Gary and Shannon

Gary and Shannon

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#TrueCrimeTuesday - Woman Hides Famous Chimp By Faking His Death

Eastern chimpanzee sub-adult male 'Tarzan' aged 12 years yawning portrait

Photo: Getty Images

This week on #TrueCrimeTuesday Gary and Shannon talk about a 52-year-old woman who faked the death of her favorite chimp instead of giving him to authorities.

The primate in question is Tonka, a movie-star chimp in his thirties who has appeared in movies like 'Buddy,' and 'George of The Jungle.' His owner, Tonia Haddix was told by a judge to give up all of her chimps after it was determined that they were living in unsafe living conditions. She turned over her six other chimps but told authorities that her most precious chimp, Tonka was euthanized due to heart failure. But in reality, she was hiding Tonka in her basement

When federal marshalls came to take Tonka away from Haddix she attempted to bribe them with $10,000 in cash.

Haddix was willing to do anything to keep her chimp, including lying under oath, and could face up to five years in prison if convicted. Haddix said this about her beloved chimp:

“Tonka is the love of my life. He really, truly is. I love him like a son.”

If you want to learn more about this crazy story check out this Rollingstone article.


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