Jack Levin, a professor of sociology and anthropology at Northeastern University with expertise in criminology, has studied the link between animal cruelty and other crimes and anti-social behaviors with colleague Arnold Arlucke.
In a previous study Mr. Levin conducted with Mr. Arlucke, the two found that animal abusers are five times more likely than a non-abuser to commit an act of human violence — rape, murder, armed robbery. Animal abuse is not just an indicator of violence, but other anti-social behavior, such as vandalism and drug use.
“This case is a particularly hideous one, but one of the rare kind of torture for animals that is a red flag,” Mr. Levin said. “Potentially, you are looking at a very violent individual or set of individuals. There is a very good chance that we are talking about a group of teens or young adults who enjoyed the excitement of making this animal suffer.”