Every time a serial killer or perpetrator of a particularly violent
crime is apprehended, you can bet that, eventually, it will be
revealed that the killer "practiced" his crimes on animals. In the
case of Steven D. Green, the former soldier accused of orchestrating
the murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and her family, testimony at
his alleged co-conspirators' recent court-martial hearing revealed
that Green had previously set a puppy on fire and thrown the animal
off a roof. Chillingly, the young girl who was raped and killed was
also set on fire.
In Arizona, accused serial shooters Samuel John Dieteman and Dale S.
Hausner allegedly shot nearly a dozen animals as well as 17 people
during their 2-month-long killing spree in and around Phoenix. I
believe that, as officials delve into their backgrounds, more cases of
cruelty to animals will be unearthed, as they have been in virtually
every serial killer case.
"There is not much of a leap between hurting poor defenseless animals
to inflicting terror on vulnerable unsuspecting humans," commented
Phoenix's KTVK-TV anchor Frank Camacho, about the Serial Shooter case.
"Catching an animal abuser early is one reason why the Humane Society
has a team of investigators on staff who handle nothing but animal
It is vital that violent attacks on animals, especially among young
people, are taken seriously. Perhaps, if Steven Green's cruelty to
animals had been reported and he had gotten the treatment he so
desperately needs, Iraq would not be mourning the loss of a girl and
her family who appear to have died at the hands of the young men who
were charged with protecting them.
Alisa Mullins is Senior Writer for People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals, 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510; www.Peta.org.