We awakened today to the news that alleged killer Luka Rocco Magnotta has been arrested in a Berlin internet cafe. Accused of murdering and dismembering a man, filming his actions, and sending severed body parts to politicians, Canada’s most notorious criminal was the subject of a worldwide manhunt.
A collective sigh of relief can be heard echoing from continent to continent regarding his capture.
Magnotta’s grisly crime was foreshadowed by reports that he filmed his prior actions of killing kittens in a video posted on the web. Animal rights activists have been tracking him long before the crime that led to his most recent notoriety.
By many accounts, Magnotta was a deeply disturbed individual. His profile is both bizarre and grotesque. As we learn more about him, we are likely to find that his behavior and personality are well outside of what most of us could conceive as human.
Many notoriously bizarre killers abused and killed animals before they killed human beings. Jeffy Dahmer, comes to mind, as do Ted Bundy and David Berkowitz. As a result of this knowledge, we typically connote animal abuse with the most heinous of crimes. As we should.
Yet these types of crimes are rare (thank God). Other crimes that are linked to animal abuse are not. Child abuse and domestic violence occur every minute of the day.
Thankfully, few animal abusers go on to commit grisly murders. Many more than we can imagine, however, DO act out violently towards women and children and other vulnerable people in less known crimes.
As important as it is to take note of the links between animal abuse and serial killers, it is even more important to recognize the links to the more prevalent crimes of domestic violence and child abuse.
Children who harm animals need intervention. Not because they will grow up to be like Jeffrey Dahmer or Luka Rocco Magnotta, but because they are likely to grow up to be like the person(s) who abused them.
When animals are suffering in society, children are too. When there is violence to animals, there is likely violence to children and others who may be defenseless.
If you are aware of abuse to animals, please act and seek help. The animals deserve this, as do the humans who maybe subject to the abuser’s rage as well.
You may prevent a wayward person from becoming a serial killer, but more likely, you will prevent them from becoming a child or partner abuser.
And that is as important as anything.