The massacre at Virginia Tech University Monday ranks as the worst such mass college killing in American history. But it is not the deadliest rampage at a U.S. school.
That terrible distinction belongs to the horror that befell the Bath Consolidated School in Bath Township, Mich. nearly 80 years ago.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything about the murders in Michigan.
On May 18, 1927, school board member Andrew Kehoe went on a rampage apparently triggered by his anger over a property tax that had been levied to build the school. Blaming the tax for pushing his farm into foreclosure, Kehoe killed his wife and torched his farm buildings. He turned next to the school building, where he had surreptitiously hidden dynamite over several weeks, and detonated the explosives.
When rescuers arrived, Kehoe drove to the school and detonated a firebomb he had with him in his car, killing himself and the school superintendent. Most of the 43 others killed in the bombings were children.
Why target children because he’s angry about taxes?
Some of the other incidents:
Sept. 15, 1959 – 6 people at a South Houston elementary school.
Aug. 1, 1966 – University of Texas, 13 dead, 31 wounded.
July 12, 1976 – 9 shot (7 of the 9 died) at the library of California State University-Fullerton .
Dec. 1, 1997 – Heath High School in West Paducah, Ky, 14 year old murders 3 and wounds 5.
April 20, 1999 – 13 shot, 24 wounded at Columbine High School. Shooters then committed suicide.
March 21, 2005 – Red Lake High School in Beltrami County, MN student killed 9 (including himself) and wounded 7.
The murders in Wisconsin and the school in PA were not mentioned. All of these incidents are horrible. One can only wonder at the type of mind who could even conceive of carrying out such actions.