Professor Monika Całkiewicz, Vice-Rector for Legal Studies and Director of the Law College at our Academy, spokes as an expert in criminology on the motives of child murders for the weekly "Wprost".


Child murders are very emotional.

Until recently, police statistics have shown only the total number of murders. In 2016, eight children up to the age of 15 were killed, in 2017 – 11, and in 2018 – 23. Although these figures are rising, their share in the total number of murders is small, with about 500 homicides being committed in Poland every year.

–"Usually a murderer is a person who knows the child and even comes from their close environment: a family member, a neighbour, a friend of their parents. This regularity applies to all murders, but especially to children. Someone has a strong motivation to deprive the other of life, and especially strong motivation to do this to a child"– says prof. Monika Całkiewicz from the Chair of Criminal Law at Kozminski Univeristy, legal adviser, formerly prosecutor of the District Prosecutor's Office Warsaw-Mokotów.

– "That is why it is rarely done by a stranger, because the motive can descend primarily from people who are in relation with the child. The first information that investigators are looking for is therefore the motive. It is often jealousy, as well as the desire for revenge on parents – because killing a loved child is the greatest cruelty that can be done to them" – adds prof. Całkiewicz

Serial killers work differently. Usually they do not have family or social relations with their victims.

–"For example, serial sex killers usually look for a victim with specific characteristics, an ideal type of victim" – says Monika Całkiewicz.

–"A serial killer will not look for children among his or her loved ones, so as not to draw suspicion on himself or herself. He prepares well for the crime and does not want to be caught. However, there are very few serial killers in Poland. Usually, the murder of a child is committed once, under the influence of a specific motive, or because the partner does not accept the children, does not want to bear the effort of their upbringing.

When the crime has a sexual basis, not only the characteristics of the victim, but also the circumstances of the attack play an important role. If a child walks alone on a road, in a forest or along a river, where there are few people, it is easy to catch it. The police advises to teach preschoolers not to talk to strangers, neither get in cars with them nor enter someone else's house under any pretext.

Source: whole article in Polish language is available here.



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