School shootings, mob hits, the prohibition era, terrorist plots and the dark ages of the likes of Hitler and Stalin. Murder in of itself horrifies us at the audacity and viciousness of the attacks. Mass murder shocks the nation, as in many cases the killings are not targeted at just one individual, it is at random where anyone can be the next target on the killer’s list.
The Encyclopaedia of Mass Murder by Brian Lane and Wilfred Gregg delves into the chilling collection of mass murder cases.
This book covers the A-Z of mass murderers and their accomplices. Traversing throughout the globe from Australia, Austria, Burma, Canada, Columbia, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, US, and across the rest of the world.
It highlights that in some cases a demented mind needs no more encouragement to commit mass murder than just to improve Mondays, like in the case of Brenda Spencer, who infamously stated
“I don’t like Mondays”.Brenda Spencer
Resulting in the rare instance of a female mass murderer killing eleven at a junior school.
On the 14 March 1912, Floyd Allen, a notorious trouble-maker with his clan making moon-shine, Floyd escalated his activities. Arrested on a charge of assaulting a peace officer when that officer was trying to arrest another member of the clan, the judge passed a sentence of one year. Refusing to take even that, the packed courtroom consisting of many of his clan’s members produced guns and began firing, resulting in six dead.
Karel Chavva is a perfect case in which the authorities could not determine why he committed mass murder at a school on 3 June 1983 near Frankfurt. Granted political asylum 12 years previously, and studying to be a psychologist while working as a taxi driver, he shot indiscriminately into a classroom, eventually turning the gun on himself.
After his wife’s death, James Stack moved in with his mother-in-law in Otahuhu, New Zealand. In September of 1865, she disappeared along with her three sons. The local constable could not dismiss the case, finally making his move and searching through the cottage and surrounding area. By the boundary fence and garden, body remains were discovered of which the skulls were fractured, and a son’s throat was cut. Again, no true motive was identified.
The United States is probably the country most known for mass murders, and one in particular that infamously surrounded the controversy of prohibition and drugs.
Most have heard about the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacres of 1920 in Chicago. However, it was in New York in 1991 that again reminded people of just how anyone can be caught up in the drug war. In a crime-ridden Hispanic district, a centre for cocaine and heroin, six bodies were discovered in a sixth-floor flat. Five were shot in the back of the head, the sixth was a woman shot in the face. The victims were later identified as one being a drug dealer Edwin Santiago, his disabled mother, his sister and her boyfriend, and two teenaged friends who lived on the block.
All these cases and the many other cases mentioned in this book remind us that in some instances the motives were so obscure or trivial. From revenge, to drugs and alcohol, to mass terrorist attacks, or being bullied in school. These mass murder cases reveal that anyone could be the next target to a deranged mind set out to cause havoc.
Looking for inspiration for your next thriller? There is nothing like true crime to help you better understand your antagonist and what leads them to commit such atrocities.