Andrew Kehoe was a farmer living in Bath, Michigan. A member of the school board and the town clerk, on May 18, 1927 he orchestrated a plot to dynamite the Bath Consolidated School, killing thirty-seven children. He killed himself in a second explosion aimed at the school’s superintendent. Kehoe's act was one of the largest school-related mass murders in US history.
Mass murderer Andrew Kehoe was born on February 1, 1872, in Tecumseh, Michigan. Andrew Kehoe was responsible for one of the largest school-related mass murders in the United States. Kehoe lived in the small community of Bath, Michigan, with his wife on his farm. He was elected to the school board in 1924 and later won another community post to serve as the town clerk.
But two years later, his fortunes seemed to be in decline. He lost the nomination for the clerkship and was having trouble with school board. His wife was also ill. And, to top it all off, Kehoe was grappling with financial problems. These were caused in part by a special tax to build a new school; a tax he had fought against. Kehoe was facing the possibility of losing his 80-acre farm.
On May 18, 1927, Kehoe orchestrated a sinister plot against the people of Bath, especially the town's children. He killed his wife and set fire to their home and other farm buildings. This was a diversion, leading neighbors and others to the farm to fight the blaze.
Meanwhile, Kehoe drove to the Bath Consolidated School - the new school he opposed building - where he had planted hundreds of pounds of dynamite. An experienced electrician, he had served as the district's volunteer handyman and had unfettered access to the building. After months of careful planning, Kehoe took his revenge on the town and the school by setting off a bomb at round 8:45 a.m. that morning. Even though not all of the dynamite he had hidden went off, the resulting explosion was catastrophic. Thirty-seven children, most only 6 to 8 years old, and one teacher were killed and scores of others were injured by the blast.
Still, Kehoe's rampage was not complete. His truck was loaded with explosives as well, which he set off during an altercation with the school's superintendent. This final destructive act killed Kehoe, the school official, and several others. In roughly one hour's time, the small town of Bath went from being a quiet, small town to the site of one of the deadliest school attacks.
After the bombings, there was an outpouring of aid and support for the grieving families and the community at large from people across the nation, including Senator James Couzens who offered to rebuild the school and provide financial assistance to the townspeople. The site of the tragedy is now a park, which has a marker that lists the names of the children lost on that horrific day in May.
In 1999, several news reports compared the devastating effects of Kehoe's spite-filled attack on Bath to the shocking school shootings done by teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold in Littleton, Colorado.
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