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How to make serial killers

Step one: Severe animal cruelty.

Step two: Parents who downplay the severity of the offense.

Step three: A juvenile justice system that lets them off with a slap on the wrist.

Step four: Kids learn the lesson that their actions don't really have the consequences, move on to bigger thrills.

In Andover, Massachusetts, three teenage boys have gone past step one and are at step two of the process. But the police are hoping to stop it there.

God, I hope they save these kids from their parents.

Comments (21)

Oh yeah, nip this one in th... (Below threshold)

Oh yeah, nip this one in the bud and do some preventative counseling alone and with family. Add in some community service, too. For you're right, Jay,that is the recipe of a killer.


I don't think their punishm... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

I don't think their punishment is enough to fit the crime! If age is a consideration in this crime, they are obviously old enough to know that is not appropriate!...I would say this is an appropriate time to use the "ass whiping" measure of discipline...Quite possibly, that should have been considered a long time ago? That type of conduct for anyone is just not acceptable. Their mental faculties are not of moral character! Those parents really need to get a grip! I hope it isn't too late!

Can we put them in a Dicken... (Below threshold)

Can we put them in a Dickens-era poor house, working 12 hours a day with almost no food?

I feel very sorry for these... (Below threshold)

I feel very sorry for these kids and the people they will one day murder.

In the second article, I love the way they point their finger at violent video games rather than say... poor parenting. How is it that millions of teens all over the world play these violent video games and do not commit such heinous acts? In my case, it is because I was blessed with loving parents that taught me the difference in right and wrong.

Of course these nasty little cuss's are to blame as well, however if their parents had done their jobs as parents, these kids would know better. Maybe "time out" isn't such a good replacement for real discipline.

Damn right the parents shou... (Below threshold)

Damn right the parents should view the tape. They more than anyone need to see their little darling's at play.

Animal cruelty and arson are big red flags for anti-social/later criminal behavior.

Jay, you could have given a... (Below threshold)

Jay, you could have given a hat tip to William Hogarth.

Actually, let's not minimiz... (Below threshold)

Actually, let's not minimize the significance of serial killers here. Animal cruelty is indeed a predictor of serial killers, but not because of proceeding through steps 2 through 4 in your post. In serial killers, animal cruelty is an indicator of abject indifference to morality. A psychopath has no feelings of remorse for burning a chicken alive. Normal kids DO, in fact, make mistakes, maybe even this egregious. It does not mean they are likely to become serial killers. Certainly they need some help, guidance, and discipline, but maybe what they need most is a serious psychological profiling.

Why ? Because if one of these kids is indeed a future serial killer, there psycho-pathology is such that nothing you could do from steps 2 through 4, short of liftime incarceration, is going to alter that path. Once a serial killer is made, it cannot be un-made.

I am surprised there hasn't... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

I am surprised there hasn't been more of a reaction to my comment about "ass whiping", If you will pardon the expression!

I am at a loss for words to... (Below threshold)

I am at a loss for words to express how disturbed I am by this. I work with animal rescue and have seen many things over the years but this.....
Zsa Zsa...I fully support the "ass whipping" they should have gotten long before now. The parents shoud be ashamed for letting these out of control barbarians get to this point. Shame on them all.
My heart goes out to those who have been so savagely violated.

Zsa Zsa, I, too,... (Below threshold)

Zsa Zsa,
I, too, am in support of the "ass-whipping", not just for these kids, but for their parents, too.

The tape also shows them... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

The tape also shows them cutting open frogs and blowing them up with firecrackers. In another scene, police say, the boys are shown drawing a swastika in silver paint on the ground then placing a frog they said was Jewish in the center of the Nazi emblem and torching it alive.

They need counseling? They need a lot more than that.

For you're right, Jay,th... (Below threshold)

For you're right, Jay,that is the recipe of a killer.

Actually I think we should immediately send Jay Tea to the Behavioral Crime Unit at Quantico to lecture there since he has single handedly come up with a sure fire way of detecting serial killers.

From the first article,

"I'm sorry. I'm only 14," he responded, sitting on a nearby log with his hands on his head, she said.

"You're only sorry because you got caught," she screamed back.

Allison, a freshman at the California College of Arts and Crafts who is helping her father with the camp this summer, has been a vegan for seven years. Her father described her as a "animal rights fanatic."

Gee, maybe we should watch the daughter since she might become a terrorist associated with ALF or something. Sheesh.

Zsa Zsa,I believe th... (Below threshold)

Zsa Zsa,
I believe that these kids are too old to benefit much from corporal punishment. By 12 I am afraid they may be on their way to sick bastardhood. I would suggest 6 months reform school. You know, one of those alternative schools, an alternative to jail.

By the way, Zsa Zsa, didn't you have a cop slapping episode yourself during a traffic stop?

As I recall, the "triad" of... (Below threshold)

As I recall, the "triad" of serial killer predictors were (1) demonstrated cruelty to animals, as you say, (2) unusually late bedwetting, and (3) a fascination with or propensity to start fires. Two of those three and you've got something to worry about.

Way back when the US first ... (Below threshold)

Way back when the US first became a nation we sent a 14 year old as an ambassador to Russia. (I don't know if he was *the* ambassador, but still!)

We used to let children take on responsibilities and *be* responsible. 12 used to be officially "adult" or at least not a child anymore.

What kind of a moron says "I'm only 14" as if it's an excuse? How much you wanna bet he's heard that before? "Don't get after Joey, he's only 6." "Don't get after Joey, he's only 10." "Don't get after Joey, he's only 14."

"Don't get after Joey, he's only 22... he didn't mean to knock that girl up or drive drunk... he's only a child for God's sake!"

Have you jumped the gun? Th... (Below threshold)
K. Holt:

Have you jumped the gun? That article does not say the parents are downplaying the event. It says the parents have not even seen the video yet. Am I missing something, or are you too quick to condemn the parents?

Yes I did have a little cop... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

Yes I did have a little cop slapping episode a while back!...I wouldn't mind having another little episode again with these little jerks!

As I recall, the "triad" of... (Below threshold)

As I recall, the "triad" of serial killer predictors were (1) demonstrated cruelty to animals, as you say, (2) unusually late bedwetting, and (3) a fascination with or propensity to start fires. Two of those three and you've got something to worry about.

You forgot bread. Eating Bread. Every serial killer has at one time eaten bread. Here is my question: how many people have demonstrated two or three of the above characteristics and have not become serial killers. It strikes me as post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning. For example, using the daughter from the article; I bet all members of ALF were "animal rights fanatics"...but are all animal rights fanatics members of ALF? Also, several serial killers were animal lovers.

The problem is nobody really knows exactly why a person becomes a serial killer (i.e., there does not appear to be a good generalized theory). Sure there are some red flags and cruelty to animals is one of them, but I'd be willing to bet that it is a far from perfect predictor.

This is the stupidity of Jay Tea's post. It starts from a false premise. Should these children be punished? Absolutely. Should the parents watch the video? Probably. Are these boys going to grow and become the next Albert Fish, John Wayne Gacy and Dennis Rader? I'm a little doubtful.

Sorry, K Holt, but I'm cond... (Below threshold)

Sorry, K Holt, but I'm condemning the parents. We are talking sadism here. For all of the trials and tribulations of getting my kids through adolescence, sadism wasn't a worry of mine. And, it wasn't a worry of my friends and acquaintances either.

Re-read the details of these little sadist's behavior and tell me if this is the normal pranks of kids whose parents even meet the most basic criteria of normal?.

Any answer but "no" is an insult to those of us that have raised normal kids.

I find it ominous that one of the little punks spontanously spouted "I'm only 14". How pre-emptive and shrewd.

I've worked as a psych nurse in a maximum security prison for a year. My nose is exquisitely honed to anti-socials and their bs. I know them well.

The PARENTS have an "elepha... (Below threshold)

The PARENTS have an "elephant in the living room" that nobody talks about. Is it sex abuse? Control abuse? Or what? These apples didn't fall far from the tree.

The kids are acting out what's going on secretly at home - physically or psychologically.

I doubt it, MAC. Not that... (Below threshold)

I doubt it, MAC. Not that it isn't possible, but most likely the parents simply aren't home (so nothing is going on there) and they've failed to teach their kids any kind of self-control or the concept of consequences.

There does not need to be a *cause* for this kind of behavior, as if kids can't be cruel and sadistic all on their own. (I was talking to a mother, once, who claimed that without "Toy Story" her child would never think of destroying his toys. I left her with her delusions.) But kids do need to be actively taught kindness and respect for property and values and self-control.

MAYBE those boys are psychotic and maybe there is abuse or neglect in the home or MAYBE it's just that Mom and Dad bought into the myth that children are good and innocent by nature, and never quite believed that their own child was guilty, even if those other boys were a bit wild.

Or else I just have an attitude because of recent run-ins with a woman who's "darling" child needed to be removed from school from bad influences that were turning her into a snotty princess at the age of 10 (I suspect she was the ringleader and just taking after her mom) and who decided that *my* children were rude and she wouldn't allow her kids to play with them (though this involved public and prolonged snubbing at the playground, something I would not tolerate from my kids for a moment, much less orchestrate and preside over.)

The day I blame someone *else* for my kids' misbehavior, someone please knock me up side the head with a bat. Please! I mean it.






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