A woman who made news around the world when she had five pups cloned from her beloved pit bull Booger looked familiar to some who saw her picture: She's the same woman who 31 years earlier was accused of abducting a Mormon missionary in England, handcuffing him to a bed and making him her sex slave.
Bernann McKinney acknowledged in a telephone call to The Associated Press on Saturday that she is indeed Joyce McKinney, who in 1977 became a British tabloid sensation when she faced charges of unlawful imprisonment in the missionary case. She jumped bail and was never brought to justice.
British tabloids first recognized her face in news photographs last week with the pit bull pups she paid South Korean scientists $53,000 to clone.
McKinney, who initially denied a connection between the two women, acknowledged that she was one and the same after an AP story noted the striking similarities in arrest records and court documents for the names Bernann McKinney and Joyce McKinney. They had the same birth date and Social Security numbers and the same hometown of Newland, N.C.; and Joyce McKinney's middle name is Bernann.
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The story of Joyce McKinney is the stuff of pulp fiction: an N.C. -born beauty queen who moved west, won the title Miss Wyoming USA and went on to college at Brigham Young University, where she became obsessed with a Mormon fellow student.
She and a male accomplice were accused of abducting the 21-year-old missionary in England, taking him to a cottage in Devon and chaining him to a bed.
There, investigators say, he was repeatedly forced to have sex with McKinney before he was able to escape.
But she denied a sexual assault, saying the young man was a willing partner.
In her call to the AP on Saturday, McKinney repeated the same argument: There's no way she could have overpowered the young Mormon because he was much bigger and stronger.
London police said they won't seek McKinney's extradition.