In yet another example of television wreaking havoc, HAVOC we say, on all of society, the China Daily reports that a boy of 13 has confessed to savagely murdering his cousin, aunt and grandmother in rural Hebei Province. (Why do these things always seem to happen in the countryside?)
Shanghaiist was rather jolted by the brutality of the crime. In quick succession, he strangled his cousin, stabbed his aunt, and when his grandmother discovered him in the act, killed her as well using the same cooking knife.
Afterwards, in a testament to the unmatched cleverness of the criminal mind, he burned his house down to hide the evidence. (“Yessss,” we say in our Montgomery Burns-like voice, “no one will notice my house engulfed in flames!”) The trigger for his rage? His mother’s repeated criticisms of his late aunt.
We’re sorry to say it, but we’ve become rather immune to such stories of violence these days — such acts seem to happen around the world with alarming regularity. What caught our attention was his statement that the cause of his terrible acts was — you guessed it — the television.
Xinhua reporters were allowed to interview Xiaohua [the criminal], who told them that detective TV dramas and movies were his favourite, and that all his murder ideas had come from those.
Watch out kids, Matlock’s on TV! (What’s a good Chinese detective show? Any ideas?) Ignoring for the moment the question of whether it’s fair to make television the proverbial whipping boy for violence in children (Shanghaiist feels it plays at least a small role) we particularly valued the advice a local leader had to prevent a recurrence of such crimes.
“Parents should not show hatred in front of their children,” said Tong Lihua, director of the Underage People’s Protection Committee of the All China Lawyers’ Association. “Excessively violent scenes on TV, on websites and in movies have caused many criminal cases among the young.”
Parents, don’t be hatas, or your children will chop you into little bits. We’ll keep that in mind. One can’t help but wonder what other “criminal acts” the little tykes are committing under the influence of World of Warcraft, Shanda.com.cn, and the X-Men.
Crazy kid image from iparenting.com.