In May 1988, the Chicago area witnessed its own horrific tragedy involving a killer stalking elementary school students.
Laurie Dann, a 30-year-old baby sitter with a history of mental illness, engaged in a violent spree on May 20th that left one elementary student dead and five others wounded. It could have been much worse.
Dann began that day by delivering arsenic tainted Rice Krispie treats and arsenic tainted juice boxes to a number of families for whom she had baby sat. She made more deliveries to a group of Northwestern University fraternity houses -- Dann lived on campus for a time but never enrolled in school. She was known to date some fraternity members. Many believe Dann was trying to exact retribution against individuals she felt had wronged her.
After her visit to Northwestern, she drove to the home of a family in Winnetka where she once had baby sat, the Rushes. Dann picked up the two youngest Rushe children and drove them to Ravina Elementary School in Highland Park, had them wait in her car while she entered the school and detonated a weak fire bomb in the school hallway.No one was hurt at Ravinia, and the fire was quickly extinguished.
She drove the boys back home, herded them into the basement with their mother and set fire to the home, using gasoline as the accelerant. The family escaped harm.
Next, Dann drove to Hubbard Woods School in Winnetka armed with a .22 caliber Beretta pistol and a .357 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver. That's where she did her most damage.
Dann wandered the elementary school with the weapons accosting students. She shot a boy in the stomach in a school lavatory and then shot wildly into a second grade classroom, where she killed 8-year-old Nicholas Corwin and wounded five others.
Dann fled the school, crashed her car, and, wearing only a garbage bag around her waist, entered the home of Phillip Andrews, 20, and held the Andrews family hostage for six hours.
Ultimately, Philip Andrews convinced Dann to let his family go. He then tried to disarm her and was shot in the chest.
Dann retreated to the upstairs of the Andrews home, placed her revolver in her mouth and pulled the trigger.