On May 6, 1940 an unstable assistant principal, who had been fired just a few days before gassed up his 1937 Ford, went to the bank to finalize his will and then headed to the Board of Education Room in the South Pasadena Unified School District administration building. He used his .22-caliber Colt Woodsman semi-automatic pistol shot and wounded secretary Dorothea Talbert before turning his gun and killing:
George C. Bush – School Superintendent
John Alman – South Pasadena High School Principal
Will Speer – South Pasadena High Business Manager
He then headed back to his car, which wouldn’t start and had some students help push his car to the shop where shop teacher Verner Vanderlip was then shot. Art teacher, Ruth Sturgeon heard the shot and headed towards the noise where she was shot and killed.
An account of the murder spree as remembered by students can be found here.
To help honor George C. Bush, John Alman, Will Speer, Ruth Sturgeon and Verner Vanderlip