The Grisly Musical Legacy of Brenda Ann Spencer

The Grisly Musical Legacy of Brenda Ann Spencer
School shootings are so common in the United States that unless the body count passes a certain threshold, they barely make the news. principal Burton Wragg and custodian Mike Suchar were dead. Ostracized by her classmates and suffering from depression (social workers thought she might have suicidal tendencies, too), professed to hate the police and sometimes promised that she was going to “do something big “to get on TV.” But because she was quiet with her weirdness, no one paid her much attention. Long before Columbine, there was Brenda Ann Spencer, a 16-year-old loner struggling to make it through high school. She didn’t exactly get the greatest parenting, either. For a 16-year-old depressed teenager. But then she changed her mind. And 500 rounds of ammunition. On January 29, 1979, she set up her rifle in her bedroom window, which was directly across from Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego. Why did she do it? She’s still locked up in the California Institution for Women in Chino, California. And yes, this is the inspiration of the Boomtown Rats song, “I Don’t Like Mondays.” I remember seeing this performance and interview on Merv Griffin back in 1981. By the time she was finished firing about 30 rounds. She shrugged “I don’t like Mondays. Eight students and a cop responding to the gun call were wounded.   Instead, he bought her a Rutger 10/20 semi-automatic .22 calibre rifle with a telescopic sight. It was a lot of fun seeing children shot.”
Spencer was tried as an adult and convicted on two counts of murder. But there was a time when they were met with worldwide shock and horror. Just before Christmas 1979, she told her father that she wanted a radio. (She did enjoy shooting birds with a BB gun, so maybe dad thought it was a time for an upgrade.)
Brenda took this as a message that she should kill herself.