Over 25 years ago, as I came to the end of my teaching career I got a job teaching in an Institute for Young Offenders. There were 18 boys aged between 11 and 17 there, six of then in a secure lockup. One of those was a boy aged 13 and I learned a little of his history. Aged 6 and in year 2 at school he told his teacher he didn't want to go out to play one morning break time as he didn't feel too well. The teacher allowed him to remain in the class room while she and the rest of the class went out to play. When they returned the class pet, a guinea pig, was skewered to a notice board, a knife stuck through it's body. Increasing bouts of uncontrollable behaviour lead to him being taken into care 18 months later. While in care he went on a school trip to a local farm where he stuck a knife into the eye of a sheep. After that he ended up in the place I was now working at. A year previous to my starting at the home social services decided to send him home for a weekend in preparation for a return to normal home life. His mother resisted strongly but social services were stronger and prevailed. He arrived home on a Friday afternoon and was to return Monday morning. Friday went well, no trouble, Saturday also went well, mostly because mother watched him like a hawk. Sunday afternoon the doorbell rang and mother let her guard down and went to answer the door. By the time she returned he had poured lighter fluid all over is infant sister and was just about to strike a match.
There were other incidents I'm not going to mention here but no one, not even the boy expects he will do anything but spent the rest of his life in some kind of institution.
Perhaps the above story isn't on the scale of the recent incident in Doncaster or the James Bolger murder 16 years ago but it does illustrate something and it is not that society has broken down (Opposition Leader Blair, 1993) or that Britain is Broken (Opposition Leader Cameron 2010). What it does show is the system human being use to reproduce isn't perfect. The DNA strands do, from time to time get a little too twisted and produce monsters. And there is nothing we can do about it except hope some one spots them before they do too much damage.
And also hope that politicians don't show themselves up by trying to make political capital out of this kind of tragedy