Ordering a pizza tonight, I was reminded of this case from a few years ago. The short version: A pizza delivery guy goes out to make a delivery, shows up shortly thereafter at a bank with a bomb wired around his neck, he gets the money and leaves, police apprehend him and the bomb goes off, killing the man. The most recent article I could find after a cursory Googling is from CNN about 6 months after the fact, when the FBI still hadn’t made any headway.
Dunno if it’s true, but the brother’s website makes this claim:
If it’s true, that just horrifies me. I know the officers had to fear for their saftey, but goddam, what an awful way to die.
Assuming all of this is true, this last part throws me for a loop. It sounds as though he was, uh, * intact *after the bomb exploded, at least enough to be alive, and they were forced to remove his head to take off the bomb. Why would the family be given only “parts” to inter?
What are the odds of this: Fox news had a little piece on this thing tonight. Didn’t really say anything, other than they thought that Wells’ stepfather was involved because the FBI found a picture of similar-looking equipment at his foundry. Anybody else see this thing, as I was kinda distracted.
I remember this case, and how bizarre it was. I recall that the police at the time described Wells’ instructions as being so elaborate and time-consuming that there was no way he could have completed everything before the bomb went off.
Reading over the instructions (as reproduced on the brother’s website), I can see what they meant. The hostage-takers had him robbing the bank as his first task? Followed by going to the McDonald’s sign to look under a rock, driving out to the woods, etc… I can’t see how they could have expected him to get very far beyond robbing a bank, so I wonder if they even went through the trouble of planting all of those “keys.”
Still, the bomb was real enough. I can’t imagine how terrifying the ordeal must have been for Wells.
An obvious thing to investigate is the collar he was wearing. It looks like a manufactured device (as opposed to the locking mechanism, which looks homemade), so has anyone identified the manufacturer and tried to trace the purchaser? Has anyone even identified what the intended purpose of the collar is?
Wow, I never heard about this actual case, but it sounds identical to the recent first episode of Heist on NBC. Or was it Thief on FX? I can’t remember which, but they must have gotten the idea from that case. I thought they’d just made it up.
I came in here to mention the fact that CSI: Miami had a necklace bomb plot in its first season (episode 3, aired 9/30/2002). But this aired before the Erie bombing. Surely it was the inspiration for whoever the mastermind was…
I was talking to my Mom yesterday, and she also mentioned that it was pretty much solved and the story is about to come out. I don’t recall her saying where she heard it, but we’re from Erie and she still keeps in touch with people there, so likely she heard it from them.