Volume 48, Issue 6 (November 2003)
A Media Violence-Inspired Juvenile Sexual Homicide Offender 13 Years Later
No follow-up studies exist on how minors who commit sexual homicides adjust once released back into the community. This is an important question given the extreme nature of their crimes, lack of recidivism data, and the expectation that one-half of them will be freed from prison by mid-life. Likewise, no studies exist on the role our culture's pervasive media violence plays in these offenses. This report describes a 13year-old boy who committed a witnessed media violence-inspired sexual homicide. Follow-up information is provided on his community adjustment as an adult four years after release from prison. He had multiple indicators of brain dysfunction, and watched a "slasher" film just before committing the blitz style crime upon a female neighbor. Media violence literature is reviewed-against a backdrop of developmental abnormalities, neuropsychiatric vulnerabilities, family dysfunction, and mental illness. This case illustrates how the confluence of such variables, combined with the tinder of erotic screen violence, may lead to sexual murder.