IT is a phenomenon that strikes fear and disgust into the hearts of ordinary citizens, but the plague of teen killers is nothing new.
They may not be old enough to legally drink alcohol or to vote, but age is just a number for a small but dangerous coterie of our nation's youth.
Frenzied attacks using household knives or tools are not the stuff of fiction, but a very real nightmare that unfolds all too often on Irish streets.
Notorious double murderer David Curran was a tender 17 years old when he mercilessly ended the lives of Polish men Pawel Kalite and Marius Szwajkos in February 2008.
High on a combination of drink and drugs, the teenager used a screwdriver to inflict two savage stab wounds to the heads of the young men.
His path towards the status of murderer had been a swift one. By the age of 16, he had clocked up convictions for minor driving offences and was heavily dependent on cannabis.
Gardai were also aware that he was involved in larceny, including the theft of cars, and habitually stole to get money for drugs.
He sometimes carried a screwdriver with him for this very purpose.
On the day he committed a double murder, Curran embarked on a series of activities that tragically encapsulated his life as a young criminal.
He spent the morning drinking vodka, smoking cannabis and ingesting benzodiazepine relaxant tablets before stealing a screwdriver from a moped and heading to a disused factory to find something which he could sell for drug money.
Along the way, he received a phone call from a young friend who informed him that his cousin had been in an altercation with another man.
Pawel Kalite had gone to the chipper close to his home on Benbulben Road and had accidentally bumped into Curran's young cousin on the way out. A minor scuffle ensued, with two teenage girls also getting involved.
Mr Kalite had already retreated back to his house by the time Curran had sprinted over to Benbulben Road. Still holding the screwdriver, he was screaming and roaring as he arrived at the chipper, shouting "Was it yous?"
Appearing utterly out of control, he kicked a car and was heard roaring: "Where's the b******? I'm going to kill him. Where's the c***?"
He was directed towards Mr Kalite's house and ran the short distance up the road. An angry and upset Pawel Kalite decided to go confront the gang, refusing to listen to his housemate Marius Szwajkos's pleas to stay inside.
As they walked down the garden path, a screaming Curran crossed the road and viciously plunged a screwdriver into Pawel's head. Marius rushed to defend his friend, only to suffer the same fate. Both men were later declared brain stem dead in hospital.
It was an astonishing display of feral savagery that shocked even the trial judge, Liam McKechnie, who described Curran's actions as "sadistic". Now aged 20, Curran is serving a life sentence for the two murders.