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Top 10 Causes of Teen Murder and School Shootings

By Phil ChalmersApril 10, 2012

With the continued rise of teen murder and school shootings in America, the most common question asked is “Why is this happening?” or “Why are these kids killing each other, their family members, or their classmates?” These are great questions to ask, and questions that should be answered. I have spent my entire adult life searching for these same answers, and studying juvenile homicide and juvenile mass murder. In the process, I have personally interviewed 200 teen killers and school shooters, along with a few serial killers, sexual predators, and sex killers, all with one goal in mind: to find out “Why” and to help keep our children safe. So, I took all of my research and results and wrote a book in 2009 called “Inside the Mind of a Teen Killer.” Since the release of that book, I have had three years to test my theories, and they work.

So, let’s answer the question, “Why do teens kill?”

I came up with 10 causes of teen murder, and ranked them like I saw them. So, number 10 is the least common of the 10, and number one is the most common. Also, keep in mind that teen murder is a multiple-cause crime, so you need at least 3 to 6 of these causes for things to get serious. Most teen killers have at least 3 of my list of causes, and many have 6 to 8 of the 10 causes.

Here is the list of the 10 reasons why teens kill:

10. Mental Illness

9. Lack of Spiritual Guidance and Proper Discipline

8. Fascination with the Criminal Lifestyle, and Poverty

7. Peer Pressure

6. Obsession with Guns, Bombs and Knives

5. Cults, Gangs and Hate Groups

4. Alcohol and Drug use

3. Suicide and Depression

2. Obsession with Violent Entertainment and Porn

1. Unstable Home and Bullying at School

Watch for part two of this article, where Phil Chalmers will talk about the 20 warning signs we should be looking for, the six triggers that cause kids to kill, and how we can help out kids before it’s too late.


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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One Response

  1. Bernard says:

    It is amazing to me that “gun availability” did not make your list. It is gun availability that distinguishes this country from others where the rates of teen violence does not come close to the U.S.

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