Expert on juvenile homicide speaks at Child Safety Conference - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Juvenile homicide expert speaks at Child Safety Conference

Phil Chalmers has interviewed more than 200 teen killers and school shooters. Phil Chalmers has interviewed more than 200 teen killers and school shooters.

The keynote speaker at the 11th Annual Child Safety Conference was a man considered one of the nation's foremost experts on juvenile homicide.

Educators, law enforcement, mental health professionals and parents were among the hundreds who attended the event at the Decatur Baptist Church Tuesday.

Phil Chalmers has interviewed more than 200 teen killers and school shooters. He has written several books. The latest is entitled Inside the Mind of a Teen Killer.

"Every day, five teenagers kill somebody - five a day. Every day, 12 teenagers kill themselves; 17 murders a day. We're in trouble," Chalmers said.

He said his research shows there are 10 main causes of why teens kill.

"The number one cause is an unstable home or bullied at school. The number two cause is obsession with violent media: video games, movies and music. And number three is these kids are suicidal. They want to die," he said.

Chalmers said many kids who kill are obsessed with violent video games, violent movies and violent music. He said that they see when they watch horror movies and what they experience when they play violent games stays with them.

"They're teaching kids to kill - mass murder. They're teaching kids to shoot people in soft targets, like airports and hospitals. It's very, very dangerous what we're doing. We're raising kids today on violence and murder, sodomy, rape, torture," Chalmers said. "The whole game is just negative, and then it stays with you after you're done playing for hours. It stays with you. You still see the scenes."

He added parents have to become more involved in their child's life.

"We have to know where they're at. We have to know who they're hanging out with. We have to know what they're doing online. We have to know what they're entertaining themselves with," said Chalmers. "On the flip side, parents need to spend time with their kids. They really need to spend time, talk with their kids and build relationships with their kids."

Chalmers said there are 20 warning signs that a teen could become violent, and there are six situations that trigger teens to kill.

To find out more about his research, go to Chalmers' website. 

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