Diane Alexis Whipple (January
26, 2001) was
killed by two
Presa Canario dogs in
Francisco in January, 2001.
The two owners of the dogs —
Marjorie Knoller and her husband
Robert Noel, both
attorneys — were sentenced to
prison terms for
manslaughter (a judge dropped a second-degree murder conviction against Knoller,
but a California state court of appeals reversed that ruling in May 2005; the
California Supreme Court in late July 2005 agreed that it will review this
Knoller, a small woman, failed to restrain her two large dogs when they
attacked Whipple. Noel was not present during the attack. Their convictions
revolved around the accusation that they knew the dogs were aggressive towards
other people and did not take sufficient precautions with such large and
dangerous animals; whether they had actually trained the dogs to attack and
fight remained unclear. Allegations have been made that the two may have
sexually abused the dogs, and the prosecution contends that may have triggered
The judge wouldn't allow these claims into evidence. As of early 2004, both
Knoller and Noel have served their terms for the manslaughter conviction;
Knoller is out on bail while
her conviction is under appeal.
The question of whether Whipple's female life partner could sue for damages
caused considerable legal complications which have yet to be resolved fully.
Before her fateful encounter with the dogs, the 33-year-old Whipple had been
the lacrosse coach at
Saint Mary's College of California in
- Jones, Aphrodite. Red Zone: The Behind-The-Scenes Story of the San
Francisco Dog Mauling.
| Animal Control
| Breed-Specific Legislation
| Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
| Diane Whipple
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