Adoption Forensics: The Connection Between Adoption and Murder

Komisarjevsky joshua

Joshua Komisarjevsky

Of the 500 estimated serial killers in U.S. history, 16 percent were adopted as children, while adoptees represent only 2 or 3 percent of the general population. Adoptees are 15 times more likely to kill one or both of their adoptive parents than biological children.

by Dr. David Kirschner

So far in 2007, there have been at least six high-profile homicide cases in the U. S. and Canada in which the accused perpetrator has been identified in the media as being an adopted child.

Joshua Komisarjevsky, age 26, has been charged in the brutal Cheshire, Conn., killing of a doctor's wife and two daughters.

Codee Wheeler, age 16, is accused in the arson murder of her adoptive father, in Blairsville, Pa.

Sandra Bridewell, aka "the Black Widow," now in her 50's, has been arrested in Dallas, Tex., as a suspected serial husband killer.

Edwin Roy Hall, age 26, stands accused of murdering an Overland Park, Kan., teenager.

Graham Beange, age 20, is charged with the attempted murder of his adoptive parents, in Toronto, Canada.

Aaron Howard, age 19, is being sought in the first-degree murder of his adopted mother, in Ottawa, Canada.

And then, there is Michael Devlin, age 41, indicted for the abduction and four-year disappearance of teenager Shawn Hornbeck, in St. Louis, Mo.

Just coincidence? Or is there a connection between murder (and other criminal behavior) and adoption?

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