July 29, 1999
Stockbridge, Georgia
Mark Barton goes on a shooting spree at two day trading firms and kills himself, leaving a note explaining the bludgeoning murders of his family the two days before

Barton had lost a substantial amount of money — $105,000 — in internet trading and was distraught, which was the motive behind the murder spree. He bludgeoned his wife, Leigh Ann, with a hammer on July 27 as she slept, and killed his children, Matthew (11) and Mychelle (7) in the same manner on the night of July 28 as they slept.

The exact reason why Barton went on a shooting spree at the day trader firms is unknown but is speculated to be related to his losses in online trading. Before entering a manager’s office he was heard saying “I hope this doesn’t ruin your trading day.” Barton left the scene before police arrived. After a manhunt lasting a few hours, Barton was found at a gas station. He shot himself before police were able to apprehend him. By the end of the spree, 13 were killed including the entire Barton family and 13 more injured.

A typed note next to the bodies of his family read:

July 29, 1999, 6:38 a.m.

To Whom It May Concern:

Leigh Ann is in the master bedroom closet under a blanket. I killed her on Tuesday night. I killed Matthew and Mychelle Wednesday night.

There may be similarities between these deaths and the death of my first wife, Debra Spivey. However, I deny killing her and her mother. There’s no reason for me to lie now. It just seemed like a quiet way to kill and a relatively painless way to die.

There was little pain. All of them were dead in less than five minutes.

I hit them with a hammer in their sleep and then put them face down in a bathtub to make sure they did not wake up in pain. To make sure they were dead. I am so sorry. I wish I didn’t. Words cannot tell the agony.

Why did I?

I have been dying since October. I wake up at night so afraid, so terrified that I couldn’t be that afraid while awake. It has taken its toll. I have come to hate this life and this system of things. I have come to have no hope.

I killed the children to exchange them for five minutes of pain for a lifetime of pain. I forced myself to do it to keep them from suffering so much later. No mother, no father, no relatives. The fears of the father are transferred to the son. It was from my father to me and from me to my son. He already had it and now to be left alone. I had to take him with me.

I killed Leigh Ann because she was one of the main reasons for my demise as I planned to kill the others. I really wish I hadn’t killed her now.

She really couldn’t help it and I love her so much anyway.

I know that Jehovah will take care of all of them in the next life. I’m sure the details don’t matter. There is no excuse, no good reason. I am sure no one would understand. If they could, I wouldn’t want them to. I just write these things to say why.

Please know that I love Leigh Ann, Matthew and Mychelle with all of my heart. If Jehovah is willing, I would like to see all of them again in the resurrection, to have a second chance. I don’t plan to live very much longer, just long enough to kill as many of the people that greedily sought my destruction.

You should kill me if you can.

Mark O. Barton

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