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Please give me the satisfaction of some day laughing in the face of all those mostly white treacherous female vipers from those two towns who tried to destroy me and my family.
~ Hennard in a letter expressing his hatred of women.

George Hennard (October 15, 1956 - October 16, 1991) was the perpetrator of the Luby's massacre in Killeen, Texas, in which he killed 23 people and himself. He hated women, blacks, Hispanics, and gays, and was reportedly a white supremacist.

The Luby's Massacre was the deadliest mass shooting in United States history until the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, and is currently ranked the sixth deadliest.

Background

Early life

George Pierre Hennard was born on October 15, 1956, in Sayre, Pennsylvania, the son of a Swiss-born surgeon and a homemaker. He had two younger siblings, brother Alan and sister Desiree. Hennard's family later moved to New Mexico, where his father worked at the White Sands Missile Range near Las Cruces. After graduating from Mayfield High School in 1974, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served for three years, until he was honorably discharged. Hennard later worked as a merchant mariner, but was dismissed for drug use.

Early in the investigation of the massacre, the Killeen police chief said that Hennard "had an evident problem with women for some reason". After his parents divorced in 1983, his father moved to Houston, and his mother moved to Henderson, Nevada. The Glock 17 and Ruger P89 9mm pistols which Hennard used were purchased in February 1991 at a gun shop in Henderson.

Hennard stalked two sisters who lived in his neighborhood prior to the massacre. He sent them a letter, part of which said: "Please give me the satisfaction of some day laughing in the face of all those mostly white treacherous female vipers from those two towns [Killeen and Belton] who tried to destroy me and my family". He also wrote that he was "truly flattered knowing I have two teenage groupie fans".

The massacre

On October 16, 1991, Hennard drove a Ford Ranger pickup truck through the plate-glass front window of a Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas. Hennard yelled, "All women of Killeen and Belton are vipers! This is what you've done to me and my family! This is what Bell County did to me... this is payback day!" He then opened fire on the patrons and staff with both a Glock 17 pistol and a Ruger P89 pistol. Hennard stalked, shot, and killed 23 people, ten of them with single shots to the head, and wounded another 27.

October 16 was National Boss's Day, and the cafeteria was unusually crowded with around 150 people. At first, bystanders thought the crash was an accident, but Hennard started shooting patrons almost immediately. The first victim was veterinarian Michael Griffith. Another customer, Tommy Vaughn, threw himself through a rear window, sustaining injuries, but creating an escape route for himself and others. Hennard reloaded at least three times before police arrived and he engaged in a brief shootout with them. Wounded, he retreated to an area between the two bathrooms (people were hiding in these bathrooms and had blocked their doors). The police repeatedly told Hennard to surrender, but he refused, saying he was going to kill more people. Hennard was shot a further two times by police, in the abdomen. Having no more bullets for the one gun he now held and with worsening injuries, minutes later he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

Motive

Hennard was described as reclusive and belligerent, with an explosive temper. He had been pushed out of the Merchant Marine because of possession of marijuana. Numerous reports included accounts of Hennard's expressed hatred of women. An ex-roommate of his said, "He hated blacks, Hispanics, gays. He said women were snakes and always had derogatory remarks about them, especially after fights with his mother." Survivors from the cafeteria said Hennard had passed over men to shoot women. 14 of the 23 people killed were women, as were many of the wounded. He called two of them a "bitch" before shooting them.

List of Victims

  1. Patricia Carney - July 14, 1934 (57 years)
  2. Jimmie Caruthers - November 28, 1942 (48 years)
  3. Kriemhild Davis - August 11, 1929 (62 years)
  4. Steven Dody - July 9, 1948 (43 years)
  5. Alphonse Gratia Jr - May 19, 1920 (71 years)
  6. Ursula Gratia - October 1, 1924 (67 years)
  7. Debra Gray - April 10, 1958 (33 years)
  8. Michael Griffith - July 14, 1943 (48 years)
  9. Venice Henehan - October 2, 1921 (70 years)
  10. Clodine Humphrey - 1927 (63-64 years)
  11. Sylvia King - June 30, 1961 (30 years)
  12. Zona Lynn - January 7, 1926 (65 years)
  13. Connie Peterson - November 11, 1949 (41 years)
  14. Ruth Pujol - December 17, 1935 (55 years)
  15. Su-Zann Rashott - June 17, 1955 (36 years)
  16. John Romero Jr - March 31, 1962 (29 years)
  17. Thomas Simmons - December 29, 1957 (33 years)
  18. Glen Arval spivey - December 8, 1935 (55 years)
  19. Nancy Stansbury - March 22, 1947 (44 years)
  20. Olgica Taylor - June 11, 1946 (45 years)
  21. James Welsh - November 13, 1915 (75 years)
  22. Lula Welsh - November 23, 1915 (75 years)
  23. Iva Juanita Williams - November 27, 1926 (64 years)

Trivia

  • Some unverified sources claim that Hennard was inspired by James Oliver Huberty, perpetrator of the San Ysidro McDonald's massacre that took place 7 years previously.
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