It’s a Fact: Most Violent Offenders Victimize Animals, Then Humans

Published by PETA.

We know that the Boston Strangler did it. So did Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. Like so many others, all these serial killers tortured animals before “graduating” to humans.

That link has raised suspicions about an Oklahoma teen, Nikolas Kerr, who is accused of torturing and killing a 2-month-old kitten. A witness claims that she saw Kerr set the kitten on fire, repeatedly slam the tiny animal into a piece of furniture, and swing the cat by the tail. When asked why he did it, Kerr allegedly said, “‘Cause I’m a sociopath.” Those actions and words have piqued the interest of prosecutors who are trying to determine the extent of Kerr’s involvement in the death of a homeless man known as “Bicycle Bob.”

The link between violence against animals and violence against humans is well-established: It’s why PETA developed a special booklet for law enforcement officials and prosecutors. It’s also why actor Julie Benz—who played the wife of a serial killer who killed animals before moving on to people on Showtime’s hit show Dexter—spoke out in a PETA public service announcement. And it’s why we always urge anyone who knows of a violent crime against an animal to report it to authorities, pronto.


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Written by Karin Bennett

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind