‘’I don’t like Mondays. This will liven up the day.’’
On the morning of Monday, January 29, 1979, 16-year-old Brenda Spencer had told her father that she wasn’t feeling well and he let her stay home that day. After he left for work, Brenda took her .22 caliber rifle and began shooting from her window at children who were waiting outside Cleveland Elementary School for principal Burton Wragg to open the gates. Brenda injured eight children, including an officer, and killed Principle Burton Wragg and the custodian, Michael Suchar, who were trying to protect the children.
After firing thirty rounds of ammunition, Brenda barricaded herself inside her home for nearly seven hours. While there, a journalist phoned her up and inquired Brenda’s reason for the shooting to which she replied, “I don’t like Mondays. This will liven up the day.’’ Brenda threatened police negotiators that she would ‘’come out shooting.’’ Ultimately, she stepped outside of her home, calmly put her weapon down, and surrendered. When police officers searched her home, they found empty bottles of beer and whisky scattered on the ground.
Brenda was tried as an adult, and pled guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Due to Brenda’s age, she could not receive the death penalty so was instead sentenced to 25 years to life. In prison, Brenda was diagnosed as an epileptic; she has received medication to treat epilepsy and depression while at the California Institution for Women in Chino, California.
In 2009, the parole board ruled Brenda would be denied parole, and would not be considered for the next 10 years. She will become eligible to have a Board of Parole Hearing in 2019.