Jan 9, 1914 – Madison, WI
As children Emily McConnell
and John Spooner
attended grade school and high school together in Madison. Emily became a kindergarten teacher at the Irving School
Spooner was infatuated with Emily. He had telephoned her, and according to friends, had threatened her if she did not see him. To escape, Emily decided to take a trip to Bermuda. She purchased train tickets to New York, planning to sail to the island from there. She asked the school board for a month’s leave, and her request was granted. Spooner heard the news he called her up and wished to know if she persisted in taking the trip. She told him that she did. He declared that he would not let her go and that he would kill her if she did.
The day before she was due to leave, Spooner went to the Hofbrau for a drink. According to Tom Phelan, an employee, as Spooner left he said he had some business to attend to and told Phelan “I’ll see you in the next world.” Phelan, who apparently knew about Spooner’s infatuation, became alarmed and tried to phone Emily at the school but couldn’t reach her. Meanwhile, Spooner had jumped on the streetcar and taken it to the school. He rushed to the building, stumbling on the front steps after pushed aside a parent who was coming to visit her daughter’s class, and went inside. Proceeding to the kindergarten classroom, he called Emily to the door then shot her twice without saying a word. He subsequently shot himself in the head.