Wednesday, May 18, 2011

THIS DAY IN CRIME HISTORY: MAY 18, 1927


On this date in 1927, Bath, MI became the scene of the largest school mass-murder in U.S. history. The massacre began when school board member Andrew Kehoe became upset over an increase in the school tax that he blamed for his financial ruination.

Kehoe began by killing his wife and detonating fire bombs in his farm buildings. While firefighters worked to put out the fires on Kehoe's property, Kehoe went to the Bath Consolidated School, where he detonated bombs he had previously planted in the school.

Kehoe left the scene after the explosion, but returned a short while later. He saw the school superintendent standing outside the school watching rescue and recovery efforts, and called to him. As the superintendent approached the car, Kehoe detonated a bomb inside the car. The blast killed Kehoe, the superintendent, two local men, and an 8 year old boy who had managed to escape the school bombing.

The Bath School Disaster resulted in 45 dead and 58 injured. In 1975, a park dedicated to the victims was built on the former site of the school.

Further reading:

truTV - Hell Comes to Bath

The Bath School Disaster

Wikipedia - Bath School Disaster

6 comments:

Pat Downey said...

I use this tragedy as an example when people exclaim how things like this just didn't happen in the good old days. What a nightmare.

John D said...

Pat,
Even today, this incident remains unrivaled in terms of school mass-murders. Yet oddly, most people have never heard about it.

LC Aggie Sith said...

And here the liberals tell me it started with Columbine...

John D said...

Aggie,
Believe it or not, nuttiness pre-dated the 90s. :)

Chris said...

And nuttiness absolutely has a foot planted firmly on both sides of the aisle.

Amazing that more people don't know about this.

John D. said...

Chris,
It amazes me that this has managed to have escaped the public consciousness. I only learned about it myself last year.