Friends remember the 'Critter Man'

McNeil's body was found a short distance from his burning truck.
McNeil's body was found a short distance from his burning truck.

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Jennifer Haskell and Carolyn East don't know each other but they knew Ralph McNeil, lovingly known as the 'Critter Man' in Montgomery.

"He just had a wonderful sense of humor," said Haskell.

"This is a terrible tragedy and a terrible loss to the community," said East.

McNeil spent years working for a Montgomery car dealership and later became a one-man operation, offering his services to remove unwanted pests such as snakes, raccoons and pigeons.

East says the 'Critter Man' not only did his job well but did it with joy in his heart.

East remembers.

"He would always educate children about 'coons for example and that they weren't here to hurt us but fell out of their habitat. He was very focused on his job," said East.

They're remembering McNeil who according to Montgomery police was stabbed to death. Police found McNeil's body some 35 feet away from his burning truck off Pilgrim Street in west Montgomery Tuesday afternoon.

As of right now homicide investigators believe this was a random robbery, no leads and no arrests.

From the streets to city hall even the mayor knew the 'Critter Man.'

"I am saddened by this. We engaged him to remove some pigeons at the complex on Lower Dexter and he also removed the residue from those pigeons. He did a wonderful job for us," said Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.

Ralph Skip 'The Critter Man' McNeil became the city's first murder victim of the new year.

He was 58.

©2010 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.