Wednesday, May 04, 2011

CBS Atlanta news show on kids who kill

I was interviewed last month by CBS Atlanta for a show on kids who kill. The show will air tonight at 11:00 Eastern for those of you who are in that viewing area. I will link to the show when it becomes available on their website for those readers who are interested in the topic.

Update: You can watch the video here. Notice that in the story, several of the featured killers are girls.



Blogger TMink said...

For me there is a tension between the description of these kids as angelic before they murdered and their sociopathic behavior. They were wonderful before they were homicidal. Really? In the story it seems apparent that they murdered after being frustrated by being told they could not do something.

Most kids get used to "no" by the time they are 4. It looks like theses kids were not socialized into accepting limits prior to their mid teens, then the mothers (no evidence of fathers in the first two kids) began to try to say "no" for the first time to a teen.

Is that the scenario?

If so, the little monsters are made in the Frankenstein laboratory of overindulgence. Is that what you see?


8:16 AM, May 05, 2011  
Blogger Helen said...


I agree that the kids were hardly "normal" people who snapped. For example, the twin girls described in the show were stealing and their grandmother was so terrified of them that she kept herself locked in her bedroom:

8:26 AM, May 05, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

my wife works with children from broken and smashed families that produce broken and smashed chilren that display borderline, sociopathic and psychopathic tendancies. most of these children, once they leave the support and guidance of her agency, will fall afoul of the law in one form or another. one little boy in a foster home carried a knife around with him all the time and eventually cut his foster mother. the boy is now 15 and sets fires and steals and breaks down most placements within weeks.
one child`s mother and girlfreind murdered their father right in front of their five children. the girl is now in a walking catatonic state and barely speaks.
these children are from the underclass, and so their stories never hit the papers unless the effect the community at large, like when one of my wife`s charges and her boyfreind abducted a lawyer at knife point and drove around with him in his car for a couple of days.
that hit the papers.
i would hazzard a guess that the percentage of truly mentally ill children in normal families is similar to that of children in care, it`s just that in the interest of the community, little jimmy or lisa gets pushed along in spite of the damage done.
most of my clients come from the upper middle class and tell me tales of pathological children begging, borrowing and stealing their parents assets one way or another...and many of the parents pay to cover their tracks.

11:11 AM, May 05, 2011  
Blogger Dad said...

This terrifies me. My son is 17 and living at home on probation for felony burglary. Since he got out of jail about a month ago, his behavior has deteriorated in predictable fashion, as it always does when he returns home after "breaking down" a placement (great phrase, thank you Dr. Alistair.) Of course this was not a matter of breaking down a placement -- he was in jail for 6 months before he was able to make a plea deal. Still, here he is.

We recently reached the stage of his being home where he bucks up on me threateningly over perceived slights and calls me names. Knowing what comes after that stage (increasing abuse of me, my wife, and our daughter until he and I have a violent confrontation and my wife leaves with him), I sat him down that night and told him, along with my wife, that he has 3 weeks to find another place to live. I hope that broke the cycle, because I am now sleeping with my bedroom door locked and I keep a golf club handy at all times in case I need to defend myself. He has done nothing towards finding a place to live and announced Monday at dinner (we sit down as a family to dinner every night) that it was our job to find him a place to live, and that it's illegal for us to kick him out. He turns 18 in a couple months and I'm starting to think we're stuck with him until then.

He lives as if he is still in jail, sleeping the day away, demanding to be fed and sheltered and clothed.

I am college educated and in a professional position. My wife and I made the tragic mistake of arguing in front of our children. That is the second-worst thing I can think of that we did to them, the worst being indulging him since he was little, buying him things "just because" and having no real expectations of him. We're trying to fix that with our daughter but for our son it appears to be too late. He is a thug and I believe he is a psychopath. I love him and want the best for him but I recognize the classic pattern of the sociopath -- he doesn't have any problems, everybody else around him does. The stress he has me, my wife, and our 12-year-old daughter under must end. I have no idea where to turn to for help. The legal system keeps kicking him back to us. We placed him in a home for troubled youth (Paul Anderson Youth Home), where he lasted exactly 6 days. He lasted a few months in a state program (Georgia's Inner Harbor Youth Villages.)

Having read "The Mask of Sanity" and "Without Conscience," I feel helpless to change my son and it seems the only way to help myself is to be shed of him. If I can survive the stress and escalating abuse until he turns 18, I intend to do just that.

My wife is in total denial. If the worst were to happen to me, she would be the one looking into the camera saying, "I never thought he would hurt him!" This despite death threats in front of law enforcement officers and counselors as well as in the privacy of the home. My greatest fear is that I am not, as it sometimes seems, the sole focus of his irrational rage, and that something will happen to my wife and/or daughter.

12:12 PM, May 05, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

Sheesh, sorry dad, that sounds like a nightmare. Next time he threatens you, file an assault charge. He can turn 18 in prison.

Only a stiff dose of consequences will give him a chance.

God bless and keep you all.


1:46 PM, May 05, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

Helen, so I wonder if "they were such wonderful children" meme is a true picture of what the caregivers thought or just a defensive tidying up of all the warning signs they ignored.

I mean, if you really think a child is an angel, you do not punish them. So if it is that scenario, then it would be interesting to know what made the parent such a poor judge of character. That might help with interventions.

I am working with a case right now where the kid is teetering toward sociopathy. The mom gets it, but it is very difficult to keep the dad on task and understanding the importance of consequences and limits. It would be great to know what happens in his noggin that he ignores or excuses too much.


1:49 PM, May 05, 2011  

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