Tragedy in Amish Country

Published on 13th March 2016 by

Tragedy in Amish County is a 2007 documentary about the West Nickel Mines Shooting, a shooting in a one-room Amish schoolhouse in a village in Pennsylvania. The gunman Charles Carl Roberts IV took ten young schoolgirls hostage and shot eight of them. Five of the girls died and the gunman then turned the gun on himself.

His motives for the killings remain unknown, and he had never himself been a member of an Amish community, although his suicide note mentioned anger that he had towards God. The Amish community shocked the nation in the aftermath when, despite their devastation, they expressed forgiveness towards the killer.


John L. Ruth authored the book Forgiveness: A Legacy of the West Nickel Mines Amish School, about the events on that tragic day and the communities remarkable response. Ruth is an authority on Anabaptist history and has authored several books on the subject.

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