Sunday, 16 March 2014

"I Don't Like Mondays"

We all know this line from Sir Bob Geldof's famous song about this high school shooting, but compared to the other more notorious slaughters at school, this remains largely forgotten.  Brenda Spencer, 16 at the time, decided to open fire with a .22 rifle at pupils and staff at the school across the road from her home.  This incident started on January 29th 1979 in San Carlos, in San Diego, California.  She started firing at pupils at the Grover Cleveland Elementary School, wounding 8 youngsters but killing the School Principal as he tried to get pupils under cover.  The school`s caretaker was shot dead as he tried to rescue the Principal.  Police arrived on the scene quickly, and one officer was hit in the neck, severely wounding him.  A tense standoff lasted for several hours.  A reporter managed to get Spencer to answer the telephone to talk, and when asked why, she was said to have replied "I don't like mondays!"  Later she said she did not remember saying it.  Policenegoiators tried to talk her out of the house, in which she told them that the people she shot were easy targets, and that she would come out shooting.  In other words, a death by cops scenario.  Eventually she surrendered.  What is the whole story to this tale?

    Brenda Spencer was born on 3rd April 1962 to Wallace & Dot Spencer.  She had two other siblings.  The parents divorced with all the kids staying with their father.  They lived in total poverty.  For reasons unknown, the father bought Brenda a .22 rifle and ammunition.  This is what she used to murder and spread mayhem.  She was just 5`2" tall, very thin, red hair, but showed absolutely no interest in school, and told people that she would like to shoot a cop and "do something big to get on TV"  After she was arrested, tests were done on her to see if she had been drinking or taking drugs.  Nothing was detected.  She was tried as an adult and convicted of two murders and assault with a deadly weapon, for the 8 woundings.  She was sentenced to 25 years to life.  She has been denied parole four times.  The first time she said that she hoped the cops would shoot her and that she had been taking alcohol and drugs at the time.  Tests done at the time, disproved this.  In 2001, she then claimed that her father physically and sexually abused her.  Yet for years she made no mention of this.  She was last denied parole in 2009 and her next application will be in 2019.

    What about the family background?  In a documentary, Dot Spencer blamed her ex-husband for all that had gone on, yet there was no explanation as to why all three children stayed with their father.  The living conditions were bizarre and totally inappropriate, but they stayed with their father.  When told by the interviewer that Brenda accused him of sexually abusing her, he looked astonished and denied it, saying that he would take a polygraph to prove it.  That impressed me.  Polygraphs are not conclusive and not admissible in court but they can give a good indication of truth.  perhaps she did it just to "brighten up" her dull life.  Life is what YOU make it.