Look Inside


The new edition of this Michigan Notable Book includes a new introduction and stories from interviews with two additional survivors, Myrna (Gates) Coulter and Ralph Witchell, which took place after the first edition was published in 2009.

On May 18, 1927, the small town of Bath, Michigan, was forever changed when Andrew Kehoe set off a cache of explosives concealed in the basement of the local school. Thirty-eight children and six adults were dead, among them Kehoe, who had literally blown himself to bits by setting off a dynamite charge in his car. The next day, on Kehoe's farm, what was left of his wife—burned beyond recognition after Kehoe set his property and buildings ablaze—was found tied to a handcart, her skull crushed. With seemingly endless stories of school violence and suicide bombers filling today's headlines, Bath Massacre serves as a reminder that terrorism and large-scale murder are nothing new.

A native of Chicago, Arnie Bernstein is the author of The Hoofs and Guns of the Storm: Chicago's Civil War Connections and Hollywood on Lake Michigan: 100 Years of Chicago and the Movies. He is the winner of a Puffin Foundation grant and Midwest Regional History Publishing honors.

“(T)he story feels painfully modern.”
—Lev Raphael, Huffington Post

“(A) searing and painfully compelling story . . . Ultimately, Bath Massacre serves as a reminder that, whatever the armchair psychologists might say about the effect of violent video games and television on today's society, our modern culture has no monopoly on murderous psychopaths.”
—Kristina Riggle, Grand Rapids Press 

“This affecting and thoroughly researched book is at its heart a local history gathered around a single tragic incident. Bernstein is fond of the minor details of small town life. . . in troubling contrast to these quotidian details are the meticulous descriptions of the human suffering Kehoe caused.”
Michigan Historical Review

Read: Article in Lansing City Pulse | 05/19/2022
Read: Author Interview in The Beverly Review | 05/03/2022
Read: Author Spotlight by The Authors Guild | 03/15/2022
Read: Author Interview in Daily Southtown | 03/04/2022
Listen: Author Interview on Season 3, Episode 8 of the #badasswriters Podcast | 08/02/2022
Listen: Author Interview on Tales of Southwest Michigan's Past podcast | 05/15/2022
Listen: Author Interview on Episode 240 of Most Notorious! A True Crime History Podcast | 04/19/2022
Listen: The original Author Interview on Episode 26 of the Most Notorious! A True Crime History Podcast | 2017
Listen: Author Interview on The Writer Shed podcast | 03/15/2022
Listen: Author Interview on WGN Radio with Rick Kogan | 02/13/2022 
Listen: Author Interview on True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers podcast | 02/10/2022