Animal cruelty as an indicator of sociopathy

The Macdonald Triad, also known as the Triad of Sociopathy or the Homicidal Triad, is a metric used to judge one’s propensity for committing violent acts against people, including serial murder and sexual abuse. Animal cruelty is one of the three legs of the Triad, along with arson and chronic bed-wetting past a certain age. The presence of any of these is considered a precursor to violence against people, with animal cruelty the strongest indicator. The FBI believes that many violent offenders first practiced on animals. Jeffery Dahmer, Edmund Kemper, the BTK killer and the Columbine school killers all tortured animals before they turned against people.