Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Worldwide In 20th Century, Maybe Half Of All Murders May Be Attributed In Part To Lead Poisoning

Posted by Peter Quennell

That lead damages brains has been known for many years. That it causes murders is more recently accepted. 

The first graph below shows when the US began to move from leaded gasoline to unleaded gasoline in the mid 70s. Lead was removed altogether around 1990.

Some but not all countries followed a similar pattern.

The effects, though diminishing, are going to be with us for a long time. Maybe to mid-century? The pioneer researcher economist Nick Nevin wrote this about the murder-rate/lead correlation:

Lead exposure trends affect homicide trends with a 21-year time lag, reflecting the impact of early-childhood neurodevelopmental damage when those children reach the peak ages of homicide offending.

That suggests that anyone alive today over 25 may have had significant exposure. Roughly half the world’s population, some 3.5 billion.

Very few of those committed murders, but of those that did the research findings reflected in the second graph below suggest that half might have been lead-affected and there remain among us millions of time-bombs. This is from a recent BBC report:

Dr Bernard Gesch says the data now suggests that lead could account for as much as 90% of the changing crime rate during the 20th Century across all of the world.

Numerous cases like this one now use lead poisoning as a defense.  It doesnt seem a get-out-of-jail-free card, but for some obviously mentally impaired it is proving helpful.


The few countries where leaded petrol is still sold have a combined population of 194,770,689.


Hmmm. Not the least volatile. North Korea is among them.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/05/16 at 10:35 PM | #

Email from London reminds us that many artists especially one of the real greats Caravaggio had tumultuous lives which for the past decade have been believed to have been caused by lead. Much of the research is Italian.




Oddly, Titian lived to be 90 and used the same paints.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/06/16 at 03:29 PM | #

Apart from the note that this barmy excuse is likely to be used by defence sharks, it does seem to me to be a step too far to take it seriously.

Just wait a few years (many less than 21) to learn that the benzene additive which replaced the lead also generates murderous impulses, (and not a few cancers).

Why does the human race have this desire to beat itself up, and attribute any (perceived/invented) trend to ‘the baddies’ amongst us? By which I mean engineers, capitalists, urban planners, tree fellers, fishermen et al. It is very arrogant to credit mankind with having created every disaster.

And to suggest Caravaggio’s more debauched adventures were due to the lead in paint beggars belief. Well - IMO!

Posted by Sallyoo on 01/07/16 at 01:26 AM | #

I reckon leaded petrol is the least of the North Korean’s worries what with psycopathic dear leaders who never die and a truly Orwellian life to endure before an early demise due to state indifference and complete empathy bypass. A country ripe for revolution but probably a generation or two away yet.

Some good news I gleaned today is that, that most pernicious of Knox acolytes, Lyn Duncan (aka @Annella), has had her Twitter account suspended. The bile that she has spewed forth and the trolling of the Kercher family has probably been the worst I have seen anywhere. She even eclipses mad old Michelle Moore by an order of magnitude in my opinion.

Given that ranting constantly all day every day on Twitter regarding all things Knox seemed to be this moron’s raison d’être, I feel inordinately pleased that this avenue has been closed to her. Hopefully Twitter will not reactivate this account and we can all be spared this mad woman’s nonsense.

The Knoxen have just lost their loudest and most productive Twitter mouthpiece. Excellent.

Posted by davidmulhern on 01/07/16 at 01:13 PM | #

Removing this woman from a public forum for her sick comments and taunts of the Kercher family is the best news of 2016 so far. Maybe the journalist (Linda Houle?) whose texts I saw on PMF and who is said to have published some comments made about this case has had an impact on this decision being made. If so I commend her for making a stand to show the truth and I commend Twitter for showing a conscience. Thanks David, you’ve brightened my day.

Posted by YorkshireLass on 01/07/16 at 04:44 PM | #

Hi davidmulhern and YorkshireLass

Very good news re Lyn Duncan/annella, and hopefully she’s gone for good. She really was a stalker of the victim’s family, that can be charged in all states and at Federal level as a crime if those stalked complain.

I found I could send Lyn Duncan messages via Twitter and pointed out some things. She started responding evenly enough if defensively but (as with others among them like Chris Mellas on PMF in 2008) it went downhill fast, into the area of irrational rants.

The Twitter organization was not so easy to convince that certain tweets were defamations and factual lies but bad publicity seems to have made them tighten up.

It’s certainly worth complaining now if you see a need.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/07/16 at 05:49 PM | #

Hi Sallyoo

Good points. Its not easy to prove a mentally impaired defense and many in US prisons have mentalities sub-par, some probably wrongly as we admit. There’s a sort of release program going on now.

In Italy the system seems more likely to take mentalities and drugs into account, right? Especially if the perp is quite young - the bambino effect, which seems to have helped sway Hellmann and fellow judges.  If they do get sent away they can get treatment, maybe the only way they ever will.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/07/16 at 06:09 PM | #

Dangers of lead and lead paint generally have been well-known throughout history.




You’d be hard pressed to correlate lead poisoning to aggression specifically. Correlation to certain illnesses, of course, but whether some of those illnesses necessarily lead to homicidal aggression, doubtful.

As an example: hundreds of thousands of painters throughout the centuries were exposed to lead based paints. Some recent famous ones potentially include Goya, Caravaggio, Van Gogh, who may have had actual lead poisoning (but not known for certain). How many of these actually committed murder? 1, 2, 10? Not much of a statistic.

Posted by Olleosnep on 01/07/16 at 06:57 PM | #

David Mulhern, I can’t understand why none of Knox family have condemned people like her.

Posted by DavidB on 01/07/16 at 07:24 PM | #

Hi DavidB

At the time when Frank Sforza was going haywire in N-W USA and Canada and Hawaii and there was anger within the “group” we were receiving a lot of leaks. Ergon posted some.

One we got to hear several times - it barely seemed a secret - is that the Mellases grind away online every night under various false personas as their circle is really pretty small.

Lyn Duncan was/is a true believer, it seems, and the Mellases dont have very many of them.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/07/16 at 08:11 PM | #

Hi Olleosnep

I’m certainly ready to be convinced, though as I said it doesnt seem to matter in the courts, dangerous perps usually get locked up and defense psychologists dont usually win the day.

There are dozens of correlation charts like those posted above, and some are of sities and other countries. And Rick Nevin is respected a lot, he has worked for some cities in the US and being quoted by the FBI.


Can we explain yet the seeming correlation between lead and drop in crime rate in its entirety any other ways? Police methods or drop in crack cocaine or poverty maybe?

Lack of growth always works for me….

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/07/16 at 08:27 PM | #

A Twitter account impersonating me is now gone. Any more?!

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/07/16 at 08:51 PM | #

There is well documented research on the adverse affects of lead. This stretches from affecting the immune system, to ability to concentrate, and other things.
There are many other minerals and metals that affect the highly delicate and complex balance of the brain. Just think of those millions of brain cells and neural networks!

Among these others are aluminium, and cadmium (also in paints), and mercury.
On the ‘good’ side there are silver and gold and manganese, as well, of course, iron. Lack of iron is implicated in depression.

We are finding out more and more regarding these all the time. Research is difficult though, as you may imagine.
We are also beginning to allocate specific functions to the types of minerals. There is no doubt more to discover.

I would say it is too crude a statement to say ‘The lead caused the murder’.

In a person whose brain was already dysfunctional, whose balance of mind was disturbed… Certain levels of certain minerals or metals might make all the difference that is, could just tip the balance.

But, as Dr Drew said about something else, causation does not give justification. Nothing “makes” a person murder. They do it.
They do it…because they fail to possess the self-restraint that they ought to possess and bring into focus in the forefront of their mind.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 01/07/16 at 10:39 PM | #

Yes, aggression has multiple causes.


So it’s difficult to make any sort of correlation.

A quick look at murder rates globally:


you have a great mix of countries with very low murder rates. Assuming those stats are accurate, I wouldn’t think China or Indonesia are as ‘lead-free’ as say Italy or Switzerland, or, conversely, that Iran, the US, Kosovo and Samoa have similar ‘lead rates’.

Posted by Olleosnep on 01/08/16 at 12:09 AM | #

I think that if the Mellases are aware (as they obviously are) of the things said on Youtube and Amazon then to me it’s despicable.

Posted by DavidB on 01/08/16 at 12:58 AM | #

I think that Cardiol MD’s post in ‘How American Judges Can Be Made To Feel The Heat’ is eye-opening in regards to how a large number of the public can be influenced by a media production, to the point of petitioning Obama, while apparently many facts were not revealed to the public. Familiar territory?
Lead causing potential violent action also gives one pause for thought but can’t see it applying to AK/RS.
I’ve noticed that AK has previously said she went with Meredith to watch rugby in a pub. Guede also said he spoke to Meredith while watching rugby in a pub with friends. In the short time they all had an acquaintanceship it’s likely to be the same occasion but neither AK, nor RG, mentioned each others presence. Maybe RS was also with AK. Anyone know the rugby games played and shown in whichever pub during this time?

Posted by YorkshireLass on 01/08/16 at 06:20 AM | #

@ YorkshireLass
(Who’s nom evokes my own flood of thoughts - Fred Hoyle, hero & honoured guest, who never lost his accent, was injured Baht ‘at, and died in my own County.)

Thanks for your head’s-up re my comment on “mediated” obfuscation.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 01/08/16 at 05:29 PM | #

Hi YorkshireLass et Cardiol:

Yes how the media has come alive in fact-checking mode is incredible. Media will soon do the same on the “Knox case” we are pretty sure. Main post coming up on this.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/08/16 at 06:16 PM | #

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