October 23, 1967
Clinton County, Pennsylvania
Leo Held (40) goes on a shooting spree, killing 6 and wounding another 6
Around 8 a.m. on October 23, Held entered his workplace at the Hammermill Paper Co.’s laboratories while carrying a .38-caliber revolver and a .44-caliber magnum. He first shot and killed Carman H. Edwards (62) then moved upstairs to a second-floor lab where he shot and killed his brother-in-law Elmer Weaver (37) as well as Allan “Jack” Barrett Jr. (44) and Richard Davenport (32), and wounded two other employees. Held progressed to the machine room where he wounded another co-worker and entered the main office to shoot and kill Donald Walden (31).
Held calmly walked out of the building, passing by a fellow employee who asked what the commotion was about. Held replied he didn’t know before he got into his car and drove to the Lock Haven Airport approximately 17 miles (27 km) away. Held specifically targeted Geraldine Ramm at the airport, at one point aiming his gun at one of Ramm’s co-workers but intentionally choosing not to shoot. He did, however, shoot and injure Ramm before Held scuffled with an airport manager and left the scene.
Held next drove to Loganton around 18 miles (29 km) from the airport where he broke into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd (27) Quiggle as they slept; the Quiggles lived across the street from Held. Mrs. Quiggle was wounded and Floyd fatally shot. Held passed by their 5-year-old daughter on his way out but did not physically harm her.
Police had tracked Held down and were waiting for him outside the Quiggle home when he emerged. During a “brief exchange of shots,” Held was wounded in both hands, his right leg, his left shoulder, and his forehead. After Held crumpled to the ground he was arrested and transported to the hospital for treatment. The entire incident, from the first killing to Held’s arrest, lasted approximately 90 minutes.
Held died two days later on October 25 from a pulmonary embolism related to wounds sustained in the shootout. Reportedly, his dying words were, “I had one more to go,” which some believed was in reference to his neighbor, a 71-year-old widow he had previously struck with a tree branch during an altercation concerning their property line.
Held left behind “only a few mumbled words” regarding “some things about his family and work” and did not give a clear motive behind the spree, leaving his reasoning up to speculation. Some suspected Held may have shot some of his managers (all of whom survived their injuries) because he faced a possible layoff. This motive was dismissed when it was learned he was not one of those affected by the dismissals. Another theory suggested Held had been jealous of a recent promotion by one of the wounded employees. However, the worker had received no such promotion. And others have speculated Held was angry over being “blackballed” from his carpool after other riders complained of his “reckless driving.” Evidence to support this claim was placed on the fact Geraldine Ramm was one of the members of the carpool, and Held had gone out of his way to shoot her. Whatever his reasoning, it was noted that Held had specifically targeted certain people and intentionally ignored others, ruling out the possibility the killings were indiscriminate.
Bernard, Leo. “The Fury of Leo Held.” The Express. October 21, 2017. Accessed: October 23, 2020. https://www.lockhaven.com/news/community/2017/10/the-fury-of-leo-held/
“6 Slain by Berserk Penna. Man; Congress Battles Over Spending.” The Philadelphia Inquirer. October 29, 1967
“Leo Held Dies, His Motives Remain Untold.” The Express [Lock Haven, Pennsylvania]. October 25, 1967
“Weaver Brothers Held Pall Bearers.” The Express. October 25, 1967
“Leo Held, Accused Mass Killer, Dies.” Messenger and Inquirer [Owensboro, Kentucky]. October 25, 1967
Owens, Joy. “An Angry Man Vents Feelings On Widow.” Intelligencer Journal [Lancaster, Pennsylvania]. October 24, 1967