Children Who Kill

Topics: Child abuse, Domestic violence, Physical abuse Pages: 6 (1927 words) Published: December 8, 2013
Homicide in the family is a theme of great psychological significance. This paper utilizes multiple published articles of Bloch (1978), Daily & Wilson (1988), Freud (1918), Gelles (1985), Heide (1994, 2012), Mones (1992) and Warren (1969), that reports on the research conducted online (Internet) and offline (non-Internet) and reflects understanding of how child abuse and untreated psychological disorders, influence troubled children to potentially murder. This paper includes a review of an article concerning parricide, which is the killing of one’s father. The article is about a ten year old boy, who murdered his abusive, neo-Nazi father, who was in charge of his regions chapter of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), and thought he would not be held accountable for the murder. Attempting to examine the extenuating circumstances and applying to the research found, to better gain an understanding into the psyche of a child murderer. Also identified, are the possible reasons of what motivates, children who are severely abused and psychologically unstable, to have an increase participation in violent crimes, such as murder. An examination of the characteristics and statistics of patricide, the act of killing one’s father, mother, or close relative, are also reviewed. There is great public awareness of child murderers from newspaper headlines, but very little scientific study. This paper examines surveys and attempts to correlate and identify abuse and over exposure to violence can lead children to murder. Key words: Parricide, Patricide, National Socialist Movement

Children Who Kill
When we think of children, we think of innocent, loving beings, but we do not think murderer. Children are a different type of killer and for the most part, have different motivations for killing. In my research, most children who murder are exposed to severe abuse, exposed to extreme violence or hate and suffer from underlying psychological disorders. In most cases, children who murder which have suffered with psychological disorders were only diagnosed with conduct disorder(s) and prescribed treatment e.g. therapy. Early on the morning of May 1, 2011, Joseph Hall shot his sleeping father, Jeff Hall, using his father’s .357 magnum revolver. Joseph Hall was ten years old at the time of the murder and is now on trial for murder at twelve years old. ("D.a.: Boy who," 2012) According to the boy’s testimony, he claimed he did not believe he would be punished, because he watched an episode of the CBS crime drama “Criminal Minds.” In that episode, he said a boy killed his abusive father and was not arrested. The boy said he killed his father because he was tired of abuse and did not want to be separated from his stepmother. ("12-year-old boy in," 2012) The young boy’s father was a white supremacist and was the regional director of the National Socialist Movement (NSM). ("D.a.: Boy who," 2012) Claims were made that the father would brag about how he taught his son how to shoot a gun and how he was a good disciplinarian. There were many gatherings or meetings for the neo-Nazi movement, held at the father’s house, where the young boy was encouraged to participate. Past allegations from previous custody battles, indicated that the father was abusive to the young boy, physically and allegedly sexually, from an age as early as three years old. Many calls and visits over the years were made from Child Protective Services, but no charges or intervention was ordered. In following testimonies given at the trial, the boy’s stepmother alleged that the father would go “over-the-top” and “lose control” when disciplining the young boy. She also stated that the boy suffered from “learning disabilities” but was not and had not been treated or psychologically examined prior to the murder. It was stated that the young boy also had several incidents of violence and antisocial behavior exhibited at school and in the home. The behavior...

References: Bloch, D. (1978). So the witch won 't eat me: Fantasy and the child 's fear of infanticide.
New York, NY: Grove.
D.a.: Boy who killed neo-nazi father 'no different ' than other murderers. (2013, October 31). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from
Daily, M., & Wilson, M. (1988). Evolutionary social psychology and family homicide. Science, 242, 519-524.
Freud, S. (1918). Totem and taboo: Resemblances between the psychic lives of savages
and neurotics
Gelles, R. J., & Straus, M. A. (1985). Crime and the family. (pp. 88-110). Thomas:
Heide, K. M. (2012, July 26). [Web Based Recording]. Q&a: Why kids kill parents.,
Retrieved (October 16, 2013) from
Warren, M. Q. (1969). The case for differential treatment of delinquents. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 381(1), 47-59. Retrieved (2013, October 16)
12-year-old boy in trial for killing neo-nazi father in california. (2013, October 29). .
Retrieved from
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