Ep. 39: The Bath School Massacre


This grueling episode recounts the horror of America’s worst school attack. Not Columbine, not Virginia Tech, not Newtown; but the bombing of the Bath Consolidated School.

On a beautiful day in May, 1927, Andrew Kehoe blew up the school in Bath, Michigan. 38 elementary school children and six adults were killed in the attacks. 58 other people were also injured. Kehoe wired the school with dynamite, shrapnel, and various other explosives, causing a portion of the school to collapse after the blast. He also murdered his wife and horses, firebombed his own property, and then drove to the school to witness the carnage he’d caused. Once there, he detonated a suicide bomb, taking Superintendent Huyck with him.

The content of this episode is particularly graphic and harsh as it concerns the death and injury of children. Listener discretion is advised.


Bath Massacre: America’s First School Bombing” by Arnie Bernstein. University of Michigan Press, Regional. 2009.

Bath School Disaster” via 2007 School Wikipedia Selection.

The Bath School Disaster” by Monty J. Ellsworth. First published in 1927.

The Bath School Disaster” compiled by Ronald D. Bauerle. 2000-2007.

Fix Blast on ‘Demon’” by Foster Eaton. The Erie Daily Times. 19 May 1927.

‘Andy Kehoe was smart’ – People Excuse His Acts While Maniacal” by Robert Ross. The Erie Daily Times. 20 May 1927.

School Dynamiter First Slew Wife” No byline available. The New York Times. 20 May 1927.

A modern analysis of a historical pediatric disaster: the 1927 Bath school bombing.” by David Kim, M.S., et al. Journal of Surgical Research. Issue 163, 309–316 (2010).

America’s deadliest school violence? Not Columbine, but Bath, Mich., in 1927.” by Randy Dotinga. The Christian Science Monitor. 24 July 2012.

Survivors Recall 1927 Michigan School Massacre” Produced for Morning Edition by Nadia Reiman and Michael Garofalo of Storycorps. Originally aired: 17 April 2009.

‘We Still Look at Ourselves as Survivors’: More Than Eighty Years Later, Remembering the Deadliest School Massacre in American History.” by Justin Peters. http://www.slate.com. Posted: 18 December 2012.


Music used in this podcast:

Danger [Dark Ambient] by Myuu

There’s Someone At The Door (2 TOTEMS) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Rainbow Architecture (Podington Bear) / CC BY-NC 3.0


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