LEAD Action News

LEAD Action News vol 4 no 4 Spring 1996  ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

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Lead and Killers

by Joel Norris

Joel Norris has a PhD in psychology from the University of Georgia and is a founding member of the International Committee of Neuroscientists to study Episodic Aggression. He has worked as an educator to the defence and appeals teams of several convicted killers, some of whom were serial killers. In 1993 he was consulting on cases in Georgia and Florida, and had joined the board of directors of the Coalition of Victims’ Equal Rights.

In his book "Serial Killers - The Growing Menace" (Arrow Books, 1988) Joel wrote:

Biochemical Symptoms

Episodically violent individuals are often victims of toxic poisoning either through the inability of their systems to throw off toxins or because their environments have high levels of toxins. William Walsh’s experiments on Lucas and other serial murderers have shown that episodically violent people have extraordinarily high levels of lead and cadmium present in strands of their hair. Other trace minerals appear in large concentrations in the chronically violent individual.

In his book "The Killer Who Lives Next Door", (Published by Arrow Books, Random House, 1993, P.297) Joel wrote the following paragraph on what factors could explain why someone would kill another human being.

I ask a large number of "environmental" questions in order to find out the source of the subject’s current and childhood water supply; whether the person was consistently exposed to toxic chemicals, lead, or cadmium; whether the person lived near a highway and was constantly inhaling carbon monoxide or other toxic substances; or whether the person worked or works in an environment in which he or she is exposed to toxic substances. These are important issues, because lead, cadmium, and cobalt poisoning can affect behaviour; people exposed to toxins can develop severely psychotic symptoms; low-level carbon monoxide poisoning can diminish cognitive and intellectual capacities and render a person to feel consistently sick and nauseated, and can impair behaviour in children. All of these are issues that come to bear when a chronically violent or antisocial child is brought into court for an evaluation or a pre-sentencing hearing. It is a time when intervention can become a real opportunity to remove the individual from the environmental poisons and get him or her adequate medical attention.

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