Animal abuse is not just the result of a minor personality flaw in the abuser but a symptom of a deep mental disturbance. Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty toward animals don’t stop there. A great many move on to make fellow humans their victims, and for many, the violence escalates to domestic violence and child or elder abuse. For some, the unchecked violence escalates to murder.
Much of the research supporting the following information comes from the United States, where the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appear in the records of serial rapists and murderers:
Mary Bell: Child-killer Mary Bell throttled pigeons before strangling two young boys.
Ian Brady: The”Moors Murderer” abused animals as both a child and an adult.
David Mulcahy and John Duffy: As children, Mulcahy tortured a hedgehog while Duffy looked on. The pair later went on to rape and murder women across London and the Home Counties.
Thomas Hamilton: The Dunblane massacre perpetrator spent his youth squashing rabbits’ heads beneath the wheels of his car. He later killed 16 children and a teacher.
Robert Thompson: This killer of toddler Jamie Bulger displayed a noted cruelty to companion animals.
Fred West: It is believed that West’s desire to mutilate human corpses began when he worked in a slaughterhouse, butchering the corpses of animals.
Harold Jones: In the 1920′s, Wales’ Jones gained notoriety as a teenage sex killer. His attacks on girls were preceded by his pulling wings off baby birds.
John Taylor: In 2000, Taylor strangled 16-year-old Leanne Tiernan. Searching his house, detectives found a dog with his head smashed in. Taylor had enjoyed clubbing pheasants to death and stabbed a fox repeatedly while out poaching.
David Atkinson: This lance corporal killed Cambridge student Sally Geeson in 2005. He had previously been convicted of attacking swans.
Thanks to PETA for this information