|“||There's nothing I can say anymore. It's heavy on my shoulders, but I can't keep hammering away at it over and over. It gets mentally frustrating.||”|
Edward Charles Allaway is a workplace shooter, school shooter, and mass murderer who perpetrated the July 12, 1976 California State University, Fullerton, massacre, which left seven people dead and two others injured.
Little is known about Allaway's early years, other than he was born sometime in 1939, possibly in Royal Oak, Michigan, where he lived most of his childhood at. He had one sister. As an adult, Allaway began exhibiting symptoms of an unstable mentality, attempting suicide at least once, and he was forced to spend a month in a mental institution, where he received shock-therapy treatment. In early 1973, as an adult, Allaway moved from Michigan to southern California; there, his wife Carol divorced him days later. Allaway was later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and he began to uphold a delusion that Carol was sleeping with other men and posing for pornographic pictures. Moving to Orange County, California, he met a woman named Bonnie, an employee of the Anaheim Hilton Inn at Anaheim, California, and later married her. Afterward, they embarked on a cross-country camping trip, trying to find jobs along the way. Returning to Orange County sometime later, Allaway landed a job as a custodian in the library of California State University at Fullerton with the help of his sister, who worked as a secretary in the university's sociology department. At home, his delusions focused on Bonnie, and he believed that his coworkers at the library were producing pornographic films featuring his wife. Coworkers described him as quiet and keeping to himself, but capable of lashing out against others and also racist. Shortly before the massacre, Allaway and Bonnie divorced on Memorial Day weekend of 1976. Allegedly, he had threatened her with a penknife, saying that he would cut her face if she cheated on him.
The Massacre, Trial, and Incarceration
"I went berserk at Cal State Fullerton, and I committed some terrible act. I'd appreciate it if you people would come down and pick me up. I'm unarmed, and I'm giving myself up to you."
On July 12, 1976, Allaway snapped. Bringing a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle he apparently purchased, he arrived at the west side of the school library. Entering the building and going through a stairwell, Allaway made his way down to the basement's Instructional Media Center (IMC). At around 8:30 a.m., he first opened fire, targeting people in a secretary's office; photographer Paul Herzberg and equipment technician Bruce Jacobsen were killed, while the secretary, Karen Dwinell, survived unharmed. Allaway then entered the hallway and fired at the graphics department at the opposite end, killing professor emeritus Seth Fessenden and fatally wounding graphic artist Frank Teplansky. He was then confronted by custodians Donald Karges and Deborah Paulsen, both of whom were familiar to him. Allaway shot and killed both of them before returning to the stairwell to reload his rifle. He then went up the stairs and headed toward the elevators, where he confronted custodial supervisor Maynard Hoffman, wounding him as he fled inside one of the elevators. Before he could kill Hoffman, Allaway was attacked by assistant librarian Stephen Becker and library supervisor Donald Keran; Becker struck him over the head with a large plate before he and Keran tried to wrestle the rifle out of his grasp, but both were wounded by stray gunshots. Allaway then fled through an emergency exit that led into a courtyard located on the library's south side. Becker gave chase, but Allaway spotted him and shot him again in the chest, killing him.
He then evaded the university police and driving to the Anaheim Hilton Inn where Bonnie worked. There, he called the police, reported his actions, and stated that he was surrendering to them. Officers burst into the banquet room where he was at and arrested him. Allaway later went to trial, where the defense alleged that staff members of the school library did indeed screen commercial pornographic movies before opening hours and in break-rooms, which could have been where Allaway's delusions concerning his wives starring in them originated. However, in 1977, he was eventually found guilty of six counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder, but the jury deadlocked during the second phase of the trial, and a judge declared him insane after five different mental-health professionals diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia. As a result, he was committed to the California state mental hospital system, starting with Atascadero State Prison. Shortly after the trial ended, Allaway's sister committed suicide by shooting herself in the heart. In June 1998, Allaway, supported by a panel of psychiatrists, requested to be transferred into an outpatient counseling program, which essentially would release him back into society. His request was met with criticism from several relatives of his victims, who were angered from the outcome of his initial trial and believed that he was still a danger to society. Allaway's request was later denied. In 2001, a report compiled by treating physicians recommended his release, but the request was denied. As of 2010, he remains institutionalized at Patton State Hospital.
Alongside the 2005 Red Lake massacre and the 2012 Oikos University shooting, the shooting at California State University at Fullerton went on to become the sixth-deadliest school massacre in U.S. history, behind the bombing at Bath School and the massacres at Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary School, the University of Texas, and Columbine High School. Alongside the aforementioned Oikos University shooting, it is also the third-deadliest massacre at a U.S. college or university, behind the aforementioned massacres at Virginia Tech and the University of Texas. Additionally, it was the deadliest incident of mass murder in Orange County, California, for more than three decades, until the 2011 Seal Beach shooting in Seal Beach, California, which left eight people dead and a ninth person severely injured.
Allaway targeted random people, shooting them with a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle at his workplace, specifically in the basement and the first-floor lobby of the school library. He was personally familiar with some of the victims, such as custodians Donald Karges and Deborah Paulsen.
The following were attacked during the July 12, 1976 massacre
- The secretary office shooting:
- Paul Herzberg, 30 (IMC photographer; shot twice in the head and chest)
- Bruce Jacobson, 32 (IMC equipment technician; shot twice in the chest and back outside of the office)
- The graphics department shooting:
- Seth Fessenden, 72 (professor emeritus)
- Frank Teplansky, 51 (IMC graphic artist; shot three times in the head, back, and neck; survived, but later died at a hospital)
- The hallway shooting:
- Donald Karges, 41 (custodian; shot in the back)
- Deborah Paulsen, 25 (custodian)
- The courtyard shooting: Stephen Becker, 32 (assistant librarian; shot during a struggle for Allaway's rifle, then fatally shot in the chest)
- The elevator shooting:
- Maynard Hoffman, 64 (custodial supervisor; shot in the chest)
- Donald Keran, 55 (library supervisor; shot at point-blank range during a struggle for Allaway's rifle)
On Criminal Minds
- Season Nine
- Wikipedia's article on Allaway
- Murderpedia article on Allaway
- Hearst Journalism Awards Program article on Allaway
- Articles by the school paper Daily Titan, written by Nicole Smith:
- Google News article on Allaway's sentencing
- Orange County Register article on Allaway's incarceration