Joseph Harris: the postal worker who dressed as a ninja perpetrated a massacre

Joseph Harris: the postal worker who dressed as a ninja perpetrated a massacre


Former American postal worker Joseph Harris fatally shot two former co-workers at the Ridgewood, New Jersey Post Office on October 10 of 1991.

The night before, Harris had killed his former supervisor, Carol Ott with a three-foot samurai sword, and shot her fiancé, Cornelius Kasten, in his home.

After a four-hour standoff with the police at the post office, Harris was arrested.

His violent outburst was one of several high-profile attacks by postal workers which resulted in the addition of the phrase “going postal” to the American lexicon.

Harris, who was born in prison and had all a life of psychiatric problems was fired from his job in April 1990.

Holding a grudge against your former employer, began to accumulate automatic weapons, grenades and ninja swords. Two years later, he learned that he had lost up to $10,000 by investing it with broker Roy Edwards.

Dressed in a suit of a black ninja, Harris entered the Edwards home in Montville, New Jersey, and handcuffed the family. After sexually assaulting Edwards’ wife and two daughters, he shot Edwards to death.

Since hundreds of investors had lost money dealing with Edwards, police didn’t even consider Harris a suspect in his death until after the October 10 mass murder.

Arguing that he was insane, Harris’ attorneys said he had told psychiatrists that the “ninja spirit” drove him to commit crimes.

In 1992, Harris was convicted of the Montville and Ridgewood attacks and sent to death row. But in September 1996, two days before a battle began in the New Jersey State Supreme Court to overturn its death penalty law, he died of natural causes.

From 1983 to 1993, there was 11 violent attacks on US post offices. On August 20, 1986, the worst of these incidents took place in Edmond, Oklahoma, Pat Sherrill, who was about to be fired, killed 14 postal workers, injured five others, and then killed himself when the SWAT team arrived.

Ben Oakley
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