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The first was a dud, but the second was stingingly effective. Five minutes later Unruh called out that he was surrendering. He shouted he was leaving his gun on a desk and walked out the back door with his hands held high. He was patted down and cuffed as gawkers screamed for the mass murderer to be lynched right then and there. You a psycho? He took full responsibility for the killings and supplied details in a detached clinical manner. At one point late in the rampage, Unruh was shot in the buttock or upper leg by Frank Engel, who had taken aim from his upstairs window.
List of rampage killers (Americas)
Unruh was rushed to Cooper Hospital, the same one as his victims, but surgeons were unable to remove the bullet. Less than 24 hours after his arrest, he was transferred to the Vroom Building for the criminally insane at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, voluntarily. He would remain on the grounds for the next 60 years as Case No. Starting on September 7, a team of psychiatrists examined Unruh for weeks, trying to get an understanding of why he did what he did.
He cold-bloodedly explained everything, listing the neighbors who had wronged him, and describing each murder with little emotion. Scientists discredited it in the s because patients often melded fact and fantasy together. On Oct. You could put anything in there, but the criteria have tightened up since. You can be psychotic and still get convicted.
I always found it so odd that they just locked him away and forgot about him. Thirteen people were killed, are you kidding? And basically, for the next six decades, Unruh vanished. Occasionally, something would come up like in , Unruh wrote a petition to have his indictment dismissed on the grounds he was insane at the time of the shootings.
Rampage shooters crave the spotlight, and we should do everything possible to deprive them of it.
He withdrew it, probably upon understanding that it would only be useful as a defense in a trial, which he did not want. Over the years, he did take an art class, and in the s had an unrequited crush on a much younger inmate, but for the most part, he kept up with his stamp collection and was known to mop the floors while muttering to himself. Mr Unruh is a good listener.
He died on October 19, at the age of There had been at least two, including one less that a year before in nearby Chester, Pennsylvania. Melvin Collins, 30, opened fire from a boardinghouse, killing eight before taking his own life, but his story was quickly forgotten. He, somewhat miraculously considering the firepower aimed his way, lived.
Cohen passed away one month before Unruh. River Road is still working-class, dotted with Mexican shops these days, but the layout is generally the same.
The barbershop was torn down, but the buildings that housed the tailor, cobbler, and drugstore are all intact. The block looks the same. There are no plaques, memorials, or markers of any kind. In late September, a year-old Vietnam War veteran working as a school crossing guard on River Road, told me that when he moved to East Camden in , many people who lived through that awful day were still around.
The outer wall of the apartment building was re-stuccoed and painted gray at some point, but plenty of indentations remain, presumably from the hailstorm of bullets. By all appearances, the residential part of the building was shuttered and abandoned after Unruh killed 13 people in Cramer Hill. The back lot was overgrown with weeds and tall grass, but someone beautified it a bit by planting tomatoes and corn.
The ears were growing on the other side of a chain-link fence. Subscribe or Give a Gift. Sign up. SmartNews History.
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Unruh suffered a bullet wound to the hip while barricaded in his apartment. Cohen points to a drawing of the neighborhood where Unruh killed 13 passersby. Looking on are Camden city detectives and eye witnesses to the shootings. AP Photo. Unruh sits with hands shackled in Camden City Hall after questioning by detectives. Unruh lived on this corner in Camden, New Jersey. Patrick Sauer. Like this article? Comment on this Story.
Sheriff's deputies in the area heard those shots and came to investigate. Rodger allegedly fired at the deputies from his car. Reports of the shootings began coming in after 9 p. Friday night. Rodger shot eight pedestrians and hit four people with his car, Brown said. Another person suffered an injury of "unknown origin. Ivan Levy G. Sheriff's deputies said Rodger's windshield broke when he hit a bicyclist, who was subsequently thrown onto the car.
Deputies managed to shoot Rodger in the hip, but by Saturday officials believed he fired the fatal shot himself. The first time sheriff's deputies talked to Rodger was in July when he claimed to be the victim of an assault. Brown said investigators later learned Rodger may have been the aggressor in the incident. Brown said Rodger performed a citizen's arrest and police ended up booking the roommate into jail.
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The roommate was later released and charged with petty theft. The final contact police had with Rodger happened in April when they were asked to perform a welfare check on him. According to Brown, Rodger was cordial and polite to the officers but mentioned struggling with his social life. The deputies offered Rodger information but did not take further action.