It seems hard to believe that there was a time when the term "school shooting" hadn't entered our vernacular.
But 25 years ago, when Laurie Dann did just that at Hubbard Woods school in Winnetka — in addition to attempting to poison, burn and shoot many others in a violent rampage in the North Shore — such episodes were virtually unheard of.
Patch asked readers what their memories are of May 20, 1988, when Dann went on a crime spree that included arsenic-laced Rice Krispies treats, three pistols, a can of gasoline and a firebomb. The Glencoe native killed 8-year-old Nicky Corwin and wounded five other children at Hubbard Woods Elementary, and threw a firebomb into Ravinia Elementary School in Highland Park, which fizzled out before harming anyone.
"I still remember being on lock down at a nearby school. I couldn't sleep for months after it happened. Gives me chills to this day," wrote reader JE Communications.
Patch reader Diane Crotty wrote, "I remember that day as though it were yesterday; a nightmarish day for us all."
Reader Joan Bien's memories prompt her to think about the proliferation of guns in our society. She wrote: "Being close to one of the victims, I think about it a lot. What angers me is that we didn't learn squat from it. Guns are much more popular now, almost to the point of hoarding. Students have proven to be easy, soft targets."
Ralph Hanline, wrote in to say he had retired from the Winnetka Police Department two years prior to the incident. He wrote: "Although she was known by us, she was never in any kind of serious trouble. I had returned to my home state of NC, and was kind of surprised to hear of the incident. I also remember it was probably one of the first School Shootings like that ever. A good girl gone bad."
Were you living in the area 25 years ago? What are your memories of that horrific day?