|Date||17 August 1991
Approximately 3:30-3:40pm (GMT+10)
|Attack type||Spree shooting
|Weapon(s)||Knife, Norinco SKS|
|Deaths||8 (including the perpetrator)|
|Perpetrator||Wade John Frankum|
The Strathfield massacre was a shooting rampage in Sydney, Australia on Saturday, 17 August 1991. The shooter was Wade Frankum, who killed himself as police arrived at the scene. The incident left eight dead and six wounded.
Wade Frankum was born in 1958 and had worked at various occupations including as a retail assistant. In the apartment where Frankum lived alone, police found a large collection of violent literature and video copies of violent films. One of his books was a well-thumbed copy of American Psycho and although there is no direct evidence that the controversial novel had inspired Frankum, a number of suggestions that it had done so were made in newspapers. American Psycho has been condemned as misogynistic because it features many gruesome murders of women, and some thought it significant that five of the seven people Frankum killed were women. He is also said to have possessed a copy of the book The Female Eunuch by feminist author Germaine Greer. Frankum also owned a copy of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. Investigators suggested that both his reading and viewing habits contributed to this motivation for the shooting.
At approximately 3:30 p.m., apparently without provocation, Frankum pulled a large knife from an army surplus duffel bag and repeatedly stabbed one of two teenage girls who were sitting behind him, killing the girl.
Leaving the knife in the body of the girl, he pulled a Chinese-made SKS semi-automatic rifle out of his duffel bag and shot around the café, killing several more people. He then shot the café's owner dead and fled into the main area of the mall, where he killed his last victim.
Frankum ran into the rooftop car park and held a car owner at gunpoint, demanding that she take him to Enfield, a nearby suburb. Before the woman could start her car, police began to arrive on the scene. Hearing the approaching sirens, Frankum apologized to the woman and then got out of the car, knelt on the ground, and committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Frankum's shooting spree had lasted 10 minutes; he had killed seven people and injured six, none of them personally known to him. Victims of the massacre included Roberta Armstrong, Robertson Kan Hock Voon, Patricia Rowe, Carole Dickinson, Joyce Nixon, Rachell Milburn and George Mavris.
- (18 August 1991). A Masked Gunman Kills 6 at a Mall in Australia, The New York Times
- Lowe, Barry (1995). Media Mythologies. University of New South Wales Press. p. 65. ISBN 0868400068. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- Brenden Hills (12 August 2008). "Strathfield Massacre". News Local (News Community Media). Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- (17 August 2011). Strathfield massacre victims remembered. burwoodscene.com.au.
- Milton, R (1993). Profile of a Mass Killer : Wade Frankum at Strathfield Plaza. Blackstone Press, Bondi Junction, NSW. ISBN 1-875114-26-2.