Another Suspect in the 1916 Attacks

Another shark was put up at the time as the culprit responsible for the attacks. This one was caught by Captain Thomas Cottrell.

Here are a few notes on the Cottrell Shark.HugeSharkCaptured

A photograph exists of the shark.

It was reported to be a Blue Nose or Diamond Tooth species ( Bull Shark)

It was caught at Latham’s Dock at the mouth of Matawan Creek

It was caught July 18, 1916 at 3 PM.

The tide was going out at the time.

The shark was netted and killed with an iron bar.

The fish was 7’ long and weighed about 200 Lbs.

The teeth were reported to be the “size of a needle and just as sharp”.

The shark was taken to Keyport, packed in ice, and put on display.

The mayor of Matawan awarded Cottrell a $100 reward and declared the shark to be the man-eater.

3 thoughts on “Another Suspect in the 1916 Attacks

  1. I enjoy your website.

    This shark was reported to be 9 and 3 quarters ft in length, 230 lbs and pregnant with 9 pups according to Richard Fernicola’s book Twelve days of terror. I’ve also read that elsewhere as well.
    Like I had said in an earlier comment. no way that’s a Bull Shark, as it’s body is very narrow (they’re not built that way) , but the dead giveaway is where the dorsal fin is set.
    In Jose Castro’s book, The Sharks of North America, which was written in the early 2000’s , he couldn’t find a verified report of a Bull Shark north of Chesapeake Bay.
    The New Jersey State tackle record remains vacant to this day in the Bull Shark category.


  2. Also. there is some controversy regarding Cottrell’s shark, as it’s been reported that his son bought the shark from Monmouth fisheries to display as the Matawan maneater and was reported to be a Brown Shark.
    I’ve also read that the above image of the shark was caught by fishermen in Belford, NJ (about 10 miles west of Matawan), and not Cottrell.


    1. Yes I have heard that too. Both sharks are very suspect. The Cottrell shark ended up on display for money in Red Bank.


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