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Parents of killers — 14 Comments

  1. Joyce,
    It’s so sad to think about what Elliot’s parents are now enduring. Few of us can empathize completely with them, but I know that you can – because you’ve known the pain of a son who murdered.

    It’s human nature to ask “why?” and in that question, seek to place responsibility somewhere or on someone, so that we can prevent the same thing from happening again and so that we can feel safe again.

    Unfortunately, placing responsibility anywhere but on the perpetrator’s shoulders is a form of scapegoating. As you said, it was Elliot’s choice to blame others for his pain and to exact his vengeance for his narcissistic injury, on innocent women. But you know, attitudes are contagious and misogyny is one of those psychopathic contagions that men pass along to each other in order to have convenient scapegoats for their shame and their failures. Somewhere, at some time, somebody passed this idea to Elliot.

    Maybe it was a person, or maybe it was a TV show. We women know how often men try to slime us with their shame so there’s no shortage of people and places that could have exposed Elliot to those attitudes. It makes me think that, even though Elliot was solely responsible for his actions, our society is responsible for the ideas that get passed along and accepted. Then we wonder what we could have done to save the murder victims.

    Well, we could start by making misogynistic attitudes as unacceptable as racist attitudes, perhaps more so because over 50% of all human beings are female. Furthermore, most racists are also misogynists and vice versa. In fact, both attitudes are a result of the bypassed shame of narcissism. If we refuse to accept these disgusting attitudes in all of their incarnations we never have to ask ourselves what we could have done to prevent violence because we would have done it. We need to make violence against women EQUAL TO A HATE CRIME with the same kind of sentencing that hate crimes require.

    I’m not saying that punishment is the solution. I’m only saying that it will create the kind of dialog which IS the solution.

  2. Here’s another article about the grief of a mother whose 12 year old son stabbed a 9 year old to death in cold blood.


    It sounds from the article that the killer may have a personality disorder of some kind to engage in this type of behavior. In any case, two families are ruined by this child’s acts. My prayers go out to both families.

  3. PS…a child can not be diagnosed as anti-social personality disorder before age 18, even though they may have the symptoms much earlier. In working with in-patient youth this age, saw many children this age who were very dangerous and the only thing that seemed to control them was IMMEDIATE SUPERIOR FORCE and if your back was turned, look out. They seemed to have “duping delight” in the things they did…such as fire setting, bomb making, vandalism and violence. It really is scary when these kids have “the look” and you know that they are capable of lots of things.

    The nurse a few years back that adopted the russian orphan and kept him several months and then put him on a plane back to Russia with a note pinned to his coat….I understand that woman’s fear. Most of the kids that were like this, there is NO WAY I would go to sleep in a house with them in it.

    I will be willing to bet this boy had more than getting in trouble for the “usual things” before he went to this extreme, but I also will bet that his mother, while trying to be a good mother, still didn’t “get” that his problems were bigger than she realized. I’m not really sure if there is any “cure” for kids like this, but I do think that spotting them early can help decrease the violence somewhat.

    This mother is in the same boat with Charity Lee in her situation with Paris killing Ella….how do you respond to a child with a personality disorder that severe? It is heart breaking for both families.

    • Joyce, you typed the question, “….how do you respond to a child with a personality disorder that severe?” It is a question that bears examination, contemplation, and strong decision-making on the parts of every profession that is involved in “treatment” of these types of children.

      Why any individual must be of “legal” age to be diagnosed as anti-social is beyond me. Children make good, bad, and benign behavioral decisions, EVERY day, and they have to be accountable for them, regardless of whether there’s a consequence for them, or not. To pretend that a human being isn’t responsible for their choices until that magic day when they turn 18 years of age is outrageous and, ultimately, DANGEROUS.

      That movie, “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” is a fictional study of that very question….what can be done? The “symptoms” are there, glaring and undeniable, but the resources or help available just don’t exist. If there ARE any approaches, they typically involve medication and “group” support activities that are funded by research grants. It’s bullshirt, down the line, and any parent who has the ability to identify that their offspring is a DANGER to anyone, and everyone, has tkane a very strong step into reality, and they should receive every bit of support available. Sadly, to my knowledge, that “support” simply doesn’t exist on a reasonable and common-sense level.


  4. Truthy, I remember one particular budding psychopath. He was 6 ft 2 and TWELVE years old. He was an inpatient at the mental health facility in which I worked. He had molested 3 younger children sexually, and actually raped them, but had NO CONSCIENCE about what he did was “wrong”

    While he was there, he and several others escaped by jumping down off a roof and running out into the community. The police chased them, finally cornering them and this kid picked up a big rock and was going to throw it down off a high spot at a cop. The cop pulled his gun and said “don’t do it” The ONLY “consequence” we could give these kids as TWO HOURS in a “quiet room”

    If the kid’s behaviors were good they got to wear street clothes, if not, scrubs. When they came back in, they were covered in sweat and “road rash” from their run and I threw a pair of scrubs at the young man and said “Put these on” and he INFORMED ME that the sweat was stinging him and that he was going to his room and take a shower….and I told him, NOPE, NOT GONNA HAPPEN get into the “quiet room NOW”

    IMMEDIATE and overpowering FORCe was all these kids seemed to understand.

    I worked there almost two years and I saw kids as young as 7 that were DANGEROUS and without a moral compass of any kind, Now it is “normal” for a 7 year old to be narcissistic and to respond pretty much to superior force of parents, but they are starting to learn self control but the kids I am describing were OVER THE TOP violent. Many of these kids had been adopted as infants. For many years the psychologists theorized that the adopted kid syndrome was because the kids “felt abandoned” by their natural parents. [email protected] Finally, it was realized that this was more to do with DNA than anything. These kids came from parents who were personality disordered, maybe drug using, etc. and their acting out was NOT because they “felt abandoned” but because they had the DNA that predisposed them to risk taking, hyperactivity, and lack of empathy. Of course not 100% of kids with the “bad seed” became psychopaths at any age, but identical twins who were raised apart had an 80% chance of if one was a psychopath, so was the other one. So DNA does play a big part in it.

    Dr. Liane Leedom quoted a study in the UK about the kids in a public housing project where 25% of the kids sired there on young teenaged girls, the fathers were full fledged psychopaths. That is one of the things about psychopaths is that they are s-exually promiscuous and tend to spread their seed far and wide. Couple that with a poor environment and poor parental care and presto! you have a disordered child who grows up to become a disordered adult…and fills our prisons here with violent crimes.

    Unfortunately, at this point there is NO “cure” for this type of problem, no pill, injection, therapy or anything else that can stop or reverse this trend. Dr. Leedoom has a son aged about 10 by now whose father is a raving psychopathic criminal and she is doing her best to instill a conscience and empathy in this child. As a child of a psychiatrist, I imagine this child from an early age is being give the “best” parenting possible…so it will interesting to see how this young man turns out.

    In addition to other things, a big DNA connection has been made between psychopathic behavior and left handedness, and with bi-polar (and no, I am NOT saying all or even most bi-polar individuals are psychopaths) and ADHD. A person can have one of these things, or all of them…Hamilton, the psychopath that my son sent to kill m, was all 4 things. He was left handed, ADHD, bi-polar and diagnosed antisocial personality disorder (psychopath) so he hit the quad-fecta of dysfunction.

    I have no doubt that my son Patrick had the triple whammy of DNA as well. Both his grandfather were I think psychopathic, as well as several of his great grandparents, an especially brutal great uncle (my mother’s brother) and he is left handed. I am not sure if he is bi-polar or not as I haven’t been around him when he would have been showing such symptoms since he left home for jail/prison at age 17, but I dont’ think he is ADHD but all these genetic problems seem to go frequently together. fMRI brain scans also show that the brains of these individuals are different than “typical” brains…but does that mean that they are NOT RESPONSIBLE for what they do? Of course not!

    As a parent of a violent psychopath I can very well empathize with the mother of this 12 year old and with Charity Lee as well…and also with the nurse in Tennessee that put her adopted Russian child on a plane back to Russia. They don’t have to be 18 to be DANGEROUS, and unfortunately if they make it to an age where they do such things as stab a complete stranger to death, or kill their little sister to get back at their “mean” mother, there is naught that can be done to “fix” them.

    Some people high in psychopathic traits make a “success” in life in business or the professions or the military etc and “do okay” in life though their personal lives are usually messed up, but others end up in prison for violent crimes.

    The mothers and fathers of these kids have a burden to bear in many ways. Been there and got the Tee shirt myself.

    • Joyce, spot-the-hayell-on………….it’s no picnic attempting to raise one of these kids when there ARE relatively “healthy” home environments and consequences for bad choices, and rewards for good ones.

      It’s a terrible burden, and I can only empathize with you and other parents who have done your level best to raise your children to the best of your abilities. I did the same with Mike………he’s not a killer, technically speaking. But, I have no doubt that emotional murder is just as ugly as physical murder.

      So, what CAN be done? Place these kids in group environments to share their own manipulative tactics and violence? Place them on an island? What can be done? It’s a terrible, terrible question with no good answer.

  5. Truthy, I wish I had an answer. Right now, the US is putting plenty of them in prison, but unfortunately 99% of them will get back out at some time. A HIGH percentage of felony inmates have scores on the psychopath check list, revised (the gold standard) of 22. It takes a score of 30 out of 40 to qualify officially as a psychopath, but you know, a person who has many traits though maybe not a full fledged one is till not someone you want in your home.

    As for what happens when some of them start showing their true colors as young as 10-12 etc like this boy did in stabbing a total stranger to death….that is something I am at a loss for.

    Society, politically correct society, and even many professionals in mental health seem to think that a kid who is a stone cold killer at 12 can be “saved” by therapy medicine, love, whatever….but the wicked truth is that there IS NO “CURE” for this.

    Just like they let Ma’lik (the rapist) out of prison in 1 year and he is BACK ON THE FOOTBALL team at the school he raped that girl at. The teachers and coaches that covered up the rape “to protect the team” were given only SLAPS on the wrist. Look out Penn State!

    You mentioning placing them in group environments where they can share their manipulative tactics and violence is TOTALLY RIGHT ON. The ones I worked with learned from and “fed on” each other in finding new ways to break rules. DUPING DELIGHT.

    Now I know that lots of rowdy rebellious teenagers “rowdy on down” by 25 at least, but you know CRIMINAL “rowdy” is another thing, VIOLENT “rowdy” is another.

    Some of the finest people I know have a kid who is a violent criminal, and raised that kid “right” but at adolescence the kid went off the deep end and you know, that just is something that happens. But the thing is that people have CHOICES in how they behave and I don’t think there is a one of them that thinks KILLING is “okay.”

    This 12 year old, I noticed in the article, when the paramedics arrived, they went to the stabbed boy and the 12 year old wanted them to come to HIM FIRST. DUH? (head shaking here) Paris Lee who killed Ella at age 13 will be in prison for a total of 40 years, meaning he will be somewhere around 53 at the LATEST when he gets out. I sincerely doubt that having spent from 13 to 53 inside prison (and there’s no doubt he is a psychopath) he will be a credit to society. Anymore than my son Patrick would ever be.

    I wish I had answers, Truthy, but I don’t. There are those like your son Mike who is not a criminal (that we know about) but many many criminals are high in the traits, and even though professional mental health workers would like to think there is a treatment or cure at this point we haven’t found it.

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