Rebuttal Rewrite – Rowanluver29

The Key to Raising a Perfect Serial Killer

Although a rough childhood cannot be an excuse to commit a murder, it can be the reason for one.  The topic discussing child abuse and its link to serial killers is a popular and debatable topic. For example, some researchers believe that childhood abuse alone can drive someone to become a serial killer, but another researcher may wrongly lean towards a side that claims there needs to be more influences than child abuse to have someone go on a killing spree.

The article “Did an Abusive Childhood Turn Albert DeSalvo Into the ‘Boston Strangler’ Serial Killer?” by author Elena Ferrarin, discusses altercation between whether or not DeSalvo’s actions were influenced by childhood abuse or strictly evil intent. To give a little bit of background, DeSalvo is the alleged ‘Boston Strangler’ who confessed to the murderers of 11 women between 1962 and 1964. When DeSalvo was being interviewed about his times as a boy, it was stated that both his mother and his sister had wished he was dead multiple times. Also, how he and his brother would have to stand in front of their father every night to get hit with a belt, he also once had his father hit him with a metal pipe. Moreover, he had witnessed his father knock out his mother’s teeth and break her fingers. And lastly, his father had sold both him and his two sisters for nine dollars to a farmer, without their mother’s knowledge, leading her on a six-month chase to find her children.

However, besides all of the cruel and unusual punishment DeSalvo had experienced, the co-author of an article called “The Incidence of Child Abuse in Serial Killers” chooses to believe that an abusive childhood is not enough to yield a serial killer. Co-author Aamodt states, “If you go through one thing in life-you’re abused, but everything else is pretty stable- it’s not going to have as much effect in terms of you becoming habitually aggressive or violent.” He believes that what builds up to a serial killer is like a point system. Aamodt again states, “But when you are abused and you have neurological damage, from substance abuse, or injury, or because you are exposed to lead, each of those things happened are building up points.” Although DeSalvo did not abuse substance at the time he committed his murders, and it is not confirmed whatsoever that he suffered from neurological damage from drugs, injury, or lead exposure, yet they choose to believe (with zero evidence,) that his childhood abuse could not have been the only factor for DeSalvo’s murder spree. A murderer that is proven to have zero drug use or neurologically damage, but suffered from child abuse is a man named Carl Panzram.

Panzram was an American serial killer, rapist, child molester, arsonist, and robber. He confessed to twenty-one murders but is suspected to have killed more than one hundred men in the United States alone, and multiple more in Portuguese Angola. He also admitted to more than one thousand cases of rape against strictly males. Panzram grew up on a farm and was one of seven children born. Him and his six other siblings were forced to work on the farm for long hours starting at a very young age. That was until a law was passed that made it illegal for Panzrams’ parents not to send the children to school, this law was called the “truancy law.” The children would go to school during the day and work on the farm all night, causing them to get just two hours of sleep before the following school day started. The abuse Carl and his other siblings encountered ranged from being chained up to being starved as well as severe neglect. As he grew older, his father ended up abandoning the family and his older brothers left him as well, one of them being because he had passed on. Panzram was not very liked by other children; he was a liar and a thief by the age of six and his crimes and personality only got worse as he got older. Due to his love for criminal activity starting at such a young age, his mother decided to send him to the Minnesota State Training School, also known as Red Wing. What went on within the halls of this training school also had an influence on what made Panzram the brutal murderer we know him as. Red wing was not only a correction school, but it was also a place where the boys in their “care” were brutalized and raped. One of the buildings on campus was called the “Paint House.” It got its nickname from the mere fact that the boys walked out of there covered in black and blues from getting beaten by the correction officers. After a year had passed the teachers released Panzram from the school, naïve enough to think he was a changed boy. What his mother found out was that he had not changed, his brothers than took on the role of beating him at home since his teachers were not there to do so. Panzram soon enough convinced his mother to send him back the correction school again, it wasn’t long before he pulled a gun on one of his teachers and in response to his own action, dropped the gun and ran away to become a hobo and ride the trains. That decision ended up being a huge mistake, this choice led Panzram to be gang raped twice on the trains by other men, breaking down his sense of morality even more than before.

During his times of abusive from when he was born to his late teens, he was never involved with any drug that could have made him suffer from neurological damage, nor was he in injured in a way that could have caused him neurological damage. He was named America’s most cold-blooded serial killer and the meanest man who ever lived, all because he was raised surrounded by abuse and being a victim of abuse.


Did an Abusive Childhood Turn Albert DeSalvo Into the ‘Boston Strangler’ Serial Killer? – A&E True Crime (

Carl Panzram – Wikipedia

The Tragic Story of a Boy who was Abused and Became a Monster | by Sam H Arnold | CrimeBeat | Medium

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1 Response to Rebuttal Rewrite – Rowanluver29

  1. davidbdale says:

    Regraded SAT APR 29


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