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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
8th December 1987
The Queen Street Massacre
The Queen Street massacre was a mass-shooting that occurred on 8 December 1987 at the Australia Post offices at 191 Queen Street in Melbourne, Victoria. The attack resulted in nine fatalities, including the perpetrator, and five injuries.
At around 4:20 pm, Frank Vitkovic entered the building at 191 Queen Street, Melbourne, carrying a sawn-off M1 carbine in a brown paper bag.
Vitkovic proceeded to the fifth floor office of the Telecom Employees Credit Co-operative where a former friend, Con Margelis, worked. Margelis was called to the counter and briefly spoke with Vitkovic. Vitkovic then pulled his weapon from the bag. Margelis ducked behind a counter; Vitkovic began firing, killing a young female office worker, Judith Morris. A robbery alarm was activated by a staff member at 4.22 pm. Margelis escaped the office unharmed, and hid in the women's toilets. Vitkovic then took an elevator to the 12th floor, to the Australia Post philately security section. There, Vitkovic shot and injured a man and a woman, then pointed his gun at a woman sitting at her desk, only to pan his aim to the left and shoot dead Julie McBean and Nancy Avignone. A man in the corner office on that level, Warren Spencer, also died.
Vitkovic then ran down the stairs to level 11, firing indiscriminately. Vitkovic stormed into the computer training centre, shooting Michael McGuire at point-blank range, killing him. Vitkovic then moved to the north-east corner of the office floor, cornering several office workers at their desks. Marianne Van Ewyk, Catherine Dowling and Rodney Brown were fatally shot in that area, some while hiding under their desks. Three other workers were wounded there. Several victims were shot in the head at very close range as they attempted to hide. A male office worker, Donald McElroy (who had been shot once), and Tony Gioia tackled Vitkovic, while Frank Carmody, who had been shot several times, wrestled the rifle from him. Gioa and Carmody were later awarded Australia's second-highest bravery decoration, the Star of Courage. A wounded female worker, Rosemary Spiteri, took the rifle and hid it in a refrigerator.
Vitkovic climbed through an open window, apparently trying to clamber onto an external ledge of the building. Gioia held him by the ankles, trying to prevent his escape. Vitkovic kicked free and fell to his death on the pavement below.
No one died in the building's elevators, and Vitkovic did not fire at police or into the street. One bullet pierced a window on the 11th floor. It was believed that around 1,000 people were in the building at the time of the shootings. After the killer's fall, police and members of the special operations group searched the building for accomplices.
Vitkovic had fallen at 4.27 pm; police started their search of the building at 4.30 pm. At 5.00 pm, the Special Operations Group confirmed that the dead man on the street was the gunman, and the all clear was given for ambulance officers to enter the building to attend to the injured.
A search of Vitkovic's room after the killings revealed that Vitkovic kept press clippings of the Clifton Hill massacre, another mass-shooting that had also taken place in Melbourne a few months earlier. With extracts underlined in red. Police concluded that he had always intended to shoot people in the Queen Street building.
The Queen Street massacre was a typical "spree killing" where one or two armed individuals bearing a grudge commit indiscriminate mass-murder, usually then dying themselves by gun-suicide or in a shoot-out. The spree-killer is often an isolated embittered and resentful individual who wishes to take revenge on an institution or social group they hold responsible for their unhappiness, before ending their own pain by suicide. It's consequently very difficult to prevent as by their furtive and introverted behaviour they are often not taken seriously by their neighbours and do not come to the attention of the authorities.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
Client prep and session
Twitter Followers = 2,042 (down 1)
Non-followed eliminated = 1
Unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back = 0
Spammers not followed back = 0
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
I don't have a problem with her onging relationship with Daughter, I have a problem with Daughter invading my life and disrupting routines at times that are supposed to be for me and Missus. It must be said that Missus is a willing participant in this. I did not realize consciously how much this bothered me until a minor incident last night caused it to "boil over".
On receiving a hamper from her sister, Missus decided that Daughter must have a picture of it. Before I realized it I was being roped into taking a picture of it and sending it, only to find it was a waste of time because I'd deleted the e-mail address and while I was trying to sort it, it was done via Son anyway. There is of course no big deal in this, but it was the trigger to fire all the latent hurt and resentment. I did not shout and scream at Missus but I certainly did not hide my feelings.
Elevating my consciousness above the situation, I can see there was a conflict between wanting to be reasonable and the more primal desire to purge this young woman's malign influence from my life. I can see now that the mutual resentment is now so toxic that just a whiff of her in my space is enough to upset me. Daughter did not of course cause the trigger last night - Missus did!
I can no longer deny or suppress how I feel. I know full well that wellbeing requires all parts of you to be pulling together - the primal needs have to be met, however illogical or inconvenient they are. I'm therefore from this point going to insist that certain time-blocks are "Daughter-Free Zones" - this is easy to organize - just take Missus phone off her! I will also refuse point blank to be involved in anything that involves Daughter.
Knowing that Daughter cannot reach us at certain times will satisfy the primal and we can all get on with life, free of further distress.
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Is your heart wanting to tell you an inconvenient truth?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Damp and drizzly before dawn
Skies will partially clear after dawn
Showers arrive after dusk
Showers will move away in the late evening and it will be dry and clear overnight
Max Temp = 11 degC at 8am
Min Temp = 4 degC at midnight
Sunrise at 08:11
Sunset at 15:46
Weathertrack: A series of weak weather fronts will cross Britain today as an anticyclone approaches from the south
Air Pressure: 1013 millibars and rising strongly
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
A baby is like when your neighbour is practicing his heavy metal guitar at 1am but you can't call the police :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
To punish the Marsh Arabs who rebelled against his rule, Saddam Hussein drained the marshes where they lived in 1991, destroying the largest area of natural wetlands in the Middle East. The Marsh Arabs (Ma’dan) and their ancestors had lived in these rich wetlands for over 5,000 years. This was one of the most serious attacks on the natural environment in world history.
9. ZEN WISDOM
Belief transforms pessimism into optimism. Belief is invincible. Belief changes everything. It changes winter into summer, darkness into dawn, descent into ascent, barrenness into creativity, agony into joy. Belief is the sun. It is light. It is passion. It is the fundamental force for life’s blossoming.