Brenda Ann Spencer (born April 3, 1962) is a convicted American murderer who carried out a shooting spree at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California on January 29, 1979. Principal Burton Wragg and head custodian Mike Suchar were killed in the attack, while eight children and a police officer sustained wounds. One of the children, who was only hit in the hand, talked about the incident on the The Mikey Show, a local radio station to San Diego County.
The school was across the street from Spencer's house. She used a rifle that she had recently been given for Christmas by her father. When the six-hour incident ended and she was asked whom she wanted to shoot, she said, "I like red and blue jackets". When asked why, she shrugged and replied, "I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day." She also said, "I had no reason for it, and it was just a lot of fun"; "It was just like shooting ducks in a pond"' and "[The children] looked like a herd of cows standing around; it was really easy pickings." At the time of the shootings, Brenda Ann Spencer was 16 years old.
She pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon, and was sentenced to prison for 25 years to life, currently being served at The California Institution for Women in Chino. She has been eligible for parole four times and has been turned down each time, most recently in 2005. She will be eligible for parole again in 2009.
In 2005, she claimed that she was drunk and under the influence of PCP, and that her father, Wallace Spencer, had sexually abused her as a child and that the state and her attorney conspired to hide her drug test results.
Spencer's crime, perceived lack of remorse, and lack of a serious explanation for her actions when captured, inspired the song "I Don't Like Mondays" by The Boomtown Rats, written by Bob Geldof. Her quote "I don't like Mondays" also appears written on a wall in the 1985 movie The Breakfast Club.
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