Sometimes I pity children who kill and abuse other children. I pity children of rage who become entangled with the law. It appears that the vast majority of these unlikely murderers are survivors of a house of horrors or another form of environmental abuse. On the extreme end, torturing and murdering other children repeats their own experiences momentarily releases rage. Children of rage are frequently victims of abuse but it may not necessarily be physical or sexual. Neglect, witnessing domestic violence, living in a poor community are factors that play a strong role in child pathology. watch 1940s juvenile delinquency
In the next video, child killers are trained by Muslims worldwide to persecute Jews. The children are victims of brainwashing, rather than abuse. The parallel between abused children who kill and Muslim children is in the training: the abused child is not instructed in the “art” of murder, but the abuse trains the child to vent his rage on his victims in the same manner and method as the abusers. watch training children to kill
Youth who have lived in dysfunctional homes often revert to childlike behaviours without notice: an adult might tell the youth not to use bad language and the latter erupts into a catastrophic temper tantrum, hurling objects and screaming obscenities. Most children do not want to behave in this manner. They cannot control their rages; their rages control them. The angry child or youth is a prisoner of her or his own anger. watch takedown tantrum taped
Families are also controlled by a child’s rage. Eventually abused or neglected children can become violent towards their parents and siblings and, at a loss to communicate with the child, the latter learn to live around the child’s pathology. They accept and deny their child’s abnormal behaviour. watch little criminals part 6 of 10
Eric Smith was a child of 13 when he committed his first and last child murder. Baby-faced and red-haired, as a toddler, Smith often had temper tantrums and banged his head on the floor. Smith was diagnosed as having intermittent explosive disorder, a mental disorder causing individuals to act out violently and unpredictably. Like Jesse Pomeroy, another American child killer, Smith was a loner, often tormented by bullies for his protruding low-set ears, thick glasses, red hair and freckles. His mother stated, “I just told him he had to learn to stick up for himself.” A court psychiatrist claimed intermittent explosive disorder disagreed and stated intermittent disorder“is a rare disorder hardly seen at [Eric’s] age.”
He had a speech impediment and was held back a year in school, more factors that affected the child’s self-esteem. Ted Smith stated his unhappy son frequently said “I don’t know I guess I’m just stupid.” As a teenager, the friendless boy was seen pedaling around town for hours on end — alone. Smith was adopted by his family and like Ted Bundy, the serial killer who was deceived into thinking his mother was his sister, Smith never felt a real connection with his family. He was occasionally abused physically by his distant father, who was unequipped to help Smith deal with his anger: “I had a little hot temper myself so it’s hard to say. There’s a lot of things I say; kick their butts up over their shoulder…. I’d swat them upside the head.”
It was August 2, 1993 when 4 year-old Derrick Robie was walking alone to a summer camp in rural Steuben County, New York. Smith encountered the unfortunate boy and reportedly led Robie to a remote location where he tortured and murdered the child. Smith strangled and pummeled Robie with rocks then sodomized the child post-mortem with a tree limb. He dropped two large rocks on Robie’s head, which were determined to be the young boy’s cause of death with contributing asphyxia. He went into Robie’s lunch bag, smashed a banana and took Robie’s red Kool Aid, pouring it into the wound in Robie’s head. Had he the means, the desecration of the corpse would have continued. watch derrick robie’s story
Earlier in the day that Robie died, Smith was overwhelmed by emotional torment and begged his father, Ted Smith, to help him control his emotions. “I want to hurt someone.” His father ignored his son’s obvious distress and gave him the flippant answer that as a child whenever he got angry, he “grabbed a bag in our barn and I’d just start beating on it until I was too tired to do anything else. I heard our door shut. I turned around and he was gone and as I got to the window he was coming back in the door and he was calm. And I looked down and I noticed his hands and his knuckles were kind of skinned up and bloody. And I asked him what happened and he said I hit the tree a couple of times. Seemed to be okay.”
Unbeknownst to Ted, had Smith left the house on his bicycle and eventually would encounter Derrick Robie. After the murder, Smith returned home quite calm. No one suspected he had just savagely murdered a 4-year-old boy. Instead Smith told his father he “felt better now.” watch derrick robie short
Four days after the murder, Smith visited a police station to see if he could assist in solving the crime. Investigator John Hibsch had no idea the murderer was seated across a table from him. Smith gleefully informed John that he found Robie’s body in an open field. Naturally alarm bells went off for Hibsch. When he asked Smith where he had last seen the child, Smith’s demeanor suddenly changed. He clenched his fists and growled, “you think I did it, don’t you?” At one point in the interview, the detective deliberately brought Smith a glass of red Kool-Aid. Smith reacted violently and threw it on the floor.
Smith eventually asked a family friend “what would happen if it turned out to be a kid?” The woman replied ,”I think he would seriously need psychiatric help.” This wasn’t the answer Smith sought; clearly he wanted to know what the legal repercussions would be for a child who had killed another child. 5 days after killing little Robie, Smith admitted to his family that he was the killer. They sat down with Smith and begged him to tell them what happened. Tammy cried and asked Smith why he killed Derrick Robie and Smith wept in reply, “I don’t know, I don’t know.” watch young killer gives first-ever interview
Soon after, Smith was arrested and charged with Robie’s death. His lawyer, Kevin Bradley claimed Smith was not to blame because he “suffered from a very serious mental disease.” During the trial, Smith’s face was “eerily blank and showed no emotion.” The jury didn’t buy the defense’ argument and Smith was found guilty of Robie’s murder. After Smith’s sentencing of 9 years in prison to life, Ted and Tammy Smith were devastated. They felt Smith was sick and didn’t deserve to be sent to prison. Neither parent took any responsibility for Smith’s behaviour.
After 11 years in prison, Smith, aged 24, claimed that his family life was abusive, and just as devastating as the bullies who taunted him at school. However Smith insisted he had never been sexually abused. He finally explained why he killed Robie. “If I could go back in time and switch places with Derrick and endure all the pain I ‘ve caused him. If it meant that he’d go on living I’d switch places. But I can’t….After quite a few years of verbal abuse and having been told that I’m nothing I shut down my feelings….the damage was done….I believed I was going to hell. Because that’s what it was for me. It was hell.”
Strangely, Smith began speaking in the third person about his crime: “It all adds up til it gets to the point where the individual cannot take anymore. After a while they may cope in a horrific way, take their emotional rage out on someone who had done nothing to bring on such violence, like Derrick [the first and last time Smith mentioned the child’s name]. Not because they’re evil or Satanic little kids. It’s because they want the abuse to stop and it’s the only way they know how to.” Smith doesn’t take ownership of his crime, referring to himself as if he was speaking for other people using terms such as the individual and they. Smith explained further, “those kids who do these crimes endure years of abuse whether at school, at home, or both. I had issues at home but I’m not going to talk about that.”
Smith’s words are somewhat impressive but there are problems with his address to the press. He has no emotion when he briefly discusses little Robie. He doesn’t express remorse, he merely explains the crime. As mentioned above, he speaks about “kids” as if he is referring to someone else and not himself, indicating personal detachment from his crime. He hasn’t tried to contact the Robie family. These are disturbing signs that Smith hasn’t truly repented and perhaps never will.
Evidence arose over the years that Smith’s stepsister, Stacy, was sexually abused by Ted Smith. “He molested me. I’d want to know if he was molested. There had been something bothering him. Sometimes I think he saw my stepdad’s face when he did it.” However there was no evidence that Smith was sexually abused. Smith himself told the parole board there was no abuse.
During a parole hearing Smith explained that he had changed, that he wanted to be a forensic psychologist and counsel children who bully other children. He sees himself as an “asset to society.” However his explanation for why he killed little Robie didn’t match the statement he had read to the press. He stated, “instead of me being hurt I was hurting somebody else.” In other words, the relief he gets from his low self-esteem is to hurt or kill someone else. It is this point of contention that the parole board refuses to overlook. In spite of his future ambition, parole was denied. Smith might be able to speak with youth while he is incarcerated, a la Beyond Scared Straight, but if he has attempted to do so, he hasn’t mentioned it. Looking at the chronological pictures of Smith over the decades one thing is immediately apparent: he bears the same non-descript facial expression in all of his photographs. He is devoid of emotion.
Parole hearings for Eric Smith are held every 2 years. He has been denied parole at every hearing.
watch little criminals 1 of 10