Teens Are Killing Little Kids & Everyone Should Be Alarmed

Twisted 20

Not 24 hours after hearing that two teen boys killed 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale, another teen was arrested in another child abduction and murder case. A 17-year-old boy was charged this afternoon with murdering 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, whose body was found in a field "not intact." These are far from the only two teen killings/crimes in recent days. Do teens really kill other kids all the time or is it just in our faces now because of the timing of these similar but totally unrelated cases? That teens can kidnap, rape, and murder is not unprecedented, but with two incidents so similar and happening so close together, you can't help wonder what the hell is causing this teen killer frenzy and is something in the cheeseburgers?

I can think of no other explanation for these crimes because all the teens I know or who have ever babysat for my children are absolute sweethearts who would never, ever, in a million years, ever come near something even slightly close to this. lt's going to give teens an even worse name than they already have, and make parents afraid of trusting them with little kids. But I guess we should?

I want to think that the teens accused of killing Pasquale and Ridgeway are just psychopaths that slipped through the cracks of society, leading to these very horrible, very rare, very random crimes. Just like the teen boy in Texas who allegedly shot his mother and sister in cold blood and calmly called 9-1-1. Just like the 19-year-old who was arrested today for murdering a mom and two toddlers in California. They just snapped, end of story, nothing more to be said about them. I'd like to think.

But I'm not so sure that's true in all these cases. The 17-year-old charged in the Ridgeway murder is a college student who allegedly tried to abduct a 22-year-old jogger, too, by using a rag soaked with chemicals over her mouth. Autumn Pasquale's accused killers supposedly lured her into their home on the pretense of exchanging "bicycle parts." They were 15 and 13 -- both children themselves!

In another strange coincidence, it was the mothers in both the Pasquale and Ridgeway cases that turned their sons into police. So they all had mothers. Mothers who clearly knew right from wrong and who did the right thing. Qualities you would think would be modeled and instilled in their children.

Something more far-reaching is going on, and it's a larger societal issue than we could even begin to tackle in a little blog post. Is it a lack of morals? Fewer teens going to church? The education system letting them down? Poverty? Too much TV? Vaccines? Broken homes? Violent video games? Global warming?

Nothing is certain except that in all the "stranger danger" talks I've had with my children, I've always used the terms "man," "guy," or another term that referred to the threat as an adult. Clearly I'll need to reframe that to include a much broader group of predators -- including their own kind.

What is causing this teen killing epidemic?

 

Image via connor.vick/Flickr

teens, child abuse, crime

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Vegeta Vegeta

5 instances and its a frenzy? Anyway I work security at an intercity mall full of kids from all backgrounds and the common new theme in most of them is that they're all incredibly egotistical and self entitled. They don't care about anybody but themselves and have no concept of 'if its not yours, don't touch it' they destroy anything they can get their hands on. These kids are growing up with that mentality so why should they care that they killed someone?

Mommi... MommietoJB

Some people are born evil and everyones a teenager for a period of time in their lives. I really dont think age has anything to do with it. Hitler himself was once a baby, then a kid,a teenager, then an adult. And sociopaths can come from very good families and still end up doing these things. I dont think you can blame the mothers for the actions of their teens especially the college student but in the case of the 13 and 15 year old, i think their should of been more parental supervision going on and im sure they exhibited some warning signs before hand.

nonmember avatar Cass

If you want to claim that there's any possibility that "teens kill other kids all the time", then you'd better have a bank of data and some knowledge of statistics. What's the p-value of your F-test? Your t-test? Did you do an ANOVA, since you have to compare different types of child on child murder, including accidents and gang violence. Of course, there's no guarantee that your variances are equal, so you should probably run a Bartlett's test. Don't forget your post-hoc analysis- I'm rather fond of the Bonferroni test, but Tukey would work with a small enough sample size.



Does the above sound like gibberish to you? Then stop making absurd declarations based on nothing but a statistically insignificant coincidence.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

I would hardly call this an epidemic. However, society does need to worry about how and why it is becoming more common ti develop sociopathic and psychotic tendencies.

nonmember avatar sarahbeth

"Autumn Pasquale's accused killers supposedly lured her into their home on the pretense of exchanging "bicycle parts." They were 15 and 13 -- both children themselves!"

Check your facts...they were 15 and 17.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

Also, there is a book that is out caled "Defending Jacob" by William Landay. It is about a boy who is accused of murdering another boy in his grade told from the point of view of the boy's father. It gives some amazing insight into what the parents of these accused teen murders are most likely facing. It is a MUST READ!

fleur... fleurdelys3110

@Cass-- Touche!! I am willing to bet all the bloggers on this site who make claims such as this could not defend them with statistical support such as the tests that you mention would yield.

jkp-buff jkp-buff

Any information on whether these teens were on anti-depressants or other psych drugs?


Many prescription drugs have side effects including homicide and suicide. In fact, Chantix (a popular quit smoking drug) is the #1 prescription drug most linked to violence. Also on the top ten list: 2 drugs for ADHD and 5 different anti-depressants, including Paxil and Prozac. (http://healthland.time.com/2011/01/07/top-ten-legal-drugs-linked-to-violence/)


Does everyone who takes these drugs become violent? Of course not. But if even 1% of people who take such drugs experience psychotic breaks and violent behavior, and we are drugging greater and greater numbers of teens and young adults than we ever used to, then that small percentage of people having adverse reactions also grows in proportion.


The shooters at Columbine were on antidepressants. The dark knight shooter was on prescription vicodin which has side effects including paranoia and hallucinations.


A school shooting in Italy ended up with the parents of the victims successfully suing the pharmaceutical companies for wrongful death, claiming the anti-depressants the shooter was on caused the violence.


I'm not the only one who thinks there's often a link between these incomprehensible acts of violence and presription drugs:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2177579/The-origins-slaughters-Colorado-tragedy-private-gun-ownership.html

Venae Venae

...and the common new theme in most of them is that they're all incredibly egotistical and self entitled. They don't care about anybody but themselves and have no concept of 'if its not yours, don't touch it' they destroy anything they can get their hands on. These kids are growing up with that mentality so why should they care that they killed someone?


Of course that's how kids are - we've been so worried about their self-esteem that we've turned them into mosters.  

nonmember avatar April

I was just talking to my husband about this today, that when we talked to our kids about dangers out there, we always said "Grown ups" or "adults" we never really addressed that there are dangerous kids too. We will be amending our talk tonight and approach the topic that kids and teenagers can be dangerous too

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