Purdue University Global


Andrew Phillip Kehoe was an electrical engineer who was born in Tecumseh, Michigan on February 1, 1872. He had twelve other siblings between his parents, who had come from New York state. Records indicate that Kehoe was five years old when his mother passed away, with his father subsequently remarrying a woman with whom he did not get along with. Their fights became well known, and in fact, when Kehoe was fourteen years old, it has been speculated that he was behind the fire that caused the death of his stepmother. There is evidence that Kehoe stood and watched for several minutes before putting out the flames on his stepmother, however it was too late for her, and she succumbed to the burns .

Records indicate the Kehoe was a victim of a fall which resulted in a severe head injury, which placed him in a coma for a duration of two months. There has been speculation that the head injury could have been the cause of subsequent behaviors, that of which was animal torture and cruelty and his hot headedness. It has been noted that he beat a horse to death once, which coupled with the fact that he watched his stepmother burn leads me to believe that he was of a psychopathic personality. Neighbors noted also that he was quick to anger and very neat and clean, to the point of it being a compulsion .

Kehoe later became the treasurer for the Bath Consolidated School, as well as became the Township Clerk for a term. He fought to lower taxes, which he believed were unreasonable and a burden, which had been raised to pay for the new building. It is also on record that his wife became sick with tuberculosis and was frequently visiting the hospital, thus raising the bills, and that he became frustrated over his financial situation, subsequently stopping paying his mortgage and insurance payments, leading to foreclosure on his farm .

Kehoe spent time rigging explosives beneath the floor of the school, and had it set to go off at a certain time. He had murdered his wife previously, and set off in his truck, which was also rigged as a bomb, to the school where he shot into the back and subsequently blew himself and others up. There was one section of the school that did not blow up, thus saving several lives, one of which was lost when Kehoe blew himself and his truck up .

Looking at Kehoe’s life and experiences, I believe that they did contribute somewhat to this crime. He had shown a severe lack of empathy and regard for humanity when his stepmother was burned, instead standing and watching for several minutes before even attempting to put out the fire. In fact, their neighbors believed that he had rigged the stove to explode, which says a lot about his personality, even as a child. There is also the fact that he was noted to be an animal torturer and had been known to cause the death of at least one horse at least hints at a psychopathic personality.

Kehoe’s statement of criminals are made, not born is one that I agree with. Kehoe’s experiences show that he was a very angry individual, but that he kept it leashed for the most part. Would he have committed this atrocity if he hadn’t had been experiencing financial difficulties? No, I don’t believe so. His anger came out in full force when his financial situation became dire, thus leading to his actions. His resentment was focused on the school, as well as his wife, who he believed was the cause of his woes, and he was going to make them pay. I believe that, as his prior actions had shown, that when he was angry and resentful, he didn’t care who he hurt in order to achieve satisfaction.