Massacres/Mass Murder · Michigan · School Violence

Man kills wife, blows up elementary school (1927)

May 18, 1927
Bath Township, Michigan
Andrew Kehoe, angry over rising taxes and his recent defeat in an election for township clerk, goes on a rampage ending in the deaths of 45 and the injuries of 58

Kehoe’s wife, ill with tuberculosis, was discharged from the hospital May 16; it was the last time she would be seen alive. Sometime between the 16th and 18th, Kehoe murdered his wife, placed her body in a wheelbarrow, and surrounded her with silverware and safe boxes filled with cash, presumably to keep his wife’s corpse and their valuables safe after his planned firebombing of the farm. This plan didn’t work, however, as the badly charred corpse of Mrs. Kehoe was discovered after the bombing, and the safe boxes used to protect the cash were not fireproof. He also tied wire around the legs of his two horses to prevent escape or rescue before setting off several fire bombs on his property and nearby farms.

Shortly after, bombs rigged with alarm clocks detonated at the Bath Consolidated School, collapsing the roof onto elementary school children and teachers. 36 students and 2 teachers were killed. Kehoe arrived as rescuers tried to help the victims and used a shotgun to explode dynamite held within his shrapnel-filled truck. The resulting explosion killed Kehoe, the school’s superintendent, a student, and two bystanders.

In total, including Kehoe and his wife, 45 were killed and a further 58 injured. Investigators found additional dynamite that was not detonated in the south wing of the school. Because of this, investigators believed Kehoe’s intent was to destroy the entire school. Witnesses later mentioned seeing Kehoe entering the school often at night, and it was theorizes the bombs had been placed stealthily over the process of months.

When investigating Kehoe’s home, a fence was found bearing a stenciled phrase reading “criminals are made, not born”.

The victims were:

Before the school bombing
Nellie Kehoe (52)

Killed by the school bombing
Arnold V. Bauerle (8)
Henry Bergan (14)
Herman Bergan (11)
Emilie M. Bromundt (11)
Robert F. Bromundt (12)
Floyd E. Burnett (12)
Russell J. Chapman (8)
F. Robert Cochran (8)
Ralph A. Cushman (7)
Earl E. Ewing (11)
Katherine O. Foote (10)
Marjorie Fritz (9)
Carlyle W. Geisenhaver (9)
George P. Hall, Jr. (8)
Willa M. Hall (11)
Iola I. Hart (12)
Percy E. Hart (11)
Vivian O. Hart (8)
Blanche E. Harte (30, teacher)
Gailand L. Harte (12)
LaVere R. Harte (9)
Stanley H. Harte (12)
Francis O. Hoeppner (13)
Cecial L. Hunter (13)
Doris E. Johns (8)
Thelma I. MacDonald (8)
Clarence W. McFarren (13)
J. Emerson Medcoff (8)
Emma A. Nickols (13)
Richard D. Richardson (12)
Elsie M. Robb (12)
Pauline M. Shirts (10)
Hazel I. Weatherby (21, teacher)
Elizabeth J. Witchell (10)
Lucile J. Witchell (9)
Harold L. Woodman (8)
George O. Zimmerman (10)
Lloyd Zimmerman (12)

Killed by the truck bombing
G. Cleo Clayton (8)
Emory E. Huyck (33, superintendent)
Andrew P. Kehoe (55)
Nelson McFarren (74, bystander)
Glenn O. Smith (33, bystander)

Fatally wounded
Beatrice P. Gibbs (10)


The remains of Kehoe’s truck


The caption reads “Where Mrs. Kehoe’s body was found.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s