|“||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.
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 shrapenl-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.