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Today's Issues > Who Is To Blame?

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message 1: by AA (new)

AA | 105 comments I'm currently reading this book about serial killers (The Serial Killer Files: The Who, What, Where, How, and Why of the World's Most Terrifying Murderers). There was a section of the book that showed that many murderers had horrible childhoods, which basically turned them into bad people who wanted to get back at the world for all the pain they experienced.

Take, for example, one of the serial killers spoken about in the book: Mary Bell. At a young age, Mary Bell lived alone with her prostitute mother, who held her down while strange men sexually abused her. At the age of eleven, Mary Bell murdered two young boys, cutting off one of the young boys' penis and carving her initial into his stomach.

Another example is Henry Lee Lucas, who grew up in a two room log cabin with eight other siblings, a "moonshiner" father, and a prostitute mother who forced her son to watch when she had sex with her customers, forced him to dress in girl's clothing when he went off to school, and killed his favorite pets as a form of punishment. She once even beat him so much that he went into a twenty-four hour comma. Later in life he would end up a serial murderer.

Reading about these cases and many more brings the question to mind: Who is most responsible for these murders, the person who commits the crime or the person/people who make the criminal?

Of course, in a sense, the murderer himself is to blame for the act and should be punished, but at the same time, what about those who forced unspeakable horrors upon these people at a young age? In a sense, aren't they a murderer, too, for helping create the criminal?


message 2: by Robotgirl33 (new)

Robotgirl33 DeShong | 34 comments See, this is where it gets a little tricky. See, definitely part of it is having to be around people who are used to those things, and continuously repeat these things in front of the child. Most of it is that. That creates the criminal. But, also, there is the fact that they murdered someone, and they committed the crime.


message 3: by *Sklip* (last edited Feb 10, 2011 05:19PM) (new)

*Sklip*  (stalkerninja) | 108 comments This is sort of like Frankenstein all over.

Both are to blame, although I would blame the people who created the criminal more than the criminal.

For me, they're sort of indirectly killing the person since what they did to the person had shaped them into what they became.


message 4: by AA (new)

AA | 105 comments ThatStalkerGirlBehindYouWhoIsAlsoACreeper *Sklip* wrote: "This is sort of like Frankenstein all over.

Both are to blame, although I would blame the people who created the criminal more than the criminal.

For me, they're sort of indirectly killing th..."


Yeah, that's what I think too.


message 5: by Cody (new)

Cody (rolinor) | 441 comments But how would you punish a parent or guardian of a serial killer, go up to a serial killer that knows the law and ask them if their upbringing was particularly tragic of course they will say Yes because they know that by saying that some blame will go off of them and onto the parents. Also because chances are their upbringing was many years ago there really is no way to get evidence.


Did that make sense?


message 6: by Robotgirl33 (new)

Robotgirl33 DeShong | 34 comments It does make sense. But why are we talking about punishment? Who's fault do you think it would be, though? Of course just because the parents are abusive doesn't mean they should get off the hook for killing...


message 7: by *Sklip* (new)

*Sklip*  (stalkerninja) | 108 comments You can't punish the people who shaped the criminal, nobody can see what is in store for them in the future

Although nobody should be bought up abused in any way anyways...

Take Frankenstein for example. Who would you blame for the monster's killings? Would you blame Victor Frankenstein or his creation?

After all, Frankenstein did ditch the monster as soon as he laid eyes on him. The monster was left with virtually and literally nothing and no idea what was in the world. Instead, he learned how to stay alive and be mean towards the humans, since they never took the time to approach him.

Who is to blame for the monster's murders?


message 8: by Robotgirl33 (new)

Robotgirl33 DeShong | 34 comments Frankenstein. But the killings would have never happened if he had not been created.


message 9: by Cody (new)

Cody (rolinor) | 441 comments Robotgirl33 wrote: "It does make sense. But why are we talking about punishment? Who's fault do you think it would be, though? Of course just because the parents are abusive doesn't mean they should get off the hook f..."

by "Fault" I assume punishment for some reason... But that's what I was trying to get across the killer is really the only punishable person...


message 10: by AA (new)

AA | 105 comments Cody wrote: "But how would you punish a parent or guardian of a serial killer, go up to a serial killer that knows the law and ask them if their upbringing was particularly tragic of course they will say Yes be..."

Well, you can't really punish the parent because they never committed the crime, or helped with the crime (in a way).

And even if these killers blame their acts on their upbringing, they won't get away with murder.

Besides, for some, being subjected to these acts can push them over the edge.

Obviously this is not always the case as we have countless people who have been through the same or worse and turned out, if not fine then, at least not sadistic or homicidal.

Maybe you've never been through anything emotionally painful, but that kind of stuff sticks with you forever, even if it happened years ago.

For example, I went through depression for four years. Even though I'm basically over it now, there are still days where it hits me full force and I'm literally scared to leave my house. Emotionally scarring things have greatly lasting effects on people.

And yes, you can get evidence, physical or otherwise as to abuse.

Physical: An example of this is Sybil: she was raped and beaten so many times that even into adulthood, when a doctor examined her, he could tell she would never be able to have children because of the physical scarring in her vagina and all the x-rays that showed the broken bones (which were results of being beaten and tortured on a daily basis).

Mental/Emotional: Once again, take for example Sybil. Her mother stopped raping and beating her when she was ten, but the torture she endured was so horrible that she developed sixteen different personalities in order to deal with all the pain and emotional scarring. And it was only after eleven years of therapy did she finally manage to get over her MPD and go about her days normally.

Other: Actual witness accounts of others who noticed the bruises, or saw what happened, etc.


message 11: by Robotgirl33 (new)

Robotgirl33 DeShong | 34 comments They are, but had they not lived in that household, they would have less of a chance to become a killer...


message 12: by Cody (new)

Cody (rolinor) | 441 comments Amani wrote: "Cody wrote: "But how would you punish a parent or guardian of a serial killer, go up to a serial killer that knows the law and ask them if their upbringing was particularly tragic of course they wi..."

Hmmm true, very true...


message 13: by Daisy (new)

Daisy Honestly, I think that when it comes down to it that it is the serial killer's fault.

Now, while some of the blame falls on the parents and sometimes it can be genetic it is the person. Most people who had horrible childhoods are not serial killers. So yes, bad parents can have life long problems but bad parents does not a serial killer make.


message 14: by AA (new)

AA | 105 comments What do you mean genetic? When was it proved that our genes determine whether we grow up to kill or not?


Other than that, I agree with your statement.


message 15: by Daisy (new)

Daisy Not proved but a point I think you could try to make. I haven't done much research into that. It was a passing mention I heard somewhere.


message 16: by Cody (new)

Cody (rolinor) | 441 comments Is sadism genetic? That could contribute to serial killing.


message 17: by Daisy (new)

Daisy I'm pretty sure that's not genetic. That's environmental.


message 18: by Cody (new)

Cody (rolinor) | 441 comments Hmm that's actually really interesting I didn't know that.


message 19: by AA (last edited Mar 02, 2011 04:55PM) (new)

AA | 105 comments Point nicely made.


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