Roy Exum: FBI To Study ‘Lickers’

Sunday, April 26, 2015 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

About 25 years ago there was a terrifying movie called “The Silence of the Lambs.” It was so good it won the Academy Awards in all five categories – Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Adapted Screenplay. Further, Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster were brilliant, but do you remember the third “star?” Scott Glenn played a character named “Jack Crawford,” the brilliant head of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit.

Believe it or not, there really is a “Jack Crawford.” His real name is John Douglas. He is now retired from the bureau but in a detailed interview published earlier this week in the Powell, Wyo., newspaper, the masterful criminal profiler talked about the extensive research the FBI has done on the ways criminal minds think.

Douglas has done extensive interviews with people like Charles Manson, David “Son of Sam” Horowitz, Ted Bundy and Seattle’s Green River killer, Gary Ridgway, who pleaded guilty to 49 murders. He worked the Tylenol case, the Unabomber, and his biography, “Mind Hunter” is a classic.

Here is part of what he told Powell Tribune reporter Ilene Olson, and pay particular attention to the last three paragraphs of this excerpt:

* * *

“I conducted the research, not from a rehabilitation perspective, but from an investigative perspective,” he said. “It was considered innovative, but to me, it was basic. If you want to learn about violent crime, talk to the experts: the criminals perpetrating rapes, arsons and serial homicides.

“Once I got into this stuff, I started teaching the students...If someone was in the class who worked the investigation, I would be able to say, ‘I interviewed him, and this is what I learned.’ It became a very popular class.”

It didn’t take long to see roots and patterns of behavior emerging from his research, Douglas said.

“Most of the people we interviewed came from some type of a dysfunctional family,” such as a passive or absent father, domineering mother and physical and/or psychological abuse.

However, not all people who experienced those traumas went on to become violent criminals, he said.

Douglas said his research indicated a direct correlation between animal cruelty and human violence. “Not just curious, doing it once, but where they find sadistic pleasure from torturing,” he said.

Cruelty to animals was one of three factors he identified in what he termed “the homicidal triangle,” which he said can predict violent tendencies. The other two are bedwetting as a child, beyond the normal age, and setting fires.

“Of the three, that (animal cruelty) is the one that really stands out; it’s really a good predictor,” he said.

All of Douglas’ research helped him develop a method of criminal profiling, which, in turn, ultimately enabled him to list likely characteristics of the perpetrator after visiting or viewing photos of violent crime scenes, helping aim investigations more effectively.

* * *

The quite-pointed reason I bring up “animal abuse” is quite obvious -- Tennessee is a hotbed for it with the “Big Lickers” in Shelbyville both well-known and nationally recognized today for soring animals. “Big Lick” horses are now being banned from certain shows. It appears two “Lickers” will go to trial this summer that could put them in jail and public contempt has never been as high. Yet horse soring is very prevalent and the “Big Lickers” will do almost anything to preserve it.

The reason I mentioned the FBI and show its research arm is because there is suddenly a new interest in people who would purposely rub caustic chemicals on a horse’s forelegs or drive nails into a horse’s front hooves. That is why the Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently in the process of making animal abuse a Group A felony. This is the last year it will be listed among “All Other Offenses.” In February of 2016, abuse of a Tennessee Walking Horse, or dogs and cats, will rank right up there with homicide, car bombing, and arson, among others.

Say, did you know Jeffery Dahmer, the serial killer who raped, killed and dismembered 17 men between 1978 and 1991, loved to torture animals? By abusing animals, Dahmer learned how to preserve the skeletons of people he killed. After the FBI helped catch him, he was declared sane and was sent to prison with 16 life sentences. There, he was soon beaten to death with an iron bar.

Madeline Bernstein, a former New York prosecutor who heads the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Los Angeles, said the bureau’s involvement will change the whole landscape of animal abuse. “It will help get better sentences, sway juries and make for better plea bargains,” she explained.

Animal advocates say the Michael Vick dog-fighting bust in 2007 triggered public awareness to animal abuse. The graphic video of Tennessee Hall of Fame trainer Jackie McConnell clubbing a defenseless Walking Horse brought far-better notoriety. The undercover tape has been seen all around the world since it first appeared on ABC News show, Nightline. McConnell was sentenced in a Chattanooga federal court but did no jail time. Since then, horse abuse has become a felony in the state of Tennessee.

With the FBI making it a top tier felony, some believe the cheaters in the seedy “Big Lick” portion of the horse industry may someday sleep in the same prison unit at Leavenworth that housed Vick in his two-year confinement. Many ‘sound horse’ organizations (where horses are clean) hope that is exactly what will happen and that the Tennessee Walking Horse breed will finally outlive the sadistic torture that has done insufferable damage to the horse, the people, and the state of Tennessee.

royexum@aol.com


Supporting Ruth Jeno

Citizens of Red Bank,   I am writing to offer my endorsement for Ruth Jeno, candidate for the At Large, Red Bank Commission.   I have known Ruth Jeno for many years, first as neighbor, served with her on the Red Bank Vision Committee and the Red Bank Chamber. As a commissioner, she will represent the people of Red Bank to the best of her ability. Ruth Jeno ... (click for more)

Why You Should Vote For Lemon Williams

Who is Lemon Williams,and why should you vote for him?  With midterm elections right around the corner,I know we've all been bombarded with so much information on so many candidates running for different offices. I have to admit,I find myself tuning out so many of the television ads and just driving by the yard signs that seem to be everywhere. Like so many other people,I ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Red Wolves SC To Build Soccer-Specific Stadium For 2020 Season

Chattanooga Red Wolves Soccer Club is building a state-of-the-art, soccer-specific facility, where the team will host home games beginning in 2020. For its inaugural season, the club will play at Chattanooga Christian School’s David Stanton Field in 2019.   David Stanton Field seats 3,500, and the club plans to install additional temporary seating allowing up to approximately ... (click for more)

Case Against Soddy Daisy High ROTC Instructor Dismissed After Judge Sends Case To Grand Jury

The road rage case against a Soddy Daisy ROTC instructor was dismissed on Wednesday after a judge on Monday had sent the case to the Grand Jury. An order was issued on Wednesday signed by District Attorney Neal Pinkston and attorney Lee Davis that "no billed" the aggravated assault charge against 47-year-old Timothy Lee Hodges. Attorney Davis said, " Following a hearing in ... (click for more)

Powerful Loretto Smacks Sale Creek, 3-1, For Class 1A State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Loretto ruined what could have been a nice little celebration for Sale Creek on Thursday at the TSSAA Class 1A state volleyball tournament at Middle Tennessee State University. Sale Creek (40-8), appearing in their fourth tournament and the title match for the first time, were victimized by a constant offensive attack and the potent Lady Mustangs rolled ... (click for more)

Briarcrest Beats Baylor In State Volleyball

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Baylor and Briarcrest have played in the last three Division II, Class AA state volleyball championship matches and the Lady Saints have now won two, including Thursday’s 3-1 victory at MTSU’s Murphy Center. The Lady Saints have an outstanding team with a roster of outstanding players.   The same can be said for the Lady Red Raiders, but Briarcrest ... (click for more)