Social scientists have proposed a number of theories to explain juvenile delinquency. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
A number of child killings have been recorded throughout the years. These often have involved disturbing acts one can hardly imagine a child suffering through. These cases are becoming more controversial as the number of child killings increases every year. However, what happens if that innocent and vulnerable-looking child is the one responsible for the abduction and murders in your neighborhood? Would you believe the accusations made of someone so young? Could a child really commit such crimes? These are not your typical childish crimes of stealing toys from a friend, or bullying a schoolmate. This is the list for the top 10 young killers. There is a small amount of overlap from the list of evil children, for the sake of including people that really do deserve to be on this list.
“You may think I’m a threat to the well-being of society. And I can understand why you would feel that way. The fact is that I’m not. I’d be an asset to society.”
At 13, Eric Smith was bullied because of his thick glasses, freckles, long red hair and one other quality: He had protruding, elongated ears. These were believed to be a side effect of medicine his mother had taken for her epilepsy when she was pregnant. Police charged Smith with the murder of a four-year-old boy named Derrick Robie. The younger child had been strangled, had large rocks dropped on his head, and had been sodomized with a small stick. When asked why he did it, Smith cannot give a definite answer. A psychiatrist diagnosed Smith with intermittent explosive disorder, a condition in which a person cannot control inner rage. Smith was convicted and went to prison. As of today, he’s been in prison for six years and has been denied parole five times.
“There should be a sensitivity to the fact that a 14-year-old is not a little adult.” – Florida Governor Jeb Bush
What started as a regular room cleaning ended with the conviction of a 14-year-old boy named Joshua Phillips. His mother went to clean up his room one morning after Phillips left for school. Mrs. Phillips noticed a wet spot under her son’s bed and thought it was a leak from his waterbed. As she was investigating the bed to see if it needed to be drained, she found electrical tape holding the frame together. She thought her son had known the about leak but didn’t want to get into trouble. She removed enough tape to discover her son’s sock underneath, but she was surprised to feel something cold. The beam of her flashlight showed her the dead body of Maddie Clifton, an 8-year-old neighbor who had been missing for seven days.
People in the community, especially the boy’s parents, could hardly believe he could have killed Clifton. Phillips was one of the neighbors who had volunteered to search for the missing girl. Because he was under 16, Phillips did not qualify for the death penalty. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, with no possibility of being freed. To this day, Phillips has not stated his motives for killing Clifton. He said he accidentally hit her in the eye with a baseball bat, and then dragged her to his room where he hit and stabbed her, but the jury did not believe his story.