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Bath Massacre: America's First School Bombing

On May 18, 1927, in a horrific conflagration of dynamite and blood, a madman forever changed the small town of Bath, Michigan. Bath Massacre takes readers back more than eighty years to that fateful day, when Andrew Kehoe set off a cache of explosives concealed in the basement of the local school, killing thirty-eight children and six adults. Among the dead was Kehoe, who literally blew himself up by setting off a concealed dynamite charge in his car. The next day, on Kehoe's farm, his wife's remains—burned beyond recognition after Kehoe set his property and buildings ablaze—were found tied to a hand cart, the skull crushed and objects placed with macabre ritualism next to her body.

 

With the horrors of bombings in Oklahoma City Federal Building and the Boston Marathon still fresh in Americans' minds and the seemingly endless stories of school violence from Columbine to Sandy Hook to Parkland, Bath Massacre resonates powerfully for modern readers and reminds us that domestic terrorism and mass murder are sadly not just a product of our times.

 

Some illustrations in the book have not been seen in over 80 years. Bolstered by cooperation with survivors and their descendants, Bath Massacre includes exclusive interviews with the people who lived through that terrible day in 1927. (University of Michigan Press)

Reviews & Praise

Winner of State Library of Michigan Notable Book Award

"Heartbreaking and riveting."

Gregg Olsen - Starvation Heights and A Killing in Amish Country


"A chilling and historic character study of the unfathomable suffering that desperation and fury, once unleashed inside a twisted mind, can wreak on a small town."

Mardi Link - When Evil Came to Good Hart and Wicked Takes the Witness Stand

 

"(A) searing and painfully compelling story … Ultimately, Bath Massacre serves as a reminder that, whatever the armchair psychologists might say about the effect of violent video games and television on today's society, our modern culture has no monopoly on murderous psychopaths."
Kristina Riggle

The Grand Rapids Press

 

"Bath Massacre provides valuable lessons for those who work in the school security arena. The author does an excellent job of providing details of the attack and its aftermath that show significant similarities to modern school attack."

Michael Dorn

Safe Havens International 
A non-profit campus safety organization, committed to helping schools and school systems improve crisis preparedness and campus safety