For school I did a project on serial killer, Peter Woodcock. He killed 3 children in the 1950’s before he was caught at the age of 17. He was found not-guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a mental institution.
In 1991, they stupidly let him out on a weekend pass and within an hour, he had killed another man with a hatchet and knife, with the help of his ‘supervisor’ who had been a fellow inmate at the same institution. He then walked to the police station and told them what he’d done.
When I first started the assignment, I was to look for whether or not this killer was created by society or whether he was born that way. We’ve had some horrific killings in the news lately, probably foremost among them being the school shooting. We as humans usually hear about these things and want legal revenge – something we usually call ‘justice’.
While doing this project, I found out that from 0-3 years old, Peter was sent from foster home to foster home. He was mistreated in these homes and the foster parents never formed a bond with him because he would be leaving again in a few days. If you look through his life story, I think it’s fairly obvious that we created this serial killer.
However, one quote from the book really stood out to me. Here is what Peter said:
“There’s a big difference between the neurotic housewife and the psychopath,” Krueger went on to say. “Even if a serial killer thinks the world is there for his pleasure, so what? Does that make him crazy? Pol Pot, the dictator of the Khmer Rouge in Kampuchea, killed a million people in genocide. The American calvary that committed genocide against the North American aboriginals, they were engaged in a war of genocide. There isn’t any difference between those people and a narcissistic killer like me or Russ Johnson (who was in Oak Ridge for killing between seven and fifteen women).
I don’t see any difference between myself and my foster father, who soldiered in the First World War and who killed many of the enemy. He probably killed more people than me. But he was in a uniform, people blew trumpets and played drums, and cheering crowds turned out to see him off to head out to kill other young men. But because somebody like me committed the atrocities, and they were atrocities, let’s face it, that were offensive to anybody who had the right mindset, I suppose, but then, ask a father about somebody like me who has raped his daughter, and he’ll want to string up somebody like me and have every conceivable painful thing done to me. But we hear names like Sarajevo and Mostar, and there are grown men killing children there. It’s politics.
-By Reason of Insanity, The David Michael Krueger Story – Mark Bourrie
Do you think he has a point?