from Rayne, she states that her daughter has been taken. She gives a description of what the man looks like that she walked off with. She states how she had a strange feeling about him when she first met him, and that he had taken Cherish to the dressing room twice while they were shopping. I’m sorry, but she had the opportunity to step in and make sure that shit didn’t happen, but it did…twice. Anyways, she states that he is driving a white van and the operator asks if Rayne remembers anything on the outside of the van, stickers, tinted windows or anything else of the sort, and Rayne replies with “I know he’s got carpet in the van, but I didn’t take a good look, I’m sorry.” She was unable to answer questions about the man’s clothes that he was wearing, or anything notable about the outside of the van.

Rayne literally said in the call to 9-1-1…”I hope he’s not raping her right now because I’ve had that done to me and it’s not fun.” She starts crying hard at this point, and I believe it is the point where she realized just how badly she fucked up. She starts explaining how Cherish is supposed to be getting on an airplane to go to California tomorrow, and how she told this to the man that took them shopping. She states that Donald knew when the store was going to be closing, how she was stupid because she realized that he had been focusing a lot of his attention on Cherish. She says at one point “I hope to god he doesn’t kill her, I hope to god he doesn’t rape her. I don’t know why he would leave right now unless he’s going to rape her and kill her, that’s the only reason and I’m wasting time standing here.” The operator asked again how she remembers anything from the outside of the van and she said she remembers a metal stripe that goes around the van.

The operator asked who Rayne was talking to and she said one of the Walmart employees, and that there were now two cops there. She also asked if Rayne had looked to see if the van was still in the parking lot, and she popped out to look, and realized that the van was indeed gone. This is where she cries, saying “Oh my god, he took her.”

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s office broadcast a BOLO (be on the lookout) at 11:36pm for Cherish as well as the white van. The police were able to watch the surveillance videos and saw both Cherish and Donald leaving Walmart in the van. They were also able to identify the man as being Donald Smith. Even knowing his history, the Amber Alert that got sent out, was not done until 4am the next morning. An hour after that, the news and media outlets were given the information, and then three hours after that, a concerned person would call the phone number they saw on the TV and report that they saw a vehicle matching the description of the van sitting outside of Highlands Baptist Church. There is no reason they should have waited that long to put the alert out. They had been gone for a half hour before the call to 9-1-1 went through, and they could have had that Amber Alert out within the hour of Cherish being abducted, and that could have saved her life. But that’s not what happened.

Twenty minutes after the phone call from the concerned citizen came through, Donald’s van was spotted on a highway, and the van was pulled over. Unfortunately, Cherish was not in the van. Oddly though, Donald was soaking wet. The police asked him where he had been all night and he said he had been out smoking crack with prostitutes, and that he was wet because he sweats a lot when he does drugs.

With that same concerned phone call, the cops knew they had to search the area behind the church. There was a marsh back there, so they felt they knew what had happened…they just needed the proof. So they set out to look for anything, in hopes that they were wrong about their gut feelings.

On June 22nd, 2013, the police found what they sincerely wished they shouldn’t. They found the body of 8 year old Cherish Perrywinkle.

This next part is going to be extremely graphic, so I will say, if you do not want to read it, please skip it. This was hard for me to listen to, and that rarely happens, so please, heed this warning. This will not be easy…

The Autopsy

Donald Smith finally went on trial in 2018, and the gory details of what happened to 8 year old Cherish Perrywinkle became disturbingly clear.

Dr. Valerie Rao was the medical examiner that did the autopsy on Cherish. Rao had gone to the crime scene herself because it was the case of a child’s murder. She told the investigators to take pictures of the body from all angles, prior to the body being moved. She stated in her testimony that the way she works is to have pictures taken of the body with no disturbances. The clothes are still on the way they were when the body was found, nothing is touched. They photograph everything and then they remove the clothing so they can further examine the bodies. They take pictures of every step of the way, each visible wound of the body in close up detail, each incision she has to make herself, each organ that is pulled for dissection and testing is photographed.

In this particular case, a rape kit was used the day Cherish’s body was found, and the autopsy done the next day, which would have been June 23rd, 2013. This was done so that they could keep whatever evidence may or may not have been found with the kit, and there was a lot.

Roa began talking about each photo that was submitted into evidence during her testimony. It starts with a picture of Cherish’s face as she laid on the table. The next picture was that of small patches of tiny dots on her skin. Rao stated this was because of ants biting and eating her skin, since she had laid out in the marsh for a while.

The next picture is that of her breasts. And the bruising around her nipple, which Dr. Rao said it was consistent with someone sucking on her breast. So, hickeys.

Next picture is of her left leg, showing the bruising and scratches that were all over her body. While this picture is being shown, Rao tells the court that all of the injuries sustained to Cherish’s body were done prior to her death. So she was alive while all of this happened to her.

The next picture is of another area of her body showing more bruising and cuts, the back of her left thigh had a large bruise.

Her right leg was shown next, and there were numerous scratches to her skin here as well., which Rao found consistent with Cherish being drug out to where she was found. The tall grass would have scratched her legs up, as the pictures show. Her right thigh was also heavily bruised. The bruises and cuts are very consistent throughout all of her limbs.

The prosecutor asked Dr. Rao what the cause of Cherish's death was, and Rao said “mechanical asphyxiation.” She then went on to explain what that meant in this case. Rao said Cherish sustained such tremendous force on her neck to the point that she would not be able to breathe. She suffered a swollen brain due to lack of oxygen, and that resulted in her death. They showed a photo afterward of the bruising on her neck, which included small areas above where Donald had wrapped some sort of ligature around her neck that show hemorrhaging under the skin, which is basically the same look as when you throw up too hard and you get all of the little red dots around your eyes and cheeks from broken blood vessels. That is essentially what was on Cherish’s neck above the bruising.

Her nose had bled, as did her eyes. Her gums had also bled between her teeth due to the sheer force behind the strangulation and smothering. The next photo is of her mouth, nose and chin. All of her injuries to the face were due to the force put on her face while Donald was trying to keep her quiet by smothering her.

The prosecutor went on to ask about the rape kit and how that works. Dr. Rao explained that, and it includes taking pieces of fingernails that are broken to see if there is any skin under them from the perpetrator. They then lay the body down in a position similar to one a female would be in to get a pap smear. They take pictures of all of this as well. The anal cavity is swabbed first, because if they did the vaginal part first, some of what may be inside the vagina could trickle down to the anus and mess with whatever may be in there. The vaginal swab is done next, as well as removing any fibers or hairs within. Which they did find in Cherish.

Rao stated that while looking at this poor girl's genital and anal area, that there was so much visible damage. She said, and I quote, “The anatomy was totally distorted by the injury sustained by her vaginal and anal area.” She then goes on to talk about the distance between a young female's vaginal opening in relation to the anus, and how there is a thick wall of soft tissue in between. Then they showed the jury a picture taken from Cherish’s exam, and there is basically no separation between vagina and anus. It had been completely destroyed. Semen was found in Cherish’s mouth, vagina, and anus.

Rao then went on to talk about the dissection of the throat that took place. She said how there had been so much pressure on the neck, that she had hemorrhaged deep into the muscles of her neck.

Dr. Rao also had to examine Donald’s body. There were pictures taken of his penis, which showed there were abnormalities due to recent injuries to the penis. She went on to describe how he had a circular bruise around the head of his penis as well as numerous small bruises on the shaft itself. She stated this is the result of sucking motions with significant force. She was able to determine the bruises were fresh, which would have occurred in the same timeframe as the murder of Cherish.

The last question asked by one of the prosecutors was “Cherish’s body was found in water. Was there any evidence that she drowned?” and Rao said no.

The Aftermath

With that horrid shit out of the way, let's move on to other horrid shit.

Rayne had begun being erratic in her own life. She had claimed at one point during the trial that she was clairvoyant and had always known her daughter would be dead at the age of 8. She literally volunteered that information during a deposition in the case. A month after Cherish’s murder took place, her two sisters were removed from Rayne’s home by the Department of Children and Families, the reason for that has not come to light.

But something else came to light. Rayne had lived in Australia and had another child years before Cherish was born. She abandoned this child. Rayne’s sister Carrie has been on TV saying how Rayne is the worst mother in the world, how what happened was the worst case of child neglect she has ever heard of. The abandoned daughter, Lindsay, blames Rayne for all of what happened to Cherish.

This caused a huge uproar in the community, and many that were once behind Rayne, were no longer behind her. She was unable to get a job after that as well, saying that she was still grieving, so she couldn’t work.

Meanwhile, her two other daughters, Nevaeh and Destiny went to live with their aunt Carrie in Australia, they are both happy, and have both adjusted well to being there in their new environment.

Billy Jerreau, Cherish’s father, said in an interview a year after the death of his daughter, “I live with this every day, I spend a lot of time just walking around and I do a lot of researching, looking at stories, and looking at details and trying to find answers and there isn't any.” He went on to say “It’s been really hard. I’ve been searching for answers for a lot of things. To sit out and wait for trial and everything else that happened, it’s just…it’s agony.”

As for Donald, well, he knew he was fighting a losing battle in court. What Donald did ruined a family, and by him pleading not guilty, he set the family up again, for a trial, where they would have to see pictures of their deceased daughter, and look up to see his face staring back at them every day they were in the courtroom.

Kerri-Anne Buck that I talked about earlier showed up to this trial and spoke about her terrifying encounter with Donald. His trial was pretty short, and it only took the jury 12 minutes to come to a unanimous decision that he did in fact kidnap, rape, and murder 8 year old Cherish Perrywinkle.

There were videos from inside the jail of Donald talking carrying on conversations with his mother through a plexiglass window that he must have been stupid enough to think weren’t being recorded, and he basically confessed numerous times, in different ways. He also brought up how he needed to learn about mental disorders so that he can prepare himself.

The trial for Donald Smith started in February 2018. He was found guilty of first-degree murder as well as sexual battery and he won himself a death sentence. He tried to appeal his sentence in April of 2021, but that was immediately denied.

In one of the videos that came out of him talking to his mother in jail, he stated that he would rather die than be subjected to being raped everyday. I think the death sentence should be dangled over his head, just out of reach for him, while he gets brutally raped, just as he brutally raped Cherish.

My last thought is this: Protect your babies, and be smarter than Rayne Perrywinkle is.



Kentucky Meat Shower

Kentucky Meat Shower
Meat from the Kentucky Meat Shower found preserved in a jar

I am sure we all have heard the expressions It's raining cats and dogs along with April showers bring May flowers which we also found out this saying is much longer in Ep. 23 - It will kill you about the Alnwick Poison Garden. March winds and April showers bring May flowers and June bugs, but in the late 19th century in Kentucky it might of gone something like this. March meat and April showers bring May flowers and June Bugs.

Now this isn’t the Urban Dictionary definition of a Kentucky meat shower where you encounter some over stimulated rednecks with a bucket of chicken grease. What the Kentucky meat shower was an hour long incident in Bath county, Kentucky.

The Kentucky meat shower happened near Olympia Springs, KY Mary Crouch the wife of Allen Crouch a local farmer to Olympia, was making soap on their front porch on March 3, 1876 in late hours of the morning while her husband and sons were away. Around 11 am she would noticed what looked like piece of red meat hitting the ground, This lasted for serval minutes and covering about the same distance of a football field (100 by 50 yards). Mary would say the weather was clear and sunny with a slight breeze before the unexpected carnal rain fell around around. By the time it was done piece of unidentified meat scatted the ground, stuck to fence posts and rails staining them with what appeared to be blood. When she was later interviewed for the newspaper The Herald she estimated about at least have a bushel which is roughly four gallons, covered the land. Numerous animals the Couch’s owned freely ate the meat but none of them fell ill from eating it.

Still with no clear answer on what this meat was, Allen Crouch collected samples from the fences and briers that looked like Christmas trees from hell as he described their appearance. He then handed these samples off to Harrison Gill of Olympia that preserved him in alcohol. Some of these meat chunks would actually be eaten by locals to try and identify what this meat was.

L.C. Frisbe a butcher from Mount Sterling would tell the Herald

“Several Persons told me it was a dangerous experiment, but I told them my constitution could stand as much of a rooster’s or a cat’s”

Even after a few chews of this met he would end up spitting it out after a kind of milky, watery fluid oozed out of it but it had the texture of veal or lamb but couldn’t place the taste or smell of it.

Merchant Joe Jordan also dared to try the meat but also spit his out and said it smelled like a dead body and leached brown mucous.

Some of these other guesses would be bear and venison.

The Herald correspondent would try and bribe a Irish railroad worker named Jimmy Welsh to take a bite. Welsh said he would do it for a dollar (28.42 in 2023) but kept finding reasons not to do it. First he would ask for a side dish, then demanded whiskey, and finally would claim that he wasn’t hungry. After the correspondent raised the reward to three dollars (85.27). Welsh suddenly remembers he can’t eat meat due to it being Lent.

Some speculated that Mary made this all up to frighten her husband into selling the farm but the Crouch’s laughed this off because Mr. Crouch was already wanting to sell the farm. Another theory was that a it was the lunch of a passing balloonist that fell from their basket.

Leopold Brandeis analized some of this mystery meat, and claimed that its not meat at all but nostoc. Nostoca is a gelatinous bacteria that is similar to blue-green algae. Nostoc can be found in the soil, on moist rocks, at the bottom of lakes commonly. It was first believed that Nostoc fell from the sky and earned names like star jelly, troll’s butter or witch’s butter. But this was discredited after due to Mary saying the skys were clear that day.

Further testing of the meat was done by Dr. Allan Mclane Hamilton to find that it was cartilage and lung tissues. He believes that it came from either a horse or a human.

Today we still don’t know what caused this rain of meat in Olympia, KY but the most plausible theory was a kettle of turkey Vultures. Many species of Vultures are known to vomit to make themselves lighter to take flight faster if they are in danger. These kettles or flocks of vultures can number into the 100s but more commonly in flocks of 10 to 20. The Black Vulture is known to fly to an altitude of 20,000 ft. So it very well could be a kettle of vultures that rained down a shower of meat on the Crouch farm.

A small sample of these pieces of meat still exist today at Transylvania University in Lexington, KY after but unfortunately are too contaminated and old to be tested with modern scientific equipment to pinpoint what they are. These pieces were found in 2004 by art professor Kurt Gohde while he was cleaning out a storage closet and was ecstatic to find them due to his fascination of the meat shower.

Gohde would go as far as meeting with a Cincinnati taste lab to create jelly beans based on the flavor’s that were described in his research into the meat shower. He would describe the flavor of the jelly beans “vile and strong enough that I would immediately spit out any meat with that taste.” along with sugary with a chemical after taste. This chemical after taste could come from one of the theories the alleged vultures feasted on the corpse of a lamb treated with strychnine to target coyotes in the area.

In 2007 he would take his jelly beats to a fall festival named Kentucky Court Days in Mount Sterling for people to try and tell the story of the meat shower through his art and jelly beans. Many compared the flavor to lamb starting to turn and pre cooked bacon. His favorite flavor profile came from a large bearded man that instantly told him, strawberry porkchop. As soon as it was in his mouth. Which if you do google strawberry pork chop there are many recipes for porkchops with a strawberry balsamic glaze. As of 2020 Gohde was conceptualizing a community art project recreating the events of the meat shower through his and other artists so more Kentuckians know this interesting and strange chapter in their states history. As for his jelly beans he still has some but nobody has ever wanted to try them twice

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