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Children Who Kill: Profiles of Teen and Pre-teen Killers Paperback – November 30, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It is a rarely acknowledged fact that children are capable of crimes as heinous as those committed by adults. In this deeply disquieting book, the author profiles 13 killers between the ages of 10 and 17. The author begins with the story of Jesse Pomeroy, the Boston boy who, at the age of 12, began by torturing younger children and a couple of years later graduated to homicide. That was in 1873. Later, she writes about Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, the two 10-year-old Liverpool boys who achieved worldwide fame by luring toddler James Bulger from a shopping mall and murdering him. The subjects of this book are boys and girls who, for a variety of reasons, found the dark side of themselves far earlier than most people. The author keeps the editorializing to a minimum, preferring to let the plain facts speak for themselves. It's a good plan: the book is downright chilling. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Davis writes with verve' -- Publishers Weekly

Chilling follow-up to 'Women Who Kill' -- holds an awful fascination. -- The Bookseller
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Allison and Busby (November 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749006935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749006938
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,004,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Good and easy ready.
Alice Vazquez
This is almost a dark horror book when you consider what always has and continues to happen to children in our society.
Lena J. Mccoy
Now, I'm not making any excuses for the children who become murderous psychopaths like Jesse Pomeroy.
Sylviastel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By K. Fugate on April 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
There are few things as disturbing as accounts of children committing murder. Whenever one of these cases appears in the news, it touches a nerve in us all, and those of us who are parents can't help wondering "How could this have happened? Could my child be capable of something so hideous, or was the child who committed this crime some sort of unexplainable abberation?" "Children Who Kill" by Carol Anne Davis attempts to answer these questions, and it is a fascinating glimpse into the pathology of child murderers and a "must-read" for any true crime aficionado. However, having said that, I must mention that the writing style is so amateurish that, at times, I had trouble believing that I was reading the work of a published author. The book reads very much like a middle school research paper, sometimes to the point of being distracting. I took into consideration the fact that the author is British and I am an American, which would explain why some of the phrasing seemed odd to me, but do British schools not teach the use of commas or compound sentences? Fortunately for Ms. Davis, the subject matter is so compelling that one keeps reading despite the distractions. If you are a person who finds true crime fascinating, you will enjoy this book, but if poor writing bugs you, this book will drive you crazy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Helen Simpson on March 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
A fascinating background into a variety of high profile cases where children have resorted to murder; from 12 year old Jesse Pomeroy in America in the late nineteenth century to the 10 year olds who killed Jamie Bulger in Liverpool in 1993. Many people just categorise this type of crime as 'evil' and understandably find it hard to come to terms with children who go so far as to kill. However Davis manages to write a factual account of events and leaves judgement to the reader. As well as case studies she includes some very interesting statistics.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Edelstein Arnon on May 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Carole Anne has the dignity and the courage to explore chilling cases of children who murdered others.
Every aspect of these children's life is explore in order to better understand the connection between child abuse and murder.
As a criminologist, I think that this book lacks two important things. First, it does not explain why a lot of children who suffered abuse didn't turn to be murderers. Second,a summary that connects between theory and the cases explored in the book, would add a better understanding of the cases.
Prof, Arnon Edelstein, Criminologist
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sylviastel VINE VOICE on December 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have to say that this book has been on my wishlist and was fortunate enough to pick up a copy of it. Carol Ann Davis has studied crime intensely in her native country of the United Kingdom. She has also allowed the readers to learn an encyclopedic style of children who kill beginning with Jesse Pomeroy. She writes a little about his homelife and a lot about his sexual crimes leading to horrific murders. As with other cases, she makes a point that children who abuse small animals are more likely to kill than those who don't. The characteristics of children who kill can range from being ostracized, traumatized even by their peers, as well abuse at home and at school. For those of us who still carry the psychological scars of being bullied by our peers. We may never outgrow them because you can't remove such emotional scars of being different or feeling inferior. For those of us, we still feel somewhat like outsiders in our community to this day.
Now, I'm not making any excuses for the children who become murderous psychopaths like Jesse Pomeroy. There are other children's cases in this book that feature matricide and patricide as cases against an abusive or strict parent.
Then there are the other cases of children who go on needless shooting rampages at their schools. The case studies of children who murder in this book are humanized to understand their inflictions as well as the cause. In order to understand a disease, we must understand how it works before we can cure it. This disease of murderous children has to be understood first before we can proceed in understanding how to prevent it.
Now, Davis has written another case about the child arsonist and serial killer who was abandoned by his mother, abused at school and in his home environments.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dmarti51 on November 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This author seriously needs a real editor. While the content is interesting I couldn't hang with the awful writing. Look for another book on the subject.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I became fascinated with the concept of child killers after watching a documentary on television. I loved the way this book was fact-based but kept me reading like it was a novel. As a mystery writer, I am delving into the mind of a child killer in my next novel and say this book went a long way to educate me and give me a solid background for my character. Don't be mislead. This is almost a dark horror book when you consider what always has and continues to happen to children in our society.
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By Alice Vazquez on December 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's incredible how children can be in harms way and it goes unnoticed than we have created serial killers. This book is mind blowing if you like child psychology and how their brain works. Totally recommend it. Good and easy ready.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Kaye on July 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
Yes, Davis lets the crimes speak for themselves. But there is a trend in the USA of trying children as adults and all around demonizing them that this book seems to cash in on, and I find it quite inhumane and distasteful. If there had been any kind of thoughtful analysis it might have mitigated this content, as is I cannot accept it as more than it is: Cashing on on some people's need to be afraid, and giving child haters ballast for passing more hateful laws.
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