From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"Both The Phantom of Liberty (Luis Buñuel, 1974) and God Told Me To (Larry Cohen, 1976) feature a scene in which a sniper shoots innocent strangers from a highrise. Both scenes are probably inspired by Charles Whitman's spree killing in Texas in 1966." --Sholem Stein
A spree killer, also known as a rampage killer, is someone who embarks on a murderous assault on his victims in a short time in multiple locations. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics defines a spree killing as "killings at two or more locations with almost no time break between murders." Serial killers are different in that they have cooling off periods between attacks, while mass murderers typically stick to one location.
Notably large spree killings
Notably large spree killings in history include:
- Tsuyama massacre (Japan, 1938): Mutsuo Toi, using an old Japanese rifle and swords, killed 30 and then himself in an hour and a half.
- University of Texas massacre (United States, 1966): Charles Whitman, a student at the University of Texas at Austin killed 14 people and wounded 31 others as part of a shooting rampage from the observation deck of the University's 32-story administrative building. He did this shortly after murdering his wife and mother. He was eventually shot and killed by Austin police.
- Uireyeong massacre (South Korea, 1982): Woo Bum-kon killed 57 and then himself in eight hours, using grenades and an M1 Carbine. 35 people were also wounded.
- Hungerford massacre (United Kingdom, 1987): Michael Robert Ryan, using two semi-automatic assault rifles and a handgun, killed 16 people and wounded 15 others in a space of 7 hours before shooting himself.
- Aramoana Massacre (New Zealand, 1990):David Gray, using a Norinco Type 56-1S .223 semi-automatic assault rifle killed 13 people on 13 November. He was shot and killed by police the following day after a 22 hour stand off.
- Port Arthur massacre (Australia, 1996): Martin Bryant, using an AR-15 and an L1A1 SLR, killed 35 and injured 19 in five hours before being arrested by the Special Operations Group of the Tasmanian Police.
- Red Lake High School massacre (United States, 2005):Jeff Weise. Shot and killed his grandfather and his grandfather's girlfriend, both police officers. He then proceeded to a local high school and shot and killed a security guard. Once inside the school Weise shot and killed five students and a teacher before committing suicide. Weise killed 9 and injured 15.
- Virginia Tech massacre (United States, 2007): Seung-Hui Cho, using two pistols, killed 32 in two separate events and then himself in the course of about three hours.
- Dnepropetrovsk maniacs (Ukraine, 2007): an unusual group murder spree. Viktor Sayenko, Alexander Hanzha and Igor Suprunyuck, all 19, went on several murder sprees, claiming 21 victims in one month and videotaping most murders. Two victims were murdered within minutes of each other on June 25; two more on July 1st, three on July 7th, and two each on the 14th, 15th and 16th July, 2007.
- Akihabara massacre (Japan, 2008): Tomohiro Kato hit five pedestrians with a truck, then stabbed twelve people. Kato killed seven and injured 10.
- Running amok
- Going postal
- Mass murder
- Serial killer
- Thrill killing
- Jallianwala Bagh massacre