5 Employees Who Got Fed Up and Went Nuts

5 Employees Who Got Fed Up and Went Nuts

Have you ever lost your temper at work? Maybe you responded that day by doing something you now regret. Well, at least you didn’t murder anyone, right? 

No, seriously — did you murder anyone? We can go much easier on you if you just come clean right now. At least, maybe this situation you pulled yourself into can wrap up better than the following ones, which ended horribly for everyone involved. 

An Angry Sailor Sank His Own Battleship, Killing 1,100 People

Suppose we were to tell you an employee murdered 1,100 coworkers in one day. This would strike you as not just the craziest story this article has to offer but also one of the largest mass murders by a single perpetrator in history. You might be incredulous that you’d never heard of this before. But the event we’re talking about happened in 1943 during World War II, a war that saw some 7,500 in the military die every day on average, so a lot got lost in the shuffle. Also, Japan covered it up at the time. 

The battleship Mutsu blew up on June 8th. Specifically, one magazine of ammo in the center blew up, and that was enough to tear the ship in two and send both halves toppling and sinking. Japan was able to send some other boats that way to pick up anyone they could, but these only managed to rescue 353 survivors out of 1,474 aboard.

Mutsu at sea

Kure Maritime Museum

The Titanic had a better percentage than that.

Japan initially shuffled the survivors to different ships to bury the disaster, and as for the dead, they didn’t bury them — they cremated them, as swiftly as possible. Privately, a commission sought to answer who the hell sank that battleship. It concluded that this wasn’t an enemy attack but deliberate sabotage by one of the Mutsu’s own disgruntled sailors. Sure enough, no Allied nations have taken credit for this win, though they’d have every reason to. 

There’s always the chance that an accident sank the ship, and Japan cried sabotage because they thought morale would suffer if people knew how rickety their battleships were. But we can’t imagine that could hurt morale more than what really happened, which was so much worse. 

A Miner Got Tired of Coworkers Crossing the Picket Line and Blew Up the Mine

In Canada, in the Northwest Territories, there was a mine named Giant Mine. This name suggests Canadians are extremely uncreative at naming places, a theory further supported by the fact that they have a territory in the northwest named the “Northwest Territories.” Giant Mine is best known for the environmental damage it’s caused, which has continued in the two decades since it closed down. That damage must be pretty big, because you’d otherwise think it’d be known for the time a worker there killed nine people. 

This happened in 1992, when Giant Mine was cutting costs. The owners were literally sitting on a gold mine, but gold prices had fallen, so they figured they’d temporarily tighten belts till the metal became more valuable again. That meant cutting jobs, refusing repairs and canceling the Christmas party. The union went on strike the following May. 

Trevor MacInnis

Trevor MacInnis

“Down with Giant Mine, up with giant OURS!”

Some miners crossed the picket line, and the company also brought in replacement workers. Then on September 18th, one of the striking miners slipped in and laid a tripwire across the tracks, connected to explosives. The explosion killed nine, and it took police more than a year to find the culprit.

That guy, Roger Warren, later recanted his confession, raising theories that he was just the fall guy of some wider conspiracy. Then 20 years later, well into his prison term, he confessed again, admitting that no, he really did do it after all. The killing would have been a big deal anywhere, and it was especially a big deal for the town of Yellowknife, which had a population of just 20,000. Oh yeah — the city next to Giant Mine is called Yellowknife. We take it back; Canadians are great at naming places. 

An Airline Employee Killed His Boss — While on a Plane, Which Meant Mass Murder

in 1987, LAX ticketing agent David Burke was caught pocketing $69 that passengers spent on cocktails. Management immediately fired him, and manager Ray Thomson refused to hire him back, even when he asked nicely. Clearly, Thompson had to die. And Burke knew just where he’d kill him:

Pacific Southwest Airlines N350PS

Ted Quackenbush

That snake chose to do it on a plane. 

You might assume that a passenger flight would be the single most difficult place to shoot someone, thanks to airport security. Having recently worked for an airline, however, Burke had still-active credentials that he used to bypass all that security. He got onto this small flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco with a .44 Magnum revolver in his pocket. 

Instead of merely shooting Thompson, like an efficient murderer would, Burke used that gun to gain control of the cockpit. He shot both pilots then crashed the plane into the mountains at nearly the speed of sound. All 43 people aboard died, and the crash smashed the bodies up so hard that no one could identify most of them. Investigators did manage to extract a note from the wreckage, one that Burke wrote on an air sickness bag. “Hi Ray,” it said. “I think it's sort of ironical that we end up like this. I asked for some leniency for my family. Remember? Well, I got none and you’ll get none.”

A Priest Got Super Angry Over Not Having Sex

Jean-Louis Verger, a French priest, disagreed with the Catholic Church on two things. One, he disagreed about the Immaculate Conception — the idea that Mary’s soul had no original sin when she was conceived. Second, he disagreed about priests not being able to have sex. We’re going to go out on a limb and say he was slightly more piqued about the sex thing. Most people care more about sex than about Mary’s soul, to the point that most people think the Immaculate Conception is about whether Mary had sex (it’s not). 

Immaculate poster


Despite the name, this film’s about a virgin birth, not an immaculate conception, so it doesn’t help matters.

Verger took out his frustrations on the Archbishop of Paris, by sticking a knife in him during mass one 1857 day. He was quite confident that Emperor Napoleon III would pardon him for this stunt, but that didn’t happen, and Verger went to the guillotine within the month. “He who lives by the blade dies by the blade,” as the Good Book says. 

The Wendy’s Massacre

When two guys showed up at a New York Wendy’s in 2000 to rob the safe, you might guess the motive. They wanted money, and the safe was where the money was. But this quest for $2,400 did not explain why the men moved all the employees to the walk-in fridge, put bags over them and then shot every one of them in the head. 

No, that happened because one of the guys, John Taylor, had worked at this restaurant before. He must have still held a grudge because few robbers would murder seven people for such a small amount of money. We can’t even say he must have expected to net more money than that, because he knew how little cash a Wendy’s handles, since he’d worked there. 

Wendys burger

KForce/Wiki Commons

“You want to rob this place? Sir, this is a Wendy’s.” 

Even if he wanted to leave no witnesses, his actions would have been overkill, and also, he didn’t succeed at leaving no witnesses. Two of the employees who’d been shot in the head survived and are still alive today. One, Patrick Castro (it was his fourth day on the job), awoke after passing out, moved a corpse off himself and found the other survivor, Jaquione Johnson. He reached a phone and called 9-1-1, a call that would ultimately lead to Taylor arrested, convicted and sentenced to death, before the sentence was changed to life in prison.

Castro had been shot in the cheek. Johnson had been shot in the top of the head, and when he awoke, he spat out something solid from his mouth. He thought at first it was a tooth. It was the bullet, which had entered his mouth after first traveling through his brain. 

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