Hell Comes to Bath: America’s Worst School Violence Ever

The news keeps reporting that the Virginia Tech massacre is the largest mass murder in US history.  They are wrong.  It’s not even the biggest school massacre.

In Bath, Michigan, on May 18, 1927, Andrew Kehoe murdered his wife, shot the school Superintendent to death, blew up his home and farm, then blew up the Bath Consolidated School.  Death toll: 45.

a bronze memorial plaque contains the names of all the children killed on that terrible day. And although their parents survived, they too were victims of the bombing, for life has never been the same since. But it hasn’t been easy. The murder of children is never an easy thing. Some people moved away from Bath in the years after the tragedy, probably as much to escape from their own memories as anything else. The episode had a numbing effect on the community that, in a sense, still remains deeply embedded in the subconscious of successive generations. To many people, Bath is still remembered as the place where a bloody school massacre occurred on a glorious spring day. A day when one man’s strange obsession was transformed into hate and hate transformed into murder. A day when the world went wrong and death fell upon the innocent.  A day when Hell came to Bath.

Source: Hell Comes to Bath: America’s Worst School Violence Ever


  1. What troubles me about any kind of moniker like “worst (fill in blank) ever” is that some unbalanced person will, in the future, feel the need to genuinely ‘set the record straight’.

    We are indeed living in ‘critical times, hard to deal with’.

  2. Timothy McVeigh didn’t work alone though, so I don’t think it’s in the same classification.

    But I get your point – if they are saying, “The deadliest school shooting ever” then they are technically correct. But saying “The deadliest school massacre ever” is NOT true.

  3. They may be referring to a killer who kills one person at a time.
    If you count the use of explosives, then Andrew Kehoe doesn’t hold that horrible record either. That then would be held by Timothy McVeigh, whose Oklahoma City bomb took the lives of 168 people.
    And maybe, if you go back far enough in time, THAT’s not even a record. Not sure though.