Researchers, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have often found a link between animal cruelty and domestic violence, child abuse, serial killings and the killings by school age children.
While some children may sometimes torture animals or be cruel to them to impress peers, serial killers have been known to torture animals purely for their enjoyment. That is why animal abuse is considered to be a sign of a mental disorder and children who abuse animals should be taken seriously and action should be taken to deal with such behavior. Although there are several factors that contribute to someone becoming a serial killer but the one constant most of them share is animal abuse.
There are several examples that demonstrate this connection. Jeffrey Dahmer was charged with murdering and dismembering at least sixteen people. He was known to show an intense interest in dismembering animals as a child.
Albert Disalvo, also known as the Boston Strangler, used to trap dogs and cats and shoot them with arrows when he was a child. Edward Emil Kemper III who was convicted of killing eight women (including his mother) was known to kill neighborhood cats and put their heads on poles when he was a teenager. David Berkowitz, convicted of thirteen murders and attempted murders, used to abuse the neighborhood dogs. Ted Bundy, convicted of two murders and suspected of at least forty, watched his father torture animals and eventually did the same. Andrew Cunanan who killed Versace and was suspected of five other murders, used to gather crabs and burn their eyes out with a lighted match.
In fact, most people who are on death row for murder have admitted to abusing animals as children. According to a study conducted by North Eastern University and the Massachusetts SPCA, people who abuse animals are five times more likely to abuse humans as compared to people who do not abuse animals. As Albert Schewietzer aptly wrote once, “Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives.”
The examples mentioned above clearly show the link between animal abuse and serial killers. That is why it is important for parents to immediately seek help for their child if they see the child demonstrating this type of behavior. Animal cruelty is a crime and could be an indicator of future abusive behavior.