Almost every person reading this article has experienced death in some form or another. Maybe that’s in your life, or witnessing it happen to someone else. Losing people that we love or otherwise, no matter how, it never seems to get any easier. From what I understand it never will.
Large scale casualties from terrorist attacks, war, or fits of rage can be found in history books all over the world. These massacres remain fresh in our minds as they should. They teach us and youths that the world and the people within it are far from perfect. Some people that walk among us are broken. Some of those same people are insane.
Murdering innocent, unsuspecting people is the worst kind of horror any person can inflict onto others. What happens, though, when these mentally insane few take out their wrath on our most innocent, our most vulnerable, our most loved?
In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the worst school shootings in history. Not only will we travel back in time to days we all wish we could forget, we’re also going to talk briefly about the people that are responsible for these unthinkable actions. Today we’ll reveal chilling facts about the killers behind the worst school shootings in history. All in an attempt to shed a bit of light on what it was that made these men become the terrors we remember.
15. Andrew Kehoe – One Of The First School Shootings (1927; 40 Child Deaths)
Here’s a man responsible for murdering close to forty children, six adults, and injuring nearly sixty others. The location was Bath Township, Michigan and the perpetrator was a local school employee named Andrew Kehoe. The story of Andrew Kehoe sounds a lot like the story of a man who snapped due to a life filled with turmoil. After running for local community office and losing, having the bank foreclose on his home, and caring for a terminally ill wife, Andrew took out his rage on a school named Bath Consolidated School. The Bath School disaster is one of the earliest examples of a man who lost it and attacked a school full of people.
14. Mitchell Johnson And Andrew Golden – Pulled The Fire Alarm And Shot People As They Evacuated The School
Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden shot and killed nearly five people at Westside Middle School in Craighead County, Arkansas, located next to the city of Jonesboro. The massacre happened in March of 1998 and is one of the worst school shootings in the United States at a middle school. The two perpetrators went to Westside Middle school that morning and entered in order to activate the fire alarm system. That way the people in the school would evacuate. After pulling the alarm, both boys ran and waited in beside some timber next to the building. As students and teachers filed out, the two began firing at the crowd of people killing four students and one teacher. Shockingly enough Mitchell Johnson was released from prison on his twenty-first birthday.
13. Adam Lanza – Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting (20 Child Deaths, Aged 6 And 7)
Adam Lanza was the individual who is responsible for one of the deadliest mass shootings at a school in United States history. His murdering spree sparked intense debates on gun control and the safety of schools like Sandy Hook Elementary. Adam Lanza was a twenty-year-old with out friends, at least none that his teachers or classmates ever saw him speaking with. He’s remembered as being extremely shy and jittery. He also never tried communicating with other students. Lanza, like many from his generation, enjoyed playing video games. Only the games he enjoyed playing were role playing games where the objective is killing. Much like he did on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut after slaying twenty children.
12. Paul Orgeron – Detonated A Briefcase Full Of Explosives With His Son And Classmates Nearby
Paul Orgeron is the man who is responsible for killing five people aside from himself at Poe Elementary School in Houston, Texas. It was September 1959 when the construction worker and ex-con attempted to enroll his son Dusty Paul in Poe Elementary. Unfortunately, Paul Orgeron didn’t possess the required documents for his son to be enrolled in the Texas elementary school. Disgruntled, he and his son left the school’s office and vowed to return with the proper paperwork. On their way out the door, Paul Orgeron, who was carrying a briefcase full of dynamite at the time, called to a teacher and children to come closer to him and his son. The rest of that tragic day became history once Paul Orgeron detonated his briefcase full of explosives.
11. Steven Kazmierczak – Stopped Taking His Meds (6 Dead-21 Injured)
Steven Kazmierczak was a young man who appeared to be leading a relatively normal life. That was before killing five people and injuring over fifteen others on Northern Illinois University’s campus back in 2008. Steven Kazmierczak had a brief history of mental illness and had spent a bit of time being treated in a psychiatric hospital. He was also prescribed medication for dealing with his sickness. Friends, family, and teachers all liked Steven and claim he was a nice young man and a good student. He had no history of violence either. It’s believed that Steven Kazmierczak stopped taking his medication a few weeks before the shooting and showed increasingly agitated behavior. On February 14, 2008, Steven Kazmierczak carried multiple guns into Cole Hall and opened fire before taking his own life.
10. Edward Allaway – Diagnosed With Schizophrenia During Trial (7 Dead-2 Injured)
Edward Allaway was a janitor who worked at California State University in Fullerton, California in 1976. He’s the man responsible for the Fullerton massacre which occurred that summer in July. Edward Allaway was a man with a known history of lifelong mental issues. After appearing in his trial, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. At the time of the shootings, Allaway was paranoid that pornographers were forcing his wife to perform in sexually explicit films. His motives for murdering innocent people that day mainly lead us to believe that Edward Allaway’s mental issues caused him to commit the horrifying crimes. I’m unsure how a person with mental issues can get a job at a school, but Edward Allaway managed to.
9. Seung-Hui Cho – Virginia Tech – Classmates Described Him As Likeable And Intelligent
This is a mass murder named Seung-Hui Cho. The two handguns and scowl on his face give him away don’t you think? Seung-Hui Cho in April of 2007 shot and killed more than thirty people while injuring nearly twenty others. The tragedy is known today as the Virginia Tech Shootings. Cho and his family immigrated to the United States when he was a young child in 1992. From a young age, Seung-Hui Cho was characterized as distant and quiet as a mouse. He rarely spoke but listened well, and didn’t put up a fuss doing tasks. His classmates described him as a likeable, intelligent student. Cho committed suicide on the day of the shootings once officers entered the building.
8. Jeffrey Weise – Came From A Broken Family And Claims Mother And Her Boyfriends Abused Him As A Child
In March of 2005, a young boy named Jeffrey Wiese went on a murdering spree through an Indian reservation in Red Lake, Minnesota. If you’re having trouble remembering what happened that day, it was called The Red Lake Shootings. Jeffrey is another mass murderer who was on medication and was undergoing treatment for his depression. That was until he decided to kill his grandfather and his partner before moving on to the school. Jeffery Weise claimed that he had been abused for most of his life by his mother and her boyfriends. It’s hard to say if his mental insanity was to blame for that claim. Either way, something pushed Jeffery Weise hard enough to commit the mass murder of nine people and injure five others.
7. Charles Whitman – Left A Letter For Autopsy To Search What Was Wrong With Him
Charles Whitman is responsible for the University of Texas Tower Shooting. It was late summer, August of 1966 when Charles Whitman, a military veteran, killed his mother and wife. That was only the beginning of his rampage that fateful day. After murdering part of his family, he went to the University of Texas in Austin and killed three more people in the university’s tower. Charles Whitman made his way to the top of the tower where he fired at innocent bystanders for the next hour and a half before being shot. The letters that Charles Whitman left behind to explain his actions are eerie and point to a sick man who had no idea what he was doing. He also asked that an autopsy be performed on his remains to see if doctors could explain his deranged state of mind.
Next is the story of two seniors in high school. The two boys photographed here are Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Each is responsible for the Columbine High School Massacre. Both boys were picked on in school and it’s said they were not socially inept. They both took part in acting in school plays and helped maintain the school’s network related infrastructure. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold both enjoyed video games and often played together online. These two mass murderers started to show clues of their deep seated hate for the world through websites they had built. One website broadcasted the duo’s first homemade bomb experiment. In April of 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold invaded the Columbine High School Library and took the lives of thirteen people.
5. One L. Goh – Wanted Revenge For Not Getting A Tuition Refund
We’ll have to head back out to California, Oakland as a matter of fact, to discuss the Oikos University Shooting. In April of 2012, a man in his early forties named One L. Goh opened fire on police officers located on the campus. Goh is one of the few killers on the list today that were alive to stand trial for their heinous crimes. Goh is reported to have been angry at the University after being denied a reimbursement for his tuition. He is believed to have gone to Oikos campus that day for vengeance against school administrators and students who he felt had treated him poorly in the past. In Goh’s trial, psychiatrists diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia. A diagnosis that comes as no surprise to his victims’ families.
4. Chris Harper-Mercer (26) – Learning Disabilities, Mental Health Issues, And A Broken Home
In October 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon, twenty-six-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer killed one teacher and eight students in a classroom at Umpqua Community College campus. Chris Harper-Mercer was from a broken home and found himself in Oregon with his mother after their need to relocate for employment reasons. It’s known that the gunman had learning disabilities and debilitating mental health issues. The classroom in which he opened fire on his victims was an introductory to writing class he enrolled in at the school. Authorities described Chris Harper-Mercer as a man who had succumbed to a hate-filled existence.
3. Charles Carl Roberts IV – A Psychotic Break (5 Dead-3 Injured)
Now, we take a look at Charles Carl Roberts IV. He’s the man responsible for murdering five girls and wounding three more in an Amish school house before taking his own life. The shooting is referred to as the West Nickel Mines School Shooting and it happened on October 2, 2006 in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. Charles Carl Roberts IV is believed to have been experiencing a psychotic break at the time of the incident. In his suicide note to his wife, he confessed to molesting two younger family members when he was twelve years old. Oddly, in their own statement, the two family members of Roberts that he said he had molested denied any such abuse had ever happened to them.
2. Elliot Rodger – Wanted To Hurt Anyone Who Had A Better Life Than Him
Twenty-two-year-old Elliot Rodger was a young man who was consumed with hate; much like every other shooter in this article today. Elliot Rodger wanted revenge against the world, his family, the females who he felt had hurt him over the years. He hated interracial relationships and, that awful day in May, vowed to hurt any person he believed had a better life than he did. He was a sexually frustrated person who never had luck meeting girls either. Elliot Rodger found that heartbreaking. That’s why one of his fateful stops that day was by a sorority house where he shot and killed two girls. Elliot Rodger murdered six people while wounding over ten others in 2014 in what is remembered as the Isla Vista Killings.
1. Patrick Purdy – Was A Drifter (5 Child Deaths)
Patrick Purdy is the man responsible for the 1989 Stockton Schoolyard Shooting. After intentionally blowing up his van behind the school using a homemade bomb, Patrick then made his way to an out building on the school’s property. Once he reached the building, he opened fire on potential immigrants. Patrick Purdy fired his gun over one-hundred times killing five kids and injuring more than thirty others. Most of which were Asian. Widely known as a wanderer, Patrick Purdy’s wrap sheet began early as a young teen. Growing up with a bad family life and having an irreparable relationship with his mother eventually pushed Patrick beyond his breaking point. On a January day in Stockton, California Patrick Purdy took matters into his hands by committing suicide after murdering several people at the school.