Animal Abuser Esteban Núñez Warming up for More?

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted the sentence of Esteban Núñez from 16 to 7 years for his part in the brutal stabbing death of a total stranger, 22-year-old Luis Santos. Luis was described as a quiet, nerdy, fun-loving college student. Esteban depicted himself as an animal abuser on MySpace.

On his last day in office in 2010, Schwarzenegger commuted the sentence of Núñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, stating 16 years was an “excessive” penalty for Esteban’s admitted involvement in the senseless, violent knifing of Luis Santos in 2008 by Núñez and three of his “Hazard Crew” homies.

Schwarzenegger’s justification was that it wasn’t Esteban’s knife that actually pierced Santos’ heart. http://www.laweekly.com/2009-05-28/news/esteban-nunez-case-bad-little-suburban-boys/6/

But this was not Esteban’s only act of violence; and, judging from at least one indicator, it may not be his last.   

Photos on Esteban Núñez’ MySpace page showed him pretending to stab a terrified, squirming cat being held by a girl and also jabbing a knife toward a tiny mouse. Did these depictions of cruelty to animals merely simulate fantasy behavior for Núñez, or were they a warning about his future and the tragic fate of Luis Santos? 

The link between harming animal and humans is well-documented. http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/abuse/first_strike.pdf .

In his 1995 book, The Mind Hunter, FBI criminal profiler John Douglas states that a "…new type of violent criminal has surfaced -- the serial offender, who learns by experience and tends to get better and better at what he does."

Douglas notes that the criminal’s earliest act of violence is often the torture and/or killing of pets or wildlife, graduating to brutalizing weaker humans before taking intensified perversities into the street, and commonly engaging in domestic violence.

Shouldn’t Esteban Núñez’ propensity towards violence be assessed by someone with far more extensive qualifications than actor/politician Schwarzenegger?  Animal abusers are often just warming up for more.