The 10 Most Shocking College Crimes of All Time

The 10 Most Shocking College Crimes of All Time

It takes a lot to shock us these days. Things that once appalled us as a society can now be regularly found on prime-time broadcast television. After all the trash TV and horror movies and war footage we’ve seen, we’re a pretty jaded bunch. But there’s one arena where we will never get used to seeing horrific events: the college campus. Crimes involving college students in the prime of their lives will always stun us. Here are the 10 most shocking college crimes ever perpetrated.

  1. Virginia Tech shooting

    The killing spree at Virginia Tech in 2007 shocked the country over the sheer number of casualties: 32 dead and 25 wounded. All the signs were there that Cho Seung-Hui was mentally unstable. The 23-year-old selective mute had written poems about pedophilia and high school kids who discuss murdering a teacher. On the day he snapped, he killed two people in a dorm, then two hours later he walked to four different classrooms, methodically killing as he went, causing the devastated community to wonder why the campus was not locked down before he committed the majority of the murders.

  2. University of Alabama shooting

    What amazed people most about the events at the University of Alabama on Feb. 12, 2010 was the identity of the shooter. Here was a wife and mother with a Ph.D. from Harvard and an established career in the field of biology. After she opened fire on her colleagues at a department meeting, killing three and wounding three others, a picture emerged of an odd, cold woman who had recently been denied tenure at the school and had killed her brother many years ago under suspicious circumstances.

  3. Penn State sex scandal

    It’s the only case on this list that doesn’t involve murder, and it’s still unfolding, yet it’s one of the most monstrous crimes to ever involve the collegiate world. The country has watched in horror as allegations have emerged that former football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky molested eight or more boys over a period of at least 15 years. What’s worse, the man had founded a charity for disadvantaged kids. Even revered football coach Joe Paterno has stunned the public by admitting he knew of Sandusky’s behavior as early as 2002.

  4. UT Tower Sniper

    A former Marine barricading himself into a tower and sniping 13 people would be a huge story in 2011; in 1966, such a thing was completely unheard of. “Normal” people like University of Texas student Charles Whitman didn’t kill their mothers and wives in their sleep, as he had done. Fortunately, the citizens of Austin at the time were not so shocked as to lose their heads. Well-armed civilians helped police return fire at Whitman and probably saved lives in doing so. Even still, Whitman’s case remains one of the most gruesome cases of an average-student-turned-mass-murderer.

  5. Appalachian School of Law shooting

    No one expected the tiny Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., could be the site of a triple homicide. Shortly after its 170 students returned to campus after winter break, Peter Odighizuwa, or “Peter O” to his classmates, also returned despite flunking out six months earlier. The Nigerian walked into the office of the dean, former U.S. Attorney General L. Anthony Sutin, and executed him at point-blank range. Then he did the same to professor Thomas Blackwell. He moved to the student lounge where he shot four students, one of whom died, before being tackled by students and police.

  6. Cal State Fullerton Massacre

    Exactly 10 years after the UT Tower shooting, another former Marine went on a killing spree at a college. Cal State Fullerton library custodian Edward Charles Allaway thought his ex-wife was being forced to appear in the porn films his coworkers were showing before work. His response was to take a .22-caliber rifle into the library and kill seven people in five minutes. A judge found Allaway not guilty due to insanity, and he remains locked away in a mental health institution to this day.

  7. Baylor Scandal

    Texans and sports fans across the country were shocked at this story that came out of the ultra-conservative halls of Baylor University in Waco, Texas in 2003. Basketball player Charles Dotson, hallucinating and psychotic, imagined teammate and friend Patrick Dennehy was going to kill him. Instead, Dotson shot and killed Dennehy in an argument. Dennehy’s six-week disappearance touched off NCAA investigations that revealed head coach Dave Bliss had paid Dennehy and a second player $40,000 in tuition and lied to cover it up, and that the staff had failed to report players’ drug use. Bliss resigned, and Dotson got 35 years.

  8. Montreal Massacre

    This one went down just north of the U.S. border in Montreal, at the École Polytechnique, in 1989. Enraged that “feminists” had ruined his life, Marc Lépine walked into a classroom with a rifle and ordered the men out of the room. He shot the nine female students who remained, killing six. After that, he moved throughout the building, killing five more women and injuring 14 more men and women before turning the gun on himself. Had it happened in the States, at the time it would have been the worst school shooting ever.

  9. The Campus Killer

    Although the majority of his murders took place off-campus, serial killer Ted Bundy is often referred to as the Campus Killer. Beginning in 1974, the homicidal maniac started attacking college women at a rate of at least one each month. Four years and 17 murders later, on the run from police in Florida, he bludgeoned five sorority members at Florida State University, raping and murdering two. By the time he was finally captured, his death toll was a confessed 28, but an estimated 100 or more. A relieved public cheered when this once well-liked, handsome young man was executed.

  10. Northern Illinois University shooting

    Less than a year after the Virginia Tech shootings and less than a week after a double murder-suicide at Louisiana Tech, the headlines again were flooded with news of a massacre on a college campus. Former grad student Steven Kazmierczak entered an oceanography class dressed in black and armed with a shotgun, three handguns, eight magazines, and a knife and opened fire on the 120 students. Terrified students tried to flee, but 25 were hit and five killed. Before police arrived, Kazmierczak committed suicide.

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* Top photo – Blacksburg, Va. officers respond to the Va. Tech campus shooting, running into the danger ( image).

2 replies
  1. Rusty Fairbanks
    Rusty Fairbanks says:

    People need to understand that nowhere is completely safe, immune to horrific acts by those who walk among us. While it is sad to say, parents need to educate their children to be aware of situations, behaviors and relationships around them. It is no longer enough to warn children away from strangers searching for lost puppies.

  2. LRHunter
    LRHunter says:

    Most of the everyday crimes that happen on campus are never reported in the media, and may not be reported to the local law enforcement. It was that way at UCLA back in the day. Nowadays, with Twitter, I’m betting that some news of every assault, robbery, or rape makes it past the sound-proof ivy-covered walls of dear old alma mater.

    I came across some info/speculation about Whitman when I was researching berserker rage. Too bad that I’ve forgotten the bits I found about him. Maybe something about his brain, but I can’t remember what.

    Terrifying article you’ve written here, you know?

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