On January 29, 1979, Spencer posted herself by a window in her home and began randomly shooting at Grover Cleveland Elementary School across the street. The shooting began as children were waiting outside for principal Burton Wragg to open the gate.  The shooting claimed the lives of Wragg and Mike Suchar and injured eight students and a police officer. Wragg was killed while trying to help the children, Suchar was killed while trying to pull Wragg to safety.  After firing thirty rounds, Spencer barricaded herself inside of her home for almost seven hours, warning police that she was going to "come out shooting."  Ultimately, she surrendered to police.  Although police officers found beer and whiskey bottles cluttered around the house, they stated that Spencer did not appear to be intoxicated.  When asked why she committed the shooting Spencer replied, "I just did it for the fun of it. I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day. I have to go now. I shot a pig (policeman) I think and I want to shoot more. I'm having too much fun (to surrender)."   She also said, "I had no reason for it, and it was just a lot of fun," "It was just like shooting ducks in a pond,"' and, "[The children] looked like a herd of cows standing around; it was really easy pickings." At the time of the shootings, Spencer was 16 years old. 
Participants including children are desensitized to cruelty and violence, commit other violent crimes against humans and animals. Children especially learn to accept brutality and violence as normal, become more prone to become violent individuals.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN ANIMAL ABUSE AND HUMAN VIOLENCE Dr. Harold J. Hovel NY State Humane Association Serial killer Edmund Kemper(This material was developed by the New York State HumaneAssociation and is being used with their permission.)
INTRODUCTION and SUMMARY Animal Cruelty is: • a predictor of future violence • an identifier of likely suspects • an indicator of child, spouse, or elder abuse • a crime in itself (felony in 46 states)Over 50% of violent offenders began with animal abuse. Violent offenders are made, not born.
Reasons To Care About Animal CrueltyFighting Animal Cruelty Would: • save many human lives • prevent much human suffering • prevent much animal suffering • result in the betterment of society • protect children • protect women • protect elders • save many billions of dollars
In The Past 5 Years:175 Deaths Have Taken Place in School10,000 Murders Have Been Committed By Serial Killers800,000 Children Abused With Serious Injury; 10,000 Killed20,000 Children Have Committed Murder25,000 Children Have Committed Suicide 115,000 Homicides 3 Million Child Abuse, Neglect, or Abandonment 5 Million Assaults Against Elders 15 Million Assaults Against Women 30 Million Violent Crimes Overall
The Yearly Cost Of CrimeDirect Monetary Losses - $ 50 BillionIndirect Monetary Losses - $ 280 BillionAdjudication Costs - $ 30 - 50 BillionTotal Costs To Society of Violent Crime: $400 - 450 BillionSource: National Research Council, Nat. Academy Of Sciences
Perspectives on Cruelty and Human ViolenceAs long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyerof lower living beings, he will never know peace. Foras long as men massacre animals, they will kill eachother. - Pythagoras, 600BCIf you have men who will exclude any of God’screatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, youwill have men who will deal likewise with their fellowmen. -- St. Francis of Assisi, 1181.
Definitions of Animal CrueltyLegally, animal cruelty is defined as “Socially UnacceptableBehavior That Intentionally Causes Unnecessary Pain,Suffering, or Distress To And / Or Death Of An Animal.”Most Common Forms of Abuse: Excessive punishment;Chaining; Abandonment; Failure to provide sustenance.Pathological Cruelty To Animals: Beating; Torturing;Burning; Scalding; Freezing, Skinning; Bone Breaking;Whipping; Amputation; Electric Prodding; Mutilation;Freezing; Killing; Fighting.Misdemeanor in 4 states, felony in 46 states (2010).
Violent juveniles have almost invariably witnessed or been victims of domestic violence, abandonment, neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse.“One of the most dangerous things that can happen to achild is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it.” Margaret Mead, Anthropologist, Cultural Factors inthe Cause and Prevention of Pathological Homicide.
There is a very high correlationof violent children with 3 specific behaviors:•Enuresis•Fire-setting•Cruelty to animals
The Desensitization of the Developing Child“The impact of parental neglect andbrutality during the formative yearscannot be overlooked. In addition tothe effect of neglect and brutality onego development, brutality fostersresentment and assaultiveness as adefense and coping mechanism.” Felthous & Yudowitz, Psychiatry 40, 270-276, 1977.
Set cats on fire, blew up a cow, etc.• The Killer at Thurston High
Bullying - An Unrecognized Form of Domestic ViolenceBullying - an assault, physical or psychological, againstthose perceived as “weaker” in some way.40% - 60% of children are bullied at some time. 160,000skip school each day from fear.4 million serious bullying incidents take place per year.Bullies are more likely to have been abused or witnesseddomestic violence than non-aggressive children.Many bullies continue violent behavior as adults, includingchild abuse and domestic violence. 6 out of 10 go on tobecome criminals. 40% are convicted of 3 or more crimesby age 30.
Bullying And Animal CrueltyVictims of bullying are either filled with rage orbecome traumatized, depressed, scared. Manyattempt suicide to escape.Bullies are often closely associated with animalcruelty. Cruel behavior is an indicator of either abully or a victim displaying anger against thebullying.The school shooters were either bullies (Kinkle,Johnson) or victims of bullies (Carneal, Woodham,Harris and Klebold. Nearly all the school shooterswere torturing animals and many bragged about it.
School Shootings, Partial List.1. Brenda Spencer, 16, San Diego, killed 2, injured 9. C2. Nathan Faris, 12, DeKalb County, MI, killed 2. B3. Jason Harless, 16, Pinellas Park, FL, killed 1, wounded 2.4. Nicholas Elliott, 15, Virginia Beach, VA, killed 1, wounded 1. B5. Gary Pennington, 17, Grayson KT, killed 2.6. Jason Smith, 15, Red Hill, PA, killed 1 during biology class. B7. James Osmanson, 10, Butte, MT, killed 1. B8. Jamie Rouse, 18, Columbia, TN, killed 2, wounded 1.9. Barry Loukatis, 14, Moses Lake, WA, killed 3, wounded 1. B C10. Evan Ramsey, 15, Bethel, Alaska, killed 2, wounded 1. B C11. Michael Carneal, 14, Paducah, KT, killed 3, wounded 5. B12. E. Harris, 18, D. Klebold,17, Littleton, CO, kill 13, wounded 23. B C B13. Joseph Todd, 14, Stamps, Arkansas, wounded 2.14. T. J. Solomon, 15, Conyers, GA, wounded 6. B C15. Kip Kinkle, 15, Springfield, OR, killed 4, wounded 25. B16. Luke Woodham, 16, Pearl, Miss., killed 2, wounded 7. B C17. M. Johnson,13, A.Golden,11 Jonesboro, AR, killed 5, wounded 10 B C18. Kevin Foster, 18, Fort Myers, FL, killed 1, violence rampage. C
Studies of Violent Behavior PatternsState & Federal PrisonsPsychiatric Hospitals & Out-patient FacilitiesBattered Women’s Shelters & Abused Child ClinicsSocial Services - Studies of Families Involved In Domestic ViolenceInterviews With Serial KillersStudies of Satanic Groups, Cults
Prison InmatesRapists - - - - - - - - 48% started by abusing animalsSexual Murderers - 46% started by abusing animalsAggravated Assault - 52% started by abusing animalsPedophiles - - - - - - 30% started by abusing animalsSerial Killers - - - - - 100% started by abusing animals75% of all violent criminals were abused as children
Psychiatric StudiesStudies of psychiatric patients who had repeatedly tortureddogs and cats: 100% were also violent to people, including,in some cases, murder. 100% shared a history of brutalparental treatment. Felthous (1986)Studies of 346 psychiatric patients: 80% had a history ofbrutal punishments by father, mother, or both. The groupthat had abused animals had a high level of violence againstpeople as well. Felthous (1980)
Conclusion: more than a dozen studies of violentcriminals and psychiatric patients have established afirm relationship between cruelty to animals duringchildhood and later recurring violence to humans.
Dog Fighting: Direct Link Between Crime, Human Violence, and CrueltyCrime Associated With Dog Fighting: Felony in 50 states Gambling, Drugs, Guns, Human Violence, Child Endangerment, Stolen Pets, Gang Violence Cruelty: Injuries, often fatal, blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion, infection, broken bones, gouged eyes Small animals: dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, terrorized and torn to pieces while used as “bait” during training
Animal Fighting is on the rise (an epidemic?) Organized dog and cock fighting, street fighting, hog-dog “rodeos.”“Hog-dog “fights” are barbarically cruel eventswhere a trained attack dog mauls a defenseless hogwhose tusks have been removed.” –HSUS observer.This bloodsport is closely connected to other crimesand forms of violence in addition to cruelty toanimals. - HSUS
These fights are billed as “family entertainment “where mothers and children are seen cheering onthe attacking dogs as they mutilate and terrorize the defenseless pigs.
People and animals at greatly increased risk wherefighting dogs and trained attack dogs live.Children and pets especially at risk due to small size.15-18 fatal dog attacks take place per year.70% are children under 9 years old, 52% are 4years old or less, and 16% are less than 1 year old.
More danger of animal fighting to humans? ‘Don’t be surprised if the deadly avian flu enters the United States through roosters smuggled into the country for the barbaric sport of cockfighting,’ Hon. Elton Gallegly, senior member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, US Congress.‘ The initial explosion of the deadly avian flu in 2004 wastraced to the trade in live birds for commerce. Theriskiest segment may be in fighting cocks, transportedthroughout countries and between countries to participatein the high stakes betting blood sport’ Michael Greger, M.D., HSUS Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture.
Animal Abuse and Family Problems23 families were studied with known animal cruelty. 83% also hadchildren at risk of abuse or neglect. Hutton (1983). 57 families were studied with known child abuse. 88% were also involved in animal cruelty. The parents were the abusers in 2/3 of the cases; the children had learned to abuse in the other 1/3. Deviny, Dickert, and Lockwood (1983). Ascione (1994).Why? Adults in abusive families torture animals to: punish children;force a desired behavior; punish a spouse; as a threat to enforcesilence. Often accompanied by physical or sexual abuse of the child.
Animal Abuse and Battered WomenAscione (1998) Battered Women’s Reports71% reported that their partner had threatened totorture or kill their pet or had already done so.In Wisconsin, 80% of battered women reported animalabuse by their partner.Estimate of yearly assault of women by partner: 3million.
Animal Abuse and Elder AbuseAbout 1 in 20 elders is abused.Studies indicate that animal abuse is a strong indicatorof elder abuse in homes with elder citizens.The reverse is also true: elder abuse is a strong predictorof animal abuse.Elders often remain silent in spite of personal abuse forfear of retaliation against their pet, often their onlyfriend and companion.
Ritual Abuse and CultsGang Initiations - torture and killing of animals asinitiation into a violent teenage gang.Ritualized Criminal “Families” - Charles MansonYoung et al (1991) “Pathological Satanic Groups”Studied psychiatric patients reporting abuse as childrenby satanic cults, characterized by: Forced Drug Use Deviant Sex Acts Animal Torture, Mutilation, Killing Infant, Child, or Adult Sacrifice “Marriage” to Satan Death Threats
Indicators / Predictors of Serial Killers• Brutal Treatment By • Head Injuries; Malnutrition; Suicidal Tendencies; Parents and / or Enuresis Neglect, • Fascination With Criminals, Abandonment Nazis & Hitler, Satanists• Cruelty To Animals • Early Trouble With The Juvenile Justice System• Violent to Peers, • Chronic Drug or Alcohol Siblings Abuse• Firestarting • Deviate Sexual Behavior
Edmund KemperBeaten and abused by his father.Neglected and abandoned by hisparents, neglected also by hisgrandparents.Began torturing small animals,especially cats, at age 13.Killed his grandparents at 15,served in prison until 21, killed 7college girls between 21 and 24,killed his mother at 25, blamingher for his hatred of women.
SERIAL KILLERS NAME CRIMES CHILDHOOD ANIMALSDavid Berkowitz 6 Murders, 1400 fires. Abandoned. Yes; Tortured as child.Ian Duncan Brady 5 Torture / Murders. Abandoned. Yes; by age 9.Ted Bundy 36-50 Murders of Co-eds. Violent grandfather. Yes; as adolescent.David Carpenter 10 Murders, children. Beaten by both parents Yes; starting as teenagerJeffrey Dahmer 17 Murders of boys. Violent household Yes; Impaled on stakes.Albert DeSalvo 13 Murders, 300 rapes Violent father Yes; shot with arrowsAlbert Hamil. Fish 15 Murders, 100 rapes. Constantly Beaten. Yes; set on fire.Edmund Kemper 10 Murders Abused, abandoned. Yes; mutilated, buried alivePeter Kurten 15 Murders, 30 attemps. Violently Beaten. Yes; beastiality, sadismLeonard Lake 8 Murders, Torture Pit. Abused by father & gf. Yes; killed & bolied.Henry Lee Lucas 110 - 200 Murders. Constant beatings. Yes; severe torture.Charles Manson 35 Murders Constantly beaten, raped Yes; ritual sacrificesPatrick Kay 11 Murders after Rapes. Abused by father Yes; tortured own pets.Arthur Shawcross 13 Murders, Rapes, Abused by mother. Yes; tortured by age 10. Arson
In recent years, the number of killers, the number of victimsper killer, and the savagery of the crimes, have all increased.1000-5000 people lose their lives each year to serial killers.The FBI estimates there are at least 500 serial killers currentlyat large and unidentified in the United States. There arepresently 35 under investigation by the FBI.The government spends hundreds of millions of $ onapprehending serial killers but almost nothing on prevention,therefore not making a significant dent in preventing newserial killers from emerging. If police, prosecutors, judges, social services, teachers, child welfare, guidance counselors, paid close attention to thepredictive factors, many lives could be saved and many killers / rapists stopped before they start.
In Summary: There’s a close connection between animal cruelty and: Juvenile Violence School Shooters Child Abusers Domestic Violence Rapists Pedophiles Aggravated Assault Gang Violence, Bullies Elder Abuse Violent Psychiatric Patients Sexual Murderers Serial Killers Nearly all violent individuals were abused as children.
Making a Difference: Breaking The CyclePublic: Let police, prosecutors, and judges know you want cruelty cases prosecuted vigorously. Spread the word about the cruelty / human violence connection. Sponsor a speaker at your community group, PTA, church, etc. Write a “letter to the editor” expressing your views on cruelty. Mention its connection to human violence. Report abuses you become aware of to the local humane society, SPCA, or police. Educate those who might be committing cruel behavior through ignorance.
Making a Difference: Breaking The Cycle (cont)Teachers: sponsor / support humane education programs inschools. Do not allow bullying behavior.Law enforcement, prosecutors, judges: recognize the seriousness ofanimal cruelty and the need for corrective action.Social workers, teachers, guidance counselors, humane societyofficers, medical professionals, veterinarians, church officials, ifyou become aware of either animal abuse or domestic abuse, reportit to proper authority.Find out about the HSUS’s “First Strike” campaign and how youcan form or join an anti-violence coalition in your community.Learn more about your state’s cruelty laws and how to use them.
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