The shooting deaths of five people by a former postal worker in Goleta, Ca., may have been the worst U.S. workplace murder ever committed by a woman, USA Today reports. Jennifer Sanmarco, 44, who had a history of psychological problems, killed four women and a man at a mail-processing plant before killing herself. Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox said it was unusual for such an act to be committed by a woman. The incident was the first fatal shooting at a postal installation since a letter carrier shot and killed a postal clerk in Dallas in 1998. The Goleta killings are the deadliest U.S. workplace shooting since 2003, when seven people died, at an aircraft parts plant in Meridian, Ms.
“In the string of postal shootings in the ’80s, there were no female offenders,” Fox said. “When the term ‘going postal’ got coined, it was all men.” According to a homicide database Fox maintains, of the 450 workplace murderers who used guns in killings from 1976 to 2004, 93 percent were men. A 2004 USA Today check of 224 workplace murders spanning 30 years found that a workplace killer is likely to be a 37-year-old single man who has been with a company at least four years. About 3 percent of the attackers were women.