Wednesday, September 09, 2009


When sixteen year old Brenda Ann Spencer went on a high school shooting rampage in 1979, she had more than two deaths and eight injured children on her conscience. She allegedly inspired Bob Geldof to write 'I Don't Like Mondays' for his band The Boomtown Rats.

High School Massacres are all too common - here's the top ten.

Unlikely as it seems - Matthew Swift, 18, and Ross McKnight, 16 almost added Audenshaw to that list.

Audenshaw and Denton are near Manchester. They are small innocuous towns inhabited by working class people who have a reputation for being your typical 'salt of the earth' Northerners. But, instead of breeding whippets, lending cups of sugar to the neighbours and doing Granny’s shopping in Morrisons, these two lads have been planning death and destruction.

Their targets were their school - Audenshaw High (where Mick Hucknall used to go) and Crown Point Shopping centre (where Kaz goes shopping).

(You'll think you've died and gone to heaven at Crown Point. No Comet, Currys or B&Q - just River Island, TK Max, H&M etc. etc..)

I don't think these two young men owned guns but they intended to get them and use them. Brenda Anne's rifle was given to her as a Christmas present by her father.

How are the courts going to deal with this?

Lads who brag or write about blowing up school can't be so unusual. Bomb recipes containing hydrogen peroxide are all over the internet - just do a search - and most of the ingredients are perfectly legal.

Is this the real life
Is this just fantasy ...
Thunderbolt and lightning-very very frightening me

....... and in Audenshaw of all places.

The trial proceeds at Manchester Crown Court this week.
What do you think we should do with them?

The boys were aquitted
'Police and prosecutors have been strongly criticised for pursuing the case.'
See them here.



Anonymous NiC said... I'll be flippant instead while I try to think of a serious answer.

Why blow up a school where Mick Hucknall used to go...surely one should be targeting wherever he is now?

10:06 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Flippant is fine round here - and glib too.
If you'd been there when the top photo was taken you could have got 2 for the price of 1.

10:47 am  
Blogger Geoff said...

They should be brainwashed to believe that God is great and then they might follow what He tells them to do.

1:10 pm  
Blogger xl said...

I pass by the University of Texas Tower (#7 on the list) several times a week. I always look up.

1:50 pm  
Blogger Steve said...

For once I'm going to bypass flippancy and try and be serious. These boys need counselling, love and support. As you say, most school kids nurture a quite understandable desire to kill their teachers, blow up the school or even dispatch some of their more irksome school mates in ways so horrible that even Shakespeare would have turned green... but most don't. Most have other things in their lives - good things - with which to counter these occasional black moods of "death and destruction to all". These boys obviously feel they have nothing worthy to hang onto. I believe they fully expected to die themselves at the end of their fantasized bloodbath. How deeply sad. I wonder what their parents are feeling / thinking? What did we do? Did we do too much? Not enough?

I'm glad I'm not a judge. I don't think banging them up in prison will help them or anyone else.

I'll stick to my guns (metaphorically) and say counselling is the best response. And if all else fails a cookery course with Jamie Oliver. Then they'll have ample justification for killing someone. Sorry. Flippancy is so hard to shake off.

1:53 pm  
Blogger garfer said...

Would have been fair enough if Mick Hucknall was still at school. Ginge extermination is a noble calling.

2:40 pm  
Blogger Ackworth born said...

when these things come so close it is hard to know what to belief - were they just fantasising as they insist? - but then we thought Shipman was a caring GP cause he visited his patients.

3:58 pm  
Blogger Rog said...

Is that Pixie Frou Frou on the left? Paula would have been so proud.

There was even a plan to blow up Attleborough High School recently. I think we should send everyone to would get a bit crowded but everyone would come through without drugs knives and guns. Just top hats.

4:21 pm  
Blogger I, Like The View said...


I don't have an instant response, apart from to agree with Steve. . .

. . .but there are some things and some people that no amount of counselling will help, not that being locked up would be a better alternative

does years of experience and training make these decisions "easier" to make?

4:44 pm  
Blogger zIggI said...

I have become a blonde bombshell, I believe peroxide was involved.

5:19 pm  
Blogger Donn Schmonn said...

Having just returned from guncrazed USA where roadside billboards remind you to HUNT WITH YOUR KIDS..honest..
I'm amazed that this doesn't happen every day down there?

I don't really have any strong opinions on the subject but..

Teachers and Janitors need to be armed to the teeth so that they can take out the little sh*ts asap.
Police on this side of the pond have now been re-trained to storm the school and execute these little pricks on sight.

The media should only publicise these events when the bullet ridden bodies of the perps are hanging from the flagpole because it encourages other wannabes.

The parents and relatives of whackjob kids need to be sterilized and exiled..
providing of course that they weren't the first victims. Psychos don't just fall from the sky.

Other than that I haven't given it much thought really.

7:23 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Should I be worrying about you dear????

I saw a program on TV about this recently called 'Going Postal.
No one has come up with any reliable theories about who is likely to do this sort of thing.
It just seems far too easy.

It is sad that they knew they would have to shoot themsleves - and not even for a 'cause' or religion.
I agree that probation and counselling are the preferred outcome.
I can't help feeling it was all fantasy and bravado.

Apart from Chris Evans* - I think Gingers have a bad time and I would march along behind a 'Save the Ginge' banner.
*Oh and Mick Hucknall too - of course. And is Robert Elms a ginge?

Oh Shipman - will Hyde ever forget?
I won't.
I don't think they were fantasising - just playing a role which would never become real.

I think that's Mick in drag - though he doesn't know it.
Eton - yes all that fagging and beating would make them so deliriously happy they wouldn't need guns and bombs.

I don't suppose they come across this sort of thing too often.
'Conspiracy' is such a strange crime. It's difficult to pass judgement on something that never happened.

H2O2 (can't do subsripts in the comments box)
It's that extra oxygen atom what does it.

I blame Sarah Palin really.
Shall we sterilise and exile her or just fill her full of bullets and hang her from the flagpole.
Naah - we'll just give her some counselling and a new designer outfit.

8:49 pm  
Blogger Macy said...

Can't be too flippant, seeing's how Dunblane is just up the road from here - but one very major crumb of comfort has to be that WE HAVE GUN LAWS. Although it's still possible for an adult to run amok with a gun, it's going to be very very difficult for would be school kid assassins to get hold of one.

8:55 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Dunblane - what a chilling memory -
Similar to Gerald's Hyde and Shipman.
I hope you are right about the efficiency of our gun laws.
Many youths in areas like Moss Side have guns - but somehow I don't think that culture has reached to Audenshaw.

4:13 pm  
Blogger MJ said...

I would force them to eat cake and I think you know what I'm saying.

4:23 pm  
Blogger Rol said...

My first thought has been covered by NiC so I'll stay schtum.

8:01 pm  
Blogger Kerrie said...

I personally quite like Mondays but then I have Wednesdays off. I wonder if " tell me why, I don't like Thursdays " would work quite as well.
I am worried that I can't decide if that adverts for guns, or is infact a knitting pattern. Either way it's a good job they don't sell them here. We try to kill each other with stationary, in our office even the letter openers have been confiscated.

9:58 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

KAZ breathes loud sigh of relief that MJ didn't include a link!

No second thoughts??

I still hate Mondays - even though I don't work any more.
I dread to think what pain you could inflict with a stapler - and I bet you keep tweezers in your bag.

1:16 pm  
Blogger The Poet Laura-eate said...

If they don't listen to their parents or teachers, why do their listen to the voices in their heads?

Perhaps a psychiatrist has to become that voice in their heads persuading them to become addicted to performing the random acts of kindness you suggest Kaz.

Well there must be some way of re-programming the brains of the easily-influenced anyway.

Unless they were cynically planning it just to make the news or become infamous if they couldn't manage famous/ Though being fans of previous school shootings, they must surely know that the gunman/men normally winds up dead at the end too.

11:32 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

I've been away. What was the outcome?

7:59 am  
Blogger tony said...

they Have An Interesting Defense.When does something become a "Crime".When does it become "Real". I would have been in Crown Court hundreds of times if my Fantasies were know (*blushes*).............although i have to say, shooting everybody in Audenshaw is beyond even my feverish imagination.It will be interesting to see the outcome.

8:04 am  
Blogger Madame DeFarge said...

I'm genuinely torn here between wanting to 'cure' people and wanting to bang them up and keep them away from society. It's a difficult problem to resolve, but that can sound defeatist (especially for one such as I, given where I work). For once, I'm genuinely flummoxed.

1:42 pm  
Blogger Roses said...

I'm with Madame DeFarge. A good clip round the ear seems to be called for, but I wouldn't want to get the close to them.

Nor would I want them being loose on the streets in the same city/country/planet as me.

5:58 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

I think suicide was part of the plan. But that's what it was really, an unstructured plan and a few chemicals.

Welcome back
We don't know yet - I presume the trial is ongoing.

I bet Audenshaw didn't feature in too many of your fantasies did it?

But we're supposed to be flummoxed as we don't set ourselves up as the Crown Prosecution.
I'd just like to talk to these lads and some of their teachers and see whether my 'genuine nutter' detector responded.

I think a clip round the ear would just confirm their attitude.
Don't worry - I bet they've never travelled much further than Manchester.

9:34 pm  
Blogger dh said...

I'd give them a good long spell in the Camel Corps fighting Fuzzy-Wuzzies.

9:58 pm  
Blogger Roses said...

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair
So Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy...
Was he?

Can't see that fighting teddy bears would help. In fact, I bet they're the sort of kid who do anyway.

11:55 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

DH and Roses:
Love the teddy bear poem - but do you prefer this one?

9:09 am  
Blogger xl said...

[way off topic]

Were you one of the 600,000 to attend the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival? Three-day tickets were £3! ha!

12:56 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Sadly No.
i wanted to go and I intended to go .... but I was involved with the jaaaz fan at the time.
Say no more!!

9:35 am  
Blogger Tom said...

Great posting Kaz... I'm keeping a open mind on this... I'm sure the media are making the most of this... almost as if they hoped it had happened... I'm thinking these two lads are very sad lads who's bark was much louded than their bark could ever be.... I'll be keeping an open mind on this ;o)

11:20 am  
Blogger BEAST said...

Fortunatley they were caught before we had the chance to find out just how phsyco they actually are. Unfortunatley that poses a greater dilemma of what to do with them next . I am sure it will be sailing holidays and benefits all round and we lve to breath another day...phew !

4:43 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

I totally agree.
I think - if they had really got intricate plans and meant to carry it out - they wouldn't have bragged about it and written homework essays.
OK - they're not very nice - but who is?

The folk of Audenshaw live by a deep resevoir which has probably made them hydrophobic.
So a sailing holiday will be the perfect punishment.

10:04 pm  
Blogger Karen @ If I Could Escape . . . said...

That is very scary to read -- had they been here in the land of milk and guns, they probably would have already carried out their attack. Great post.

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