Robert Benjamin Smith : Letter

Robert Benjamin Smith : Letter


Two letter pages with envelope.

1 in stock

“On November 12, 1966, 18-year-old Robert Benjamin Smith shot and killed five people, including four women and a toddler, and injured two others at the Rose-Mar College of Beauty in Mesa, Arizona. All seven victims had been shot, and one of the initially surviving victims had been stabbed in the back. The shooting is considered the first instance of imitative mass murder, with Smith stating that he wanted to kill more people than Charles Whitman, the perpetrator of the University of Texas tower shooting earlier that same year.

Smith entered the Rose-Mar College of Beauty, brandished his weapon to get the attention of those inside, and when no one responded, he fired a warning shot before ordering everyone—five students and a client with a baby and toddler—to move to the rear of the building. Once there, Smith had the victims lie in a circle with their heads in the center and attempted to suffocate them by putting plastic bags over their heads, but he failed to secure the bags. Smith then shot three of his victims in the head, but the client’s toddler initially survived the gunshot wounds and began “hopping around” before being fatally stabbed by Smith.

The client, Joyce Sellers, managed to shield her youngest child, who survived with a gunshot wound to the arm. The fifth woman, Bonita Harris, survived by pretending to be dead after being shot. Harris told the police that Smith had laughed while shooting his victims. While Smith was killing the women in the rear room, the school operator, Eveline Cummings, entered the establishment and heard the gunshots. Upon hearing this, Cummings fled and called the police, who arrived shortly afterward. Smith surrendered to the responding officers without incident.”