The Goose Who Wore Nikes, and the Mystery of Who Murdered Him

Born in 1987 without feet, Andy was a grey goose that lived on a farm in Harvard, Neb. When Andy was two years old, Gene Fleming, a farmer from nearby Hastings, became aware of the plight of the bird and thought he might be able to help. Being an inventor and a member of a local charity for disabled children, Fleming moved Andy and his mate Polly to his farm. After several failed attempts to provide Andy with mobility, Fleming adapted baby-sized shoes to fit the bird. When the media caught wind of the project, Nike offered to supply shoes for Andy for life. Andy quickly became a role model, especially for disabled children. With his shoes, he was able to walk, swim and fly. However, on Oct. 19, 1991, Andy disappeared, and a day later he was found dead in a local park with his head and wings removed. The community offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer. Unfortunately, police were not able to determine who the perpetrator was until two years after the murder. However, the police never divulged that information because Andy’s killer was “somebody who was not responsible” — suggesting that the person was perhaps mentally disabled, or otherwise not in control of their actions. We can’t know for sure what Andy the goose would have wanted, but it’s likely he wouldn’t have sought retribution. People are just left wondering why someone would do such a thing to poor Andy.
Andy and Gene Flemming