The Five Deadliest Killing Sprees In History

Michael Douglas

What happens when you mix pissed-off weirdos with readily available firearms? A whole lot of bloodshed…

1. Woo Bum-kon

Killing Spree

Feeling bummed out yet? I fucking am. But fear not, because we have arrived, finally, at the deadliest one-man killing spree in history.

The holder of this unenviable record is Woo Bum-kon, whose name I would normally find hilarious if he wasn’t such a heinous murder junky. Bum-kon was born in South Korea on February 24, 1955. Information about his early life is hazy, but like Campo Delgado, he served in the military and he later became, like William Unek, a police officer.

On the afternoon of April 26, Bum-kon had a violent argument with his girlfriend which culminated in him beating her up and smashing all the furniture in the house to pieces. Enraged, he made his way to the police armoury and gathered two assault rifles, seven hand grenades and a buttload of ammunition. Next he went to the village post office, killed the three staff working there, and cut off the village telephone lines to prevent villagers calling emergency services. Things pretty much went downhill from there.

Bum-kon made his way to the village marketplace and threw a grenade, killing six people, and shot randomly at passers-by. After wreaking havoc on his home village, he continued the rampage through the South Korean countryside, going from village to village and slaughtering the inhabitants, gaining entry into people’s houses by wearing his police officer’s uniform. Once inside, he would either gain the occupants’ trust by pretending to be on the hunt for a North Korean infiltrator before executing them, or simply throw a grenade through the open door. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

The mayhem finally came to an end when Bum-kon took a family hostage in their own home. The police closed in, and following a two-hour standoff, Bum-kon detonated two grenades, killing himself and three of the hostages. By this point, the death toll had risen to 58 people, including himself.

Phew. Well, that was fun. NOT. I’m going to go and cry in the shower for a while. I suggest you do the same.

Postscript: although Anders Breivik, the perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks, killed a total of 77 people, his killing spree was ostensibly politically motivated, and as such constitutes an act of terrorism and has not been included in this list.

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