Learn How Kids Embrace, Consume and Socialize Using Technology


By Phil ChalmersAugust 1, 2012

Parents, as well as anyone who works with teens, need to educate themselves about the early warning signs of violence.  Learn the  warning signs of teen violence as well as common triggers of juvenile homicide.   The top 3 signs of teen violence are known as the Homicidal Triad or the MacDonald Triad.   (The triad was first proposed by J.M. MacDonald in “The Threat to Kill”, a 1963 paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry.)

The three behaviors of the Homicidal Triad, which is a great method of identifying early warning signs of violence, include:

1. Cruelty to Animals

2. Fascination with Setting Fires

3. Bed-wetting into Adolescent Years

And I add a fourth behavior … Peeping Tom



In addition to the Homicidal Triad, be aware of these additional  Top 11 Warning Signs of Teen Violence:

1.  Making a statement or threat about killing or harming someone

2.  Violent or threatening schoolwork, artwork, drawings, class projects, and Social Media

3.  Fascination with guns, knives, swords, bombs, and other deadly weapons

4.  Obsession with violent video games, violent music, violent movies, and violent porn

5.  Might keep a journal or blog with their thoughts, threats, or plans

6.  Fascination with other school shootings, especially Columbine

7.  Fascination with other violent or hateful books, as well as serial killer-type books

8.  Will begin to commit petty crimes, vandalism, arson, and be prone to running away

9.  Will start to dress the part of a school shooter … think Columbine and trench coats

10.  They may harm themselves and take part in self-abuse, like cutting their arms

11.  There might be a drastic change in appearance, like hair style, makeup, or clothing



There are a few triggers that can propel a teen towards homicide and suicide once they have a plan, and have been thinking about killing themselves or others. Once you have identified a potentially violent teen through causes and warning signs, then you must watch for triggers in their life.

Triggers include a suspension or expulsion from school, an arrest or ticket, a dispute with parents over a range of topics, from entertainment choices to boyfriend or girlfriend issues. Other triggers include a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend, a bullying incident at school, or any other wrong that they feel is enough to kill someone over.

Be ready for drastic measures and police involvement if you see a potential trigger in a violent teen’s life. Also, Law Enforcement should be contacted before a student is suspended or expelled.

To learn more, please check out my site at www.PhilChamlers.com and read more about these important topics in my book INSIDE THE MIND OF A TEEN KILLER, available on Amazon and autographed at PhilChalmers.com.


Teen Violence and Youth Culture Expert

Phil Chalmers is America’s Leading Authority on Juvenile Homicide and Juvenile Mass Murder, and has interviewed over 200 teen killers and school shooters, along with numerous serial killers, mass murderers, and sexual predators. Phil has studied youth culture for 25 years, and is an expert in youth behavior, youth culture, and youth entertainment. Check out his site at http://www.philchalmers.com/.

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4 Responses

  1. Kimmy says:

    Hmm one of my personalities (I’m dissociative) is like this, especially numbers 1 2 3 5 6 8 and 9… Idk what to do… I’d show someone but my family doesn’t care and I have NO FRIENDS. Maybe my therapist. Or maybe f*ck it.

    • Alycia says:

      Kimmy, I care. Both my daughters have turned to self harm. I did not know that they did. I did not know a lot of things until just these past few years. They, like you didn’t think anyone cared and were/are far and few friends in their lives, including my life as well. I pray things work out for your life. Self harm isn’t the answer and bottling it up isn’t either. You need to know that just like the President, you too have a cabinet of people who are able to help you with everything you have questions or anxieties about in your life. Your therapist is a great resource. So is your community. Keep trying. Don’t give up.

  2. Kimmy says:

    I’m sorry not 8 and 9… I meant 9 and 10. I don’t vandalise or commit arson but I have had a cutting and drug addiction for years. Self harm. And starving myself or puking. Self harm.

  3. Patience says:

    Thank you for this information. Fortunately for my family, my brother has recently been taken to a secure home for homicidal schizophrenia, and he showed all of these symptoms. I am just glad that, unlike many like him in the past, he is getting treatment before seriously harming or killing anyone.

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