The Full Wiki

Hungerford Massacre: Wikis

Advertisements

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

(Redirected to Hungerford massacre article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hungerford massacre
Location Hungerford, Berkshire, England
Date August 19, 1987 (1987-08-19)
ca. 12:30 p.m.-ca. 5:00 p.m.
Attack type Mass murder, spree shooting, murder-suicide, massacre
Weapon(s) Type 56 assault rifle, M1 carbine, Beretta 92
Death(s) 17 (including the perpetrator)
Injured 15
Perpetrator Michael Robert Ryan

The Hungerford massacre occurred in Hungerford, Berkshire, England, on August 19, 1987. The gunman, 27-year-old Michael Robert Ryan, armed with two semi-automatic rifles and a handgun, shot and killed sixteen people including his mother, and wounded fifteen others, then fatally shot himself. A report on this incident was commissioned by the Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd, from the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, Colin Smith. It remains, along with the Dunblane massacre, one of the worst criminal atrocities involving firearms in British history.

The massacre led to the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988,[1] which banned the ownership of semi-automatic centre-fire rifles and restricted the use of shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than two rounds. The Hungerford Report had demonstrated that Ryan's collection of weapons was legally licensed.

Contents

Perpetrator

The perpetrator of the Hungerford massacre was 27-year-old Michael Robert Ryan, an unemployed labourer and antiques dealer. He was born at Savernake Hospital in Marlborough Wiltshire, near Hungerford, Berkshire on May 18, 1960.[2] Ryan was an only child, and his father, Alfred Henry Ryan, was 55 years old when Michael was born. Alfred Ryan died in Swindon, Wiltshire,in May 1985 at the age of 80. At time of the shooting, Ryan lived alone with his mother who worked as a dinner lady at the local primary school. There was extensive press comment on this, suggesting the relationship was 'unhealthy' and that Ryan was 'spoiled' by his mother. A Guardian headline described Ryan as a 'mummy's boy'.

In the days following the massacre, the British tabloid press was filled with stories about Michael Ryan's life. Press biographies all stated that he had a near-obsessive fascination with firearms. The majority claimed that Ryan possessed magazines about survival skills and firearms, Soldier of Fortune[3] being frequently named. He was also said to be a fan of the Rambo film First Blood in which the press erroneously claimed events similar to the Hungerford massacre take place.

Licensed firearms ownership

Ryan had been issued a shotgun certificate in 1978, and on 11 December 1986 he was granted a firearms certificate covering the ownership of two pistols. He later applied to have the certificate amended to cover a third pistol, as he intended to sell one of the two he had acquired since the granting of the certificate, and to buy two more. This was approved on 30 April 1987. On 14 July he applied for another variation, to cover two semi-automatic rifles, which was approved on 30 July. At the time of the massacre, he was in licensed possession of the following:

Ryan used the Beretta pistol, and the Type 56 and M1 rifles, in the massacre. The CZ pistol was being repaired by a dealer at the time.[5] The Type 56 was purchased from arms dealer Mick Ranger. [4]

Shootings

The first shooting occurred seven miles (11 km) to the west of Hungerford in Savernake Forest in Wiltshire, at 12:30 in the afternoon of August 19. Susan Godfrey, 35, had come to the area with her children, Hannah, 4, and James, 2 from Reading, Berkshire and was picnicking. She was abducted by Ryan at gun-point and forced to place the children in her car, before she was marched into bushes and shot thirteen times in the back. Police were alerted to the scene when Godfrey's children approached a stranger and told them a man had kidnapped their mother. Authorities were still responding when Ryan began his massacre.[6]

Driving in his car, a silver Vauxhall Astra GTE, from the forest along the A4 towards Hungerford, Ryan stopped at a petrol station three miles (5 km) from the town. After waiting for a motorcyclist, Ian George, to depart from the garage, he began to pump petrol into his car before shooting at the cashier, Mrs Kakaub Dean, missing. Ryan entered the store and again tried to shoot her at close range with his M1 carbine,[5] but the rifle's magazine had fallen out, probably because he inadvertently hit the release mechanism. He left the petrol station and continued towards Hungerford.

Whilst Ryan was driving to Hungerford, George, having witnessed the attempted shooting of Dean, stopped in the village of Froxfield and placed the first emergency call to the police, reporting that he had seen an attempted armed robbery.

At around 12:45, Ryan was seen at his home in South View, Hungerford. After loading his car with more guns he attempted to leave, but the car wouldn't start. Neighbours reported him agitatedly moving between the house and the car, before returning home and shooting the family dog or dogs (reports differ, one or two). He set fire to the house with the petrol he had bought earlier in the day, the fire going on to damage three surrounding properties. Removing the three shotguns from his car, Ryan then shot and killed husband and wife Roland and Sheila Mason, who were in the back garden of their house.

On foot, Ryan proceeded towards the town's common, injuring two more people: Marjorie Jackson and fourteen-year-old Lisa Mildenhall, who Ryan shot in both legs.[7] Jackson, shot in the back, managed to enter her home and contacted George White, a colleague of her husband Ivor Jackson, and informed White that she had been injured. She asked that her husband be driven home. White assured Mrs. Jackson he would fetch her husband immediately.[8] On the footpath towards the common, Ryan also killed fifty-one-year-old Kenneth Clements, who was walking with his family.

Looping back to South View, Ryan fired 23 rounds at PC Roger Brereton, a police officer who had just arrived at the scene in response to reports of gunfire. He died sitting in his patrol car, radioing to his colleagues that he had been shot.[9] Linda Chapman and her teenage daughter, Alison Chapman, turned onto the road Brereton's car was on moments after Brereton was shot. Ryan fired 11 bullets from his semi-automatic into their Volvo; Linda was hit in the shoulder, Alison in the right thigh. Linda was able to drive to the local doctor's without further injury, although she crashed into a tree outside. A bullet was found lodged at the base of Alison's spine; during a subsequent operation to remove it, it was decided that the risk of paralysis was too great, and it was left in place.[10] Moments after this, George White's Toyota drove into South View with Ivor Jackson. Ryan opened fire with his AK-47, leaving White dead and Ivor Jackson severely injured. White's Toyota crashed into the rear of PC Brereton's police car.[11]

Ryan moved along Fairview Road, killing Abdul Rahman Khan, who was in his back garden, and injuring Alan Lepetit who was walking along the road. An ambulance which had just arrived in the road was shot at next, injuring paramedic Hazel Haslett. She drove off before any further attacks could hit her. A crowd had now gathered, and Ryan proceeded to fire at windows and shoot at people who appeared on the street. Ryan's own mother, Dorothy, then drove into South View, and she was confronted by the sight of her house on fire and her armed son. She stopped the car and made a vain effort to stop him. Ryan shot his mother dead, then wounded a Mrs. Betty Tolladay, before running towards Hungerfield Common.

The police were now informed of the situation, but the evacuation plan was not fully effective. A police helicopter managed to take off and track Ryan's movements almost an hour after he set alight to his home, but this was further hampered by media helicopters and journalists responding to reports of the attacks. A single police officer also managed to observe Ryan and his armaments and recommended that armed police be used, as Ryan's armaments were beyond the capabilities of Hungerford police station's meagre firearms' locker.

On Hungerfield Common, Ryan went on to shoot and kill a young father-of-two named Francis Butler, then killed a local taxi driver, Marcus Barnard, on the corner of Bulpit Lane. Barnard had been detoured towards the Common by a police diversion, as communication between ground forces and the police helicopter remained sporadic. Ryan proceeded to wound John Storms, then walked towards the town centre of Hungerford, where police were attempting to evacuate the public. During his walk, Ryan killed fifty-one-year-old Douglas Wainwright and injured his wife Kathleen, who had driven onto Priory Avenue. The pair were visiting their son, a policeman on the Hungerford force; ironically, Constable Wainwright had signed Ryan's request to extend his firearm certificate only weeks earlier. Next was Kevin Lance, who was shot in the arm further up Priory Avenue. Moments later, Ryan killed a van driver named Eric Vardy.

Throughout his movements, Ryan had also opened fire on a number of other people, some of whom were grazed or walking wounded. Many of these minor casualties were not counted in the eventual total.

At around 13:30,[12] Ryan crossed Orchard Park Gardens into Priory Road, snapping off a single round at a passing red Renault. This fatally wounded the driver, twenty-two-year-old Sandra Hill.[13] With helicopters circling overhead, Ryan proceeded to shoot his way into a house on Priory Road and killed the occupants: Jack Gibbs and his wheelchair-bound wife, Myrtle (some reports state Myrtle died later of injuries sustained when Ryan shot Jack. The husband had covered Myrtle with his own body to protect her). Further down Priory Road, Ryan killed another motorist, thirty-four-year-old Ian Playle. After shooting and injuring William Noon, Ryan broke into the John O'Gaunt Community Technology College

Suicide

Inside the John O'Gaunt Community Technology College (closed and empty at that time of year for summer holidays), where he had previously been a pupil, Michael Ryan barricaded himself in a classroom. Police surrounded the building and found that a number of ground-staff and two children had seen Ryan enter, and they offered guidance on how to enter and hiding places. Negotiators made contact with Ryan only after the shooter had taken potshots at circling helicopters. At one point Ryan waved what appeared to be an unpinned grenade at them through the window, though reports differ as to whether Ryan really was armed as such. Police attempted negotiations to coax Ryan out of the school, but these attempts failed. At 6:52 p.m., Ryan committed suicide.[14] One of the statements Ryan made towards the end of the negotiations was widely reported: "Hungerford must be a bit of a mess. I wish I had stayed in bed."[15]

Police response

Hungerford is policed by two Sergeants and twelve Constables, and on the morning of 19 August 1987 the duty cover for the section consisted of one Sergeant, two Patrol Constables and one Station Duty Officer.[16] A number of factors hampered the police response:[9]

  • The telephone exchange could not handle the number of 999 calls made by witnesses.
  • The Thames Valley firearms squad were training 40 miles away.
  • The police helicopter was in for repair, though was eventually deployed.
  • Only two phone lines were in operation at the local police station which was undergoing renovation.

Cultural references

J G Ballard's novel Running Wild centres around the fictitious Richard Greville, a Deputy Psychiatric Advisor with the Metropolitan Police who authored "an unpopular minority report on the Hungerford killings" and is sent to investigate mass murder in a gated community.[17] Ballard professed an interest in the Hungerford massacre and other "pointless crimes" such as that in Dunblane and the murder of Jill Dando.

One Bloody Afternoon is a vivid non-fiction description of all the events of the afternoon, describing each killing in detail. It is written by Jeremy Josephs.

The Hungerford massacre has inspired Christopher Priest's 1998 novel The Extremes

Sulk, the penultimate track on Radiohead's album The Bends, was written as a response to the massacre.[18]

Chris Bowsher, founder member of the band Radical Dance Faction, was a witness to the events and wrote Hungerford Poem which appears on the band's early album Hot On The Wire.

Spoof Welsh rap group Goldie Lookin' Chain mentioned the killer in their song Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do, a satire on the supposed links between gangsta rap and gun crime as reported in the press: 'Like Michael Ryan, about to snap, guns don't kill people, it's just rap'

Marvel Comics mentioned the Hungerford massacre as background for their fictional mutant antihero Pete Wisdom, stating that his mother was one of the victims.

The Smiths were due to release the single Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before around the time of the massacre. However, the song was later prevented from being released because it contained the line "...and plan a mass murder". Many felt it would be insensitive to go ahead with the single and therefore it didn't.

Also see

References

  1. ^ Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 (c. 45) Retrieved 2007-07-21.
  2. ^ Jeremy Josephs. Hungerford - One Man's Massacre. Retrieved October 28, 2005.
  3. ^ - Errol Mason (1993). "Critical Factors In Firearms Control" (PDF). Australian Institute of Criminology. pp. 209. http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/proceedings/17/mason.pdf. 
  4. ^ a b Barnett, Antony (27 April 2003). "Exposed: Global dealer in death". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/gun/Story/0,2763,944414,00.html. 
  5. ^ a b The Hungerford Report - Shooting Incidents At Hungerford On 19 August 1987, Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police Colin Smith to Home Secretary Douglas Hurd. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
  6. ^ Courtroom Television Network (2005). Michael Ryan - The Hungerford UK Mass Murderer. Retrieved October 28, 2005
  7. ^ Parry, Gareth (20 August 1987). "Gunman in combat gear kills himself after 14 die in shooting spree". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/fromthearchive/story/0,12269,1286273,00.html. 
  8. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p172
  9. ^ a b Grice, Elizabeth (7 December 2004). "Ryan shot at me, then at my mother". The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2004/12/07/fthung07.xml. 
  10. ^ How I Survived the Hungerford Massacre - Sky The Magazine - August 2007
  11. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p173
  12. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p179
  13. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p180
  14. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p184
  15. ^ http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/mass/michael_ryan/10.html Michael Ryan - The Hungerford UK Mass Murderer]. Retrieved October 28, 2005.</
  16. ^ The Hungerford Report - Shooting Incidents At Hungerford On 19 August 1987, Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police Colin Smith to Home Secretary Douglas Hurd. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
  17. ^ - Cultural Studies, edited by Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson, Paula Treichler (1991), p220. Google Print. ISBN 0-415-90345-9 (accessed October 28, 2005). Also available in print from Routledge (UK).
  18. ^ - Mac Randall (September 1, 2004). Exit Music: The Radiohead Story, 119. Google Print. ISBN 1-84449-183-8 (accessed October 28, 2005). Also available in print from Omnibus Press.
  • M. Barker and J. Petley (eds) (26 April 2001). Ill Effects: The Media Violence Debate (Communication & Society. Routledge; 2Rev Ed editio. pp. 63–77.. ISBN 0415225132. 
  • Webster, Duncan (May 1989 , 3:2, .). "Whodunnit? America did: Rambo and post-Hungerford rhetoric". Cultural Studies (Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group) Volume 3, Number 2: 173. doi:10.1080/09502388900490121. 

External links

  • Infamous Murders [1]
Advertisements

Hungerford massacre
Location Hungerford, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
Date Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter.
ca. 12:30 p.m.–ca. 5:00 p.m.
Attack type Mass murder, spree shooting, murder-suicide, massacre
Weapon(s) Type 56 assault rifle, M1 carbine, Beretta 92
Death(s) 17 (including the perpetrator)
Injured 15
Belligerent Michael Robert Ryan

The Hungerford massacre occurred in Hungerford, Berkshire, England, on 19 August 1987. The gunman, 27-year-old Michael Robert Ryan, armed with two semi-automatic rifles and a handgun, shot and killed sixteen people including his mother, and wounded fifteen others, then fatally shot himself. A report on this incident was commissioned by the Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd, from the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, Colin Smith. It remains, along with the 1996 Dunblane massacre and the 2010 Cumbria shootings, one of the worst criminal atrocities involving firearms in British history.

The massacre led to the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988,[1] which banned the ownership of semi-automatic centre-fire rifles and restricted the use of shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than two rounds. The Hungerford Report had demonstrated that Ryan's collection of weapons was legally licensed.

Contents

Perpetrator

The perpetrator of the Hungerford massacre was 27-year-old Michael Robert Ryan, an unemployed labourer and antiques dealer. He was born at Savernake Hospital in Marlborough, Wiltshire, near Hungerford, Berkshire on 18 May 1960.[2] Ryan was an only child, and his father, Alfred Henry Ryan, was 55 years old when Michael was born. Alfred Ryan died in Swindon, Wiltshire, in May 1985 at the age of 80. At the time of the shooting, Ryan lived with his mother who worked as a dinner lady at the local primary school. There was extensive press comment on this, suggesting the relationship was 'unhealthy' and that Ryan was "spoiled" by his mother. A Guardian headline described Ryan as a "mummy's boy".

In the days following the massacre, the British tabloid press was filled with stories about Michael Ryan's life. Press biographies all stated that he had a near-obsessive fascination with firearms. The majority claimed that Ryan possessed magazines about survival skills and firearms, Soldier of Fortune[3] being frequently named. Press reports claimed that he was obsessed with of the Rambo film First Blood, which was erroneously described as featuring events similar to the Hungerford massacre, when in fact there was no evidence that Ryan even owned a video recorder, let alone that he had seen the film.[4]

Licensed firearms ownership

Ryan had been issued a shotgun certificate in 1978, and on 11 December 1986 he was granted a firearms certificate covering the ownership of two pistols. He later applied to have the certificate amended to cover a third pistol, as he intended to sell one of the two he had acquired since the granting of the certificate, and to buy two more. This was approved on 30 April 1987. On 14 July he applied for another variation, to cover two semi-automatic rifles, which was approved on 30 July. At the time of the massacre, he was in licensed possession of the following weapons:

Ryan used the Beretta pistol, and the Type 56 and M1 rifles, in the massacre. The CZ pistol was being repaired by a dealer at the time.[6] The Type 56 was purchased from arms dealer Mick Ranger. [5]

Shootings

The first shooting occurred seven miles (11 km) to the west of Hungerford in Savernake Forest in Wiltshire, at 12:30 in the afternoon of August 19. Susan Godfrey, 35, had come to the area with her two children; Hannah, 4, and James, 2 from Reading, Berkshire for a family picnic. Ryan approached Godfrey and her children at gunpoint, forced Susan to place the children in her car, then marched the woman into bushes at gunpoint and shot her thirteen times in the back. Police were alerted to the scene after Godfrey's two children approached a lone pensioner, Myra Rose and Hannah told Mrs. Rose a "man in black has shot our mummy."[7] Authorities were still responding when Ryan began his massacre.[8]

Driving in his car, a silver Vauxhall Astra GTE, from the forest along the A4 towards Hungerford, Ryan stopped at a petrol station three miles (5 km) from the town. After waiting for a motorcyclist, Ian George, to depart from the garage, he began to pump petrol into his car before shooting at the cashier, Mrs. Kakaub Dean, missing. Ryan entered the store and again tried to shoot her at close range with his M1 carbine,[6] but the rifle's magazine had fallen out, probably because he inadvertently hit the release mechanism. He left the petrol station and continued towards Hungerford.

Whilst Ryan was driving to Hungerford, George, having witnessed the attempted shooting of Dean, stopped in the village of Froxfield and placed the first emergency call to the police, reporting that he had seen an attempted armed robbery.

At around 12:45, Ryan was seen at his home in South View, Hungerford. After loading his Vauxhall Astra with his arsenal, Ryan attempted to leave, but the car would not start. Ryan fired five shots into the back of his Vauxhall. Neighbours reported seeing him agitatedly moving between the house and the car before he returned indoors and shot the family dog (or dogs – reports differ whether the family owned one or two pets). Ryan then doused his home with the petrol he had bought earlier in the day and set his house alight. The fire subsequently destroyed three surrounding properties.[9] Ryan then removed the three shotguns from the boot of his car and shot and killed husband and wife Roland and Sheila Mason, who were in the back garden of their house: Sheila was shot once in the head and Roland six times in the back.[9]

On foot, Ryan proceeded towards the town's common, injuring two more people: Marjorie Jackson, who was shot as she watched Ryan from the window of her living room and 14-year-old Lisa Mildenhall, whom Ryan shot in both legs as she stood outside her home. Mildenhall would recall that Ryan smiled at her before crouching and shooting.[10] After pulling a 77-year-old pensioner named Dorothy Smith (who had rebuked Ryan for making noise without provoking gunfire) into her home, Marjorie Jackson telephoned George White, a colleague of her husband Ivor Jackson. She informed White that she had been injured. Her husband insisted on returning home and George White offered to drive him.[11] On the footpath towards the common, Ryan encountered a family walking their dog.[12] Upon seeing Ryan with his weapons, 51-year-old Kenneth Clements raised his arms in a gesture of surrender as his family climbed over a wall and ran to safety. Ryan ignored the gesture and killed Clements, who fell to the ground still clutching the lead of his dog.[13]

Looping back to South View, Ryan fired 23 rounds at PC Roger Brereton, a police officer who had just arrived at the scene in response to reports of gunfire. Brereton was hit four times:[14] his car veered and crashed into a telephone pole. He died sitting in his patrol car, radioing to his colleagues that he had been shot.[15] Ryan next turned his weapons on Linda Chapman and her teenage daughter, Alison, who had turned onto South View moments after Brereton was shot. Ryan fired 11 bullets from his semi-automatic into their Volvo 360; the bullets travelled through the bonnet of the car, hitting Alison in her right thigh. Ryan also shot through the windscreen, hitting Linda in the left shoulder. As Ryan reloaded his weapons, Linda reversed the car, exited South View and drove to the local doctor's, crashing into a tree outside the surgery. A bullet was subsequently found lodged at the base of Alison's spine; during a subsequent operation to remove it, it was decided that the risk of paralysis was too great, and it was left in place.[16]

After the Chapmans had driven away from South View, George White's Toyota drove towards Ryan; Ivor Jackson was in the passenger seat. Ryan opened fire with his Type 56, leaving White dead and Ivor Jackson severely injured. White's Toyota crashed into the rear of PC Brereton's police car. Jackson feigned death and hoped that Ryan would not move in for a closer look.[17]

Ryan moved along Fairview Road, killing Abdul Rahman Khan who was mowing his lawn, then proceeded to injure his next door neighbour, Alan Lepetit further along Fairview Road: Lepetit had ironically helped Ryan build the gun display unit in which Ryan housed his weapons. Ryan then shot at an ambulance which had just arrived, shattering the window and injuring paramedic Hazel Haslett: Haslett sped away before Ryan was able to fire at her again. A crowd had now gathered, and Ryan proceeded to fire at windows and shoot at people who appeared on the street. Ryan's own mother, Dorothy, then drove into South View and she was confronted by the sight of her house on fire, her armed son and dead and injured strewn along the street.[18] Ivor Jackson – shot four times and slumped injured in White's Toyota[14]– heard Dorothy Ryan open the door of White's Toyota and say, "Oh, Ivor..." before attempting in vain to reason with her son. Ryan shot his mother dead as she raised her arms and pleaded with him not to shoot.[19] Ryan then wounded Mrs. Betty Tolladay who had stepped out of her house to admonish Ryan – whom she had assumed had been shooting at paper targets in the woods[20] – for making noise, before running towards Hungerford Common.

The police were now informed of the situation but the evacuation plan was not fully effective. A police helicopter managed to take off and track Ryan's movements almost an hour after he set his home alight, but this was further hampered by media helicopters and journalists responding to reports of the attacks. A single police officer also managed to observe Ryan and his armaments and recommended that armed police be used, as Ryan's armaments were beyond the capabilities of Hungerford police station's meagre firearms' locker.

On Hungerford Common, Ryan went on to shoot and kill a young father-of-two named Francis Butler as he walked his dog. He also shot at teenager Andrew Cadle but missed the boy, allowing Cadle to speed away on his bicycle.[13] Local cabbie Marcus Barnard slowed down his Peugeot 309 as Ryan crossed in front of him. Michael shot him with the Type 56, causing a massive injury to his head and killing him. Barnard had been detoured towards the Common by a police diversion as communication between ground forces and the police helicopter remained sporadic. Mrs. Ann Honeybone was slightly injured by a bullet as she drove down Priory Avenue. Ryan then shot at John Storms, an ambulance repairman who was parked on Priory Avenue.[21] Hit in the face, Storms crouched below the dashboard of his vehicle. He heard Ryan fire twice more at his van and felt the vehicle shake, but he was not hit again. A local builder named Bob Barclay ran from his nearby house and dragged Storms out of his van and into the safety of his home.[22] Ryan then walked towards the town centre of Hungerford, where police were attempting to evacuate the public. During his walk, Ryan killed 51-year-old Douglas Wainwright and injured his wife Kathleen in their car. Kathleen Wainwright would later say that her husband hit the brakes as soon as the windscreen shattered. Ryan fired eight rounds into the Wainwrights' Datsun Bluebird,[23] hitting Douglas in the head and Kathleen in the chest and hand. Mrs. Wainwright, seeing that her husband was dead and that Ryan was approaching the car whilst reloading, unbuckled her seatbelt and ran from the car.[13] The pair were visiting their son, a policeman on the Hungerford force. Ironically, Constable Wainwright had signed Ryan's request to extend his firearm certificate only weeks earlier. Next was Kevin Lance, who was shot in the upper arm[24] as he drove his Ford Transit along Tarrant's Hill.[22]

Further up Priory Avenue, a 51-year-old handyman named Eric Vardy[25] and his passenger, Steven Ball, drove into Ryan's path while travelling en route to a job in Vardy's Leyland Sherpa. Ball later recalled that he saw a young man – it was Kevin Lance – clutching his arm and running into a narrow side street. As Ball focused on Lance, Ryan shattered the windscreen with a burst of bullets. Vardy was hit twice in the neck and upper torso[9] and crashed his van into a wall. Eric Vardy would later die of shock and haemorrhage from his neck wound. Ball suffered no serious injuries.[13]

Throughout his movements, Ryan had also opened fire on a number of other people, some of whom were grazed or walking wounded. Many of these minor casualties were not counted in the eventual total.

At around 13:30,[26] Ryan crossed Orchard Park Gardens into Priory Road, firing a single round at a passing red Renault 5. This shot fatally wounded the driver, 22-year-old Sandra Hill.[27] A passing soldier, Carl Harries, rushed to Hill's car and attempted in vain to apply first aid, but Hill died in his arms.[28]

After shooting Hill, Ryan proceeded to shoot his way into a house further down Priory Road and killed the occupants: Jack Gibbs and his wheelchair-bound wife, Myrtle (some reports state Myrtle died later of injuries sustained when Ryan shot Jack: the husband had covered Myrtle with his own body to protect her). Ryan also fired shots into neighbouring houses from the Gibbs' house, injuring Mr. Michael Jennings at 62 Priory Road and Mrs. Myra Geater at 71 Priory Road.[13] Ryan continued down Priory Road where he spotted 34-year-old Ian Playle, who was returning from a shopping trip with his wife and two young children in their Ford Sierra. Playle crashed into a stationary car after being shot in the neck by Ryan. His wife and children were unhurt. Carl Harries again rushed over to administer first aid but Playle's wound proved to be fatal.[13]

After shooting and injuring 67-year-old William Noon in his garden, Ryan broke into the John O'Gaunt Community Technology College.

Suicide

Inside the John O'Gaunt Community Technology College (closed and empty at that time of year for summer holidays), where he had previously been a pupil, Michael Ryan barricaded himself in a classroom. Police surrounded the building and found that a number of ground-staff and two children had seen Ryan enter, and they offered guidance on how to enter, and hiding places. Negotiators made contact with Ryan only after the shooter had taken potshots at circling helicopters. At one point Ryan waved what appeared to be an unpinned grenade at them through the window, though reports differ as to whether Ryan really was armed as such. Police attempted negotiations to coax Ryan out of the school, but these attempts failed. At 6:52 p.m., Ryan committed suicide.[29] One of the statements Ryan made towards the end of the negotiations was widely reported: "Hungerford must be a bit of a mess. I wish I had stayed in bed."[30]

Police response

Hungerford was policed by two Sergeants and twelve Constables, and on the morning of 19 August 1987 the duty cover for the section consisted of one Sergeant, two Patrol Constables and one Station Duty Officer.[31]

A number of factors hampered the police response:[15]

  • The telephone exchange could not handle the number of 999 calls made by witnesses.
  • The Thames Valley firearms squad were training 40 miles away.
  • The police helicopter was in for repair, though was eventually deployed.
  • Only two phone lines were in operation at the local police station which was undergoing renovation.

Cultural references

J. G. Ballard's novel Running Wild centres around the fictitious Richard Greville, a Deputy Psychiatric Advisor with the Metropolitan Police who authored "an unpopular minority report on the Hungerford killings" and is sent to investigate mass murder in a gated community.[32] Ballard professed an interest in the Hungerford massacre and other "pointless crimes" such as that in Dunblane and the murder of Jill Dando.

One Bloody Afternoon by Jeremy Josephs is a non-fiction description of all the events of the afternoon, describing each killing.

The Hungerford massacre inspired Christopher Priest's 1998 novel The Extremes.

Sulk, the penultimate track on Radiohead's album The Bends, was written as a response to the massacre.[33]

Chris Bowsher, founding member of the band Radical Dance Faction, was a witness to the events and wrote Hungerford Poem which appears on the band's early album Hot On The Wire.

Spoof Welsh rap group Goldie Lookin' Chain mentioned the killer in their song Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do, a satire on the supposed links between gangsta rap and gun crime as reported in the press: 'Like Michael Ryan, about to snap, guns don't kill people, it's just rap'.

Marvel Comics mentioned the Hungerford massacre as background for their fictional mutant antihero Pete Wisdom, stating that his mother was one of the victims.

The Smiths were due to release the single "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" around the time of the massacre. However, the song was later prevented from being released because it coincidentally contained the line "...and plan a mass murder".[citation needed]

See also

References

  1. ^ Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 (c. 45) Retrieved 21 July 2007
  2. ^ Jeremy Josephs. Hungerford – One Man's Massacre. Retrieved October 28, 2005.
  3. ^Errol Mason (1993). "Critical Factors In Firearms Control" (PDF). Australian Institute of Criminology. pp. 209. http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/proceedings/17/mason.pdf. 
  4. ^ Panorama: Violence on Television (BBC One, 15 February 1988)
  5. ^ a b Barnett, Antony (27 April 2003). "Exposed: Global dealer in death". London: The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/gun/Story/0,2763,944414,00.html. 
  6. ^ a b The Hungerford Report – Shooting Incidents At Hungerford On 19 August 1987, Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police Colin Smith to Home Secretary Douglas Hurd. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
  7. ^ Mass Murderers, p. 169 ISBN 0-7835-0004-1
  8. ^ Courtroom Television Network (2005). Michael Ryan – The Hungerford UK Mass Murderer. Retrieved 28 October 2005
  9. ^ a b c http://www.crimeandinvestigation.co.uk/crime-files/michael-ryan-and-the-hungerford-massacre/crime.html
  10. ^ Parry, Gareth (20 August 1987). "Gunman in combat gear kills himself after 14 die in shooting spree". London: The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/fromthearchive/story/0,12269,1286273,00.html. 
  11. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p172
  12. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p. 172
  13. ^ {{broken ref |msg=Cite error: Invalid tag; no text was provided for refs named {{{1|jeremyjosephs.com}}}; see Help:Cite errors/Cite error references no text |cat=Pages with broken reference names}}
  14. ^ a b http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/mass/michael_ryan/6.html
  15. ^ a b Grice, Elizabeth (7 December 2004). "Ryan shot at me, then at my mother". London: The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2004/12/07/fthung07.xml. 
  16. ^ How I Survived the Hungerford Massacre – Sky The Magazine – August 2007
  17. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p173
  18. ^ http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/mass/michael_ryan/7.html
  19. ^ http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/mass/michael_ryan/7.html
  20. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p 174
  21. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p. 178
  22. ^ a b http://www.economicexpert.com/a/Hungerford:Report.html
  23. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p 169
  24. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p. 179
  25. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p. 179-180
  26. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p179
  27. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p180
  28. ^ Courtenay-Smith, Natasha (10 August 2007). "Haunted by Hungerford". Daily Mail (London). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-474613/Haunted-Hungerford.html. 
  29. ^ Mass Murderers ISBN 0-7835-0004-1 p184
  30. ^ http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/mass/michael_ryan/10.html Michael Ryan – The Hungerford UK Mass Murderer]. Retrieved 28 October 2005.
  31. ^ The Hungerford Report – Shooting Incidents At Hungerford On 19 August 1987, Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police Colin Smith to Home Secretary Douglas Hurd. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  32. ^Cultural Studies, edited by Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson, Paula Treichler (1991), p220. Google Print. ISBN 0-415-90345-9 (accessed 28 October 2005). Also available in print from Routledge (UK).
  33. ^ – Mac Randall (September 1, 2004). Exit Music: The Radiohead Story, 119. Google Print. ISBN 1-84449-183-8 (accessed 28 October 2005). Also available in print from Omnibus Press.
  • M. Barker and J. Petley (eds) (26 April 2001). Ill Effects: The Media Violence Debate (Communication & Society. Routledge; 2Rev Ed editio. pp. 63–77.. ISBN 0415225132. 
  • Webster, Duncan (May 1989 , 3:2, .). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Whodunnit? America did: Rambo and post-Hungerford rhetoric"]. Cultural Studies (Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group) 3 (2): 173. doi:10.1080/09502388900490121. 

External links

  • Infamous Murders [1]


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message