October 29, 1998

Prosecutor's Office - Delinquency
Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court
2163 East 22nd Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44115

Re: 11-Year-Old Cleveland Boy Kills Cat & Kittens with Bricks

Dear Prosecutor:

I have been following the above-referenced story/case both via WJW/Fox-8 News and the article appearing in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I was saddened and sickened by the actions of this child, not to mention moved to tears by the pain and suffering of these innocent creatures which occurred just about 60-blocks from my own home.

It is obvious that a child acting out such violent tendencies out of boredom is likely, unless properly counseled and rehabilitated, to be not only a repeat offender of this type of criminal activity, but is likely to graduate to more heinous crimes. He will grow more apathetic regarding the value of life and eventually the value of human life--treating or should I say mistreating humans in a similar manner.

Psychiatrists and psychologists have identified a definite link between the torturing and killing of animals by children and adults committing violent criminal acts towards humans with little or no remorse for their actions. Serial killers like Albert DeSalvo and Jeffrey Dahmer had a history of animal abuse as children. And, with the school children killing classmates in the news over the past year, it seems some children are graduating to this higher level of violence and murder at an even younger age and faster rate than ever before.

Therefore, I urge you as Prosecutor to pursue this case to the fullest extent of the law and to make a strong argument for psychological testing and counseling for the child and perhaps even his family to educate them on warning signs to anti-social, psychopathic behavior. It is essential that in addition to psychological treatment that this child receive some punishment for his actions. He needs to understand that while he may have a problem or deficiency that caused or allowed his callous criminal behavior, what he did was wrong and wrong actions have consequences.

I thank you for taking a moment of your valuable time to read my letter and include for your further information a recent article from the Wall Street Journal on animal abuse and criminal accountability.


Leigh-Anne Dennison