After the break, Kyle brings up some horrifying tales of murderous children. With stunning frequency, new stories appear about one of the most perplexing of all crimes – homicide committed by children. As recent research has shed light on children who murder, experts have become troubled about an apparent intensification of youthful homicidal behavior. For instance, Dr. Elissa P. Benedek, director of research and training at the Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Ann Arbor, Mich., said she had seen many more youths engaged in ”mass murder,” the killing of more than one person, in the last few months than in all her previous experience.
A pattern that disturbs scholars is that youthful homicide rates still remain near the very high level of the mid-1970’s. Statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation show 9.88 of 100,000 Americans were arrested for homicide in 1982. But the rate among 17-year-olds, for instance, was more than double the rate for all ages: 22.6 per 100,000. Concern about youth violence has changed the way grown-ups walk in cities and prompted Congressmen to prod the executive branch to focus on youth violence. The Attorney General recently named a task force on family violence which will include the study of murders by youths in its work. What drives these children to kill?
All of this and more on this installment of Expanded Perspectives!
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