'Bumfight' Videos Inspired Joy-Killing

Florida Teen Tells <b>Ed Bradley</b> He Killed Homeless Man 'For Fun'


"Chris woke the guy up and started hittin' him with a stick. So we all rushed in on him and then I hit him with the stick. And then we all left," Spurgeon recalls.

Spurgeon says they went back three times and says each time the beatings got worse.

"And the third time when we come back, that's when Chris had brought a two by four with a nail through it. And hit the guy on top of the head with it," Spurgeon says.

Why did they do all this?

"I guess for fun," Spurgeon says.

"These kids were obviously dangerous. And they had no idea why," says Circuit Court Judge Joseph Will.

He spent weeks looking at the evidence before sentencing Spurgeon and the others to spend most of their adult lives in prison, with no chance for parole.

"It's not just a mistake. It's a conscious act that took place over a long period of time that resulted in the brutal death of a helpless harmless man," Judge Will says.

Why does he think they did it?

"I think they did it because there was someone less powerful than they, to pick on," the judge says.

"Do you think that it happened because he was homeless?" Bradley asks.

"I think it happened because he was homeless and he was helpless and he was one step down on the violence pecking order from those kids," Judge Will replies.

"This is the new sport. In many parts of the country, it's a rite of passage," says Brian Levin, a criminologist at California State University in San Bernardino, and an expert on hate crimes.

Why would kids start beating up homeless people?

"Most hate offenses are not committed by hard core hate-mongers," Levin explains. "They're often associations of young males who looking for some thrill or excitement go out and attack a target that will help validate them. And a target that they think is vulnerable. One that they can get away with. And one that has some kind of negativity associated with it."

And Levin says no group has more negativity associated with it than the homeless, who are often stereotyped as lazy, stupid and responsible for their situation. He says in many ways, they're one group it is still "safe" to hate.

"It used to be gays, it used to be African-Americans. But now the vogue target in many ways are the homeless," says Levin.

"How did this become okay? I mean how did it get to a point where kids
think we can just go out and beat somebody up, some cases kill them, and that's alright?" Bradley asks.

"Most recently there have been a series of films, horrible brutal films that dehumanize and degrade the homeless," says Levin, referring to the Bumfight videos.