KILLER… When we see this word what comes to mind… Serial killers who stalk and prey upon women, mothers who kill their children as a result of post partum depression, jealous spouses who catch their loved one cheating… But what does not come to mind is children killing family, friends, and strangers. It may not be a topic that comes to mind when thinking about killers, but it is a reality.
Children are really a different type of killer, and they usually have different motivations for killing. In my research a lot of children kill because they have an underlying psychological disorder, but in these cases they can only be diagnosed with conduct disorder and given some sort of treatment. Most treatments are one of two types, either in-patient psychiatric care or juvenile detention with psychiatric treatment. In this research paper I will be discussing why children kill, how to interview and get information from them, and the different types of treatments.
On the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2001, two Florida brothers, Alex King, twelve, and Derek King, thirteen, bludgeoned their father, Terry King, to death with a baseball bat while he was asleep. The boys then set the house on fire in an effort to cover up the crime. The brothers confessed to committing the murder, but implicated forty one year old convicted child molester, Ricky Chavis, who they said was involved in a sexual relationship with Alex and persuaded them to kill their father. Alex and Derek pled guilty to arson and third-degree murder and were sentenced to seven and eight years in state prison, respectively Ricky Chavis, CHILDREN WHO KILL 3
who helped the brothers avoid arrest after the killing, was sentenced to thirty five years after he was found guilty of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and evidence tampering. This is one example of why children kill, in this case, being mislead by a pedophile. It was not released why he wanted the boys to kill their father, but a safe guess is the he did not want to get caught by the father and wanted to have the boys to himself. (King, 2008)
In a similar case, the youngest person ever to be convicted of multiple murders in Canada, Jasmine Richardson was twelve when she brutally murdered her parents and younger brother in Medicine Hat, Alberta. After the bodies were discovered on April 23rd, 2006, police feared Jasmine could also be a victim. However, she was later found alive with her twenty three year old boyfriend Jeremy Allen Steinke, whom her parents did not approve of. Steinke, who, like Jasmine, had an interest in Goth culture, monsters and vampires, was also charged with the murders. On July 9, 2007, Jasmine was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder. She was sentenced to ten years in prison, the maximum penalty for a child under fourteen under the Canadian Youth Criminal Justice Act. This was a similar case to the King Brothers in that the suspect, Jasmine, was coerced into killing her parents. (Lohr, unknown year)
In December, 1968, Mary Flora Bell, of Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, was convicted of manslaughter for the killings of two boys, three and four years old. Mary was just eleven at the time (Scott, unknown year). On February 19th, 1997, sixteen year old Evan Ramsey committed a school shooting at his high school in Bethel, Alaska, killing two people and injuring two more. Ramsey, who grew up in foster homes and was reportedly bullied at school, is now serving two CHILDREN WHO KILL 4
ninety nine year sentences. (Unknown) On the last day of school, May 26, 2000, thirteen year old Nathaniel Brazill, an honor-roll student at Lake Worth Middle School in Florida, shot his favorite teacher, Barry Gunrow in the head. Brazill, fourteen at the time of his trial, faced a minimum of twenty five years and a...