Where did the psycho little kid killer cultural meme come from?

Nevada Tan. It’s always the Japanese. :wink:

Not the babysitter. Burke Dennings, the drunken racist director with a heart of gold who passed out in the house when he was alone with no one but Regan. He wandered up to her room and was murdered. Not by her, obviously, but by the demon possessing her, but I suppose it was her physical body if not her soul/mind doing it.

ALL children? By a certain age, aren’t they aware of right and wrong? I mean I may have been a little shit for a while but by age…I don’t know, six or so I didn’t do bad things because they were wrong and I’d feel guilty about hurting someone. I knew that all those things would make me feel awful to do.

Then again I was one of those Dopers who didn’t want to kill a random person for a million dollars so maybe I’m just too pure for y’all. :smiley:

Since this mostly seems to be about movies, I’m moving it over to Cafe Society.

Don’t agree: my experience with very young leads me to believe that while all young children are more or less egotistical (in that they tend to believe that the world revolves around them) they are not, by and large, monsterous - in that most kids have empathy for others and are sad that other people are sad or hurt.

A kid truly without empathy for others is very unusual (and troubling).

The original Village of the Damned was released in 1960, and was based on a 1957 book, The Midwich Cuckoos. Not quite the “psycho little kid killer,” but the Children are very creepy.

Actually, given the title of the thread, including the title of the book turned it into an open spoiler, since now I know that the killer in that book is a child, whereas before I had warning not to read the spoiler if I was an Agatha Christie fan who had not yet read all her books.

That’s the worst kind of chold!

Earlier this year, a 9-year-old pleaded guilty to negligent homicide. He was 8 at the time of the murders. http://www.naztoday.com/news/2009/02/end-to-ariz-boys-homicide-case-relieves-town/

Ray Bradbury wrote “Small Assassin” in 1945.An infant is the killer! The kid cries until the mother has a nervous breakdown. He escapes the crib and crawls around to leave a toy at the top of the stairs for someone to trip on.

Which had the weirdest added ending in Hollywood history.


and yes I was perfectly aware of the sociopaths…Iwas just wondering if there’d ever been a really mentally ill kid (excepting a sociopath) who had ever kille someone.

The most horrific true torture-murder story I’ve ever read; the murder was committed by four girls, ages 15-17.

Crime Library has a whole section on young murderers.

What other kind of mentally ill killers are there? Even in the thread title, you said “**psycho **little kid.” Psycho is short for psychopath(ic). Sociopath is mostly another way of saying psychopath. (A quick wiki check suggests that the distinction is that psycho- is nature and socio- is nurture, but the end result is pretty much the same.)

I’ve hear it described as a “psycho” is due to psychosis (delusional, diminished capacity to understand right from wrong etc.)

So a “psycho” murderer kills the mailman because he fears the mailman is a space alien who has been implanting listening devices in his door hinges so the government can spy on him.

The sociopath murders the mailman, the paperboy, and all his neighbors because it’s something interesting to do when you’re bored on a weekend, plus the paperboy’s bicycle wheel squeaked annoyingly.

They’re used interchangeably; the DSM-IV-TR list them both as synonyms for antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), but some forensic psychologists and psychiatrists insist upon a difference and are lobbying to have psychopathy listed as a separate diagnosis in the DSM. About 75% of the prison population will meet the criteria for ASPD, but only one third of those (25% of the whole) will qualify as truly remorseless psychopaths. Dr. Robert Hare, the psychologist who developed the test that evaluates for both ASPD and psychopathy, wrote a paper that explains the difference as he sees it:

Psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder: A Case of Diagnostic Confusion.

Nobody’s mentioned Henry James’ Turn of the Screw?

Hm - I guess it doesn’t exactly fit the OP.

Since the title of the thread specifies “little kid”, I suggest any candidates over 12 be disqualified.

I’d argue that Jacky from the Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire” is an early example. Despite being 15: he acts {and is treated by his father} like a much younger child, and he attempts to poison a baby out of jealousy and spite. Still, a year at sea should clear that right up.

Yes, that’s what I meant. I was wondering if there had ever been a psychotic kid rather then a psychopathtic “conduct disorder” kid, who has ever killed someone.
There are a ton of " Jon Venables" or Robert " Yummy" Sandifers. (and it does seem like a lot of those kids were psychopaths b/c of growing up in a (truely) fucked up family sitution. Many of the kids who kill seem to be chronic fuckups. Very few seem to be " sweet and innocent…but likes to put cats in microwaves in their spare time"
What I’m asking is has there ever been a kid with profound mental illness (as opposed to personality disorder) who has ever killed anyone?
Like " My doll/truck/ whatever sources of the voices told me to kill"
rather then " I just wanted to see what it felt like to kill/ they made me mad somehow and I’m gonna get them back"

Schizophrenia is an adolescent/adult onset disease. Very, very, very few adult muderers are schizophrenic either. IIRC, per capita schizophrenics commit fewer murders than the rest of the population. And children commit murder at much lower rates than adults anyway.
So basically you are asking for examples children, exhibiting symptoms of an adult disease, that is totally unrelated to murder, who then went on to commit murder.

The odds of such a person existing would be pretty low, don’t you think?