She is a beautiful example of turning tragedy into triumph. Some of them believed the assembly was about weapons; others began realizing something was seriously wrong. The bomb did detonate and fire, thick black smoke and toxi fumes filled the room. David emerged from the bathroom to find his wife in excruciating pain. Yeah. And it burned some children. When I looked up to see if David had heard me (which he had, and scowled down at me) I noticed that the florescent white light overhead was not white, but a yellow hazy light. I was frightened and felt that we needed to do something to try to calm down or to be careful, because he was so agitated. Create an account to follow your favorite communities and start taking part in conversations. The blasting cap in the gasoline jug functioned properly, initiating the explosion. . It was just shootin' everywhere. Immediately following the detonation, the teachers started to shove children into the hallway, and through two open windows onto the grass outside the school, causing chaos as panicked parents tried to break through police lines. Because in the bus, everything was solid in the school bus. Everyone else survived, including the injured John Miller. When I walked inside of the classroomit was a kindergarten classroom which meant that the desks were smaller, everything was smaller because of the smaller children. I just stayed right there and we processed the scene and did the scene. I guess I should say I am only speaking as a child, the adults were probably tense the entire time! Although many were burned, some severely, only the perpetrators of this horrible incident died. If I deleted an entire phrase, I have inserted ellipses . The mood did not lift with the singing and teachers quickly negotiated with the hostage takers to get items from the library to help the kids get their minds off the siege,[8] and help to pass the time. We know he built two of 'em. All the kids were saved. Well, when I arrived and saw that body layin' on the front lawn, I was told that was Doris. Which is hard to believe, but a positive experience in that they learned something. COKEVILLE, Wyo. Below the jug in the bottom basket were two tuna fish cans filled with a mixture of aluminum powder and flour meant to aerosolize and deflagrate following detonation, each with its own blasting cap. Rich Haskell: Well, as we were talking before we started recording, because of my knowledge with the explosives and with the law enforcement and everything else, I've had many opportunitiesbecause of the explosivesI've been with Vice President Cheney when he was here in Wyoming up in Pinedale. Mark Junge: Where at? Mark Junge: No? He did deliver our salvation that day. So we took the tiles off and went up into the ceiling and crawled up into the upper space up there and found a .45 slug up embedded into the iron girders up in the wall, and thought, okay, where did that come from? After a stand-off lasting two and a half hours, the gasoline bomb the couple had brought into the school went off prematurely, badly burning Doris Young while David Young was out of the room. Because they weren't in a gun, the pressure wasn't chambered enough to where you could direct it. They had a circle of tape around the device itself and they said, "Do not come inside of this circle. Sue Castaneda: Where did you get your training for that? [6] With permission, the teachers brought in books, art supplies and a television to help keep the children occupied. They lived in a mobile home with Princess, Davids youngest daughter from his first marriage. During my years here in Wyoming I have refereed both basketball and football on the high school and the junior high school level, and I was watching the ball game at that time. Accessed May 17, 2013, at, Wyoming Horror: A Fiery Schoolhouse Bomb., A 1986 Hostage Event at a Cokeville, Wyoming Elementary School., Jarvik, Elaine. Then, several years later, Jennie Sorensen identified what she thought was a teacher who led her out of the building after the blast. Contact us at for information on levels and types of available sponsorships. On May the 16th , 1986, 1 was in Rock Springs at a basketball game. Mark Junge: Well, yes. On that Friday afternoon in their quiet, rural town, a deranged couple entered the community's elementary school, took those inside hostage and detonated a bomb in a first grade classroom. Associated Press. Certified Bomb Technician. welcomes the support of the following sponsors. David and Doris Young took 167 hostages (150 children, 17 adults and one unlucky UPS driver) at the elementary school. Casper Chapter, Wyoming Archaeological Society, June Frison chapter, Wyoming Archeological Society. Edit: Also, were you at that early screening? And afteryou look in there and you could see little pockmarks all through on the walls, and after we finished with our investigationit took us three days to totally do the whole entire sceneyou could tell where those pockmarks were bullets from the heat had gone off. And that's exactly what took place in Cokeville. When they asked pointed questions like "what did the angels look like?" Mark Junge: Okay. Cokeville Children Held Hostage by Bomber., Cokeville Elementary School Bombing: 25-Years Later. Accessed May 17, 2013, at, Fagg, Ellen. Mark Junge: So it would have gone upward, but would it have killed the kids? Mark Junge: Yeah, my brother-in-law worked in the Navy as a chief petty officer and he worked with what they called EOD. Mark Junge: What were they designed to do? The circuit was powered by a 9-volt lantern battery. So I went to Huntsville, Ala., to Redstone Arsenal. over there. All the hostages escaped, though 79 were later hospitalized with burns and injuries, the majority of which were severe.[3][2]. Cokeville Recollects Miracle of 1986: Hostage Survivors, Town Residents Compile Book, ________. But David refused to reveal his plans entirely until moments before they unfolded. 2 Recreation Board, Indigenous People in Wyoming and the West,,3587249&dq=cokeville+bombing&hl=en,,,,2193766&dq=cokeville+trying+to+rebuild&hl=en,,,,6238243,,6209063,,,,,9406392,,1992787,,, Emergency Management Coordinator Kathy Davison on the 1986 Bombing of Cokeville Elementary School, EMT Glenna Walker, Mother of Three Young Children, on the 1986 Bombing of Cokeville Elementary School, Public Works Director and Fireman Kevin Walker, Father of Three Young Children, on the 1986 bombing of Cokeville Elementary School, Lead Investigator Ron Hartley, Father of Four Student Survivors, on the 1986 Bombing of Cokeville Elementary School, Certified Bomb Technician Rich Haskell on the 1986 Bombing of Cokeville Elementary School, Secretary Tina Cook on the 1986 Bombing of Cokeville Elementary School, First grade teacher Janel Dayton on the 1986 bombing of Cokeville Elementary School, Second grade teacher Carol Petersen on the 1986 bombing of Cokeville Elementary School, Third grade student Rachel Walker Hollibaugh on the 1986 Bombing of Cokeville Elementary School, Third grade student Jamie Buckley King on the 1986 Bombing of Cokeville Elementary School, Fourth grade teacher Kliss Sparks on the 1986 bombing of Cokeville Elementary School, Fourth grade student LeaKae Roberts on the 1986 Bombing of Cokeville Elementary School, Law and Order in Cokeville: A Woman Mayor and Prohibition, Green River Historic Preservation Commission, Natrona County Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Natrona County Recreation Joint Powers Board, Sublette County Historical Preservation Board, University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources, A Projectile Killed Doris Young, Not Bomb Blast, Police in Cokeville Say., Castaneda, Sue and Mark Junge. I had the chance to watch the pre-screening of the film and it was very emotional. Did this shake the faith of some people, or would you say it strengthened it in most? Princess, Deppe, and Mendenhall were never charged in relation to this crime because of their refusal to participate.[6]. Well, with the window being open, with the ceiling tiles being able to lift up and down, I think that absorbed a lot of the explosion of the gasoline bottle. By the people that was the bad folks, they're the only ones that got really hurt. David Young was the only police officer in Cokeville for six months in 1979. Encircled it. She tied the string around her wrist. I was later told that everybody had been taken to different hospitals, ambulance services from all over, from Utah, from Idaho, from Wyoming was transporting people all over the place and there was only two fatalities. To my right is Sue Castaneda who is the Wyoming Oral History Project Director, and across the table from me is Rich Haskell, who is a certified bomb technician. Well, he had went into the bathroom and she was out with the bomb, and they said she was complaining of a migraine headache. Sept. 21, 2010. How much interaction did you have with the director/producers of the movie? The top basket contained a gallon milk jug of gasoline, wired with a blasting cap. Rich Haskell: Yes, absolutely. Mark Junge: Are you one of the most experienced people in the area? Rich Haskell: Well, I did learn later that the kids saw the angels. If you are interested in seeing the film, theaters are listed here. What did you find out about them? Seven people in the Chicago area died after ingesting Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide. Everything was blackened. Cokeville Miracle Marking 25 Years.. Wyoming Town Still Healing a Year After School Bombing., Schoolhouse Blast Still Felt a Year Later., Survivor is My Name: Cokeville Elementary School Bombing1986 News Report Audio. Audio Recording. They had written the manuscript, ready for publication, when the Walkers contacted them as family friends and said you may want to come ask our daughters some questions. Because of the experience and the different classes that I've attended, I know what bombs do to people, to buildings and to all kinds of structures. Both men were handcuffed in a van outside the school.[1]. I mean, we're talking about from kindergarten kids up to 10-, 11-, 12-years old. Nobody come inside this circle." The town has worked to be as respectful as possible to the multitude of experiences that day. Rich Haskell: Yeah, there was some people ready to just shoot him right where he was sitting. Totally destroyed it! He knew it was a predominantly Mormon [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] community. According to survivor accounts, Doris enticed many into the first grade room by announcing that their presence was required for a school assembly. It was within the first few weeks that the Hartley boy was explaining his witness. I remember watching that when I was a younger kid, and when they were interviewing the witnesses, I remember several of them referencing "Heavenly Father " instead of "God," and I knew immediately they were LDS. When were you satisfied that there were no more bombs? They believed in reincarnation, which probably led, in part, to the creation of Davids Brave New World idea. It'sI'm still doing that kind of thing because whenever they hold General Conference in Salt Lake City I go to Salt Lake City to be part of the bomb team for the church while they have General Conference. Cokeville seems like a pretty small town. This significantly mitigated the explosive power of the bomb. Hey, I am not the survivor, but I spent my summers in Cokeville, my family is from there, and I have been helping on publicity for the film. Rich Haskell: Were above the level of the kids, yeah. Retro Report took a look back at this episode, with a focus on how Johnson & Johnson and . Journal entries also indicate that he saw opportunity in the close-knit community; he wrote, "Threaten one and all are at your mercy." I mean, what it was supposed to do? Mark Junge: You had some bullets in the ceiling that you had to investigate, too. What stands out in your mind the most, looking back? It packed the brute force of twenty-five sticks of dynamite. The only two fatalities were David and Doris Young. The tuna fish cans, if you can imagine, here's two tuna fish cans sittin' here like this, and a gallon jug of gasoline sittin' above it. Lenita's father Rocky was a fifth grade teacher at Cokeville Elementary School at the time of the bombing, Lenita was a seventh grader. So you got that and you got the flour and the gasoline and that's what it was all designed to do in millisecond delays. You can't think, well, maybe something could happen, because yes it could. and detonated a bomb inside. Rich Haskell: I did not. We know for a fact that he had tried that device because he did it in Arizona and totally destroyed a school bus. My name is Mark Junge and I'm here at the Hiltonis it the Hilton Hotel? That's why I have a computer. [5], "You could see that the roof tiles had been lifted out of their brackets. She was on fire! Many recalled praying silently, forming prayer circles and seeing angels during the crisis. Either way, right after my joke is about when David excused himself from the room. I have given that some thought. Rich Haskell: Absolutely! The woman who died with her husband as they held an elementary school hostage with a gasoline bomb last week was not killed by the . On May 16, 1986, an elementary school in Cokeville, Wyoming, was held hostage by a couple with a bomb. As well as I can. ", About 2 1/2 hours into the standoff, David transferred the triggering mechanism of the bomb to Doris' wrist, and went to a small bathroom that connected the first and second grade rooms. By rejecting non-essential cookies, Reddit may still use certain cookies to ensure the proper functionality of our platform. Had a gallon milk jug full of gasoline on one level, had aluminum powder, flour and those two components was in tuna fish cans directly under the gasoline bomb. . He knew what the community was all about. It was a great movie, very well directed and acted. In addition, national reporters began arriving within hours of the explosion. The Cokeville Elementary School was the site of a horrific hostage situation on May 16, 1986 when David and Dorris Young took a homemade bomb inside the school. Personally I gave him 17 pages of journal notes! That much I know. I didn't look at the speedometer, I was just kind of watchin' for animals and everything else. TC, I think, saw it the same way. On May 16, 1986, David and Doris Young took 154 people hostage at the Cokeville Elementary School in tiny Cokeville 25 years after school bombing, Wyoming town remembers the . And then he shot himself. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret Morning News. I think it's because of the ages of the kids, to start with. Over the course of time he did various things to get our input from script readings early on, to being there on set, etc. TC (the director) also worked incredibly hard to make this a story that can be widely appreciated by members of all faiths. One hostage observed a birthday on that day and songs were sung in his honor. Mark Junge: This was a life-changing event. She has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals on the history and heritage of Germans from Russia on the Northern Plains. Sue Castaneda: Did you look at (unintelligible). She acknowledges these students for assisting her in researching her contributions to the web site. When I looked at everyone looking at me (as if I should call on someone to say it) I realized I should call on Allyson Cornia - literally because she was the smartest kid in the class! A Project of the Wyoming Historical Society. Rich Haskell: I am. The Cokeville hostage crisis began the afternoon of May 16, 1986, when David and Doris Young took 154 children and adults hostage at the Cokeville Elementary School in tiny Cokeville, Wyo. On May 16, 1986, an elementary school in the tiny town of Cokeville, Wyoming, was held hostage by a married couple with a bomb. Even though the majority of the townspeople are LDS, there are lots of people of a variety of faiths in the room that day. The kids couldn't have done it. The Hilton Garden Suites in Laramie, Wyo. Trent Toone, Mormon Times. The windows had been knocked outhad been blown out. Do you ever think about them? You went back home? The Cokeville hostage crisis began the afternoon of May 16, 1986, David and Doris Young took 154 children and adults hostage at the Cokeville Elementary School in tiny Cokeville, Wyo. Students, teachers, visitors, staff who survived the ordeal and bystanders began recounting their memories of this event as it was still unfolding. Of what you would picture an angel, with the wings and, Mark Junge: Well, if I'm a skeptic, I could say, "Well, that's just the way the flames shot up.". So there's doubt in your mind that there was divine intervention? In a May 16, 1986 photo, the body of Doris Young is removed by officials after the Cokeville Elementary hostage situation in Cokeville, Wyo. When Columbine took place, it was such a big deal, and I mentioned to a couple people, "You know, Columbine wasn't the first school to have anything happen." David went to the school office, handing out a manifesto titled "ZERO EQUALS INFINITY" and announcing "This is a revolution!" He was in high fevers until the therapist allowed him to speak openly. Mark Junge: And you know, in Sue and I's conversation with these dozen people we've talked to now, seems like they also feel the same way you do. I went from within two feet of the bomb to right near the door within ten minutes before the bomb went off. accidentally took 2 prenatal vitamins in one day, 3 bedroom house to rent in guildford,