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40 comments

[–] Hermione 3 points (+4|-1)

He’s in prison indefinitely now.

When watching the police interviews (snippets) with him and Robert Smith (I don’t recommend it), the police felt Jon Venebles was the more vulnerable of the two being more emotional.

Robert Smith seemed a lot colder and the investigator felt he was psychopathic.

I felt the police were mistaken in that. Robert Smith came from an abusive family and was one of the youngest with much older brothers. His coldness came off as more of a self protective facade of not showing fear or emotion, acting “tough”, when he’s actually afraid.

Jon was probably genuinely in distress, but I felt some of it was manipulative at the time.

They were very young boys, I think they were 10 years old, but barely 10 years from the looks of them.

Perhaps Smith was less emotionally vulnerable and that’s why his case seems to be more of a success. Apparently he has never reoffended or been in any trouble.

Venebles just might not have had the mental ability to move past it.

What I really wonder is what happened to the children that about 2 weeks later attacked and tortured another younger child in a park in what seemed like a copy cat attack.

That seemed just as horrific and it wasn’t something that seemed to sort of escalate without prior intention. It was very purposeful.

They always had anonymity though and never had to assume new identities.

[–] Medea 2 points (+2|-0)

Robert Thompson, I believe, not Smith. There was a lot of media bias towards his upbringing and parents. I agree with your assessment that the police got it wrong; sexual narcissists, which a good portion of paedophiles are I believe, are very manipulative. They're a high risk to women and girls because of that fact. Venables' probation officer chalked up his string of very young girlfriends as 'delayed adolescence'. He also had a sexual relationship with an employee at the unit he was being held at. I don't think any of these incidents are a coincidence. Paedophiles have a severely damaged psyche which cannot be reversed, and personality disorders which enable damaging behaviour.

I'd not heard about the copy-cat attack, but it's good the judge in that case didn't make the same mistake of waiving anonymity. There was no purpose to it, besides satisfying the public mob and tabloids, and complicating their release.

[–] Hermione 0 points (+0|-0)

Yes, Robert Thompson. Sorry, not sure why I thought Smith.

Thing is with pedophiles is that while there is overlap with child molesters, they are also discrete things. This isn’t defending pedophiles, although there are some that never act on it, even to look at images. It’s to note that not all child molesters are pedophiles. In fact I think most aren’t. Which is sickening. They are not really sexually attracted to children, but to adults. They abuse children for different reasons, but their real attraction is to adults.

Jon Venebles is an interesting case. He was abused by an employee while in care. He wasn’t in a position to consent to that, and he should have been getting treatment, and there’s no way that employee’s actions didn’t interfere.

However, I’m not sure the reason he looked at CSAI online is because he never had a normal adolescence and was emotionally stunted. I disagree with the probation officer on that.

There are child molesters that seek to have relationships with adolescents because that is the mental level they can interact with best, but I think their pornography tastes would more likely be adults.

Jon Venebles was not looking at adult images.

Basically though, he’s a black box. Unless we knew a lot more, he’s hard to explain. I don’t know if he ever would have committed such a crime if he wasn’t friends with Robert Thompson, or if Robert Thompson would ever have done it alone, or if he had never been abused what would have happened.

There isn’t enough info on them.

To be honest, I’m surprised that the children who committed the later attack were able to stay anonymous. Even if the courts don’t release the names word gets around town and people can put two and two together. If the internet were more accessible back then who knows? I’m guessing the press might have felt it was best not to print the names given what was still going on with the Thompson and Venebles killing.

I feel bad not saying the victim’s name, but I also feel ill writing it in the same post as the ones who killed him.