It remains to be seen whether the serial cat killer grabbing airtime on local television news is the real thing or media-fueled hysteria. Now that a mutilated cat has turned up in Broward County, let's try to be careful about conflating a serial feline killer with a serial human killer.
Here's an article from Forensic Psychology that might make you feel better.
The truth is this. Most animal mutilators do not become serial killers AND most serial killers were not animal mutilators.
Phew! But let's just head over to Pet-Abuse.com to make sure we're in the clear. That article quotes a psychologist, Dr. Randall Lockwood:
Those who abuse animals for no obvious reason, Lockwood said, are "budding psychopaths." They have no empathy and only see the world as what it's going to do for them.
It then names school shooters, the Boston Strangler and Jeffrey Dahmer among those who started with mutilating animals before graduating to humans.
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OK, that's scary. But surely not all who cut up cats become killers. Otherwise, there's a former U.S. Surgeon General that deserves to be a suspect, at least based on this confession:
As a teenager I combined my interest in chemistry with my budding interest in surgery by performing simple operations on some of the many stray cats that prowled my Brooklyn, New York neighborhood. Using the ether that I supplied, my mother would anesthetize the cats while I removed an unnecessary organ, such as one ovary. We were a good team, and I never lost a feline patient!