On 29 January 1979, Brenda Spencer took out her 22. caliber rifle and began shooting across the road at a San Diego elementary school. The sixteen year old girl astonished the world with her reason for killing two school workers, injuring eight children and a police officer: “I don’t like Monday’s.” She plead guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 25 years to life imprisonment.
In March 1996, Thomas Hamilton walked into Dunblane Primary school in Scotland armed with five hand guns and 743 rounds of ammunition. He entered the gymnasium and opened fire at a class of five/six year old children and their teachers, before turning the gun on himself. A total of 16 children died that day, as did one of their teachers. This massacre sent shock waves across the world, and urged the UK government to change their gun laws permanently.
The phrase ‘Going Postal’ became established in the English language after 1986, as a term to describe a disgruntled employee whom lashes out violently in the work place. It originated from a true and horrific tale of a local postman, who was on the verge of being dismissed from his job in Edmond, Oklahoma. One morning, he walked into the local post office and shot at everyone in sight. He killed 14 members of the postal staff, before turning the gun on himself. This is the story of Patrick Henry Sherrill.
In July 2012, James Holmes walked into a theatre in Colorado and opened fire on the audience, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others. He entered a plea of not guilty by grounds of insanity at his trial, and a battle regarding his sanity took place. After almost three months of displaying evidence and hearing from surviving victims, the jury found James Holmes guilty of murder and attempted murder. He was given 24 life sentences without the possibility of parole for his crimes.