28 Teachers Describe Former Students Who Grew Up To Be Violent Criminals

Schools, places meant for learning social and intellectual skills, are not where you expect criminals to reveal themselves. But in addition to braving dirty schools and their grime, many teachers have also faced scary and violent students who became criminals, all before anyone realized what they were capable of. At a time when kids go through the changes of adolescence, teachers witness their growth firsthand, and sometimes teachers recognize criminal behavior in students before anyone else. Teachers who watched former students become criminals often reflect back to recall if anything ever raised their suspicions in the classroom. The teachers of Reddit compiled stories of former students who ended up becoming criminals, detailing their transitions from the schoolyard to savagery. 

Poor parenting and outdated punitive measures are named as determining factors by these teachers who taught criminals. Because of this, a few teachers with criminal students expressed regret for not managing to help their pupils earlier on. But some other students, simply put, arrived to this world as bad eggs just waiting to hatch. Even still, each story from teachers who taught criminals reveals a tragic instance of youthful potential snuffed out, something even the worst of teachers hate to see happen.

  • They Were Charming, But Had Tempers

    From Redditor /u/mamacrocker:

    I've had one former student tried as an accessory to capital murder and another awaiting trial for capital murder. In both cases the crimes were very violent, all over the news, and in both cases I wasn't that surprised when I heard about it. However, there was no time when I looked at either boy and thought "He's going to kill someone some day."

    What I did think was that they were probably going to pop off to the wrong person at some point and end up in jail or shot. Both boys were very disrespectful to both teachers and other students, could be charming but had hair-trigger tempers, and had a great dislike of having to follow any rules. However, I have had many students like that that grow out of it. I don't look at a student who's a discipline problem and automatically assume he (or she) will be a murderer. It sucks when it happens, though.

  • Charged With Manslaughter

    From Redditor /u/c_zim:

    My father is a principal and within the last 2 weeks there was a former student (I also knew him) charged with manslaughter. He was drunk and him and a friend were "defending" themselves where they supposedly held the mans arms behind his back and beat him to the point where he died from head injuries.

    In school he was always a pest. He was in the office a few times. There were definitely kids worse than him but he was very cocky and defiant. I personally never expected him capable of anything like this. My father wasn't shocked that he was in trouble with the law but we never expected anything like this.

  • Tried To Kill Someone Because 'They Were Bored'

    From Redditor /u/HappyMooseCaboose:

    I had a student once that all the teachers hated. I taught 7th and 8th grade music in Erie PA and had a lot of trouble getting the students used to discipline in general. Anyway, this kid started excelling in my class. I would let him take his tests verbally at a discrete time so no one would know he couldn't read very well, he would get up and demonstrate instruments he learned to play while he was at juvie, etc. Then one day he wasn't there anymore. He and a friend decided to jump the next guy they saw because they were bored. Put the guy in intensive care, both to be tried as adults.

    Did I see any signs? Oh yeah. Held back from high school twice, no parental involvement, fighting in other classes, former juvie sentence, indifference about not being able to read.

  • The Class Pet Was The First Sign

    From Redditor /u/VoyGoBackTop:

    Teacher of Middle school here. Had a weird kid, he was nice to everyone but when nobody was watching he would make his hands into a strangling motion. Some time in the year we got a pet hamster and somebody could look after it, a week later the hamster was dead with a broken neck. When i asked who it was it was clear that it was the kid because of the way he looked, he looked guilty, but i said nothing as i had no evidence.

    Fast forward 10 years and it turns out he's in jail, what for? Stabbing a mother of two for her purse.

  • Was Prone To Fits Of Rage When Frustrated

    From Redditor /u/i_am_awake:

    I taught a high school student that had a lot of impulse control issues. He was labeled EBD (Emotional/Behavioral Disorder) in our special ed program and needed a lot of support. We got along pretty well and I think deep down he had a good heart, but he would fly into fits of rage when frustrated.

    After he graduated, I didn't hear anything about him for a year or two, then I read in the news that he was being charged with second degree murder. His girlfriend had a two-year-old and she left him alone with her child to babysit while she was at work. Apparently the toddler started crying and he couldn't handle it. He did something to her which fractured her skull. When mom came home, the toddler was non-responsive. She died the next day at the hospital. He's now in prison for the next 20 years.

    I can't say that I ever thought he would do something this terrible, but I'm not surprised that he wasn't able to handle this situation and lost control. It's so sad because he had so much support at school but once he left, that was all taken away and he was on his own. I think it's tragic that all of this happened and I wish there had been more services in place to help him once he graduated.

  • Mom Gave Him Adult Entertainment Featuring Bondage

    From Redditor /u/Lincotam:

    I hate to admit it, but I will check arrest records annually for one of my former students. He hasn't committed a crime that I know of, but I am fairly certain he will.

    When he was in middle school, he was caught with [illicit material depicting bondage]; when the school called his mom, she said "I know, I gave it to him. How else is he supposed to learn about sex?" When he was in my class, he would pull down his pants, sit at his desk bare-bottomed, and make lewd motions directed at the girls in class. I would send him to the office, but they would send him back when he told them his pants were too big and he needed a belt. His mom won a lawsuit against the district for discrimination at some point in the past, and they were terrified of her. I like to believe the best in people, but that kid just wasn't right.