Wednesday, January 31, 2024

245. The Happening: West Nickel Mines Massacre

 ***This episode talks about the school shooting at West Nickels Mines Amish School. If you are sensitive to this subject, you may want to skip this one.

***Jen had points where her voice cracked and tightened as this topic is very difficult for her. So please bear with her.

On October 2, 2006, the sun peeked over the horizon at 7:05 a.m. in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, bathing the green, undulating hills in a warm glow. It should have been a perfect day filled with friendship and laughter. Instead, this day would be remembered for the heartbreak and chaos that the community endured. It would also be remembered as when a small group displayed incredible compassion and benevolence. In fact, the day showed the entire range of human behavior, from the utterly vile to the impossibly divine.

That morning, children filed into the one-room schoolhouse, excited for the day to begin. Boys and girls, ages 6 to 13, took their seats. Their teacher, twenty-year-old Emma Mae Zook, was also excited to begin her day. Her family was thrilled that she decided to become a teacher, and that day, some of them, her mother, two adult sisters, and a friend had accompanied her to school. They wanted to watch Emma Mae do her job. This was not unusual for this community. The sign above the chalkboard read: Welcome Visitors.

Just one mile away from the West Nickel Mines School, 32-year-old Charles Roberts IV, known as Charlie to his friends, was having a very different morning. Charles put his two older children on the school bus. A neighbor heard Charles call his children back from the bus at the last minute for “one last hug.” The hugs lasted longer than usual, and he said to them, “Remember, Daddy loves you.”

He then loaded up his truck with carefully curated supplies and drove to the small one-room schoolhouse so he could "take revenge on God."


Join Cam and Jen as they discuss 'The Happening: West Nickel Mines Massacre'

Thank you to our team:
Written and researched by Lauretta Allen
Listener Discretion by Edward October from OctoberpodVHS
Executive Producer Nico Vitesse of The Inky Paw Print

Sources: Amish

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