Monday, November 21, 2011

I don't like Mondays

On January 29, 1979, 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer sat in her bedroom window with a .22 rifle her father had given to her as a gift.  She opened fire on children arriving at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego as they were arriving for school.  She wounded eight students and a police officer. The Principal was killed while he was attempting to rescue children in the line of fire,  The custodian was slain attempting to aid the principal.

During police negotiations she said such things as:  ''There was no reason for it, and it was just a lot of fun'' and ''It was just like shooting ducks in a pond'' and ''they (the children) looked like a herd of cows standing around, it was really easy pickings.''

However, when all was said and done she wasasked what had prompted the shooting spree, she told a reporter, “I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day.''

At her trial, Spencer pled guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. She has been up for parole four times and has been turned down each time.

Despite pleading guilty at her trial, during her parole hearings she claimed that she hadn’t hit anybody with her gun and said they must have been shot by the police.  She also asserted that she had been under the influence of alcohol and hallucinogenic drugs at the time of the shootings; this despite the fact that evidence showed that there had been no drugs in her system. She finally, expressed remorse but still said that she had been drunk and high on marijuana laced with PCP the day of her deadly rampage.

She is eligible to again apply for parole in 2019. It's unlikely that she will ever be released . . . California doesn't generally parole convicted murderers.

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