Brenda Spencer was 16 in January 1979 when she inspired the Boomtown Rats song "I Don't Like Mondays" by opening fire with her father's 0.22 caliber rifle on Grover Elementary School in San Carlos. She appeared before the California Parole Board two days ago to request her release.
Now 42, Spencer killed the school's principal and caretaker, wounded eight children aged 6 to 12, and shot a police officer in the throat. A reporter who reached her by phone during the shootings was told, "I just did it for the fun of it. I just don't like Mondays." Spencer eventually surrendered to police and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof heard of the rampage while doing a radio show on the East Coast and wrote "I Don't Like Mondays," a song that hit number one in 30 countries but was never released as a single in the U.S. in deference to victims' families.
At Spencer's last parole hearing in 2001, she claimed she'd been on drugs and alcohol and was hallucinating at the time, thinking "commandos were storming my house."
Her newest request for parole states she's a "model prisoner who has completed an Alcoholics Anonymous course and had no incidents of drug use. She is the electronics expert at the California Institute for Women and specializes in fixing video players. Spencer believes she is ready to re-enter society."
San Diego Deputy District Attorney Richard Sachs says Spencer is still psychotic, citing an incident four years ago. "When her girlfriend...[was released from jail], she burned the words 'courage' and 'pride' in her own arm like a tattoo. She's still subject to depression.... The District Attorney's office will oppose Spencer's parole application."