The Psychology of Child Serial Killers
Child serial killers are kids who commit more than one murder when they are
young. This doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it's really shocking
and sad. People worry about why they do it and how we can help them before they
Some people say that our society, which sometimes shows violence and encourages
sexual behaviour, is to blame. But this is too simple. Child killers often have
problems from an early age, even before they watch violent shows or read adult
magazines. We can't ignore the fact that cruelty and murder have been around
long before video games, TV, movies, or newspapers.
In 1786, a 12-year-old named Hannah Occuish became the youngest woman executed
in the U.S. She killed a young girl she had hurt badly with a rock and then
strangled out of hate.
In 1835, a 13-year-old named William Wild drowned two toddlers, saying they were
like drowned puppies.
In 1861, two eight-year-old boys in England beat and drowned a toddler. They
were sent to prison for a month and then to a reformatory for five years.
In 1872, a 12-year-old named Jesse Pomeroy hurt and mutilated four boys. After
getting out of prison, he killed a nine-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy in
a very brutal way.
In 1896, a nine-year-old girl beat a two-year-old to death with an axe because
he bit her. She made growling sounds during the attack, saying she'd make him
In 1921, a three-year-old boy put a cord around a three-year-old girl's neck,
turned a handle on a grindstone, and hurt her. He said, "I don't like her
Mary Bell was a young girl from Britain who did something very terrible in the
early 1960s. When she was just 11 years old, she strangled two little boys, aged
3 and 4. People were shocked, and it made them wonder if children like her could
Eric Smith was another young person; he was 13 years old when he did something
very awful in New York in 1993. He hurt a 4-year-old boy in a really bad way,
and he was sent to prison for a long time.
There's a report about an 8-year-old boy named Amarjeet Sada from Bihar, India,
who people believe might be the "youngest serial killer in the world." He had a
really tough life because of poverty. In 2006, he allegedly killed his uncle's
daughter, who was only 6 years old. He's also said to have killed his own baby
sister when she was just 8 months old. His latest victim was a baby girl who was
only 6 months old and lived next door.
These cases are really tough to understand, and we need to be careful when
looking for reasons. What's clear is that we need to help kids who show signs of
trouble early on and provide them with support and care to prevent these
All kids can sometimes be mean and not really think about what they're doing,
but most grow out of it as they get older. But if there are dangerous things
like guns and knives around them, accidents or bad things can happen more
According to Dr Susan Bailey, who is an expert in helping troubled teenagers,
kids who feel rejected, neglected, or disappointed can have low self-esteem and
not know what they're worth. Instead of blaming their parents for not taking
care of them, they might think they're treated badly because they don't deserve
love and protection. They learn that being difficult or even violent makes them
feel powerful, and it makes adults pay attention to them, even if it's for the
In short, if they can't be loved, they're okay with being feared. They learn
this from the people they look up to, and it gets stronger when adults react to
their bad behaviour with anger and criticism.
But if these kids are taken away from the tough situation and shown kindness,
patience, and respect, they can often heal and become better. But as long as
they feel scared and insecure, they'll keep up the tough act to protect
themselves. They can't let anyone see them as weak because that's how they've
learned to survive.
It's important to know that neglect and emotional pain can happen in any family,
even if they have a lot of money. Sometimes, parents are so busy working that
they don't have time for their kids, and that can hurt just as much.
The factors that can contribute to the development of a child killer are
multifaceted and complex. It is important to emphasize that not all individuals
exposed to these factors become child killers and each case is unique. However,
here are some key factors that have been linked to the production of baby
Childhood abuse and neglect: Experiencing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
in childhood, as well as neglect, can have a profound impact on a child's
emotional and psychological development. These adverse experiences can
contribute to feelings of anger, resentment, and distorted perceptions of right
Early exposure to violence: Witnessing or being exposed to violence in the home
or community can desensitize a child to violence and make it seem more
acceptable or normal.
Mental Health Issues: Some kids who become killers may have problems with their
mental health. They could have things like conduct disorder, oppositional
defiant disorder, or antisocial personality disorder. These issues can make them
act aggressively and violently.
Psychopathy: A small number of child killers might show signs of psychopathy.
This means they might not feel empathy (understanding other people's feelings),
guilt, or remorse (feeling sorry for what they did). Psychopathy could have a
genetic and brain-related basis and can show up when they are young.
Bullying and Social Isolation: When kids are bullied or feel left out by others,
they can get really angry and want to get back at people. Sometimes, this leads
to them doing violent things.
Access to Weapons: If kids can easily get their hands on dangerous things like
guns, it's more likely they'll use them when they feel violent.
Peer Influence: Being friends with other kids who do bad or violent things can
make a child do the same. Wanting to fit in and be part of a group can push them
into criminal behaviour.
Substance Abuse: Using drugs or alcohol when they're young can mess up their
thinking and make them do impulsive and violent stuff.
Media and Entertainment: Seeing a lot of violence in movies, video games, and on
the internet can make kids less sensitive to violence and make them think it's
okay to act that way.
Failure of the Child Welfare System: Sometimes, the system that's supposed to
protect kids doesn't notice when they're being hurt or neglected. This can make
things worse and push them toward violence.
It's important to understand that child killers are a very small group among
children who have tough lives or risk factors. Most kids who face these problems
don't become killers. What's really important is getting help early, giving them
access to mental health services, and having a safe and supportive environment.
If we see warning signs that a child is having a hard time, we should act
quickly to help them and keep everyone safe.
Also, not all kids who have these risk factors will become killers. Many people
who have tough childhoods don't turn to violence. It's a mix of different things
that can increase the chances of a child getting involved in serious crimes.
We should remember that child serial killers often show very disturbing
behaviour and might have complex mental issues. Trying to understand these cases
helps us learn about how psychopathy develops and how abuse and neglect can
affect a child's behaviour.
In many countries, like the United States, there are rules and moral questions
about how to deal with kids who commit crimes. Usually, the focus is on helping
them get better and treating their problems, but in serious cases, they might be
kept in jail for a long time or sent to a psychiatric hospital.
Figuring out why kids do really bad things and finding ways to stop it is a big
challenge for psychologists, people who study crimes, and everyone in society.
We have to make sure that kids who might be in trouble get the right mental
health help and support. And it's important to step in early to stop them from
Understanding why kids who commit murder act the way they do is tough for
experts and researchers. But it's crucial to try to help them and prevent more
tragedies from happening.
It's also important to know that not all kids who do terrible things can be
helped with treatment, and whether it works can be different for each person.
Keeping the public safe is the most important thing, and experts need to oversee
the treatment and make sure it follows the law.
Written By: Md. Imran Wahab
- In the minds of murderers, the inside story of criminal profiling, Paul Roland
, IPS, IGP, Provisioning, West Bengal
Email: [email protected]
, Ph no: 9836576565