Sunday, January 31, 2010

Brenda Spencer - A case of the Mondays

Brenda Ann Spencer was 16 when she committed her heinous crime. She developed a taste for guns and violence at an early age. While most parents might find this disturbing, Brenda's clearly ever-so-loving father bought her a .22 caliber rifle for her in the Christmas of 1978. Roughly a month later, on January 29th, 1979, Brenda took out her rifle, aimed outside her bedroom window, and began shooting towards the building across the street - Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California.

I said in my first post that violent details don't bother me, but there is an exception. I can't stand it when it involves children. You can show me a picture of a man's brains leaking out of his forehead and I'll stare at you and nod in acknowledgement, but tell me a story of a kid getting killed and it will really get to me. That is why this female killer is one I hate more than most. Having said that, she only managed to kill two people, both adults, and the children she shot at were only injured.

The principal, Burton Wragg, tried to protect the children when he was shot and suffered an aortic injury, an injury that's very difficult to live through even with immediate medical assistance. The head custodian, Mike Suchar, attempted to pull Wragg to safety, but was also hit by Brenda's onslaught, leading to his death as well. Brenda had injured eight children and one police officer, when she finally stopped shooting when the police put a garbage truck in between the school and her window. She barricaded herself in the house for 7 hours. During that, the phone rang.

The phone call was from a reporter who simply asked, "Why?". Brenda gave her infamous response "I don't like Mondays".

"I just did it for the fun of it. I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day. I have to go now. I shot a pig [policeman] I think and I want to shoot more. I'm having too much fun [to surrender]."

"I had no reason for it, and it was just a lot of fun" "It was just like shooting ducks in a pond"' "[The children] looked like a herd of cows standing around; it was really easy pickings."

You can see why, despite not killing any children, this story really gets to me.

After seven hours, she finally surrended to the police. Despite being a young age of 16, she was tried as an adult. She pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and assult with a deadly weapon, getting a sentence of 25 years to life. She has been repeatedly denied parole, and will not be eligible again until 2019.

Fun Facts

* The phrase "I Don't Like Mondays" was written on a wall in The Breakfast Club.

* In the 1990 novel by Jonathan Kellerman, Time Bomb, a woman attempts to shoot children at a Los Angeles elementary school. This may have been at least partially inspired by the case of Brenda Spencer.


  1. Sounds like a nice monday to me :)

  2. I live in Denmark, and I do this to my exam this year, thx it is very helpful! :-)