Animal Abuse and Its Link to Violent Criminals

Posted by April Nockleby, ALDF's Online Content Manager on November 20, 2008

District Attorney of Clatsop County, Oregon, and ALDF Board Member Josh Marquis provides this insightful look at the link between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans in his article, “Animal Abuse and Its Connection to Serial Killers, Kids who Kill Kids and Other Violent Criminals.”

Here’s an excerpt of the article:

Animal cruelty can be linked to the vast majority of serial killers, many habitual violent offenders, and most children and teens who kill.

If we pay attention to children and youth who perform acts of cruelty on animals and take immediate action to stop their behavior, future crimes can be prevented and lives may be saved.  Here is a very short list, that’s part of a very long list, of examples of adult serial killers – and young killers – who predicted their futures by torturing and killing animals in their early years. Their behavior seems to have been ignored. Had someone helped them by taking their animal abuse seriously, and sought the help of law enforcement and others who understand the seriousness of this behavior, who knows how many lives could have been saved? 

  • The school shootings that took place between 1997 and 2001 in:  Pearl, MS; West Paducah, KY; Jonesbobo, AK; Springfield, OR; Littleton, CO; Conyers, GA; and San Diego, CA ALL contain a common element.  Prior to killing their classmates and teachers, ALL of the boys involved in these school shootings had performed acts of animal cruelty such as:  shooting dogs, setting cats on fire, blowing up cows and killing other small animals, prior to killing humans.
  • Albert DeSalvo, The Boston Strangler killed 13 women.  When he was a boy he put cats and dogs into orange crates and shot arrows through the slats to kill them.
  • Ted Bundy, was a serial rapist and killer of at least 30 women.  As a youth he tortured and killed animals.
  • Jeffrey Dahmer, killed and cannibalized at least 17 people.  As a boy, he killed and impaled the heads of cats and dogs on sticks.
  • Dennis Rader, the BTK killer in Wichita, KS, killed at least 10 people.  He abused and killed animals for practice prior to killing people.

Read more from Josh Marquis’ article, “Animal Abuse and Its Connection to Serial Killers, Kids who Kill Kids and Other Violent Criminals.”


One thought on “Animal Abuse and Its Link to Violent Criminals

  1. Drake says:

    The links on this article do not lead to the actual piece it was excerped from, it just leads to the home page with no way of getting to the article.