Tramplings. Sounds like the title of a Stephen King novel. And it may as well be.

When the news of the Wal-Mart empoloyee being trampled to death was coming out, the thought occurred to me “doesn’t this happen every year? Why would the fact that this happens every year not be part of the story? That would seem important!” So I figured I was just wrong and that it dosn’t happen every year.

Then, I came across Sciencewoman’s post, and that made me think of this again.

And this time I googled it. I put “Trampled” and “Black Friday” into google, and here’s what I got (not in order):

2003: “Stores need the frenzy. We need to be terrified of losing out on great deals and perfect gifts. And so, this year in Orange City, Fla., the first woman in line on Black Friday was trampled by frenzied Wal-Mart shoppers. Oblivious shoppers continued grabbing at DVD players while the woman was beaten unconscious under the feet of her fellow value-seekers.” *

2004: “The Bentonville retail giant – which received some bad press last year after a serial lawsuit filer said she was “trampled by a herd of elephants” at a 6 a.m. post-Thanksgiving Day stampede at a Wal-Mart store in Florida – said last week that it would not release its 2004 Black Friday sales.” *

2005: “Each year, Black Friday, one of America’s biggest shopping days, seems to produce some horror story about fistfights that erupt over limited sale items or people who get trampled in a stampede for cheap DVD players. This year, local shoppers should do their part to keep things civil. After all, selecting presents for friends and family shouldn’t be stressful and certainly shouldn’t involve violence. Unfortunately, we’re already seeing bad behavior.” *

2006: “Another item had to do with a 76-year-old woman being “knocked down and trampled” at a mall in South Florida.”

… And of course, this: “I Googled “Black Friday” and “trampled” and my computer crashed. Countless stories popped up, in cities all over the country, in Michigan, Florida, …”


  1. #1 Jackal
    December 3, 2008

    These stupid Black Friday sales – they might as well be yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Can the stores be held accountable?

  2. #2 Mimi
    December 3, 2008

    …and people think I’m weird for NOT going to these or choosing to opt out of gift giving, etc. Consumerist animals.

  3. #3 K.
    December 3, 2008

    I have a friend that’s going to school near the Wal-Mart in New York from this year’s incident.

    That fact being completely incidental to the violence. In any case, my thoughts chased the question of how much it would take to enforce security such that any potentially harmful behavior was policed. I’m guessing it would cost very little, but enough that the retailers would claim it’s a financial liability and dismiss the idea.

    Profit first, safety later.

  4. #4 K.
    December 3, 2008

    As for the reckless shoppers responsible for this sort of thing… Hell, I don’t even know what to say. It’s disgusting.

  5. #5 george.wiman
    December 3, 2008

    This goes higher than just Wal-Mart. I think even the highest levels of our government are infiltrated by consumerist sympathizers.

  6. #6 Matt Platte
    December 4, 2008

    I’ve been thinking about getting a couple of dogs. One named Fire and the other named Help.