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Collar Key In Deliveryman Death (Erie pizza delivery bank robbery bomber)
CBS/AP ^ | 9-2-2003 | no byline

Posted on 09/02/2003 11:44:52 AM PDT by weegee

(CBS/AP) The FBI on Tuesday released photos of a metal collar found around the neck of a pizza deliveryman who robbed a bank and then was killed when a bomb strapped to his body exploded.

FBI Agent Bob Rudge said the bureau hopes that by releasing the photos of the collar and locking device, someone may come forward to help law enforcement solve the strange case.

A preliminary exam performed on the collar showed that it was likely not commercially manufactured, Rudge said Tuesday.

"We do not believe it has any legitimate industrial use," said Rudge. "Its most likely purpose was specifically for attaching the device to the neck of the individual that went into the PNC Bank.

Arrested Thursday after a bank robbery, Brian Douglas Wells told authorities someone had forced him to rob the bank. He told officers a bomb was attached to him, but he died when it exploded before the bomb squad could get there.

At a news conference Tuesday, Rudge showed photographs of the triple-banded metal collar he said was around Wells' neck and a lock that kept it in place. The bomb was attached to the collar, authorities said.

Police had surrounded Wells, 46, a short time after he robbed a PNC Bank branch outside Erie in northwestern Pennsylvania. Wells had gone to deliver a pizza to a mysterious address in a remote area about an hour before he turned up at the bank with the bomb strapped to his body.

When police stopped Wells, he told them about the bomb and asked why authorities weren't helping to get it off him. Police backed off and were waiting for the bomb squad when the bomb exploded. No one else was injured.

According to police and the FBI, Wells produced an "extensive" robbery note at the bank, which has been sent to handwriting experts. Rudge did not release any additional information about the note Tuesday.

I think there is a possibility of up to 80 percent that this individual is innocent," Professor Robert Heibel, a retired FBI agent, told CBS News Correspondent Mika Brzezinski.

Heibel said Wells likely was set up, a tactic more common to drug runners or terrorists than bank robbers.

"He was being threatened that if he didn't rob the bank, once they hung that device around his neck let's say, then he becomes their patsy," Heibel said. "There are a number of ways they could have convinced him that it is a live device and from there on he is really at their mercy."

Meanwhile, officials released information from an autopsy on one of Wells' co-workers, Robert Pinetti, 43, who was found dead Sunday at his home in nearby Lawrence Park Township. Authorities do not know if his death is connected with Wells' case.

Pinetti had a history of substance abuse and preliminary testing appeared to show methadone and "valium-type" drugs in his system, authorities said. There was no trauma, officials said.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: bankrobber; bankrobbery; bombsquad; brianwells; brianwellsdeath; conspiracy; crime; domesticbombing; erie; fbi; homicide; hostage; kidnapping; pennsylvania; pizzabomber; pizzabombing; pizzadeliveryman
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There are more details in this report. Oddly, there was no photo of the collar.

Here is one from CNN's article (linked here:pizza man bomb-collar photo released

A lot of the background articles are linked there too.

1 posted on 09/02/2003 11:44:53 AM PDT by weegee
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To: Shermy
PING

It's not a Tennessee Driver's License scandal article but it is about just as bizarre.

2 posted on 09/02/2003 11:46:00 AM PDT by weegee
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To: weegee
I'd be calling all the machine shops in the area.
3 posted on 09/02/2003 11:48:17 AM PDT by Quilla
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To: weegee
I went to the FBI site (linked at the bottom of one of today's articles, www.fbi.gov) but I didn't see the photos or full press conference.
4 posted on 09/02/2003 11:48:50 AM PDT by weegee
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To: weegee
was the lock a key lock? Clearly if the guy was acting SOLO the key will turn up either in his car his house or where he left work. Anywhere that he had access to within that hour. He would have the key somewhere where he could get his " ruse" off.

I really can't believe this guy did this to himself.

This is one sick crime. Poor guy didnt stand a chance.
5 posted on 09/02/2003 11:50:12 AM PDT by alisasny
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To: weegee
Excuse my lack of sensitivity, but it reminds me of a metal toilet bowl seat.
6 posted on 09/02/2003 11:50:19 AM PDT by lilylangtree
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To: weegee
A preliminary exam performed on the collar showed that it was likely not commercially manufactured

It was lacking the "Made in the Gaza Strip" label.

7 posted on 09/02/2003 11:51:08 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: weegee
Police are looking for this man for questioning:


8 posted on 09/02/2003 11:53:24 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: weegee
Looks like a manacle. This case gets more and more bizarre.
9 posted on 09/02/2003 11:53:26 AM PDT by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions = Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
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To: weegee
"There are a number of ways they could have convinced him that it is a live device

Like killing him with it.

10 posted on 09/02/2003 11:53:40 AM PDT by dead (Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: Aussie Cattledog
Could that still mean they started from a handcuff?

That would only work if the guy was a pencil-necked geek.

12 posted on 09/02/2003 11:54:49 AM PDT by dead (Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!)
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To: weegee
Doesn't look like wirecutters would've helped him much. Can't figure out how his coworker's death ties in, but chances are, it does.
13 posted on 09/02/2003 11:55:41 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: LibWhacker
One thing's for sure, there are some openings at the restaurant.
15 posted on 09/02/2003 12:02:27 PM PDT by weegee
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To: Aussie Cattledog
Wonder if it was remotely denotated??...Which means the guy might be in one of the background shots of the explosion. Always liked "stupid criminal" endings.
16 posted on 09/02/2003 12:02:51 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Aussie Cattledog
Someone mentioned that in the original set of articles, that it had been done in Columbia.
17 posted on 09/02/2003 12:03:09 PM PDT by weegee
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To: Tijeras_Slim
The more I think about this case the odder everything seems:

1. Why didn't the police find out how he was supposed to get out of the bomb?

2. Surely if he was forced there was to be a transfer of the money to the other party?

3. Surely if he was not forced, he would have been willing to tell them where he had the key. Heck if he built the thing, why didn't free himself?

Instead they hid behind patrol cars???????
18 posted on 09/02/2003 12:04:28 PM PDT by JLS
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To: dead
That would only work if the guy was a pencil-necked geek.

Designed for Andy Gump?

Anybody out there remember Andy Gump?

19 posted on 09/02/2003 12:05:28 PM PDT by Ole Okie (Andy really qualified as a pencil-necked geek.)
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To: alisasny
Also check which way you insert the key. If its on top (that is, you can look down and see the keyhole) then it can be taken off by either the wearer or a person that puts it on him.

If, however, the keyhole is only on the bottom side that probably means me put it on as it wouldn't be that easy to take off by another person. Unless, of course, that person wasn't planning on taking it off.
20 posted on 09/02/2003 12:05:43 PM PDT by lelio
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: lilylangtree
Looks like handcuffs for the neck or I guess you could say neckcuffs.
22 posted on 09/02/2003 12:06:22 PM PDT by GrandmaPatriot
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To: lelio
that probably means me put it on

Er, that should be "probably means he [ the bomb wearer ] put it on" if the keyhole is on the bottom.
23 posted on 09/02/2003 12:06:54 PM PDT by lelio
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: JLS
"Instead they hid behind patrol cars???????"

...and you would have....what? Held his hand through the ordeal?

25 posted on 09/02/2003 12:07:57 PM PDT by Hatteras (All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand...)
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: Ole Okie
I remember Andy Gump. He probably could have contorted his head and gotten out of the collar. I don't think he had a lower jaw.


28 posted on 09/02/2003 12:11:11 PM PDT by weegee
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To: weegee
Here's a Columbian bomb collar someone mentioned on FR not too long ago:


Suspected FARC guerrillas detonated a collar bomb
they attached to dairy farmer Elvia Cortes, age 55,
on May 16, 2000, after she refused to pay a $7,500
extorsion.

29 posted on 09/02/2003 12:11:14 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: Tijeras_Slim
"It was lacking the 'Made in the Gaza Strip' label."

That ran through my mind too.

30 posted on 09/02/2003 12:12:02 PM PDT by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions = Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
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To: weegee
I lOVE the brave police/FBI training their guns on him so he would die alone while begging for help.

to Serve & protect? WHO?

31 posted on 09/02/2003 12:13:59 PM PDT by steplock (www.FOCUS.GOHOTSPRINGS.com)
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To: LibWhacker
Colombian?
32 posted on 09/02/2003 12:14:56 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: Hatteras
What does "to protect and serve" mean to you? The guy is pleading to get out of the thing.

Another article said that the bomb squad typically doesn't disarm live bombs, they generally detonate suspected bombs.

I haven't heard any details saying that the trigger would have blown if the collar had been cut. Blowtorch was out of the question, bolt cutters wouldn't work of the collar itself (although there was a shelf that the bomb rested on).

33 posted on 09/02/2003 12:15:40 PM PDT by weegee
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To: Aussie Cattledog
Looks to me like it was fashioned from some factory parts. Why would they go to the trouble of painting it otherwise?

I'd start looking at Jesse James and his Monster Garage crews.......;^)

34 posted on 09/02/2003 12:18:39 PM PDT by randog (Everything works great 'til the current flows.)
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To: LibWhacker
Such bombs have been successfully disarmed (and that one appears to be more complicated). The time to disarm may not have been available though:

Police defuse necklace bomb

Police have disarmed a collar bomb placed around the neck of a Venezuelan man by Colombian rebels trying to extort money from him.

It took several hours for Colombian and Venezuelan secret agents to disarm the bomb around the neck of Jesus Orlando Guerrero, 65, a ranch owner from the western frontier state of Tachira.

Three armed men forced the bomb around Guerrero's neck on Monday night, attacking him on his cattle ranch six miles from the Colombian border.

The attackers threatened to detonate the bomb in 72 hours unless they received the equivalent of £113,000.

The bomb was constructed out of a galvanised tube filled with C-4 explosives. It was painted gold with the words FARC-EP, an acronym standing for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Colombia's largest rebel army.

© Associated Press

Story filed: 18:34 Tuesday 1st July 2003


35 posted on 09/02/2003 12:22:29 PM PDT by weegee
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To: weegee
"What does "to protect and serve" mean to you? The guy is pleading to get out of the thing."

They protected all the rest of the citizenry around him. Best they could do under the circumstances. This ain't Miami Vice here. Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs ain't gonna slide in and make a last second choice between the red wire and the blue wire as the clock reaches zero. In case you haven't been paying attention, THIS is reality. Get used to it.

36 posted on 09/02/2003 12:26:55 PM PDT by Hatteras (All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand...)
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To: Hatteras
The bombsquad are supposed to be made of sterner stuff than the guy who writes speeding tickets.

They didn't even get there in time.

37 posted on 09/02/2003 12:30:00 PM PDT by weegee
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To: steplock
I lOVE the brave police/FBI training their guns on him so he would die alone while begging for help.

&&&

And how were they supposed to know whether or not he was telling the truth? I would have assumed that it was a setup to kill a lot of policemen. (And maybe it was.) What would you have done in their place?
38 posted on 09/02/2003 12:30:29 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Do not wring or twist.)
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To: Hatteras
They protected all the rest of the citizenry around him.

&&

Thank you. Excellent answer. It's funny how these people who hate policeman expect the cops have super human powers. Bionic maybe?
39 posted on 09/02/2003 12:33:08 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Do not wring or twist.)
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To: weegee
The FBI has released this sketch of the bomber.
40 posted on 09/02/2003 12:39:05 PM PDT by CJ Wolf
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To: weegee
It looks to me like it was fashioned from a hub clamp like those used in hubbed sewer line installations.
41 posted on 09/02/2003 12:44:44 PM PDT by ping jockey (It only takes $.13 to do the job correctly.)
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To: weegee
The bloody thing reminds me of a locking device used to connect large diameter lengths of pipe, or for repairing a leak on the same type of pipe.
42 posted on 09/02/2003 12:45:55 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: ping jockey
my bad. hubbed = Hubless
43 posted on 09/02/2003 12:46:20 PM PDT by ping jockey (It only takes $.13 to do the job correctly.)
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To: weegee
"They didn't even get there in time". They travelled across two jurisdictions. Small towns like Eerie don't have their own bomb squad, like most small towns in America. They rely on their bigger city counterparts to provide that service.
44 posted on 09/02/2003 12:46:58 PM PDT by Peach (The Clintons have pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: Sacajaweau
According to another article, Wells told police the guy who put it on him had started a timer on the device, before sending him off to rob the bank.
45 posted on 09/02/2003 12:49:56 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: weegee
OMG I was out of town last week. I just herad about this. This is a few miles from my home.
46 posted on 09/02/2003 12:57:26 PM PDT by Diva Betsy Ross ((were it not for the brave, there would be no land of the free -))
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To: JLS
They had very little time to determine whether Wells' claim that someone else put it on him was true. Letting a guy who just robbed a bank and claims to have a bomb attached to him, go off wherever he says he has to go to lead police back to the "real perp", doesn't sound like good police practice. The real perp started out in a "remote location", such that he would almost certainly have been able to keep out of sight until he wanted to be seen -- and he would only have wanted to be seen if Wells was clearly alone and displaying the money. If Wells showed up with police in tow (and no, the police weren't going to let the bank robber with a bomb out of their sight), perp would stay out of sight 'til the bomb went off, then make his escape during the confusion.

The whole thing stinks, and the only lesson to be learned is that NO ONE should be making deliveries to unknown customers and/or locations without exercising his/her RKBA.
47 posted on 09/02/2003 12:57:44 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: weegee
Hubby's looking at the photo now...he says the top layer of the shackle part looks like the locking guide part of a circular saw or radial arm saw.
48 posted on 09/02/2003 12:57:58 PM PDT by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions = Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
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To: Peach
I advise using a helicopter (possibly lifeflight type) to get to a location quickly. In an emergency (and a bombing is an emergency), time is of the essence.
49 posted on 09/02/2003 1:00:48 PM PDT by weegee
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To: weegee
The time to disarm was definitely not available, since the bomb squad - the only people who MIGHT have the expertise to disarm the thing - hadn't arrived before it went off.
50 posted on 09/02/2003 1:01:43 PM PDT by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions = Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
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