The Swetky Agency


Submission Synopsis

Kids into Criminals:
Turning Our Children into Rapists and Murderers

How Our Failure To Stem Animal Abuse Is Destroying Our Families


by D. J. Herda


It happens each and every day.


Children abuse animals, and parents look the other way.  They do, at least, until their kids are all grown up and out on their own.  By then, it is nearly always too late. 

·        Patrick Sherrill, who killed 14 coworkers at a post office and then shot himself, had a history of stealing local pets and allowing his own dog to attack and mutilate them.


·        Earl Kenneth Shriner, who raped, stabbed, and mutilated a 7-year-old boy, had been widely known in his neighborhood as the man who put firecrackers in dogs’ rectums and strung up stray cats to die.


·        Brenda Spencer, who opened fire at a San Diego school, killing two children and injuring nine others, had repeatedly abused cats and dogs, often by setting their tails on fire.


·        Albert DeSalvo, the "Boston Strangler" who killed 13 women, trapped dogs and cats in orange crates and shot arrows through the boxes in his youth.


·        Carroll Edward Cole, executed for five of the 35 murders of which he was accused, said his first act of violence as a child was to strangle a puppy.


·        In 1987, three Missouri high school students were charged with the beating death of a classmate.  They had histories of repeated acts of animal mutilation starting several years earlier.  One confessed that he had killed so many cats he’d lost count.


·        Two brothers who murdered their parents had previously told classmates that they had decapitated a cat.


·        Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer had impaled dogs’ heads, frogs, and cats on sticks.


·        More recently, high school killers such as 15-year-old Kip Kinkel in Springfield, Ore., and Luke Woodham, 16, in Pearl, Miss., tortured animals before embarking upon their shooting sprees.


·        Columbine High School students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who shot and killed 12 classmates before turning their guns on themselves, bragged about mutilating animals to their friends.

As powerful a statement as the high-profile examples above make, they don't even begin to scratch the surface of the whole truth behind the abuse connection.  Learning more about the animal cruelty/interpersonal violence connection is vital for community members, law enforcement officials, the clergy, and parents alike.



NOTE: All material is copyright protected.  No portion of this material may be copied or reproduced, either electronically,  mechanically, or by any other means, for resale or distribution without the written consent of the author.  All copy has been dated and registered with the American Society of Authors and Writers.  Copyright 2007 by The Swetky Agency


- BACK -