Richard Farley (Sunnyvale, CA, February 1988)
Silicon Valley defense contractor obsesses over fellow ESL/TRW employee. Fellow employee spurns his affections. Pissed off defense contractor shows up to work after he's laid off, armed with a 30-06 rifle and a shotgun.. Kills 7, wounds 5, including the girl he had the hots for. Surrenders to police afterwards.
Gian Ferri (San Francisco, CA, July 1993)
Ferri got the ball really rolling on state and federal laws restricting and banning firearms by strolling into the law offices at 101 California Street in San Francisco with a pair of Tec-9 high-capacity pistols and a .45. He killed 8 and wounded 6 before shooting himself through the head with the 45. Not an exceptional rampage, except for the fact that the victims were mostly lawyers, and for the fact that it (along with a Stockton schoolyard shooting a couple of years later) really accelerated nationwide concerns about accessibility of high-power firearms in America.
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (Littleton, CO, April 1999)
The infamous Columbine High School massacre, perpetrated by a couple of fairly pathetic losers who really should have done a lot better. Armed with carbines, they stalked through the halls of their school, killing 13 people and injuring 25 before suiciding in the library. Their elaborate pipe bomb plan failed to do anything whatsoever, so what could have been a spectacular and stylish rampage was, at best, pedestrian. But it seems to have impressed the nation.
In the months following the spree, the mother of one of the wounded children went into a pawn shop, asked to see a .38 revolver that was there, loaded it with bullets she had brought with her, and killed herself, adding a final half point to the total.
Richard Durn (Paris, France, March 2002)
Durn was a Slovenian immigrant who made humanitarian missions to Yugoslavia, was treasurer in his local branch of the Human Rights League, and regularly attended town council meetings in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre. In fact, it was at precisely one such council meeting that he stood up with a pair of handguns and began shooting council members, racking up eight dead and nineteen wounded. Eventually tackled to the ground, he begged his captors to kill him. A few days later, during handling in a Paris police station, he slipped out of the hands of police long enough to jump to his death out a five-story window. It turned out that he had both a legitimate license for the guns and a long-established history of mental illness.
Carl Brown (Miami, FL, August 1982)
Carl was an emotionally disturbed school teacher. One day, he got in a disagreement with a mechanic over a $20 welding bill. He went out, bought a shotgun, came back and starting blasting employees. All six people in the machine shop were killed. He then went outside, killed two more people, and injured three others. Then he calmly pedaled away from the scene, possibly headed towards the school where he worked. He was stopped, however, when a witness to the shooting flagged down a passing car; they pursued Brown. When they caught up with him, he pulled the shotgun on them, so they ran him off the road and proceeded to run over him with the car until they were sure he was dead. Afterwards, it turns out that Brown had invited his 10-year-old son to join him on his rampage.
Bulelani Vukwana (Mdantsane, South Africa, February 2002)
In yet another rampage inspired by a fight with a girlfriend, this security guard murdered her... and then decided to go for broke. Why not? He stole a couple of cars along the way, shot people at several different locations, and even returned to the scene of the original murder to shoot the girlfriend's father. Finally cornered by police, he turned the 9mm handguns he used for the spree (including one stolen from one of his victims!) on himself. All told: 11 dead and 5 wounded.
Thomas Hamilton (Dunblane, Scotland, March 1996)
This messed up tub of lard stomped into a gymnasium full of kindergartners carrying several handguns. He killed sixteen children and one teacher; another teacher and a dozen children were wounded. Then he put a bullet through his own head. The Prime Minister and Queen later visited the school to point out that it was a "tragedy". Heads of state are really good at pointing out the obvious, apparently.
(Previously, we had scored Hamilton higher with an efficiency bonus because I was unable to find injured counts, but an astute reader pointed me towards better statistics. Thanks to CardieUnion for the data.)
Mark Barton (Atlanta, GA, July 1999)
Prior to this rampage, most people didn't even know what a day-trader was. Now the whole world knows that they are dangerously unstable adrenaline junkies who are likely to pop off without warning. Barton entered one day-trading firm, whacked a bunch of people with a handgun, and then-- as police began pouring into the first building-- he calmly crossed a major street, walked into a second day-trading firm right past a recumbent secuity guard, and whacked a bunch more. In all, 9 dead and 13 wounded, and he got away from both buildings for a few hours before being cornered in a suburban neighborhood. He then killed himself, sadly marring what could have been a spectacular demonstration of southern stick-to-it-iveness. His wife and two kids, killed a few days before the rampage, are not counted in the score.
Dipendra Birendra (Kathmandu, Nepal, June 2001)
This is how you know that the 21st Century is going to be weirder than the 20th. First of all, you have to love anyone with a name like "Dipendra Birendra". Birendra was the crown prince of Nepal, and he looked just like Oddjob from the James Bond movies. His parents forbid him to marry the woman he loved, so he brought an assault weapon of some sort (reports vary between an Uzi and an AK-47) to the Friday evening family dinner. Some reports claim the palace security force was told to leave the building beforehand. Clever boy! The rampage lasted about fifteen minutes, and ranged from the dining hall through several other rooms and into the garden. He killed both his parents and a bunch of siblings and cousins and uncles and stuff. When the palace guards finally busted their way back in, Birendra shot himself, adding suicide to a list that already included matricide, patricide, fratricide, and regicide. He did not die immediately, but instead lay in a coma for a few days-- during which time he was crowned the new King by Nepalese constitutional procedure!
The Nepalese people loved the prince and refused to believe he could have done such a thing; rioting ensued that killed 3 and injured 14 more people. The official royal explanation of the incident (briefly) was that the Prince's gun "accidentally exploded"; considering there were people dead all over the palace, it must have been loaded with the same Magic Bullets that hit JFK from two different directions.
David Burke (San Luis Obispo, CA, December 1987)
Fired from his job at USAir over a theft of $68, Burke somehow decides that this is the worst thing that could ever have happened to him in his whole life. Using his USAir credentials (which had not been taken from him yet), he boards the little commuter plane that his USAir supervisor takes home every day. He brings a .44 magnum revolver with him. Because he's got USAir credentials, he's not even sent through a metal detector. He writes a little screw-you suicide note on an airsick bag, hands it to his former supervisor while they are in flight, then plugs him with the .44. The flight crew, able to hear the gunshot all the way up in the cockpit, ask over the intercom what the problem is. The next thing on the plane's black box recorder is Burke's voice as he enters the cockpit and announces: "I'm the problem". Two more shots kill the pilot and co-pilot. The plane begins an uncontrolled plummet from 29,000 feet. Burke then puts a bullet through his own head and, moments later, the plane-- falling faster than the speed of sound-- completely fragments at around 13,000 feet. Aside from the three people he shot, and himself, 40 additional people died in the crash.
(This one is sort of pushing it since it happened so quickly and in such a confined space that it could have been, for all intents and purposes, a bomb going off in the luggage compartment. All those killed by the crash instead of the gun are counted as aftermath only.)
George Hennard (Killeen, TX, October 1991)
Demonstrating the sort of fiendish inventiveness that is normally only seen in late-night infomercials, Hennard drove his pickup truck through the front window of a restaurant and claimed, as his first victims, those people who rushed forward to help him out of the crash. He used a pair of 9mm pistols to kill 23 (one died at the hospital) and injure 23, stalking through the restaurant to find people who were hiding, and reloading numerous times. When he was wounded by police gunfire, he retreated to the bathroom and shot himself in the head, ending America's deadliest killing spree yet.
(Thanks to Maureen for updated statistics. Five additional people were wounded by glass as they escaped; they are being counted as aftermath injuries.)
Byran Uyesugi (Honolulu, HI, November 1999)
Xerox employee comes in for a weekly team meeting and executes seven of his team members with a handgun in a conference room, leaving several other possible targets untouched. He escapes the building and evades police for a few hours before finally giving himself up. While not as overtly impressive and flashy as many others, Byran demonstrated a real flair for the work: got in and out, killed exactly who he meant to kill, slipped away from the scene, and lived to tell about it. Hopefully, he will keep it together and not try to kill himself in his cell or something similarly cowardly.
Mamoru Takuma (Ikeda, Japan, June 2001)
37-year-old guy looking to commit suicide overdoses on anti-depressants and climbs into an elementary school he used to work at, through a window. Armed with only a knife, and finally disproving the claims made by many that only guns make it possible for someone to commit a murderous rampage, he kills eight students and a teacher, and wounds twenty others before being captured by police.
Charles Whitman (Austin, TX, August 1966)
Charlie was pretty much the first. He got up in the bell tower of the U of Texas in Austin with a high-power rifle and, being a former Marine sniper, he did pretty okay: 15 dead, 31 wounded in a radius of about 300 meters around the bell tower. Hundreds of rounds of retaliatory fire were sent his way by police and eager gun-owning Texan civilians alike, but he was incredibly well defended and remained unassailable for over 90 minutes, before a pair of cops and a deputized civilian were able to sneak up the tower staircase and kill him at short range.
James Huberty (San Ysidro, CA, July 1984)
An unemployed security guard, Huberty entered a McDonalds restaurant near San Diego with an Uzi, made everyone get down on the floor, and proceeded to execute people. He also fired on people outside the restaurant. In the end, he killed 22, wounded 19 more, and was only stopped by a well-placed shot from a police sniper. It could be argued that Huberty is the start of the modern gun-crazed rampage trend.
Martin Bryant (Port Arthur, Tasmania, April 1996)
Looking like a member of Hansen out to hang-ten on some gnarly surf, Bryant strolled into a popular tourist cafe, whipped out a FN-FAL assault rifle, and proceeded to go to work on people both in and outside the place. He then escaped from the scene in a car after setting several of the buildings in the area on fire. Bryant proceeded to a nearby tourist hotel, where he killed a bunch more people. Finally, he ended up at a little guest house three miles away, where he took three people hostage and holed up for the confrontation with police. While police were attempting to set up negotiations, he set the building on fire and tried to flee the scene, leaving the three hostages inside to burn to death. As he escaped the building, he was captured by police. Final count was 35 dead (including three by fire), 23 wounded. He laughed in court as he gave his "guilty" plea; he got life in prison without parole.
He has made at least two unsuccessful suicide attempts since his capture, which makes scoring somewhat difficult. In the end, we've decided to penalize him, as one of his two attempts was very shortly after his capture, before he had any time to be driven to self-destruction by the horrors of the Australian prison system (if there are any). Clearly, he couldn't take the heat, so he tried to get out of the kitchen.
Woo Bum-Kon (Sang-Namdo, South Korea, April 1982)
Oh my god, this guy was completely nuts. Enraged by an argument with his live-in girlfriend, this Korean police officer went to his job, where he then drank heavily, robbed the armory of guns and grenades, and went on an eight-hour spree that rampaged through five villages. He used his position as a police officer to lure people into a false sense of security so he could then kill them more easily. Eventually, he killed himself (and three final victims) by holding two grenades against his own body. In the end, there were 58 dead (!!!), and 35 wounded.
Baruch Goldstein (Hebron, Israel, February 1994)
Whoa, baby. This pissed off Jewish immigrant from Brooklyn sprayed gunfire from a Galil assault rifle into a crowd of Muslims kneeling in prayer at the their mosque. In the ensuing panic, Israeli soldiers began firing as well, and the resulting stampede and collateral damage resulted in a tremendous number of secondary dead and wounded. The killer's mother would later publically praise her son's actions. Mmmm, gotta love those century-old religious intolerances.
Scoring Goldstein is somewhat difficult; it's unlikely that he achieved perfect efficiency-- there must have been people he shot and injured, but did not kill-- but with the confusion and injury resulting from the panic, there doesn't appear to be any sort of estimation of how many of the injured were his or not. Also, there is some confusion about the total number of dead and injured, depending on whether you believe the Palestinian tally or the Israeli tally. Finally, there is evidence to suggest that Goldstein was killed by the crowd in the panic, but it's possible that he took his own life.
We're going to give him the benefit of the doubt and call it "put down like a rabid dog". The best guesses I can find are that he killed 29 himself, and that 26 more were killed in the stampeding or by Israeli soldiers who fired on the crowd in the wake of the incident. Additionally, there were as many as 170 wounded. While some of these were quite likely injured by Goldstein himself, we're going to score them all as "aftermath" (along with the 26 extra dead).
Total: An astounding 100.81
Campo Elias Delgado (Bogota, Colombia, December 1986)
"His experience in the war in Vietnam seems to have been very negative because he hated violence," a friend of Delgado said, in the wake of his spree of 28 kills which seemed to have (as is often the case in these sorts of things) no clear motive or inciting incident. He started with two stabbing kills-- an accquaintance and her daughter, in their apartment. Then he returned to his own apartment and shot his mother (who acquaintances said he "did not get along with") with a .38 revolver. He then set the place on fire, perhaps to "cover his trail". As the apartment began to smoke, he ran door to door in the apartment building, alerting the occupants that there was a fire. As people opened their doors, he then shot them. All in all, he claimed five more victims, all of them women. Then he took a little break, crossing town to spend a calm and pleasant hour visiting a former student of his. Eventually excusing himself, he headed to a very fashionable Italian restaurant on the north side of town, ate dinner, drank eight (!) vodka tonics, read the newspaper, and then got up and started killing people with the revolver. He claimed twenty more victims, most of them head shots from less than six feet, and wounded eleven others; he reloaded several times from an ammo belt he'd been carrying in a briefcase. Eventually, police stormed the building as he continued firing, and they killed him.
Total: An unbelievable 107.81
We'd like to thank SpankMe's Mass Murder Page for providing invaluable amounts of information on the factual details of these and many other mass murder incidences. If you have enjoyed our Body Counting scoring system, you owe it to yourself to spend some time digging through his site-- it's extremely well organized and well researched.