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Ever looked into the mind of a teenage killer? Phil Chalmers has, and he was in Corcoran last week to talk to law enforcement and school officials about teen violence.

Chalmers was the presenter at a special full-day seminar hosted in the Technology Learning Center (TLC) by the Corcoran Police Department. Chalmers is one of the nation’s leading authorities on juvenile homicide.

Invited to the seminar were educators from across the Central Valley. Law enforcement officials, including those representing police departments, probation departments and sheriff’s offices, were also in attendance. They all listened as Chalmers outlined the triggers, signs and symptoms of teen killing sprees. Chalmers has interviewed several teen killers, and was able to show their responses to those attending the workshop. The TLC provided a great training center, with Chalmers able to use the technology to make his points.

Chalmers said teen killers often share three common traits: they have a problem with bed-wetting, often into their teens; they torture small animals and/or small children; and they start fires—often burning their toy action figures.

Educators and law enforcement officials often can also spot other actions from this type of student. Chalmers said students on a verge of violence will often talk about killing themselves or others at home or at school. They show a fascination with weapons and their homework, art work or “doodling” has a strong representation of violence or depression. These students often keep journals and collect books with violent content. They are often guilty of arson, vandalism, running away from home and other petty crimes.

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