One of the odd facts about some of the world's most sadistic serial killers is that many started off in childhood by being cruel to animals; whether by dissecting roadkill, trapping wildlife, or wantonly torturing and killing other people's pets. This inability to show empathy for another living creature, compassion for their actions or even remorse for the pain which they have inflicted is often a small but crucial step into a child's development from a normal human-being, into being a serial killer.
But this heinous habit isn't consistent across the board, as there are many cases where infamous serial killers and murderers were absolutely besotted by their pets, doted upon them daily and when their beloved pet died, they were absolutely beside themselves, showing more grief and emotion for their animal, than any of their victims. What follows is a handful of those examples (which I will update and add to, as and when). Enjoy. Mx
But in 1978, after a few volatile months together, "Twinkle" walked out, causing Nilsen to spiral out of control, and with his rage uncontrollable and fuelled by anger, he killed fifteen young men in just five years. "I wanted to stop sooner", Nilsen said after his arrest, but after he'd murdered his second victim - Kenneth Ockenden - he knew he'd be locked up for life and his main concern was "if I'm put away, what would happen to Bleep?". Unfortunately, Nilsen's concerns were proved right as just three days after he was imprisoned, "Bleep" was put to death by lethal injection. Her only crime? Being a faithful, loyal and loving dog... of a serial killer.
See video footage of Bleep & Dennis together in his home videos here. Learn about the time that Nilsen rescued a sparrow and nursed it back to health click here. Or read his full profile.
As Hindley refused to cooperate, they needed to find a way to accurately date the photos, and to do that they needed to determine the age of “Puppet”, so they put her under anaesthetic to x-ray his teeth. Unfortunately, “Puppet” died during the procedure and Hindley was inconsolable, later stating “I feel as though my heart's been torn to pieces. I don't think anything could hurt me more than this has”. Oddly, she never showed any remorse for her victims. Read her full biog here.
Also, in an incident he recounted to DSC Peter Topping of Manchester CID, when Brady was a child growing up in The Gorbals (Glasgow) he saw an injured horse which had slipped on the icy-road, a canvas screen was erected and the horse was "euthanized" with a house-brick. Brady said “it lay there with its massive sides heaving and its breath steaming the frosty air… I can still see the great liquid eyes rolling in terror… they were going to kill the horse. My chest was bursting and I began to cry”. Even if this story is a fabrication, it seems unlikely that he was an animal abuser, especially as Brady reportedly asked for the proceeds of his autobiography – Black Light – to be split between four animal charities. Read Brady's full psychological profile here.
On 29th April 1945, as the Soviets closed in on Berlin, Hitler decided to take his own life, but fearing that his SS-issued cyanide capsules lacked the necessary potency, he ordered Dr Werner Haase to test them on Blondi who died instantly. After which, Hitler became inconsolable at the death of his beloved dog, and so at Hitler’s request, Hitler's dog-handler Feldwebel Fritz Tornow shot Eva Braun’s two dogs and Blondi’s litter of puppies in the garden of that infamous bunker.
UPDATED: Whilst serving his sentence at HMP Full Sutton, Dennis Nilsen kept two budgerigars which he called Hamish and Tweetles.
If you "enjoyed" this blog post, why not take a peek at my other articles: such as serial killers and their diets, favourite drinks, height, IQ, star signs, lunar cycles, dates of birth, reasons for killing, music, nicknames, last meals and whether they're alive or dead... to name but a few.
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Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a writer, podcaster, crime historian and tour-guide who runs Murder Mile Walks, a guided tour of Soho’s most notorious murder cases, hailed as “one of the top ten curious, quirky, unusual and different things to do in London” and featuring 12 murderers, including 3 serial killers, across 15 locations, totalling 75 deaths, over just a one mile walk.
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a crime writer, podcaster & tour guide of Murder Mile Walks, hailed as one of the best "quirky curious & unusual things to do in London".
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