Experts say harming animals is one of the ‘triad of warning signs’ of serial killers

To be quite honest, I don’t think this comes as any surprise to most of us. If you’ve been a reader of this site for any length of time, you know this sad fact has been repeated again and again. Most especially in light of the many recent abuse stories with child and teen offenders. It’s just horrifying!

Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz and Albert “Boston Strangler” DeSalvo were all cruel to animals before they started hurting people.

Most experts agree that harming or killing animals is one of the “triad of warning signs” serial killers tend to exhibit in their youth. It’s also why many animal rights groups contend cruelty to animals should not be taken lightly.

“The behavior that harms the animal is the same behavior that harms the human,” said Barbara Boat, a child psychologist and professor at the University of Cincinnati.

Although many serial killers’ records are stained with the blood of animals they killed as youngsters, not all young animal abusers will be serial killers.

What serial killers and abusers have in common is that they objectify their victims, said Art Jipson, a University of Dayton sociology professor.

Both types of offenders enjoy the sense of mastery over their victims. The act of abusing animals is related to extreme violence, such as serial killing, but serial killers have a compulsion to kill, Jipson said.

“It’s not like (animal abusers) wake up in the morning and say, ‘I have to kill a dog today,'” he said.

Boat said some youths abuse animals because they have been physically or sexually abused, but in all cases, Boat said the public should be concerned when a child shows signs of violence.

“(It) is not always restricted to the animal.” (Middletown Journal)

Look at some of the recent cases of animal abuse by children and teens;

  • Three Teens Torture Dog to Death – three teens, 12, 14 and 16 yrs old stole a puppy from a yard, took it to an abandoned house and proceeded to torture it to death, including repeatedly throwing it out of a second story window, burning it, hanging and beating it and finally decapitating it.
  • Dog Torturers in Philly Sought – a group of teens lit a dog on fire then proceeded to kick and beat it while it lay prostrate on the ground.
  • Three Teens Accused of Burning Dog Alive – GA Animal Rescuers Say One of the Worst Cases of Animal Cruelty Ever Seen – Two 14 and a 13 yr old boy set a dog on fire and then to make things worst, it was found out that they had done the very same thing only days before. Each of these boys was sentenced to 60 days detention and the very saddest thing was when asked if they understood what they had done wrong, they didn’t. And these were not their first and only criminal offenses, even at these ‘tender’ ages!
  • Alamogordo Teens Try to Kill Puppy – three teens, 13, 14 and 15 yrs old, taped a dog’s muzzle with clear packing tape to suffocate her, stabbed her with a knife and screwdriver and then as if that weren’t enough, they proceeded to drop a 44 lb concrete block on her. And all three had previously been in trouble with the law and none showed any remorse for what they did.
  • Teen Sexually Abuses Dog, Throws it in Dumpster – a 19 yr old sodomized his grandparents’ little Yorkie then threw the injured dog in a dumpster. Again, he was no stranger to law enforcement.

And these are just a few of the many stories. Now think about it further, how many of the unsolved animal abuse crimes out there can be attributed to youths and how many undiscovered case are there?

Take some times to read, The Abuse Connection – Animal Cruelty and Interpersonal Violence, follow some of the links on the page. Learn and understand. And the next time someone asks who people are getting so uptight over animal abuse, you can tell them. The next time someone says, ‘It’s only a dog,’ or a cat or ____________, you can fill in that blank, you can ask them ‘what will it be next time?’ Abuse, against any living creature, is not something to take lightly, ever!! And never, ever downplay a child’s abuse against an animal or another person, the link is proven between animal abuse and what that abuser may do in their future!

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