Almost as disturbing as the murder plot allegation against two Washington fifth-graders is the level of ignorance revealed by prosecuting attorney Timothy Rasmussen's comments about children lighting cats on fire being just one of those "things that children do."
Torturing animals is not normal childhood behavior. It is a symptom of a severe psychological disturbance that must be addressed to prevent the child's violence from continuing and being transferred to human victims.
Notorious serial killers, including Albert DeSalvo (the Boston Strangler), Jeffrey Dahmer, Dennis Rader (the BTK killer) and many others tortured and killed animals before moving on to human victims. Many of the teens who have opened fire on their classmates also had a history of abusing animals.
Law enforcement officials who fail to grasp the seriousness of cruelty to animals hurt us all.