On this day, Martin Bryant shocked Australia and the world by killing 35 and wounding 21 people at Port Arthur, Tasmania. His murderous rampage is one of the deadliest of the 20th century. His victims ranged in age from 3 to 72.
Martin grew up an “abnormal” boy as described by his teachers and neighbours, he once pulled off a boys snorkel whilst the two were diving and he bullied children at his school. Another thing he did was torture animals which came as worrying to his mother, Carleen.
When Martin was 19, he met an heiress named Helen Harvey. Helen and Martin began to live lavishly after the death of Helen’s mother. Buying over 30 cars in less than three years. Martin began acting strangely when they moved in together, he would kill dogs and shoot at tourists with an air gun which he always carried with him.
But then on the 20th October 1992, Helen died in a car accident. Martin was hospitalised for several months also due to the accident, he was also questioned about his role in the accident because he was known to frequently attempt to lunge for the steering wheel whilst Helen was driving. His father also committed suicide only a few months after, leaving Martin Bryant very lonely.
He became an alcoholic and began to crave attention. And so, on the 28th of April 1996, he finally found the attention he craved;
At 11.45am, he arrived at the seascape guest house. There he went in and killed David and Noelene Martin, whom he blamed for his fathers death.
He then travelled around for a while and told people to come to Port Arthur for some coffee later in the day. At 1.10pm he paid the entry fee to get into Port Arthur and parked outside the cafe. There he purchased a meal and as he took the empty tray back, produced a AR-15 rifle and started shooting.
Once done in the cafe, he moved to the gift shop and started shooting, feeling powerful as he did so. He shot people on the car park, the toll booth and his killing spree only ended when the police caught him after he set fire to the seascape guest house. He eventually ran out of the house and took off his burning clothes, the police arrested him and took him for treatment at the hospital.
He’s currently serving 35 life sentences and has 1,035 years without parole.