There are basically two kinds of predatory killers in society. There are the individuals, so depraved and lumpenized by their early lack of socialization, that they have little if any empathic consciousness of others. (Sociopaths fall into this category.) It is often the result of acute and/or chronic early abuse. But not all these types end as lone outlaws…
And there are the group actors. Again, vicious individuals, but acting thru membership of institutional groups. Given their lack of social consciousness, they exhibit little more than a gang mentality. (Albeit, they are as often found in state-sanctioned formations as not.)
I’ve written at some length about the latter—state criminals—because they’re the ones that affect the greatest numbers and perpetuate the greatest criminality in others, often in the name of patriotism and Constitutionality.
Not so ironically, both types of predatory criminals are the product, to one extent or another, of abuse. (I’m not implying that it excuses their behavior.)
The former type is usually the result of a more acute and direct form of abuse. The latter, usually at the hands of authoritarian discipline, retribution, and punishment.
Yesterday, the jury convicted and sentenced to death by lethal injection Steven J. Hayes (47) for the brutal torture, rapes and murders of a Connecticut woman and her two daughters. His home invasion partner, Joshua A. Komisarjevsky (30), will be going on trial later.
This site has not taken a principled position reference the death penalty per se. Prisoners throughout the nation are as divided on the question as is the general population. Of course, these predators are not poster boys for abolition.
Hayes was the result of an extensive criminal history (burglaries) and prison time. Both defendants were on parole at the time. It was reported that Hayes left the courtroom with a smile…probably prison posturing.
In any event, given the righteous conviction and the inhumanity of the crimes, if Hayes is seriously contemplating “suicide by jury” (as his attorney suggested), he can save the family and the rest of us a lot of useless hassle by not appealing the verdict and sentence.
But I suspect he’ll show the same level of self-serving individualism and social cowardice as he did to the Petit family. He’ll be housed on death row in the meantime…he’d never survive general prison population. Too bad.
I need not drag out the details of his crimes here…the links provide all of that. But, as the mission of this site is the prison experience connection, I will make a few additional comments to collateral matters…Society should also question the role of the police in this crime. In a prior article in American Tribune, “Ice & Fire…” we detail the emergence of the paramilitary formations of the police.
As prisoners, we stand on the front lines of the institutional apparatus and staff that is increasingly predatory in its retribution and punishment policies, and the types of individual predators that is attracted to its ranks.
This is not a movie, or one of John Walsh’s wet-dreams. We live day-by-day squeezed between prisoner predators and state predators—perfectly interchangeable. The Petit family was in part victims of that mentality.
We notice that when these forces have ample warning and are able to gang-up their volunteers with state-of-the-war weapons, they’re able to proceed (behind their personal and running armor, and massive firepower).
We also notice that when they’re serving a warrant on some hapless victim alleged to possess, say, a lid of reefer, or some “information” from a confidential informant (a self-serving snitch), how brave they can play the game. They don’t stand around “assessing” the situation (i.e., figuring out how dangerous it is for themselves) while a family is being brutally murdered a few yards from their position (they already had more than ample info).
Their conduct at Ruby Ridge, Waco, Colombine, and Virginia Tech demonstrate just how brave they are…after the fact. Predators—state or otherwise—are not known for their bravery.
Some of the media reports criticize the parole and lack of increased punishment on these perps. We suggest the opposite is more accurate: They are perfect reflections of the system and its abusive discipline over rational rehabilitation.
They can run their conservative freakish authoritative abuse, but that vicious cycle is as much at fault for the Petit murders as is these pathetic predators.