Psychopath. That single word evokes images of gruesome serial killers; names like Ted Bundy or Ed Gein come to mind. All of them, though, were adults. And even though we would like to think of childhood as the most innocent phase, as in everything, there are exceptions.
Psychopathy or Sociopathy is a personality disorder and a classified mental illness, and one of its characteristics is that it manifest itself from a young age in the form of lack of empathy towards others, extreme selfishness and violent acts. This list is about the known cases of psychopaths of young age, and about the horrid things they did. Let's start.
5 Jesse Pomeroy
"The Boy Fiend" was born in 1859 in Charlestown, Massachusetts; he was the youngest person convicted of murder in the first degree in the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It appears that Jesse's father had too much love for drinking, and it was common for him to enrage with his sons for minor matters and then strip them completely to be able to strike them furiously.
Of course, this had repercussions in Jesse's future behaviour. Apart from the sadistic punishments he endured, it was common for other children to call on the unusual and frightening appearance Pomeroy had since birth, he was blind in the left eye, which looked completely white without an iris, and he also had a large head with big ears.
His first heinous acts started with the killing of the family's two pet birds by twisting their heads, and he was later found torturing the neighbours cat. As if that wasn't enough, near Christmas 1871, four-year-old Billy Paine was found hanging by his wrist half naked and brutally beaten in a small cabin near the Chelsea Creek in South Boston. Then in 1872, he lured 7-year-old Tracy Hayden to the same spot, where Pomeroy whipped him with a switch leaving deep wounds. Jesse Pomeroy continued with the nauseating acts over the years, following the same modus operandi and adding the use of a pocket knife and his own teeth. He was eventually captured and sent to a reform school where his good conduct earned him his freedom.
This proved to be a tremendous mistake when only six weeks after being liberated, he killed ten-year-old Katie Curran in a horrific way. It was the later killing of a little boy called Horace Millen that finally got him convicted and sentenced to death by hanging, but this never happened due to his age, and he spent the rest of his life in prison.
4 Mary Bell
"The Tyneside Strangler" was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1957. She was the daughter of a prostitute, Betty, who was only 17 years old when she gave birth to Mary Bell and did not know who the father was. Her mother tried several times to murder her in Mary's first year of life and later forced her to perform sexual acts with men, Mary being only five.
The day before her 11th birthday, Mary strangled four-year-old Martin Brown in an abandoned house. A few months later she killed three-year-old Brian Howe, also by strangling, and carved an M in his stomach with a razor. Mary was caught and convicted, she served just 12 years in prison and was released aged 23. She is still free and well, having changed her identity and moved several times.
3 Graham Young
"The Teacup Poisoner" was born September 7th, 1947 in Neasden, North London. He grew up very solitary and made no friends, always wanting to be by himself. Graham had a fascination with murderers and constantly read about them. By the time Graham was a teen he had developed an obsession with Adolf Hitler.
He was most interested in chemistry and toxicology and was determined to pursue this interest by avidly consuming all the information he could find. Graham read books and devoted his attention to a chemistry set his father bought for him aged 13. With all the knowledge he amassed, Graham managed to convince several chemists in the area that he was older than he actually was and persuaded them to sell him antimony, digitalis, arsenic and thallium for 'study' purposes.
Graham started to place poison in the teacups of his family, making them sick, causing vomiting, cramps and headaches. The first mortal victim was his stepmother who was found in agony in the backyard and later died in the hospital. It was later discovered that she had developed a tolerance to the antimony with which our killer was slowly poisoning her, so he switched to thallium the night before her death to speed up the process. He continued to slowly poison his family until his chemistry teacher contacted police after finding poisons in Graham´s school desk.
As he was only 14 years old, he was committed to Broadmoor maximum-security hospital, for a minimum period of 15 years. There he poisoned and killed an inmate with cyanide extracted from laurel leaves. He was released at 23 years old and found work, always delighted to prepare tea or coffee for his co-workers. After killing two them and making several others sick he was captured and spent the rest of his days in jail until his death at 42.
2 Eric Smith
Born in Steuben County, New York in 1980, red-haired Eric was constantly bullied because of his thick glasses and freckles. At age 13, while biking at a local park, he lured 4-year-old Derrick Robie to a wooded area. In a sudden rage, Eric strangled Derrick to death and dropped a large rock on his head, then undressed him and assaulted him with a stick.
Derrick´s body was found after four hours, and Smith finally confessed two days after the boy´s funeral. Smith was diagnosed by a psychiatrist with "Intermittent Explosive Disorder" which causes him onsets of uncontrollable anger. Up to this day, Eric Smith is still in prison for his crime and during his parole hearing in 2014 he tried to give a reason for his sickening crime, explaining that he was a victim of bullying, not only by other children in school but also by his father and sister. About the act itself, he said that he took out his anger on Robie and killed him to avoid people discovering the attack.
1 Amardeep Sada
Amardeep was born in Begurasay, India into an impoverished family in 1998. He is apparently the world's youngest serial killer, having murdered three children. He was caught by villagers after he abducted and killed a six-month-old girl with a brick in 2007.
The girl, named Kushboo was sleeping alone in the village primary school while her mother Chunchun Devi was busy with chores nearby. Amardeep kidnapped her and carried her to a nearby open field where he murdered her and tried to bury the body. When police arrested him and asked him why he had done it, he just smiled and asked for biscuits.
Upon further questioning, Amardeep confessed to the killing of his eight-month-old sister and six-month-old cousin a year earlier. His parents knew about the killings, but kept them a secret, considering it a "family matter." They later escaped from the village when their son was captured. The boy received psychiatric healthcare for his crimes since it was determined that he suffers from a mental disorder which makes him derive pleasure from causing pain to others.