Mark Orrin Barton: Inside The Life of a Troubled Day Trader

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A shooting rampage took place on July 29, 1999, at two day-trading companies in the Atlanta area, namely Momentum Securities and the All-Tech Investment Group. Nine people lost their lives and another 13 sustained injuries.

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The perpetrator, was Mark Orrin Barton, a 44-year-old former day trader, who took his own life before the authorities could apprehend him.

Upon searching Barton’s residence in Stockbridge, which was located nearby, the police discovered the bodies of his second wife and two children from his first marriage. The victims had been brutally murdered with hammer blows before the shooting spree. Barton left a note at the scene, indicating that his wife was killed on July 27, and the children on the following day.

The Beginning

Mark Orrin Barton was born on April 2, 1955, in Stockbridge, Georgia. He grew up in South Carolina, and pursued higher education at Clemson University and later at the University of South Carolina.

Upon returning to Atlanta, Barton married Debra Spivey, and together the couple had two children named Matthew and Mychelle.

Barton and his daughter

Due to work-related obligations, Barton’s family relocated to Alabama. However, this change of environment seemed to trigger feelings of paranoia and a growing lack of trust towards his wife. He also lost his job during this period.

Seeking a fresh start, Barton secured a new job in Georgia and started an extramarital affair with an acquaintance of his wife.

Tragically, in 1993, both Spivey and her mother Eloise were brutally killed by blunt force trauma. Barton emerged as the primary suspect in this double homicide, although insufficient evidence prevented formal charges from being filed against him. Barton consistently denied any involvement in the murders, even reiterating his denial in a note left alongside the bodies of Leigh Ann Vandiver and their children in 1999.

Barton and his family

Following the death of his first wife, Barton received a substantial insurance settlement amounting to $294,000. He utilized these funds to finance his venture into day trading, with a particular preference for high-risk stocks related to the Internet.

In the years that followed, Barton married Vandiver, his former mistress, in 1995. He continued his day trading but never met success, in the month leading up to his shooting spree, Barton had substantial financial losses, amounting to $105,000, and his trading account with Momentum Securities was eventually terminated.

The Spree

In the early morning of July 27, 1999, at his residence in Stockbridge, Georgia, Mark Orrin Barton inflicted fatal blunt force injuries upon his second wife, Leigh Ann Vandiver, while she was sleeping. The following night, he also subjected his children from his first marriage, Matthew and Mychelle, to similar violent beatings that resulted in their deaths.

The shooting was the deadliest in Georgia’s history

On July 29, Barton visited the premises of his former employer, Momentum Securities, located in Atlanta. He brandished two handguns and shot his former coworkers. During the incident, he fatally shot four people and left one other with life-threatening injuries. Subsequently, Barton proceeded to the nearby All-Tech Investment Group building, where he took the lives of five additional workers. Barton then fled the scene before the arrival of the police.

Following the events, a comprehensive manhunt was launched. Approximately four hours after the shooting at the All-Tech Investment Group, Barton encountered a young girl in Kennesaw and threatened her, seemingly to secure a hostage for his escape. However, the young girl managed to escape and promptly notified the authorities.

Upon receiving the report, responding police officers spotted Barton in his minivan. As law enforcement attempted to apprehend him, Barton took his own life. During the subsequent investigation, the police discovered Barton’s residence and recovered notes alongside the bodies of his family.

Part of the note read:

“I killed Leigh Ann because she was one of the main reasons for my demise. … I know that Jehovah will take care of all of them in the next life. I’m sure the details don’t matter. There is no excuse, no good reason I am sure no one will understand. If they could I wouldn’t want them to. I just write these things to say why.

Please know that I love Leigh Ann, Matthew and Mychelle with all my heart. If Jehovah’s willing I would like to see them all again in the resurrection to have a second chance. I don’t plan to live very much longer, just long enough to kill as many of the people that greedily sought my destruction.”

Source: Vocal Media

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