By Karin Bennett
We know that the Boston Strangler did it. So did Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. Like so many others, all these serial killers tortured animals before "graduating" to humans.
That link has raised suspicions about an Oklahoma teen, Nikolas Kerr, who is accused of torturing and killing a 2-month-old kitten. A witness claims that she saw Kerr set the kitten on fire, repeatedly slam the tiny animal into a piece of furniture, and swing the cat by the tail.
When asked why he did it, Kerr allegedly said, "'Cause I'm a sociopath." Those actions and words have piqued the interest of prosecutors who are trying to determine the extent of Kerr's involvement in the death of a homeless man known as "Bicycle Bob."
The link between violence against animals and violence against humans is well-established: It's why PETA developed a special booklet for law enforcement officials and prosecutors.
It's also why actor Julie Benz—who played the wife of a serial killer who killed animals before moving on to people on Showtime's hit show "Dexter"—spoke out in a PETA public service announcement. And it's why we always urge anyone who knows of a violent crime against an animal to report it to authorities, pronto.