the worst school massacre in American history: not Virginia Tech

Bath Consolidated School

No, it was not yesterday’s attacks at Virginia Tech. It was Andrew Kehoe‘s murderous rampage in Bath, Michigan, in 1928. Of course, the Clock Tower Sniper had been famous for killing the most as well, but his total of 15 didn’t hold the real record, either. Alas.

Thinking over the whole phenomenon of mass murder in North America, it’s clear that schools of all kinds are particularly favoured targets. From Columbine to Dawson College, from Texas University to Montreal University, students in particular have been targeted for slaughter in a way that no other group has been.

Why is that?

Is it a crime of convenience? Most crimes of violence are committed by young men, it’s true, and surely schools are full of young men. No; the mass murders are not generally carried out by those attending the institutions. Think of some famous examples: Kimveer Gill never attended Dawson College, nor did he single out authority figures; he shot indiscriminately, killing only Anastasia deSousa, putting the lie to his claims to “fight the bullies.”  Charles Carl Roberts was well past the age of gradeschool and had never attended an Amish school; he was just looking for a place he could be sure of finding little girls. Charles Whitman was a grown man and ex-Marine when he went up that clock tower and began shooting; he’d already killed his mother and his wife.

No, it’s not revenge because of what happens to the students in the schools, and it’s not latent violent tendencies manifesting in the throes of a testosterone surge; I suggest it’s because these murders are carried out by those who wish to take out the largest number of the most helpless victims, so they choose schools because while they are bound to be full of people at certain times, it’s unlikely that any of those people are going to be armed or physically intimidating enough to put up a fight (yet another reason to target women, who tend to be smaller) and they are trained en masse to obey adults. Mass murderers are psychopaths, remember: doing this kind of cold math comes naturally to them. You never hear about anyone just happening to attempt to run amok in Bull’s Eye Gun Supply do you?

Do I think the solution is to arm the innocents, turning them into potential killers? No, I think the solution is to disarm the perpetrators. There are only so many people you can kill by hitting them with a big rock. And these mass murders are not, let me point out, conducted by career criminals; they are committed by tightly-wound people with clean records and easy access to powerful weapons.

You can’t buy certain kinds of music in WalMart, but you can buy guns.

Andrew Kehoe was one such tightly-wound man.

Bath Consolidated School, side view

From The Bath School Disaster, by Monty J. Ellsworth

“He never farmed it as other farmers do and he tried to do everything with his tractor. He was in the height of his glory when fixing machinery or tinkering. He was always trying new methods in his work, for instance, hitching two mowers behind his tractor. This method at different times did not work and he would just leave the hay standing. He also put four sections of drag and two rollers at once behind his tractor. He spent so much time tinkering that he didn’t prosper.”

And from the Crime Library:

Over time, Kehoe gained a reputation in the town for thriftiness. That trait helped get him elected to the school board in Bath in 1926.On the board, Kehoe campaigned endlessly for lower taxes which, he claimed, were causing him financial hardship. His creditors tried to work out an agreement with Kehoe but were unsuccessful. Soon, he stopped paying his mortgage altogether. To complicate matters, his wife Nellie was chronically ill with an undiagnosed illness. She required frequent hospital stays, which depleted the family savings further. Kehoe envisioned losing his farm and plunging into debt. In his mind, he blamed higher taxes for all his financial woes. He couldn’t understand the need for bigger and better schools. He saw many of the town expenditures as wasteful and ill conceived. But above all and without respite, without any valid reason or logic, he blamed the Bath Consolidated School for his troubles.

Read the tale of the Bath School Disaster which left 45 people dead and 58 injured; Kehoe had no WalMart, he had no automatic pistols, but he did have a persecution complex, an enormous, fragile ego, an obsessive need for control and low competence for exercising it, and several tons of dynamite and pyrotol.

Any way you mix them, it’s an explosive combination.

(here are some additional thoughts on the relationship between the zeta male, mass murders and cyberspace)

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today in confirming your worst suspicions about humanity news…

Kimveer Gill and his gun 

Sales of the Beretta CX4 Storm 9-mm, semi-automatic carbine tripled in the month after Kimveer Gill used one in his infamous shooting rampage at Dawson College in Montreal which left himself and business student Anastasia De Sousa dead.

This is certainly a case that brings out the very best in people. And that’s the very best in these people.

Is it so very wrong to wish that all those additional sales result in suicides?

Kimveer Gill

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hidden messages in Kimveer Gill’s blog?

Gill in his trenchcoat 

Let’s look at his post from June 11 (stolen from the Volokh Chronicles):

Warning

Look out friends

The RCMP and CSIS in Canada and Local Law enforcement and F.B.I. in the States have been scouring this web site during the last 3 months. Looking to arrest you guys and girls for nothing.

Ever since that girl from Alberta killed her family, they’ve been going through the pros, and have arrested dozens of people because of what they wrote in their journals (like talking about killing someone), or the pics they got (like holding a gun) or whatever.

Just be careful about what you write. Select “Private Entry” for anything that might be perceived as suspicious. For now.

And yes, he was right. The RCMP have confirmed that they have a unit who looks at social networking sites and, further and almost inconcievably (and I do know what that word means), they have told the press that, had they seen Gill‘s blog, they’d have considered it mundane and not in any way indicative of problems in the present or the future.

All I can say is that maybe they should assign it to someone who’s a little better with English or with psychology next time. Pros agree.

“From what he wrote, you could tell that he basically hated humanity as a whole. He hated everybody. He hated black people, white people, rich people. He hated everybody,” a police source said.

“It was very obvious his state of mind was deteriorating greatly over the last three weeks.”

So perhaps there are many, even more violent posts in his blog; we won’t know unless the police choose to tell us. He wasn’t shy about his paranoia:

 Shut up

I wonder why my household has been under surveillance by law enforcement for 6 years now? Makes no sense to me!!

Oh, you’re wondering how I know? lol Bet you little monkeys are Hey, assholes!! Everything everyone says or does against me is shown to me in my dreams, I see everything. You fucking monkeys.

God, you humans are so inferior. Mood:………………………….

Music:Marilyn Manson – Coma White

Legally, there’s a case to be made for the blog being part of Gill‘s estate, so VampireFreaks may have to answer for that at some point. In any case, blogs are going to have to have formal in-case-of-mortality clauses soon. People aren’t going to stop dying. But that’s an aside.

Gill was also for a time a regular on the Trenchcoat Chronicles, a discovery greeted with strongly mixed emotions by Trench, the proprietor of the site. In apparently every single comment he made on the website (under his Yahoo id, rogue_warrior_50@yahoo.ca) he denied that kids who wrote about their intentions to do violence ever, once, for so much as a moment, were joking. Prescient echoes of the VampireFreaks disclaimer, methinks. My own theory is that Gill was trying to throw the cops off his trail; the cops who freely admit that they weren’t even aware he existed back then.

It makes me wonder what’s in those hidden entries.

This is the post that got him banned from the Trenchcoat Chronicles:

How can the police arrest this young rebel, and send him to jail? He hasn’t done anything wrong. Many teenagers feel isolated and alone, and for such a reason they may create an imaginary reality within their own mind, such as shooting people.

If he was really going to kill alot of people then he wouldn’t be telling people he was going to do it. It’s just common sense. I believe he just wanted a little attention, nothing more.

Lets hope he gets outta jail soon, and the police give him back the guns the seized

For that comment I banned him from leaving comments on my site.

The last time I heard from him was from an e-mail he sent me which you can see here.
Did he have any hidden blog entries at all? If so, did he threaten to kill anyone in them? He didn’t seem all that shy, although not being stupid he wasn’t all that specific either, in the regular blog entries.

We need a lot more answers from the police and from VampireFreaks.com before we can answer those questions. For now, let’s look at the final email he sent Trench and extrapolate from there, shall we? Emphasis mine.

Hi

Cool page. Like what you do here. But I find you only look at the story one way. Not once have I read a comment you’ve made, about even one of these school shootings being acceptable, or needed.

Did you use to be a police officer or something?

How to win friends and influence people on VampireFreaks.com

Looks like Kimveer Gill‘s Friends page at VampireFreaks has changed since two days ago. If I’m not mistaken, he has more friends now.

Charming.

I wish I could say this surprised me, but from what I know about fans it does not, not even slightly.

Disclaiming Kimveer Gill

 Gill and his gun

Every site that Kimveer Gill‘s been associated with has posted a disclaimer of one kind or another. VampireFreaks.com blame the whole thing on the mainstream media and insist that there is no Goth on the planet who is the slightest bit violent or hurtful. Whatever. And Gothmetal.net says their whole site is down until the police are finished with it. But among the disingenuous and the bland, there is a disclaimer that is actually somewhat inspirational, and it comes from the strangest source.

Gill‘s favorite videogame was Super Columbine Massacre, and the creator of the site has naturally been inundated by curious and/or worried surfers looking for clues into the mind of a murderer. Did the game cause this? Did the game feed the rage or bleed it off? Who would create a game that relives one of the most infamous crimes of the last fifty years, and why? Let’s look at his answers and draw our own conclusions rather than look for confirmation of our assumptions.

To the Public:

I am, like most, saddened by the news of the recent shooting at Dawson College. I extend my condolences to those affected by this painful event. Please refer to the artist’s statement for the game’s intent. For further questions, please contact me here.

In the press I’ve been getting lately, I have tried to articulate very clearly that Columbine was a “wake up call” not just for our society but for ME in particular as I was once headed down a similar road. I found other outlets such as filmmaking and theater… unfortunately those like Harris, Klebold, and apparently Gill did not.

Super Columbine Massacre

To Forum Posters:

This site is NOT a place to spread hatred or to cheer on the death of innocent people (quite the opposite, actually). Please be aware of the sensitive nature of Montreal right now and of those who were affected by this shooting. Videogames are important. They’re now under much scrutiny here. Own your words and mean them. If you want a world where freedom of expression prevails, please understand that with it comes an inherent responsibility to be thoughtful and mature about your expression.

-Danny Ledonne

“Columbin”

SCMRPG Creator