May 18, 2019

ATTACKS ON SCHOOLS AREN’T NEW: On this day in 1927, at approximately 8:45 a.m., in Bath, Michigan, Andrew Kehoe, a 55-year-old school board treasurer, remotely detonated the dynamite he had hidden in the basement of the Bath Consolidated School. The explosion killed 38, mostly elementary schoolchildren. Little bodies were torn apart.

Frantic parents converged on the school, searching through the rubble for their children. Many lost more than one child.

Kehoe was on a rampage. Earlier that day he had blown up his own house and farm. And at some time earlier that day or the day before he had murdered his wife Nellie.

The rampage ended about a half hour after the school explosion when Kehoe drove back to the school grounds. After beckoning to the school superintendent to come near, he detonated the dynamite in his truck. The resulting explosion killed Kehoe himself, the superintendent, two other adults and eight-year-old Cleo Clayton, who had survived the school explosion.

I have a hard time asking why Kehoe acted as he did. It seems like a senseless question. The best that the townspeople could say was that Kehoe had always been a difficult man and that lately he had been angered by his defeat in the election for township clerk. Oh … and he was upset by a recent tax increase.

He was a loon … just like the rash of more recent killers.

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