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Subject: Archive: Worst school massacre in US, on May 18, 1927, in Bath, Mich.


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44 killed, 58 injured
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Date Posted: Thursday, May 18, 02:04:13pm

The Bath School disaster, sometimes known as the Bath School massacre, was a series of violent attacks perpetrated by Andrew Kehoe on May 18, 1927 in Bath Township, Michigan, which killed 38 elementary schoolchildren and 6 adults and injured at least 58 other people. Kehoe killed his wife and firebombed his farm, then detonated an explosion in the Bath Consolidated School before committing suicide by detonating a final device in his truck. It is the deadliest mass murder to take place at a school in United States history.

Andrew Kehoe was the 55-year-old school board treasurer and was angered by increased taxes and his defeat in the Spring 1926 election for township clerk. He was thought to have planned his "murderous revenge" after that public defeat. He had a reputation for difficulty on the school board and in personal dealings. In addition, he was notified that his mortgage was going to be foreclosed upon in June 1926.[3] For much of the next year, a neighbor noticed that he had stopped working on his farm and thought that he might be planning suicide. During that period, Kehoe purchased explosives and discreetly planted them on his property and under the school.

Kehoe murdered his wife Nellie sometime between May 16 and the morning of May 18, 1927; she had just been discharged from the hospital with an undefined illness. He then set off various incendiary devices on his homestead on the morning of May 18 at about 8:45 a.m., causing the house and other farm buildings to be destroyed by the explosives' blasts and subsequent fires.

Almost simultaneously, an explosion devastated the north wing of the Bath Consolidated School building, killing 36 schoolchildren and two teachers. Kehoe had used a timed detonator to ignite hundreds of pounds of dynamite and incendiary pyrotol, which he had secretly planted inside the school over the course of many months. As rescuers began working at the school, Kehoe drove up, stopped, and used a rifle to detonate dynamite inside his shrapnel-filled truck, killing himself, the school superintendent, and several others nearby, as well as injuring more bystanders. During rescue efforts at the school, searchers discovered an additional 500 pounds (230 kg) of unexploded dynamite and pyrotol connected to a timing device set to detonate at the same time as the first explosions; the material was hidden throughout the basement of the south wing. Kehoe had apparently intended to blow up and destroy the entire school.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster

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