SCHOOL SHOOTER - BRENDA SPENCER
THE SHOOTING OF INNOCENTS
After her father had gone to work, and her siblings to school.
Brenda Spencer settled down in their home by the window with
her ammunition and her .22 caliber rifle fitted with a scope.
Opening the window she waited.
Students, parents and staff were arriving at the school for the start of the
DEATH IN THE SCHOOLYARD
Brenda Spencer began shooting at 8:30.
In 20 minutes she had shot:
Principal Burton Wragg. Head Custodian Mike Suchar.
Police Officer Robert Robb.
Eight students ranging in age from 7 to 10.
Charles "Cam" Miller, age 9 was shot.
Christy Buell was shot.
Monika Selvig was shot.
The shootings took place over 20 minutes with 36 shots, 11 hits.
Police drove a garbage truck between her house and the school to block her
line of fire.
THE SHOOTING AT GROVER CLEVELAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
THE SIX & 1/2 HOUR STAND - OFF
For six and one half hours after the shootings, Brenda Spencer refused to
surrender to police. Then abruptly, she put down the weapon and surrendered.
It was 3:30 when she came out of the house.
Police stated they had found the rifle and 40 empty shell casings.
The house was filthy.
There were more than 200 rounds of ammunition.
There were NO traces of drugs in her system.
While being taken into custody a reporter asked her "why, and whom she wanted
Brenda Spencer (shrugged) "I like red and blue jackets."
"I just don't like Mondays."
"This livens up the day."
"I had no reason for it, and it was just a lot of fun." "
"It was just like shooting ducks in a pond.
The children looked like a herd of cows
"It was really easy pickings."
CNN VIDEO - Brenda Spencer America's first school shooter.
Jennifer Furio has written a book "Letters from Prison" and has included
purported letters from Brenda Spencer.
In one alleged letter Brenda "explains" the shootings.
Wallace and Dot Spencer were divorced and Wallace won custody of the
children. Brenda spent time between the two of them.
Wallace Spencer "I love my kids and I wanted to keep them,
I fought for custody because I loved my kids."
Dot Spencer "I couldn't afford an attorney and what have you to get custody back."
"He was fooling around with other women." "I filed for divorce."
"He got the two older ones to say they wanted to stay with him."
Her claims were met with skepticism.
Wallace Spencer "It wasn't true that I was seeing another woman."
Brenda and the family claim that their "mother didn't care if they visited."
Dot Wallace disputes that.
Dot Spencer now claims that at a school meeting someone said "Brenda was
suicidal." When asked whether she did something about it, she replied
"I figured her father would take care of it and keep an eye on her."
Wallace states that he is/was unaware of this claim.
Violent, drug abuser, vandalism, theft, animal abuse.
Brenda Spencer was a problem child. She was widely known as a drug abuser
with a violent streak. Brenda repeatedly broke the windows at the Cleveland
school by shooting them out with her BB gun.
Brenda and another girl had vandalized the school. Inside teacher Daryl Barnes'
classroom was found "a picture of Daryl Barnes in the room--a class picture
with a hole shot straight through Daryl Barnes's forehead."
A DEADLY GIFT
1978 - December 25 -Christmas - Wallace Spencer, her father gives her
a .22 semi-automatic rifle and ammunition
as a Christmas gift.
Brenda Spencer started telling her classmates "I'm going to do something
"to get on TV."
Brenda Spencer pled guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly
weapon. Sentence: 25 years to Life in prison.
SENTENCED: 25 years to life.
Incarcerated at: The California Institution for Women in Corona, California.
PAROLE ELIGIBILITY: Spencer has been eligible for parole four times
and has been turned down each time.
A former cellmate of Brenda Spencer was released from prison to a halfway
house. She runs away from the halfway house to Wallace Spencers's home.
Wallace and the girl (age 17) marry, and she becomes pregnant. After giving
birth, she takes off, leaving the child behind for Wallace to care for and raise.
Wallace Spencer "She didn't want her daughter."
2001 PAROLE HEARING
INABILITY TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
Brenda Spencer (38) feels she is a different person.
Brenda Spencer "I know saying I'm sorry doesn't make it all right. I wished it
had never happened. "With every school shooting, I feel I'm
partially responsible. What if they got their idea from what
Asked about her infamous comment to a reporter, that she had opened
fire with a .22-caliber rifle that day because "I just don't like Mondays"
Spencer tells the board "I can't remember saying it."
"I'd been drinking and taking drugs and don''t remember much from that day.
"I only remember talking to negotiators."
She was then reminded that she told a negotiator: "It was a lot of fun seeing
ABUSE ALLEGATIONS BEGIN
For the first time, Spencer claimed her violence grew out of an abusive home
life in which her father beat and sexually abused her.
Granlund expressed doubt about the sexual abuse allegations, saying Spencer
had never discussed them with counselors
Granlund "I'm just going to tell you, you are either involved in a situation with
counselors and psychiatrists who are covering up, or you are making this up."
Brenda Spencer "I had tried to but they generally ignored me."
Since Brenda has claimed sexual child abuse against her father, her mother
Dot Spencer has followed suit. There has been no evidence submitted to back
Wallace Spencer was told during an interview that Brenda was claiming the abuse.
He was clearly startled "She what?" "Brenda said that?" "It's not true.
No, that never happened. I would take a lie detector on that!"
He further stated that after the divorce he and Brenda had to share a bedroom
but "she had her bed and I had mine."
Dot Wallace "Brenda was daddy's pet." "I had suspicions." Yet, Dot never told
anyone about sexual abuse. She alluded to the two of them "sleeping together."
Dot Wallace was asked why she never took any action about her claims.
Her response "There wasn't enough evidence to do anything."
The hearing disclosed that Spencer has been under treatment for epilepsy and
is also receiving antidepressants.
Brenda Spencer "I don't get depressed like I did, I'm not scared all the time."
OPINION: Being behind bars is depressing, and scary for anyone, that's why many
inmates are on medication.
INCLINATION TO ACT OUT IN ANGER
Richard Sachs (San Diego County Deputy District Attorney)
"Her (Spencer's) behavior in prison shows she isn't ready for freedom.
After the recent breakup of a relationship between Spencer and another
woman in prison, she heated a paper clip and used it to carve onto her
chest the words "courage" and "pride."
Brenda Spencer "It was just a tattoo."
Richard Sachs "It showed an inability to deal with stress and an inclination
to act out anger."
Charles "Cam" Miller "I've been plagued by nightmares and fears since she
shot me in the back when I was 9. When I went to testify at her trial
I had to go up and face this cruel monster. The look Brenda Spencer gave me
was enough to scare anyone to death."
The parole board unanimously DENIED parole
2005 PAROLE HEARING
"I don't remember doing it."
DA request for denial of parole.
Prosecutor "The act was planned. Brenda Spencer acted with "sniper like behavior,"
and in a deliberate manner and with callousness on her part."
Brenda Spencer acted out of boredom and rage.
She showed no sense of guilt."
PLANS IF PAROLED
Brenda Spencer "I have marketable skills. I like to drive a forklift (as she does
EXCUSES & INABILITY TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
Brenda Spencer "I'm sure I did it. I don't remember it, but I'm sure I did it."
Now she claims "I had been drinking and hallucinating (PCP) and "basically
I was trying to get myself killed."
Spencer described herself as a "screwed-up kid" who was deeply suspicious
of others and had problems at school. She claimed she had began using drugs
such as marijuana, PCP and LSD, at a very young age.
FINALLY, AN ATTEMPT AT APOLOGY
Brenda Spencer "I'm "deeply sorry" for the harm I caused the victims and their
families. I remember "bits and pieces" of that day. "I remember talking to
police negotiators on a phone. I don't remember the shooting itself,"
Spencer claims she was drinking alcohol about 7 a.m. before she
started shooting.She again claims that her father had abused her but
when asked for specific incidents -
Brenda Spencer "I remember being hit, yelled at, called names,"
and then almost as an afterthought, she states "my father "almost raped me."
"He touched me inappropriately."
This a claim she did not make during the earlier years of her incarceration.
When asked by the parole board about her father's visits to her at the prison -
Brenda Spencer "We've gotten to be friends."
Brenda Spencer's siblings do not back up her claims of abuse.
ALLEGATIONS OF A CONSPIRACY AGAINST HER
Benda Spencer "The state and my attorney conspired to hide my drug test results."
It took 15 minutes for a decision - DENIED PAROLE.
STONE COLD KILLER
Prosecutor Andrea Crisanti "the words of Brenda Spencer at the time,
she was boasting about how easy it was to
shoot children, that "she liked to watch them
squirm, and especially liked shooting the ones
wearing down jackets so she could "watch the
"I don't know that she's ever expressed true remorse.
I just look at her picture and I see empty. You think
" I can' t see a soul. There's nothing in there."
BRENDA SPENCER "I had no reason for it, and it was just a lot of fun." "
"It was just like shooting ducks in a pond.
"It was really easy pickings."
"It was a lot of fun seeing children shot."
Wallace Spencer "I was devastated. It blew me away. I fell apart myself."
"I don't feel responsible. I love my daughter and
I want to see her get out of there and be able to
take care of herself. I don't know. I can't explain
why she did it."
2009 - Brenda Spencer is eligible for parole - DENIED
Next date eligible for Parole - 2019.
FOOTNOTE: Boomtown Rats, Bob Geldof penned a song "I don't like Mondays" that was sparked by the statements Brenda Spencer used to explain the shootings.
In August 2009 she was again denied Parole Her next hearing won't be till 2019
Spencer and their reports are part of the parole board's criteria for reviewing her parole.
There's more than enough in those reports to show her a continued danger to others.
Brenda Spencer shows a lack of real remorse, minimizes her involvement by blaming
abuse, drugs, conspiracy etc. That alone shows she is inelgibile for being free. Her
inability to handle a break up by acting out shows she still has violent tendencies.
Her claims of abuse only came after she realized she was going to remain in prison
for a long time. Investigators found no evidence of the alleged abuse. She's a liar.
The crime was pre-meditated, at any point she could have stopped the shootings but
chose not too. If she hadn't been stopped, she likely would have continued shooting
until she ran out of bullets.
Brenda Spencer "It was a lot of fun seeing children shot."
IMO Anyone who says that, has no soul, and has no empathy for others, and,
no real remorse.
I live in Australia, and I can tell you, a justice system that puts people in prison and leaves them in there for life is what a lot of us dream of. If she'd lived here she would already have been out for a decade and she probably would have done it again.
Unfortunately, a lot of people who should be in for life here in the U.S. aren't really in
for life. They're eligible for parole at specific dates, that doesn't mean they'll get out,
but some do, and some reoffend. With some prisoners the offense is considered so
heinous, (and usually backed up by their prison records) that the prisoner isn't likely
to achieve parole. I think she's one of them.
Unfortunately, there walk among us, of all ages, not just adults, persons who are
plain out evil. They have sociopathic natures and no empathy for others. Brenda
is one such person. As such, she is a danger to society if she's released.
She hasn't controlled her anger, availed herself of any of the courses that
would assist her in doing so. What happens if she's released and someone
else pisses her off, a relationship gone bad, or she has another bout of not
liking mondays? Would you be willing to take that chance? What if it was
you or someone you knew or loved in her crosshairs?
There are some families who hunt, who think nothing of providing a teen with
a gun, along with gun safety. I like many others, was raised around weapons
for hunting and taught the respect necessary, and taught to understand that
the weapon doesn't pull the trigger, the human does.
Many persons did stupid things at 16, and lived to grow up more responsibly.
That being said, they didn't load a weapon at 16 and shoot dead adults
and injure children in an attempt to murder them.
Her father may have provided Brenda with the weapon and ammunition,
but he was not legallly responsible for her murdering and shooting people.
Regardless, it takes a conscious decision by someone of any age to
deliberately pick up that weapon, load it, have more ammo close by,and
then to coldly, calculatingly pull that weapon's trigger at others, in this
case, adults and children.
Abuse has never proven or backed up by any evidence, or by her siblings
or authorities, whatsoever. Brenda Spencer made it up. Her claims are an
offense to those who were truly abused.
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