Ten Worst Workplace Homicides in U.S. History

Are you really safe in the workplace?

In 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries announced the shocking statistic that homicide is the second highest cause of workplace fatalities in the US and the number one cause of workplace fatalities for women. This timeline of workplace homicides highlights some of the worst incidents in recent history.

Leo Held Leo Held kills 6 at paper mill in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania

Leo Held, a lab technician who was previously viewed as an upstanding citizen, went on a shooting spree at a Pennsylvania paper mill. According to accounts, Held was disgruntled over an argument with his carpool group, co-workers and a neighbor, when he entered work armed with two pistols. Held shot and killed six people on his rampage.

Edward Charles Allaway Janitor goes "berserk" and kills 7 at Cal State Fullerton

July 12, 1976

Edward Charles Allaway, the library janitor at California State University, Fullerton shot and killed 7 people and injured 2. According to Nicole Smith's article "The Quiet Custodian", he then fled the scene, called police and confessed, “I went berserk at Cal State Fullerton.”

John Felton Parish John Felton Parish shoots and kills 6 in Texas

August 9, 1982

After a pay dispute didn't go his way, truck driver John Felton Parish went on a shooting spree at two different Western Transportation Company warehouses killing 6 people and wounding 3 others. Parish then led police on a high-speed chase before breaking through a barricade, injuring an officer and being killed in a shootout with police.

Patrick Henry Sherrill "Going Postal"

August 20, 1986

In the event that coined the term "going postal", United States Postal Service worker Patrick Henry Sherrill shot a total of 20 co-workers before killing himself. 14 victims died in this attack which is still the deadliest among incidents of workplace violence in the United States.

Richard Wade Farley Workplace romance escalates to murder

February 16, 1988

In 1984 Richard Wade Farley, a past employee of ESL Inc. in Sunnyvale, CA became completely infatuated with 22 year old co-worker Laura Black. Black consistently refused Farley and eventually filed a restraining order against him. The day before her court appearance to finalize a permanent restraining order, Farley arrived at his former workplace with over 1000 rounds of ammunition and went on a shooting rampage killing 7 and injuring 4, including Laura Black.

Joseph Thomas Wesbecker Man suffering from mental illness turns to mass murder at former workplace

September 14, 1989

After having been hospitalized three times and deemed a danger to himself and others, Joseph Thomas Wesbecker received word his disability benefits would be ending. In response, he returned to his former workplace, a Kentucky printing company called Standard Gravure, and opened fire eventually killing 9 and wounding 12 before turning the gun on himself.

Mark O. Barton Daytrader kills 12 including wife and kids, injures 13 in killing spree

July 27, 1999 — July 29, 1999

Over three days in 1999, Mark O. Barton killed his wife and two kids with a hammer before commiting two mass shootings, one at Momentum Securities and the other at All-Tech Investment Group. He then went on to commit suicide.

Jennifer San Marco Going Postal - The Sequel

January 30, 2006

Former postal worker, Jennifer San Marco, was put on psychological disability after an incident at the Goleta, CA post office where she was working. Three years later, San Marco killed her former neighbor before driving to the Goleta post office where she killed 6 before committing suicide.

Nidal Malik Hasan Worst shooting ever on US military base

November 5, 2009

Nidal Malik Hasan was working as a United States Army psychologist and was being deployed to Afganistan in two months when he unleashed a wall of gunfire at For Hood on November 5, 2009. The shooting resulted in the deaths of 13 and wounded 29. Hasan has been dishonorably discharged, stripped of his rank and sentenced to death. He is currently awaiting execution at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

1967 – Leo Held kills 6 at a paper mill in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania

1976 – Janitor goes “berserk” and kills 7 at Cal State Fullerton

1982 – John Felton Parish shoots and kills 6 in Texas after a pay dispute

1986 – USPS worker Patrick Henry Sherrill shoots 20 and kills 14 in the deadliest workplace attack in U.S. history

1988 – An unreturned workplace infatuation escalates to a rampage killing of 7 people

1989 – Man suffering from mental illness turns to mass murder at Kentucky printing company Standard Gravure killing 9 and injuring 12

1999 – Over three days, day trader Mark O. Barton kills 12 including his wife and two children

2006 – Female postal worker goes on a shooting spree at her former workplace and kills 6 before turning the gun on herself

2009 – Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13 and injures 29 in the worst shooting incident on a US military base