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PA PA - Brian Wells, 46, Erie, 28 Aug 2003

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Casshew, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    Remember this poor guy with the home made, yet sophisticated, bomb locked to his neck?

    Has anyone heard any updates on who was behind this?

    Brian Wells, 46, died when the device around his neck exploded after he robbed a bank... he was begging the fire department and police to help him.. it exploded before the bomb squad arrived.
     
  2. SieSie

    SieSie Active Member

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    Oh man, I remember this, Cass! It was awful to watch this man sitting indian style on the ground and everyone around helpless, waiting for the bomb squad. I really never heard anything more about it, either.

    I also remember that his friend and coworker died 3 days later, in his own home, and that they were going to do an autopsy to see if there was anything suspicious (connected somehow). I also don't recall ever hearing those results. Here are some links:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/09/01/eveningnews/main571031.shtml
    Quote: "Why is nobody trying to come get this thing off me?" "It's going to go off. I'm not lying."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3196055.stm

    http://www.wtps.co.uk/frames/story&banner.asp?page=redirect&url_id=53954
    Quote: At first they thought they were dealing with an ordinary crime. Now they believe that Mr. Wells was the victim of a murderous plot and are treating his death as murder.

    Maybe someone out there in WS-land remembers hearing more than us.
     
  3. Babcat

    Babcat Former Member

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    With the exception of the death of little Jake Robel, the six-year-old drug to death while his mother's car was being carjacked, this case has haunted me more than any other.

    I've been "into" true crime now for well over 20 years... but few cases have caused me to wake at night with my heart pounding from the sheer terror they invoke. I don't know exactly why these two cases have haunted me so much. Perhaps it is the randomness of victims... or the bizarre nature of the crimes... or the total helplessness of onlookers to do anything for people who were definitely going to die.

    There has been little in the way of of updates to the story of the pizza delivery man. But I did find this:

    Wells' note to be released
    By Ed Palattella
    ed.palattella@timesnews.com

    The FBI on Tuesday plans to release parts of the note found on Brian Wells after he died in a bomb blast in August.

    The way the detailed note was written is just as important as what it says, the head of the FBI office in Erie said.

    Special Agent Bob Rudge said the release will include photographs of the actual note so the public can see the document "in its original form."



    More story here...



    For anyone interested in knowing more about Jake Robel:
    A story you won't soon forget
     
  4. SieSie

    SieSie Active Member

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    Hey Babcat! I will bookmark that link for Jake Robel, as I'm unfamiliar with that case but it sounds horrible. Thanks for the update on this Wells case. At the link you provided above I also read the following:

    Quote from: http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040205/NEWS02/102050331
    "It is no secret that we haven't solved the case," Rudge said. "That is not to say we don't have more information now than we did on Aug. 28." Rudge said the FBI has collected volumes of evidence, but that the agency needs "specific information to bring this to closure."

    We will definitely be hearing more about this case eventually. Keep your eyes and ears open!
     
  5. SieSie

    SieSie Active Member

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    Oh Babs, that Jake Robel story is tragic! I'm so glad they found the creep responsible - thank heavens for the other motorists who helped stop and subdue him until police could arrive. The poor family, the mother especially since she left him in the car with it running, must feel such tremendous anger and loss. What a shame.
     
  6. Hammerized

    Hammerized New Member

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  7. SieSie

    SieSie Active Member

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    Thanks for the link, Hammerized! The notes had drawings on them as well as writing - hopefully someone will recognize the style or doodlings. It is amazing the runaround this deliveryman was given - to go to all the different locations. Very bizarre.
     
  8. partyuv5

    partyuv5 New Member

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    I remember Jake's death very clearly. It was so horrific as was "the pizza man's." But they are different. Nobody listened to the pizza guy. LE just thought he was a bank robber. Poor Jake was left alone in his mother's SUV while she went into Subway. She left the vehicle running with Jake in it. Kim Davis,who had just been paroled (with other warrants outstanding) took the SUV along with Jake on a ride that will go down in KC history. I hope to God that no other child goes through what Jake did. For those of you that don't know, Jake was drug down an interstate highway stuck in his seatbelt. Many people tried to get the driver to stop but he kept going.

    As we all know now, as well as before, never leave a child in a vehicle. EVER, especially with it running.
     
  9. debbywitt

    debbywitt New Member

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    This conspiracy theorist from the same town as Brian Wells is a gunsmith and has a machine shop.

    Gun dealer raided
    Crawford County man charged by ATF; court papers sealed
    By JOHN BARTLETT
    john.bartlett@timesnews.com

    MEADVILLE — A Crawford County gun dealer known for his outspoken criticism of government power was arrested on firearm violations Thursday after heavily armed federal agents raided his West Mead home and adjacent business.

    Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives served a search warrant and took self-proclaimed "patriotic, Christian American" Darrell Sivik into custody at about 9 a.m.

    He was arraigned at about 4 p.m. in Erie before Federal Magistrate Susan Paradise Baxter. The courtroom was ordered closed, and the search and arrest warrants were sealed and not available.

    Federal officials said the documents will be made available Monday.

    Sivik in past interviews called himself a patriotic, Christian American, a member of the Patriot Movement and a member of the Pennsylvania Militia.

    "By virtue of being a citizen, you have an obligation to be a militia member," he said in a 1998 interview.

    Federal agents spent more than five hours searching Sivik's Williamson Road home, occasionally hauling out materials — most of which appeared to be files and metal ammunition boxes — and placing them in their vehicles.

    The agents arrived in more than a dozen cars, vans and sport utility vehicles, one of which got stuck in a field across the road from Sivik's home.

    State police established roadblocks about 100 yards both east and west of Sivik's home, turning back all traffic until about 2:20 p.m.

    A half-dozen ATF agents wearing helmets and other combat gear and armed with pistols and what appeared to be fully automatic carbines clustered a small distance away in a field.

    Agents in combat gear also set up, at least briefly, on two nearby roads that are parallel to Williamson Road.

    The agents who searched the house wore casual clothes. Two police dogs also were at the scene.

    Several times, agents at the scene would leave and then later return.

    At 11:40 a.m., an agent drove into the scene in Sivik's Jeep, followed by another agent in a minivan. The jeep was left parked along the road in front of Sivik's home when agents left the scene.

    At about noon a small, single-engine plane arrived, flying low overhead. It circled more than a half-dozen times, as if deliberately scouting the area, before departing.

    At 12:20 p.m. a UPS van reached the roadblock and the driver said he had a delivery for Sivik. An ATF agent came out to the roadblock and talked with the driver. He checked the package addressed to Sivik and then returned it to the driver and sent him on his way.

    ATF and other law enforcement personnel wrapped up their search at about 2 p.m. A few minutes later they withdrew the roadblock and left the area in a convoy without explanation.

    The agents were apparently drawn from a wide area, with license plates on their vehicles including Indiana, Maryland and Virginia, as well as Pennsylvania.

    Sivik's wife, Kathleen Sivik, who was then left home alone, refused to talk to reporters. A few minutes later the couple's son, Darrell Sivik Jr., arrived and went into the home.

    After about 20 minutes he came out and spoke briefly with reporters.

    "All I know at this point is basically the ATF served a search warrant and took into custody my father and transported him to Erie," Darrell Sivik Jr. said. "That's pretty much all we know."

    Darrell Sivik Jr. said he did not learn of the search and arrest of his father until later in the afternoon after returning from a business trip.

    "Everyone is fine. We just don't know what is going on," he said.

    He expressed no surprise at the number and armament of the federal agents.

    "We all know what happened in the past with ATF," Darrell Sivik Jr. said, without elaborating. "They will bring themselves prepared."

    Sivik, who operates a gun shop and gunsmithing service, has often been in the news for leading tax protests, burning the U.N. flag in demonstrations in Meadville's Diamond Park, and rallying opponents of federal firearms laws.

    Several times Sivik has run for local office.

    He also gained notoriety for battling with the Federal Communications Commission over a low-power radio station he operates at 88.3 FM and calls Braveheart Radio.

    "All we know is, (the federal agents) are claiming a violation of firearms laws," his son said.
     
  10. Maybe So

    Maybe So The one and only

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    Why does this note remind me of the JBR ransom note? Some letters look the same and ther overall strange unrealistic tone of the letter too. Very strange.
     
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  11. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    What was in the huge blacked out areas of the note? I wonder.

    Also ~ notice how it says 'use the weapon you were given' they could not of just handed him a loaded weapon - he could have shot them, so they must have left the gun for him somewhere to pick up?
     
  12. Ghostwheel

    Ghostwheel Pyrrhonist

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    I'm thinking the weapon he was given is the bomb? Threaten people that the bomb will go off if they don't comply?
     
  13. debbywitt

    debbywitt New Member

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    2 linked to Wells case
    FBI asks questions about recent Erie high school grads

    One of the two men, a 2001 graduate of the Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, is known to have worked at the pizza parlor where Wells was a delivery driver.

    That graduate also lived in an eastside Erie house that was owned by Robert Pinetti, Wells' friend and co-worker.

    Pinetti died of a drug overdose on Aug. 31, three days after Wells, 46, was killed when a homemade bomb locked to his neck exploded after he robbed a bank on upper Peach Street.

    The other man the FBI inquired about recently graduated from Central High School in 2001. The Erie Times-News could not determine if the two men know each other.

    Several sources confirmed the FBI's interest in both graduates, though the sources asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the Wells case. The Erie Times-News is not identifying the graduates because they have not been charged.

    Erie school officials said the FBI visited Central and the Collegiate Academy during the past few weeks, asking about the students.

    The administrators said they could release little information because of the investigation and because of privacy concerns.

    "There was a recent inquiry involving the Brian Wells case," Erie schools Superintendent James Barker said.

    Central High School Principal Gerry Mifsud said an FBI agent visited his school April 7, asking questions related to the case.

    "He asked about a former vo-tech student that they felt had some skills that were related to the incident," Mifsud said.

    Bob Rudge, the head of the FBI office in Erie, said he could not comment on specific information agents might have gathered in the nearly nine-month investigation of the Wells case.

    The FBI has given no indication that an arrest is imminent.

    "We are making progress every single day," Rudge said. "It's a case we're not going to let go of. We can't."

    The case remains a top priority. It still leads the "Seeking Information" page on the FBI's Web site. There is a $50,000 reward offered to anyone who helps solve the crime.

    The FBI has visited a number of Erie businesses and residences since Wells' death, and the U.S. Attorney's Office has convened a grand jury to investigate the case, which has gained international media attention.

    The recent visits to Collegiate Academy and Central are not the first time city high schools have been the focus of the Wells investigation.

    A Pennsylvania State Police investigator visited East High School in October to question faculty about their knowledge of substitute teacher William Rothstein, who lives at the head of the dirt road where Wells delivered two pizzas Aug. 28.

    Rothstein was questioned about the Wells case after the body of Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong's boyfriend, James Roden, was found in a freezer at Rothstein's home at 8645 Peach St.

    Rudge has said the FBI doesn't believe there is a connection between Rothstein and the Wells case.

    The pizza bomber mystery started the afternoon of Aug. 28 when Wells, shortly after delivering two pizzas to the end of a dirt road off upper Peach Street, robbed the PNC Bank in Summit Towne Centre.

    After leaving the bank, Wells was quickly arrested by state police in the driveway of Eyeglass World, 7200 Peach St. He told police he had a bomb strapped around his neck. It exploded at 3:18 p.m.

    When he died, Wells was carrying a detailed, complex, multipage letter, directing him on a scavenger hunt of sorts.

    Shortly before the bomb exploded, Wells pleaded with officers standing a safe distance away.

    "This isn't me," he said.
     
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  14. SieSie

    SieSie Active Member

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    Snip:
    Okay, now I wanna know why there was a body found in this substitute teacher’s freezer!! :confused:

    Thanks for the update, Debby!
     
  15. Babcat

    Babcat Former Member

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    debbywit:

    Meadville and Erie are not the same town. They are about 45 miles apart. Meadville is where my husband served as a recruiter for the air force from January 1998 to July 2001. We lived about 15 miles from Meadville in the opposite direction from Erie.

    Erie and Meadville are not only 45 miles apart in distance, but they are a world apart as far as lifestyles of the people who live there. Meadville is a very rural, very blue collar town. It has the "Mayberry" type of image, while Erie is much more metropolitan. It's the perfect steortypical environment to meet the criteria for a profile of a town likely to harbor militia types. It's called Tool City by many because the main source of employment for many years in the town was the factories of Channellock Tools that was founded there, and still remains to this day.

    This Darrell Sivik character seems the type to possibly take a stab at robbing banks to finance his radical activities... so I wouldn't completely discount him as a potential conspirator in Wells death. But my guess is they will find their men closer to home.
     
  16. LinnieB

    LinnieB Former Member

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    Hey Babs...What do you think about Fredonia ? :D
     
  17. debbywitt

    debbywitt New Member

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    Tuesday, April 27, 2004
    Family Releases Info On Brian Wells Letter
    The family of Brian Wells has released more information about the contents of the note Brian Wells carried with him when he robbed the PNC bank in SUmmit Township 8 months ago.

    When the FBI released portions of the letter, much of it was blacked out, and only a few lines were revealed by authorities in hopes that someone would recognize the style of writing.

    Since the FBI`s news conference, the family of Brian Wells has called for authorities to release the letter in its entirety. Tuesday afternoon, a member of Wells` family shared their recollection of what they read when they were shown one page of the unedited note.

    The note reportedly said "Go into the bank quietly. Do not attract attention. We are watching you from cars." The letter told Wells, "You have a margin of time. You and others will die if you don`t come out of the bank. Don`t use your cell phone. Don`t disobey, and don`t call your boss or your company. We are monitoring radio and cell phone frequencies and police scanners."

    The note also read, "Once we retrieve our notes, you can tell police you were a bomb hostage."
     
  18. debbywitt

    debbywitt New Member

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    A Mystery for the Ages

    Scott Bremner
    8/4/04

    The death of Bill Rothstein this week not only seriously jeopardizes a
    high profile murder trial, but it also sets a stage that could turn
    the Brian Wells bank bombing into a mystery for the ages.

    Rothstein, who died from cancer this week, has always been something
    of an enigma.

    Here was a school teacher, a highly educated man who spoke several
    languages, walking around in trademark overalls, thick glasses, and
    Santa Claus beard.

    He answered a question I asked him once in French, forcing me to
    translate the tape with the help of a local college professor. Hey, I
    only asked for a comment, I didn't specify in what language it should
    be given.

    Despite the brilliance behind the glasses, Rothstein seemed capable of
    some pretty dumb moves, like agreeing to buy a freezer to keep a human
    body on his property after his former girlfriend Marjorie Diehl
    Armstrong allegedly killed her current boyfriend Jim Roden with a
    shotgun.

    Rothstein's testimony is seen as key in convicting Diehl Armstrong of
    murder, a woman who emptied another gun into another boyfriend in 1982
    but was found not guilty after her lawyers presented Erie County's
    first battered woman defense.

    Publicly prosecutors are stoically promising to march on with the
    case; privately they are sickened at the thought that Diehl Armstrong
    could go 2 for 2 against them.

    But as Rothstein's illness sapped the last of his strength, it wasn't
    those prosecutors scrambling to his bedside for last bits of
    information; it was instead the FBI task force agents charged with
    solving the Brian Wells case.

    Wells robbed the Summit Township PNC bank branch on August 28th,
    carrying a cane shotgun and wearing a bomb collared around his neck.

    In a case that has received international attention, Wells was killed
    when he was stopped by police and the neck device detonated.

    Profilers quickly put together ideas on who might be behind such a
    plan, people with a strange and lofty intelligence and a knack for
    building and machining.

    A guy, oh say, like Bill Rothstein.

    Add in the facts that Rothstein used the same pay phone on the same
    day as the call that lured pizza delivery man Wells to his death and
    that Rothstein's property is next door to the road where someone
    fitted Wells with the collar bomb, and the coincidences seem
    overwhelming.

    Bob Rudge, the FBI Special Agent in charge of the Wells investigation,
    insists that Rothstein is not a suspect and was questioned for
    information purposes only.

    There's no reason to doubt him.

    Still, if the bomb case isn't solved, the specter of the grassy knoll
    rises, and conspiracy theorists may forever ponder a mystery for the
    ages, of what secrets Bill Rothstein took with him to the grave.

    Related articles:

    http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll...31&Kategori=FRONTPAGE&Lopenr=108010481&Ref=AR

    http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll...31&Kategori=FRONTPAGE&Lopenr=108010481&Ref=AR
     
  19. debbywitt

    debbywitt New Member

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    Collar-bomb death of deliveryman still frustrates authorities
    Wednesday, August 11, 2004
    John Caniglia
    Plain Dealer Reporter
    Erie, Pa.- They watched Brian Wells race to his death with the bomb
    they shackled around his neck.

    They dreamed up the plan to have the pizza deliveryman rob a bank on
    the city's busiest street last Aug. 28 and begin a life-and-death
    scavenger hunt.

    "Act now, think later or you will die!" they told him in hand-scrawled
    iinstructions. "If police or air craft are involved, you will be
    destroyed."

    And when the bomb went off, they enjoyed it, some say.

    "This wasn't about a bank robbery or a mur der," said Wells' brother,
    John. "This was about a public execution. They did this so that they
    can go back to their bunch of rats and say, 'Do you remember the pizza
    guy who got blown up? Well, we did that.' It was all for attention."

    But officials aren't even sure a "they" exists.

    A year after the bomb detonated, authorities have not made an arrest
    in one of the nation's most unsettling crimes. Wells' brother says he
    believes arrests are imminent, including people from Ohio, New York
    and Pennsylvania. Law-enforcement officials hedge, saying that's
    premature.

    The case continues to lead investigators through puzzling twists. In
    the past year:

    Two key witnesses have died, one of an overdose within hours of an FBI
    interview.

    A note found in Wells' car was released months after the bombing. It
    details how to rob the bank and disarm the bomb. It is signed by "the
    Troubleshooters."

    A coroner's report reveals Wells had 55 minutes to live once the bomb
    was strapped to his neck.

    Wells' brother says he wants Brian vindicated, claiming he was a
    simple man who was forced into a sinister plot.

    Investigators won't go that far, saying they aren't sure of his
    involvement and won't be until the time of an arrest.

    In fact, the coroner's report states: "The possibility that the
    decedent staged the event was also being considered."

    That makes John Wells bristle.

    "They knew from the beginning that my brother had nothing to do with
    this," he said. "They have no evidence in any shape or form that he
    was involved."

    Interviews with federal agents, court records, autopsy reports and
    notes seized from Wells' car give a clearer picture about what took
    place just 90 minutes away from Cleveland.

    As Wells was about to leave his lunchtime shift at Mama Mia's pizza
    shop on Peach Street, the restaurant received a call from a pay phone
    for two small pepperoni and sausage pies.

    Wells sped out in his green Geo Metro to a wooded area where
    construction workers often called in orders.

    John Wells, of Phoenix, who says he received information from a source
    he would not disclose, said his brother stopped and got out of the
    car. Then, he said, he was told a group of people approached Brian
    with guns and forced the bomb around his neck.

    His brother stumbled and ran through the woods. Someone shot, his
    brother said, and Brian Wells stopped in horror.

    A nearby resident later confirmed hearing a shot.

    Within minutes, Wells had a triple-banded metal collar wrapped around
    his neck, a walking cane twisted into a makeshift gun and detailed
    directions on how to rob a PNC Bank.

    "Go to the bank and 'quietly' enter with the weapon you were given,"
    the note said.

    "Give the demands to the receptionist or manager. Avoid panicking the
    tellers or customers."

    About 2:30 p.m., Wells handed a bank officer a separate note: "No
    alarm, panic or police! . . . no possible way to disarm it."

    The deliveryman then followed the scavenger-hunt-like directions that
    pointed him to a nearby McDonald's.

    He had 55 minutes to rob the bank and follow the "elaborate"
    instructions that bounced him "from one location to another,"
    according to the coroner's report.

    He made it past the drive-through window when Pennsylvania State
    Police stopped him, noticing he was wearing a T-shirt covering
    something around his neck.

    He was handcuffed and about to be placed in a squad car when Wells
    said he had a bomb - a move that caused police to evacuate the busy
    street.

    In those few moments with officers, Wells said he was threatened by a
    group of people in the woods, forced to wear the bomb and given the
    robbery instructions, the coroner's report said.

    Officers were stunned. They left the deliveryman handcuffed and alone.

    In the bright sunlight, Wells sat on the pavement and fidgeted as
    television cameras rolled and people gathered.

    And he wondered why police grabbed bulletproof vests and took cover
    but left him helpless.

    "Why isn't nobody trying to come get this thing off me?" he told
    police.

    "It's going to go off. I'm not lying. Did you call my boss? I'm not
    doing this. This isn't me."

    At 3:18 p.m., the bomb exploded, killing Wells and creating a mystery.

    "Bombings are the toughest crime to solve because the suspect is
    usually long gone by the time it goes off," said Patrick Berarducci, a
    Cleveland agent of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
    Explosives who has worked on the case.

    In the beginning, some Cleveland investigators were brought in to
    assist in the case that drew national attention.

    "This bomb wasn't unusual," Berarducci said.

    "It didn't take an engineer or a genius to make it. It just took a
    person who lacked humanity."

    FBI agent Robert Rudge said investigators have conducted more than
    1,000 interviews, and he has assigned two agents to the case full
    time.

    "We're going extremely hard every day, and we're making good
    progress," he said.

    "We know a lot more this year than we did last year, and I'm confident
    that we'll solve this." This year, the FBI offered a $50,000 reward in
    the case.

    He said the most frustrating part of the case stems from once-bright
    leads that led nowhere.

    For instance, a man whom the FBI interviewed extensively died of
    cancer July 30.

    William Rothstein lived in a secluded area a few yards from where
    Wells made his delivery.

    Before he died, Rothstein admitted to an unusual crime: He had stashed
    the body of a man in his freezer to help a friend get away with
    murder.

    The body was on ice when agents questioned Rothstein about Wells,
    authorities said.

    Rothstein, whose obituary said he coached a high school robotics team,
    denied on his deathbed any connection with the bombing.

    He admitted he used a pay phone near his home the same day someone
    used it to order the pizzas, which started Wells' fatal journey.

    And three days after Wells died, another driver from the same pizza
    shop died.

    Robert Pinetti overdosed on drugs hours after speaking with FBI
    agents, according to the coroner's office.

    At the Donut Connection on Erie's west side, Wells' former neighbor,
    Gary Porsch, sometimes talks conspiracy theories and mulls the case
    with friends.

    "I firmly believe that he was an absolute dupe," Porsch said. "A lot
    of people are still curious about what happened. There's no closure."

    Across from Porsch's home on Loveland Avenue, Linda Payne has a new
    tenant, but she stops often to remember her last one.

    "Brian was a good person who got into a horrible situation," she said
    of the 46-year-old man who spent time working on his car and caring
    for his cats. "It wasn't done for money or murder; it may have been
    that someone wanted to humiliate the police, because that's what I
    think has happened."

    Others talk about the evil involved.

    "The tragedy in this case is that a person lost his life and his
    identity," said Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook. "Brian Wells will
    always be known as the pizza bomber; people won't remember who he was.
    To me, that's a shame. It's an additional indignity. How sad it is to
    lose your life and identity in such a violent way."


    And the FBI guy is leaving the area:

    8/11/2004, 12:40 a.m. ET
    The Associated Press

    ERIE, Pa. (AP) — The head of Erie's FBI office is heading to
    Pittsburgh, where he'll serve as second-in-command for about 100
    agents there.

    Robert Rudge, 44, is an 18-year veteran agent who's spent half of his
    career in Erie. In mid-September, he'll become assistant special agent
    in charge of the Pittsburgh office under Ken McCabe, another veteran
    agent, who runs that office.

    Pittsburgh FBI spokesman Jeff Killeen said no decision has been made
    on replacing Rudge in Erie.

    Despite the move to Pittsburgh, Rudge said he'll continue to oversee
    the investigation into the death of Brian Wells, the Erie pizza
    deliveryman who died when a pipe bomb locked onto his neck with a
    crude metal collar exploded Aug. 28.

    Wells died shortly after robbing a bank while wearing the collar and
    told authorities he had been forced to wear the bomb and rob the bank
    by unknown people who accosted him when he was sent on his last pizza
    delivery.
     
  20. Reuters

    Reuters Inactive

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    Hey... I know this is quite a cold case, and the thread is cold as well...but I just stumbled across your forum, and think it's pretty cool :)

    The reason is because I am currently working within a forensic internship, and have been privy to some first-hand material from this case (which I think has since been released in part to the media, at any rate, none of the below compromises the now largely inactive investigation). I came to this forum site accidentally in search of more background info (since I did not follow it as closely as many of you when it first came out, after the first day of headlines).

    I am right now reading a copy of the original "instructions" given to the hostage to read and give to the teller. It is scary how meticulous it is, including detailed maps, timing, "failure option" contingency plans... all written in handwriting that looks like it was a tracing of typeset. On the bottom of each page is written "ACT NOW, THINK LATER OR YOU WILL DIE". It has numerous threats that if so-and-so not met, then 1) BOMB and 2) RETALIATE, which details how they have sentries out that will follow bank employees to their homes to kill their families.

    The entire "instructions" read almost like they came out of a script; and the part about unlocking keys is especially interesting... a lot like directions to a scavenger hunt. The especially interesting fact was the background... that Wells had been in the past an avid participant in annual Easter scavenger hunts. He also had brothers who were known to be "builders and tinkers", interesting not only due to the unique nature of the bomb, but also due to the homemade cane-gun (hollowed out cane made into a makeshift gun with a single bullet). This led to speculation that Wells had greater involvement than an unwilling hostage; though at this point, this many years out, it is unlikely we will ever know the truth beyond speculation.
     

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