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The Bath School Disaster and the Birth of the Modern Mass Killer

Harold Schechter By (author)
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Amazon/Brilliance Publishing

Limited ***

5.5 X 8.2 in
254 pg

TRUE CRIME / Murder / Mass Murder
HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
TRUE CRIME / Murder / General


Harold Schechter, Amazon Charts bestselling author of Hell’s Princess, unearths a nearly forgotten true crime of obsession and revenge, and one of the first—and worst—mass murders in American history.

In 1927, while the majority of the township of Bath, Michigan, was celebrating a new primary school—one of the most modern in the Midwest—Andrew P. Kehoe had other plans. The local farmer and school board treasurer was educated, respected, and an accommodating neighbor and friend. But behind his ordinary demeanor was a narcissistic sadist seething with rage, resentment, and paranoia. On May 18 he detonated a set of rigged explosives with the sole purpose of destroying the school and everyone in it. Thirty-eight children and six adults were murdered that morning, culminating in the deadliest school massacre in US history.

Maniac is Harold Schechter’s gripping, definitive, exhaustively researched chronicle of a town forced to comprehend unprecedented carnage and the triggering of a “human time bomb” whose act of apocalyptic violence would foreshadow the terrors of the current age.


“In this gripping account, Schechter (Hell’s Princess) charts the descent of farmer Andrew Kehoe into madness…thorough research matches the assured prose. True crime buffs will want to take a look.” Publishers Weekly

“The minute-by-minute account of the event and the firsthand reports create a strong sense of place and time and bring this chilling story to life…a vivid narrative that’s sure to please those interested in historical true crime tales.” Library Journal

“Exhaustively researched but written in an accessible style, Schechter balances true crime, an immigration story, and a look at our fascination with true crimes, to spellbinding effect.” Amazon Book Review

“A shocking but little-remembered tragedy unfolded at a primary school in Michigan one day in 1927—leaving 38 children and six adults dead. With careful research and captivating scenes, Schechter probes how echoes of the massacre reverberate even today.” Newsweek

“Schechter delves into Kehoe’s life, along with the circumstances leading up to the bloodbath he wrought, and discusses other major news events of the time period that eclipsed coverage of the bombing. In his usual way, Schechter engrosses the reader without being sensationalist, and fans of his previous work would do well to pick this up.” Booklist

Author Bio

Harold Schechter is an American true-crime writer who specializes in serial killers. Twice nominated for the Edgar Award, he is the author of the nonfiction books Fatal, Fiend, Bestial, Deviant, Deranged, Depraved, The Serial Killer Files, The Mad Sculptor, and Man-Eater; the Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestseller Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men; the Amazon Original Stories collection Bloodlands; and Ripped from the Headlines. Schechter received his PhD in American literature from the State University of New York in Buffalo. A professor emeritus at Queens College, he is married to the poet Kimiko Hahn. For more information, visit