Start reading When Kids Kill: Unthinkable Crimes of Lost Innocence on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

When Kids Kill: Unthinkable Crimes of Lost Innocence (Virgin True Crime) [Kindle Edition]

Jonathan Paul
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £3.95 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £4.04 (51%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £3.95  
Mass Market Paperback £7.99  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Book Description

Jonathan Paul goes behind the sensationalist headlines of 'child killers' to investigate why these crimes happen. He examines child homicide in today's violent, confusing world and contextualises it against the cruel unforgiving retribution of yesterday.

Children are increasingly experimenting with drugs and committing offences, but there are those who commit the worst possible crimes: to end another person's life before their own could properly have begun. The cases are shocking but sometimes the path towards them is even more so. This is a fascinating exploration of disturbing events aimed at discovering what happens when childhood is trodden underfoot, and when and why kids kill.

Product Description

Book Description


From the Back Cover

'There isn't this creature called a "child killer"; he does not exist. It's a whole range of circumstances and disorders.' - Dr Susan Bailey, consultant adolescent forensic psychiatrist.

Kids. They know about sex, they are experimenting with drugs and, increasingly, they are committing offences and finding themselves in court. But beyond the general troublemaking and ASBO's there are kids who commit the worst possible crime: murder.

Cases of child homocide are rare, but they are especially horrific and they have a profound effect on all society. Can children be inherently evil? Is evil learned, and if so, from where? Jonathon Paul goes beyond the sensationalist headlines to investigate why these crimes happen examining homicide in today's violent, confusing world and putting it in context against the cruel retribution of yesterday. The cases are shocking, but sometimes the path towards them is even more so. This is what happens when childhood is trodden underfoot: this is when - and why - kids kill.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 592 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1448114004
  • Publisher: Virgin Digital (31 Oct. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005TKD5VW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,588 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
90 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious research, serious insight 1 Feb. 2005
By Taylor
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Despite the gaudy title this is not a sensationalist work. On the contrary, the author has taken one of the most emotive subjects on earth, researched it thoroughly and written a work of real psychological insight without ever raising his authorial voice. A must-read for anyone with a serious interest in criminal psychology, this book helps us to understand that demonizing children is not merely unethical but utterly unhelpful, and also raises the question of whether the adult should be punished for the crimes of the child. Excellent throughout.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Debate will Run and Run...Nature or Nurture? 26 July 2011
By mumsy50
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very interesting and well written book. Some of the cases are very sad, especially the Jamie Bulger and Mary Bell cases. If you work in this field, as I do, you come across this kind of behaviour regularly. Though not very often to the extent of murder. I find in my work with most children who offend that once you start to look into their homelife you will find neglect, cruelty, harshness and abuse, time and time again. It's a thread that runs through most of these cases, though not all. It will go on and on as there are thousands and thousands of children living a nightmare life and some of them will eventually snap!

If you have an interest in why some children kill others, read this book. It may help you understand why some children and young people offend.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, balanced account 2 Feb. 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In "When Kids Kill" Jonathan Paul has produced, despite the rather salacious sounding title, a fascinating, balanced and worthwile account of when children become killers. He has researched the issue thoroughly, including speaking to an emminent psychologist in the field, and introduces the book with a chapter on the psychology of child killers. He then goes through some of the more noted cases e.g. Mary Bell, Graham Young, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, plus the killing of Damilola Taylor, devoting a chapter to each case.

The account, whilst detailed, is not over-gratutious, but focuses on what motivates such children, particularly the background of these kids. Whilst some may see this account as being too liberal and sympathetic to such killers, I would argue that it is impeccably balanced. The author's view is that society needs to understand these young killers, not just brand them as born evil, if we are to prevent such cases. However, he also maintains due respect for the suffering of the victims and their families.

I would highly recommend this account to anyone with an interest in true crime and criminal psychology. It is particularly good as an introduction to these more famous cases, and further reading can be undertaken if the reader is interested in a more thorough account.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Edge of the seat stuff 17 Jan. 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Actually, having read quite a few of these types of books I was expecting a bit of exaggeration, however it was well written and chillingly disturbing in it's honesty. It leaves you questioning the so-called 'born evil' and wondering just how much we are responsbile for these 'child killers.' Definitly recommended.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener. 15 Jan. 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you can get past the out of control crowds, all screaming for `them to be locked up and the key thrown away` - there is, in every case, a heart rending story to be told. Whether or not you`re prepared to take the time to listen to it is up to you - but i would highly recommend this book either way.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Solid Book 11 Mar. 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Contrary to the sensationalist title, this is actually a very interesting book. "When Kids Kill", by Jonathan Paul, is well researched and even reveals some points I had not heard before. It includes a great introduction in which he speaks to Dr Susan Baily, a prominent child forensic psychologist and president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Some of the cases included Mary Bell, the murder of Damilola Taylor, the really interesting case Lisa Healey and Sarah Davey and of course both Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.
This book also asks what makes Children suddenly turn homicidal and talks in-depth about social events and home life which may have contributed to the child's behaviour. While the author does a good job at pointing out the flaws in demonising child killers, he does sound rather preachy at some point. He effectively points out that what the majority of the killers in these cases have in common is an abusive and unsecure start in life.
One negative thing I have to say is that I cannot shake the feeling that a lot of what is in the book has been borrowed from other authors. This could explain the different styles and levels of details between the cases. Another down side is that it seems to have been a long time since this book was last updated (2002-ish) and a lot of the information is now out of date.
Over all it is a good captivating read and at approximately 250 pages it is relatively short. Overall, I will give it 4 out of 5.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars when kids kill 16 Oct. 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
good book good read very informative very good purchase well written and enjoyable. although it is not a very nice topic it was very detailed and gave me a better understanding on this subject
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Author insists on adding his own opinions 17 Jan. 2014
By Mia
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very interesting subject, which is why I wanted the book, but the author seems obsessed with adding his own opinions throughout every case, and making excuses for the perpetrators behaviour, portraying them as victims themselves. I only want to read the facts, not a "bleeding heart" (his term, used in a derogatory manner when criticising the media) running commentary.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category