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 The second-born son

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JayJay




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PostSubject: The second-born son   The second-born son Icon_minitimeThu Nov 21, 2013 2:57 pm

*I can already hear some of youse shout ''THAT'S ME!'', while raising a finger* Very Happy 

Second-born males are sandwiched in between the  aspirations and paving-of-the way of the first-born and the possible third-born, protected and overly cared-for ''baby of the family''. The second-born, like his later siblings, may constantly be compared to the first-born, if parents are not careful with their words. They may go through parental expectations, maybe a careful babification process at the same time. They may have to handle sibling bullying from the first-born. In some cases, they may get ''scraps'' from the first-born, the ''dirty bath water'' and used clothing if you want.

Dylan and Eric were both second-born, Kip Kinkel was too (to a sister).

This is just hypothetical, but do you think it is harder for second-born sons (I say sons because we're talking more often of male mass shooters here)? Not that they are dedicated to a life of crime but maybe some of them find the pressure unbearable and lacking options or maturity or healthy parenting, decide to go down that criminal path, do you think?

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PostSubject: Re: The second-born son   The second-born son Icon_minitimeFri Nov 22, 2013 8:07 pm

JayJay wrote:
*I can already hear some of youse shout ''THAT'S ME!'', while raising a finger* Very Happy 

Second-born males are sandwiched in between the  aspirations and paving-of-the way of the first-born and the possible third-born, protected and overly cared-for ''baby of the family''. The second-born, like his later siblings, may constantly be compared to the first-born, if parents are not careful with their words. They may go through parental expectations, maybe a careful babification process at the same time. They may have to handle sibling bullying from the first-born. In some cases, they may get ''scraps'' from the first-born, the ''dirty bath water'' and used clothing if you want.

Dylan and Eric were both second-born, Kip Kinkel was too (to a sister).

This is just hypothetical, but do you think it is harder for second-born sons (I say sons because we're talking more often of male mass shooters here)? Not that they are dedicated to a life of crime but maybe some of them find the pressure unbearable and lacking options or maturity or healthy parenting, decide to go down that criminal path, do you think?
Very interesting theory!  I definitely think that both Eric and Dylan had issues with their older brothers. In Dylan's case his brother (Byron?) was in a crisis of his own that caused massive problems for the Klebolds. He may also have directly contributed to Dylan's criminal/violent bent by introducing him to drugs and drink and "rippin" on him with his buddies. Dylan even referred to him as the "least supportive" member of his family on his self-evals for diversion.

The Klebold parents were probably so exhausted from dealing with the older boy that they let Dylan slip through the cracks.

I don't know much about Eric's older brother.

Great topic question...
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PostSubject: Re: The second-born son   The second-born son Icon_minitimeSun Nov 24, 2013 3:13 pm

Thanks, gustopoet.


The Klebolds had not been lucky with their sons. How much of that is due to upbringing, parenting? Usually, the media and people point the finger toward the parents. It's certainly a cause in some cases, but maybe not in all cases where a child falls ''far from the tree'' (as a certain book is titled). I'm reminded of the novel ''We Need to Talk About Kevin'' by Lionel Shriver (about a school shooter). When you read the reviews about the book, people are of two minds: 1- The mom had it coming, she was cold and unloving, 2-Kids do the darndest things and parents don't always have a part in that. I'm leaning towards 2- although I know 1- happens all the time.

In the book where the Klebolds are interviewed, ''Far from the Tree'', I was struck by a passage where the author asks the Klebolds about Dylan's childhood. Sue expounds on how bright and talented and an ''easy baby'' Dylan was when young. She then stops herself and says something like: ''You have no idea how long it's been since I was able to brag about my son.'' Of course, she can't brag about Dylan-the-murderer. She can only brag about a young gifted Dylan, stuck in the past forever, irretrievable except during an interview with an open-minded and understanding psychiatrist/author. She had no part in Dylan's smarts (he could have been born dim in the genetic lottery, although Tom and her seem very intelligent themselves) just as she probably didn't have any part in him turning into a monster. You get what you get, and sometimes it's like in Rosemary's Baby, you get a Devil's Spawn.

It seems Kevin Harris has turned out well, from the little that we know. He went into the army, fought in Afghanistan, became a physiotherapist, is married and has a baby. Maybe others on this board know more about him. By all accounts, he had a hard time dealing with what his brother did but has done what he could to move on, I suppose.

I'd be interested if people can add here to the second-born son theory as they go along reading on various mass shooters or even, other murderers such as serial killers.

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- American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis (1991)
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PostSubject: Re: The second-born son   The second-born son Icon_minitimeThu Nov 28, 2013 3:54 am

It's an interesting theory, but I don't know how true it might be.

Kevin and Byron might have been the older brothers, but they seemed very different, at least from what we know. Kevin was bright, easygoing and responsible. Byron, on the other hand, seems to have been the rebellious wild child who smoked weed and even got kicked out of the house for it. They might have used the older brothers as examples, but I don't think it was failed expectations that drove them to do what they did.

As a matter of fact, I've always thought that Eric had a healthy relationship with his brother. Kevin seems to have been a good older brother, comforting Eric whenever they moved from town to town, driving him to school, working in the same restaurant together, etc. Brooks recalls in his book that even though Eric hated the football team, he attended his brother's games just to support him. Additionally, I've read some of Eric's writings where he talks about going on fishing trips together and visiting Kevin in Boulder. So even though his parents placed high expectations on him, I don't think Eric held any resentment towards his brother for it. Also, Eric didn't badmouth his brother in the basement tapes the way Dylan did. I actually feel really bad for Kevin because not only did the shootings portray his family in a negative light, but he also lost his one and only brother. I'm sure he would have liked Eric to have been at his wedding, to be the fun uncle and to enjoy the things that all siblings do.

With Dylan, it's a bit more complicated. There isn't really any information on their relationship as brothers, and the little that we do know seems to indicate Dylan wasn't particularly close to him. Of course, that might have been just when they were older. As kids, they probably did enjoy a healthy relationship, but Byron's antics simply drove them apart.

I think both parents treated both sons the same though. I don't think there was any preferential treatment, they were just doing the best that they could.



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PostSubject: Re: The second-born son   The second-born son Icon_minitimeWed Dec 04, 2013 2:13 am

Dylan was the second born son.
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PostSubject: Re: The second-born son   The second-born son Icon_minitimeWed Dec 04, 2013 2:23 am

Ivan wrote:
Dylan was the second born son.
Very funny.

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PostSubject: Re: The second-born son   The second-born son Icon_minitimeWed Dec 04, 2013 8:47 am

There's this researcher, Dr. Mike Aamodt from Radford University (don't know his credentials), who has made a database of serial killers who has some information on birth order and murder. It doesn't include mass or spree killers, though.

According to this presention ( )http://maamodt.asp.radford.edu/Psyc%20405/Student%20Notes%20-%20Serial%20Killers.pdf , serial killers who are first-born account for 33%, second-born for 27% and third-born for 26%. They're slightly more often first-born.

So, there goes the second-born theory for serial killers. However, it might be different for mass killers or for teenage school shooters. I'm not aware of a database for them or compilation of birth-order. Would need to ask a researcher about that.

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Last edited by JayJay on Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The second-born son   The second-born son Icon_minitimeWed Dec 04, 2013 8:56 am

deelightful wrote:
It's an interesting theory, but I don't know how true it might be.

Kevin and Byron might have been the older brothers, but they seemed very different, at least from what we know. Kevin was bright, easygoing and responsible. Byron, on the other hand, seems to have been the rebellious wild child who smoked weed and even got kicked out of the house for it. They might have used the older brothers as examples, but I don't think it was failed expectations that drove them to do what they did.

As a matter of fact, I've always thought that Eric had a healthy relationship with his brother. Kevin seems to have been a good older brother, comforting Eric whenever they moved from town to town, driving him to school, working in the same restaurant together, etc. Brooks recalls in his book that even though Eric hated the football team, he attended his brother's games just to support him. Additionally, I've read some of Eric's writings where he talks about going on fishing trips together and visiting Kevin in Boulder. So even though his parents placed high expectations on him, I don't think Eric held any resentment towards his brother for it. Also, Eric didn't badmouth his brother in the basement tapes the way Dylan did. I actually feel really bad for Kevin because not only did the shootings portray his family in a negative light, but he also lost his one and only brother. I'm sure he would have liked Eric to have been at his wedding, to be the fun uncle and to enjoy the things that all siblings do.

With Dylan, it's a bit more complicated. There isn't really any information on their relationship as brothers, and the little that we do know seems to indicate Dylan wasn't particularly close to him. Of course, that might have been just when they were older. As kids, they probably did enjoy a healthy relationship, but Byron's antics simply drove them apart.

I think both parents treated both sons the same though. I don't think there was any preferential treatment, they were just doing the best that they could.



It's true Eric seemed to have a better relationship with his brother than Dylan had with his. The only place he talks about him is in an essay where he remembers playing war games in the woods with him and some friends, a good memory for him.

Reading his diary, I do wonder about that part where he mentions people who are into exercise. Something about people who prescribe a certain number of push-ups or sit-ups to do every day as being stupid and exercise as pointless. Since his brother was/is quite the athlete, maybe it could have referred to him telling him how to exercise? Still, Eric is quite inconsistent in his remarks because he wanted to go into the Marines and mentioned physical fitness as one of his reason for enlisting. He's being pretty contradictory about exercise there. He just didn't make sense a lot of times about many things. But that's another subject entirely!

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PostSubject: Re: The second-born son   The second-born son Icon_minitimeWed Dec 04, 2013 9:24 am

Ivan wrote:
Dylan was the second born son.
There, you're totally getting this down pat. Laughing 

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