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Killer Kids. They're everywhere, or so it seems. Each evening's news brings us stories of these savage juveniles who appear to kill for sport or simply for the thrill of knowing what it feels like to kill. These kids appear to have no remorse and leave the rest of us confused and terrified. Violent teens are every parent and school's nightmare, if you believe what you read in the papers and hear on the news. We have all heard the horror stories of younger and younger kids who are picking up weapons and harming or killing others.

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One of the most horrific of these cases was the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado where Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, ages 17 and 18, massacred twelve of their classmates and a teacher before killing themselves. What is going on in the mind of a child or teen who kills? This is one of the puzzles our society must struggle with if we are to understand how to find a solution to child murderers. Politicians would have us believe that if we can pass new and better laws, we can cut down on juvenile crime. But this is not the case. We must first understand what it is that leads a kid to kill in the first place before we can go on to the next step towards a solution to juvenile violence. Is there a new breed of kids who are bred with a gene for violence or is it today's society that plays a part in exacerbating the traits these "bad seeds" already have? Many people believe in the bad seed theory, that kids who are violent are just "no darn good" (NDG). I do not believe in the bad seed theory where school killers and other rampage killers are concerned.  Lurking behind these quiet, unemotional facades, there has to be more brewing than meets the eye.

As a forensic psychologist who works with violent children, I have conducted research and written a book based on the results of my nationwide Internet violence survey. Over 1500 kids and teens filled out the survey which provided many answers to the puzzling questions about why kids commit acts of violence in the first place. If you would like to view some of the results of the survey, click results. If you are between the ages of 10-18 and would to fill out a survey for future research, click on survey.

Dr. Helen Smith
About Dr. Smith
Read Dr. Helen's Blog

Is a forensic psychologist practicing in Knoxville, TN
• Has evaluated over 5000 children, adolescents and adults
• Has written numerous articles on kids who are violent
• Has testified before legislative bodies on violent juveniles
• Is the author of the book "The Scarred Heart: Understanding and Identifying Kids Who Kill." (order your copy here)


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