Bath of Fire: The Worst and Most Forgotten Mass Murder of American Children
October 5, 2006 1:45 PM   Subscribe

America's worst school violence ever was not a recent event, but the Bath School disaster of 1927. Andrew Kehoe, a school board member upset with his tax bill, used dynamite and some pyrotol from WWI-era military surplus to blow himself up along with the elementary school of Bath Township, Michigan, leaving 45 dead and 58 injured. See a 1927 book on the disaster, a list of victims, the coroner's inquest, a historical marker, a memorial park, an oral history from a witness, and a 1920s KKK rant denouncing Kehoe as an agent of the Roman Catholic conspiracy.
posted by jonp72 (14 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I was surprised by this myself, but there were more children killed during this event than as a result of the Oklahoma City bombing, although I don't have data on the ages of victims from 9/11. Nineteen children were killed as a result of the bombing of the Murrah building, which was less than the death toll among children in the Bath school bombing.
posted by jonp72 at 1:53 PM on October 5, 2006

From the title, I thought this was going to be about the Branch Davidian siege.
posted by delmoi at 1:55 PM on October 5, 2006

This is a much better post than the last time the Bath School Disaster was posted.
posted by Faze at 1:56 PM on October 5, 2006

There's an excellent Wikipedia article on the topic.
posted by perissodactyl at 2:09 PM on October 5, 2006

Yeah i just got done reading the wikipedia article, it is REALLY well written. I had never heard about this thanks for the post.
posted by sourbrew at 2:13 PM on October 5, 2006

I swear I saw this on the front page just a few weeks ago. Did another recent post get deleted as a double, or am I going crazy?
posted by nanojath at 2:26 PM on October 5, 2006

I read the first book on this subject at the Library of Congress about 15 years ago. I am still shocked.
posted by doctorschlock at 2:50 PM on October 5, 2006

nanojath, I saw that, too. It was a comment in another thread. It was posted in October of 2002 as a front-page post.
posted by dilettante at 2:58 PM on October 5, 2006

My daughter used to live directly across the street from the site of the old school. I've read several articles about the event. One of the most disturbing is that Mr Kehoe destroyed everything he had of value so his estate would be worthless. This included all his animals, vehicles, farm buildings and wife.
posted by The Mermaid at 4:18 PM on October 5, 2006

Blowing up kids is bad enough, but this guy tied up horses and burned them alive. I don't think that's nice at all. Who did he think he was?
posted by davy at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2006

But.. but... I thought things like this didn't happen back in the Good Ol' Days tm? Clinton wasn't even born yet; how can I blame this on him?
posted by keswick at 5:14 PM on October 5, 2006

Blame it on video games Keswick! Spacewar was just around the corner.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:51 PM on October 5, 2006

Anyone notice his last words? (from the wiki) "Criminal are made, Not born."

Very interesting stuff!
posted by snsranch at 8:34 PM on October 5, 2006

In the first link, they sure dramatized it up, no?

“Damn bastards!’ he hissed. He accidentally kicked over a bucket of feed which he then picked up and threw at the wall. “Bastards!” he screamed.

"They never learn! They never learn!” he repeated over and over again.

I know he was bat-shit-evil-insane, but the Crime Library is usually not so...pulpish and hyperbolic, am I right?
posted by dozo at 11:17 AM on October 6, 2006

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