The idea that children can totally lack empathy and act in a manipulative and cruel way seems foreign to most of us. Scientists have struggled with the question of whether they can be psychopaths given their brains are in the stage of development and impressionable personalities, making it practically impossible to diagnose them. But history has proven that children can commit some of the most hideous crimes. Here is a brief list of 5 of the most unbelievable crimes perpetrated by children.
5. Michael Hernandez
What would compel a young man to kill his own best friend? We may never know. Michael Hernandez appeared to be normal and polite, but something darker lurked inside the teenager’s mind. The young man convinced a friend of his, Jaime Rodrigo Gough – also 14 years old – to follow him into a bathroom stall at their school. He said he wanted to show him something. But instead, once inside the stall, Michael stabbed his friend several times and then slit his throat. Another boy entered the bathroom after the killing and saw Michael washing his hands, saw the bloody stall – so he notified a security guard. When they came back, Michael was nowhere to be found. He’d slipped out and went back to class, despite the blood stains on his clothing.
4. Amarjeet Sada – 8 years old
Amarjeet Sada was eight years old when he was arrested in India in June 2007. He stands accused of killing three babies – two of whom were related to him. The first victim was his six-month old cousin, who he’s accused of strangling to death. His second victim, also a cousin under a year old, had been bludgeoned to death. Both of these were covered up by the family, and Amarjeet may have gotten away with his crimes had he not been suspected in killing a neighbor’s six-month old daughter as well.
3. Eric Smith – 13 years old
Eric Smith was a redheaded boy with freckles who often rode around town on his bike by himself. When four-year old Derrick Robie was found brutally murdered, no one suspected that a child could have done something so horrible. The brutality of the murder rivals some of the sickest killers out there – most of them at least twice Smith’s age.
Derrick’s body was found in a small patch of woods not far from his home and the park where he’d been going that day. He had been lured from the sidewalk where he was then strangled and hit in the head with several large rocks. Even worse than that though, it appeared that whoever murdered the little boy had fun playing games with the dead body. After his body had been discovered, police realized that whoever killed the boy had moved his shoes around, covered him with Kool-Aid and even sodomized him with a stick.
2. Alyssa Bustamante – 15 years old
15-year old Alyssa Bustamante from Missouri used her journal to write about the thrill of killing 8-year old Elizabeth Olten. On October 21st, 2009, Olten was walking home from a friend’s house when she disappeared. The eight year old was never seen alive again. Olten’s parents called 9-1-1 only 45 minutes after she’d been expected home, but by that time, it was too late.
1. Jesse Pomeroy – 14 years old
At the age of 11 years old, between 1871 and 1872, Jesse Pomeroy trapped and attacked seven boys. He stripped the victims and tied them up, initially beating them and covering their bodies with bruises. However, he eventually grew bored with simply beating them, and later turned to attacking them with a knife, slashing and poking his victims with it. In 1874, he savagely attacked and killed two children. Ten-year old Mary Curran had been mutilated and beaten, and four-year old Horace Mullen had been slashed so savagely that he’d was nearly decapitated. When police approached Jesse, he was carrying a bloodstained knife. When they asked him if he killed the boy, Jesse responded coldly, “I suppose I did.”