|“||CRIMINALS ARE MADE, NOT BORN.||„|
|~ Andrew Kehoe's last message to the world.|
Andrew Philip Kehoe (February 1st, 1872 – May 18th, 1927) was the perpetrator of the Bath School bombings on May 18th 1927, which remains the deadliest act of mass murder in a school in US history. His apparent motive was revenge against the foreclosure of his farm due to taxes that paid for the school.
Kehoe was born in Tecumseh, Michigan, among the younger of a family of 13 children. His parents were Philip Kehoe (1833–1915) and Mary (McGovern) Kehoe (1835–1890). He attended Tecumseh High School and Michigan State College (later Michigan State University), where he studied electrical engineering. There, he first met his future wife, Ellen "Nellie" Price, the daughter of a wealthy Lansing family.
After college, Kehoe went southwest, apparently working for several years as an electrician in St. Louis, Missouri. During this period, in 1911, he suffered a severe head injury in a fall which resulted in his being in a coma for two weeks.
Kehoe then moved back in with his father after the injury. During Kehoe's time away his mother had died and his father had married Frances Wilder, whom Kehoe did not like.
Kehoe was regarded by his neighbors as a highly intelligent man who grew impatient and angry with those who disagreed with him. Neighbors recalled that Kehoe was always neat, dressed meticulously, and was known to change his shirt at midday or whenever it became even slightly dirty. Neighbors also recounted how Kehoe was cruel to his farm animals, having once beaten a horse to death. The Kehoes initially attended services at the Catholic church in Bath, but he refused to pay the church's parish assessment of members and prevented his wife from attending.
Recent analysis labels him a dangerous "injustice collector", a person who remembers slights and holds a grudge for a long time. While many people may hold grudges, it becomes dangerous when a person begins to feel like a victim and acts on it.
On the morning of May 18, Kehoe beat his wife to death, probably with his Winchester rifle. Then set his farm buildings on fire. As fire fighters arrived at the farm, Kehoe drove up in his truck, telling them "Boys, you're my friends. You better get out of here. You better head down to the school" and drove off. An explosion devastated the north wing of the school building, killing many of the people inside. Kehoe used a detonator to ignite dynamite and hundreds of pounds of pyrotol which he had secretly planted inside the school over the course of many months. As rescuers started gathering at the school, Kehoe drove up and stopped. He beckoned over the superintendent, who he did not like. Kehoe revealed his involvement in the bombing. He pulled out a Winchester rifle and fired into the back of his dynamite and shrapnel-filled vehicle. The truck bomb detonated, killing himself and the school superintendent, as well as killing and injuring several others. During the rescue efforts, searchers discovered an additional 500 pounds (230 kg) of unexploded dynamite and pyrotol planted throughout the basement of the school's south wing. If Kehoe's scheme had gone exactly according to plan, the whole school would've been destroyed and the casualties would've been doubled.
After the bombings investigators found a wooden sign wired to the farm's fence with Kehoe's last message, "CRIMINALS ARE MADE, NOT BORN," written on it. His wife's body was found, burnt beyond recognition.
List of Victims
- Nellie Kehoe - August 2, 1875 (51 years)
This is a list of bystanders who had died in the attack. 3 of the victims were male while 2 was female. The victim's names are followed by their date of birth, and their age at the time that they were killed.
- Emory Hyuck, school superintendent - July 3, 1894 (32 years)
- Nelson McFarren, retired farmer - May 5, 1852 (75 years)
- Glenn Smith, postmaster - May 18, 1894 (33 years)
- Blanch Harte, teacher - February 24, 1897 (30 years)
- Hazel Weatherby, teacher - September 20, 1906 (20 years)
This is a list of students who had died in the attack. In total, 38 were killed. 20 of the victims were male while 20 were female. The victims' names are followed by their date of birth and their age at the time that they were killed.
- Arnold Bauerle - February 15, 1919 (8 years)
- Henry Bergan - August 28, 1913 (13 years)
- Herman Bergan - January 24, 1915 (12 years)
- Emilie Bromundt - January 22, 1916 (11 years)
- Robert Bromundt - August 2, 1914 (12 years)
- Floyd Burnett - July 11, 1915 (11 years)
- Russell Chapman - October 1, 1918 (8 years)
- F. Robert Cochran - December 24, 1918 (8 years)
- Ralph Cushman - February 2, 1919 (8 years)
- Earl Ewing - January 23, 1916 (11 years)
- Katherine Foote - May 29, 1916 (10 years)
- Marjorie Fritz - October 3, 1917 (9 years)
- Carlyle Geisenhaver - December 28, 1917 (9 years)
- George Hall Jr. - October 17, 1918 (8 years)
- Willa Hall - April 3, 1916 (11 years)
- Iola Hart - June 19, 1914 (12 years)
- Percy Hart - February 24, 1916 (11 years)
- Vivian Hart - November 2, 1918 (8 years)
- Gailand Harte - September 1, 1914 (12 years)
- LaVere Harte - December 4, 1917 (9 years)
- Stanley Harte - March 4, 1915 (12 years)
- Francis Hoeppner - January 4, 1913 (14 years)
- Cecial Hunter - June 14, 1913 (13 years)
- Doris Johns - October 17, 1918 (8 years)
- Thelma MacDonald - August 22, 1918 (8 years)
- Clarence McFadden - December 15, 1913 (13 years)
- J. Emerson Medcoff - December 30, 1918 (8 years)
- Emma Nickols - July 16, 1914 (13 years)
- Richard Richardson - May 7, 1915 (12 years)
- Elise Robb - January 7, 1915 (12 years)
- Pauline Shirts - December 1, 1916 (10 years)
- Elizabeth Witchell - May 2, 1917 (10 years)
- Lucile Witchell - January 2, 1917 (10 years)
- Harold Woodman - July 3, 1918 (8 years)
- George Zimmerman - January 15, 1917 (10 years)
- Lloyd Zimmerman - February 2, 1915 (12 years)
- G. Cleo Clayton - February 2, 1918 (9 years)
- Beatrice Gibbs - May 17, 1917 (10 years)