A laid-off California man dressed in a Santa suit opened fire on a Christmas Eve party at his in-laws' house and torched the building. Eight people died. "Naughty" doesn't begin to cover it.

Like the Black Friday shoppers' riot that left a Wal-Mart worker asphyxiated, it's a senseless crime that observers will nevertheless try to draw sense from: An economically estranged man assumes one of the symbols of Christmas to deliver not joy but death.

Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, who had lost his job working in the aerospace industry and was embroiled in a bitter divorce, killed himself hours after his Christmas Eve rampage, police said. His first victim was an eight-year-old girl whom he shot in the face after she answered the door. Partygoers jumped out of windows to escape Pardo, with one breaking their ankle. His wife and her parents are believed to be dead. Pardo drove 40 miles from Covina, Calif., the Southern California site of his murders, to his brother's home in Sylmar, Calif., a Los Angeles suburb.

The Los Angeles Times has added Pardo's spree to a grim list of mass murders in California.

Police discuss the murders in this AP video: