School Shootings in North America and Europe
NORTH AMERICA : Pontiac’s Rebellion School Massacre; Bath School Disaster; University of Texas Tower Shootings; Ecole Polytechnique Massacre; Jonesboro Massacre; Thurston High School Massacre; Columbine High School Massacre; Red Lake Massacre; Amish School Shooting; The Virginia Tech Massacre
EUROPE : Cologne School Massacre; Dunblane School Shootings; Erfurt Massacre; Winnenden School Shooting
TERRORISM : Ma’a lot Massacre; Beslan School Hostage Crisis; Toulouse Shootings
This sure beats the hell out of algebra, doesn’t it?’
Perpetrator of a shooting at Frontier Middle School, Moses Lake, Washington
We send our children to school believing it to be a place of safety. Sometimes, however, it is far from that. College Killers describes how easily the classroom can become a killing ground, and school a place where death haunts the corridors and cafeterias.
According to the United States Secret Service, it could be anyone. He – and almost all school atrocities have been perpetrated by young males – is more often than not the progeny of a troubled marriage or single parent upbringing, but there have also been instances where a killer has emerged from the sanctity of the all-American ‘Mom and Pop’ family. He might be a greasy-haired loner, a Death Metal aficionado who rarely leaves his room, but, alternatively, he could well be the life and soul of the party with a wide circle of close and admiring friends. No one suspects anything is wrong until they watch the gruesome CCTV footage of him stalking the corridors of his school or university, armed to the teeth, with murder, mayhem and revenge on his mind.
It is baffling to most of us that someone could walk into a school or college and kill anyone that crosses his path – innocent student and teacher alike. The Columbine Killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, perpetrators of one of the most high-profile school massacres, committed their heinous crimes with staggering callousness. When asked by another student what they were doing, Klebold replied nonchalantly, ‘Oh, just killing people’. At Thurston High School, as he went about his grim business, the face of murderous student, Kipland P. Kinkel, has been described by a fellow student as expressionless, ‘like it was something he did every day’.
But rarely do we find out what drove these, mostly young, college killers to such desperate lengths, because the majority of them remain silent during their horrific attacks. The 23-year-old Seung-Hui Cho at Virginia Tech in 2007, and the older Thomas Hamilton at Dunblane in 1996, for example, went about their murderous business in a silence broken only by the sound of gunfire and screaming. Our lack of understanding is perpetuated by the fact that most of the perpetrators commit suicide when they run out of ammunition or are eventually cornered by the authorities.
This book looks at the stories of 17 incidents – from the Pontiac’s Rebellion School Massacre in 1764 to the Toulouse shootings carried out by Mohammed Mehra in 2012, analysing the motives and examining the methods of some of the most heinous of all murderers – the College Killers.
Gordon Kerr was born in the Scottish new town of East Kilbride and worked in the wine trade and then bookselling and publishing before becoming a full-time writer. He is the author of numerous books in a variety of genres, including art, history, true crime, travel and humour. He has a wife and two children and lives in Hampshire and – when he can – South West France.
Print length : 120 pages
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