what's the deal with these mailbox bombs?

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Sounds like somebody has a real beef with the government. For some reason. I wonder if the owners of the mailboxes are government types, or if the perpetrator is just blowing up innocent people?

Anybody know anyone who uses the term "attention getter"? That's what the FBI is looking for....

-- joj (joj@home.org), May 04, 2002


what mailbox bombs??

-- Stan (sopal@net-pert.com), May 04, 2002.

I used to live in the midwest (Iowa) and there is no shortage of radical disidents there. I could only speculate on the reasoning of the mailbox agenda. I would like to know who the "victims" are. I doubt the bombs are random ! Whom ever it is is riding a mighty fast horse or they are organized. I suspect the latter !

-- Joel Rosen (JoelnBecky@webtv.net), May 04, 2002.

When I was a young jerk (not to be confused w/ what I are now), I was guilty of blasting a few mailboxes. Entirly random and fueled by ETOH. Just to show that there is payback, karma or whatever, I had my mailbox bashed in awhile back.

I'll have to go check the news sites for details of this. I've been avoiding the news for weeks now. To depressing.

-- John in S. IN (jdoofus@hotmail.com), May 04, 2002.

HHMMMMMMMM........How would you know there were anti government notes in a box that was blown by a pipe bomb? 15 photos mostly of G- men and politicians and not one picture of a blown mailbox or recovereed pipe bomb. This is another stinker.

On the other hand, did you read the text of that note? It was written by an idiot, then placed in with the bomb!?!?!

Stan, where do you live?

-- Laura (LadybugWrangler@somewhere.com), May 04, 2002.

I did read the "note" and thought the same thing as you, Laura. FWIW, which is probably not much, my cynical opinion is that it is just another way to hamper the only form of communication left that isn't subject to surveillance very easily...but then some of you folks have called me paranoid.:)

-- Doreen (bisquit@here.com), May 04, 2002.

Now Doreen, there is a difference between "careful" and paranoid. ;>) I tend to go with the "careful". Yeah, really made me wonder when I read the whole thing. Now no one gets there mail in that whole area.

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), May 04, 2002.

Joel, Why do you say a "fast horse"? Where were all the mailboxes, anyhow? I thought they were all in the same area?

Doreen, are you saying that "they" are doing this to discourage us from using the mail? I have a hard time with that concept. Who would possibly have time to read all the mail, or all the email, even if they wanted to?

I read earlier today that a woman looked in her neighbors' mailbox, when she didn't have any mail yet, just to see if the neighbor had mail. You know, to see if the mail had come yet. She saw a battery and a pipe bomb in her neighbors' mailbox, but didnt' recognize what it was. Then the mailman came later, opened the mailbox, and BOOM!,

First, why didn't the thing blow when the woman opened the mailbox?

Second, I wonder how big these things are. (For selfish reasons; I built my own "bullet proof" mailbox, due to mail thefts last year, and I wonder if the creepoes could get the bomb and battery into my mailbox. There's onlyh a slit about an inch and a half by eight inches, for letters to be shoved through.

I haven't read or heard anything about how big these things were; have you??

-- joj (joj@home.org), May 05, 2002.

Joj, I don't have the slightest idea what it is that could make anyone resort to blowing up people when they open their mailbox. I'm just a bit suspicious about the letter being found and the fact that they say they have leads already, and the verbage of the letter itself. I don't know anyone who regularly uses the "attention getter" phrase. As to the reading- in email and phone conversations it is scanned by computters, carnivore, echelon or whatever else they may have. It is interesting that there have been two atttacks on the only form of communication that isn't easily observed, and the "suspect" that is proferred is in both cases reported to be "anti government". Even though it is pretty well conclusive that the "goobers" themselves are the ones who sent the anthrax out. Yes, I am very suspicious of this.

As to the bomb not going off on the lady, I would suspect that she peeked into the box and the carrier actually opened it.

-- Doreen (bisquit@here.com), May 05, 2002.

Makes me think twice about asking my kids to get the mail when they get off the school bus.

-- Susan in MN (nanaboo@payulbunyan.net), May 05, 2002.

Maybe their trying to get rid of them freaking wasp nests that always seem to come from nowhere. Then again maybe its a mad postal employee or someone who just hates mailboxes.

-- TomK(mich) (tjk@cac.net), May 05, 2002.

We had people put poisonous snakes in the boxes around here awhile back out of meanness. Makes me want to use a 30 ft line to open mine now.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (jayblair678@yahoo.com), May 05, 2002.

The reports I have read on this was that not all of the bombs were detonated. They were about a foot long, made of steel pipe and wired with a 9-volt battery. They were designed to be triggered by movement, so it would be POSSIBLE to open the boxes without them detonating. The notes were encased in plastic and placed with the pipe bombs. I'm just grateful that no one has been killed by this.

-- StevenB (thicketyrowfarm@earthlink.nett), May 05, 2002.

S.2089 Sponsor: Sen Torricelli, Robert G.(introduced 4/11/2002)

This is a link to S2089, Dangerous Explosives Background Checks Requirement Act. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:s.02089:

This bill will require background checks for reloaders.

-- no (no@no.no), May 05, 2002.

I live about 20 miles from where one went off (in Jo Daviess Co.), and in the Freeport, IL paper, it printed parts of the note - something about "what is liberty? The gov't has taken away all of our liberties...I need to get your attention as to what is going on...." I'm not quoting exactly (don't have the paper here), and the paper only reported one mail carrier that had a few cuts on his hand.

-- Bonnie (51940@aeroinc.net), May 05, 2002.

Another thing that bothered me with the article I read. It quoted a G-man as saying the bombs were *planted* in mailboxes. Unusual usage there. Bombs are *placed* (by bombers) but evidence is *planted* by dirty cops. That part really got me, obviously a fruedian slip......

Besides, something came in in the teletype the day before this happened from the federal bureau of instigaters, announcing a gathering of the Butler bunch of bankrupt white supremacist group gathering somewhere back east, (the last gathering was small and peaceful) and wishing ANYONE who sees one to report them to our new "terrorism" alphabet soup group, created to fight foreign terrorist. Oh yeah, every one of us on this forum fit the profile eligble for being reported as a terrorist.

-- Laura (LadybugWrangler@somewhere.com), May 05, 2002.

Thanks for your comments, folks. Doreen, that' very intuitive on your part!

-- joj (joj@home.org), May 05, 2002.

Fast Horse referred to Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. It semed they were moving west fairly quickly. I thought they might of paroled Ted and he was headed back to Montana.

-- Joel Rosen (JoelnBecky@webtv.net), May 06, 2002.

Foolish me; I didn't even know that they were found in three states :~{

-- joj (joj@home.org), May 06, 2002.

Seems to me that killing innocent people who open their mailboxes is not way to win support for a cause. Especially when many victims of these mailbox bombs are average ordinary John Q citizens. Acts such as this make people hate those who orchestrate them. I would have thought that lesson learned with Tim Mcveigh. Government 1 Political Disidents 0. The only thing Mcveigh accomplished was to make it harder to have views which are anti-government and express them openly. This very e-mail will be monitored and I will be placed on a list for writing it. To the mailbox bombers and Tim. Thanks for nothing!


-- PoePoe (rpd932@yahoo.com), May 06, 2002.

So now I hear the Post Office is requiring folks to leave their mailbox doors open! I just built a "bullet proof" mailbox a year or so ago, and sure as heck ain't gonna leave the door open so the mail thieves can not only access my mail, but view its availability without having to even slow down their car!

Anybody got any idea if one of these bombs can be placed in a mailbox such as mine, which is locked? The only way to get into it is thru the mail slot, which is about an inch and a half high and maybe ten inches wide.

Any suggestions? Please? Pretty please?

-- joj (joj@home.org), May 06, 2002.

JOJ- I feel foolish responding to you on a matter that requires "re- engineering" as I have always been very impressed with your ideas and knowledge. Having said that I have a couple of ideas/ suggestions. From what I have seen on the news, the pipe used is steel and probably wider than 1 1/2 inch diameter, esp. with caps on the ends. The perp would almost certainly bypass your box as I would assume he wouldn't want to spend any more time than necessary "placing" his package in your box, thereby attracting undue attention, especially with all those other unprotected boxes out there! Lastly, you might consider talking to your mail carrier about the size of the slot on your box. Would it be a problem if it were reduced to an inch or even less? Mail would have to be inserted a few at a time, but is that a problem? Good luck and I am sorry you are being "terrorized"! Jack

-- jack (atl.jack@excite.com), May 06, 2002.

If they wanted to bad enough they could. Sheet explosives exist that are much more powerful than these pipebombs in the news. Regular old plastique like c-4 could used thin.

I'm waiting to see if the media starts focusing attention on bill S2089, the Dangerous Explosives Background Checks Requirement Act. Seeing how it was just introduced, that could be an odd coincidence. That act is to control all gunpowder, blackpowder, primers and anything else they can determine to be an explosive. It would require hobby reloaders to be licensed, background checked and pay fees. I'm thinking it might ease right through so take heed.

-- no (no@no.no), May 06, 2002.

JOJ, I think the PO wanted boxes open only until the carrier could put the mail in (and I far as I know, it was only in those areas, and voluntary on the part of the homeowner at that--I assume they would hold others' mail for pick-up at the PO), so that the carrier could see that the box was empty.

Wouldn't be surprised if the USPS thought about stopping some or all street delivery because of this--sure they'd have to spend some money on buildings and parking lots, but it would save them a ton of money on vehicle expenses (maintenance, accident payouts, etc.), and probably quite a bit on personnel expenses as well. Give everyone a free PO Box (no rental fee).

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), May 06, 2002.

We were told today all rural mailboxes are to have the door open if you want your mail delivered to your mailbox. It doesn't have to be open all the time, just when the mailperson comes, but ours will be because I'd never remember to open it again tomorrow before he/she arrives. We have such winds here that I was hoping the mailperson would shut the door after putting the mail in and he did. We're to do this until the postoffice tells us differently. It's no biggy just one of those "new" things we have to do. If we don't want to keep the door open we can drive to town to pick up the mail at the postoffice but I'd just as soon leave the door open.

I feel we probably have as much chance of having a bomb placed in our mailbox and we do of winning the lottery but.......

-- Anna in Iowa (countryanna54@hotmail.com), May 06, 2002.

Definitely a very fast horse. They said there was at least one in the Texas panhandle now. It simply has to be at least two people or one with a whole bunch of meth at his disposal. I don't have a mailbox:)....if I did I think I would put a lock on it and give the carrier a key. A small lock would take extra time, and if you were doing something like this you wouldn't want to spend that time as you would then be seen...

-- Doreen (bisquit@here.com), May 07, 2002.

Anna,, I'd rather win the lottery! As far as leaving the mailbox open, I'd have to wait for the mail delivery every day, if I didn't want my mail stolen. Most mailboxes in this country aren't visible from a house, and there are enough mail thieves to make the idea of leaving the mailbox door open unacceptable. Many of the mail thieves are looking for new check deliveries, so they can have 250 checks to write to pay for their meth purchases, or so I'm told by the Sheriff.

Jack, good suggestion about making the slot smaller. The bombs are reportedly made of 3/4" pipe, and even with the cap, I'm pretty sure they would fit through the 1 1/2" slot. I don't know how big the batteries are, though. I also don't know if it would be possible to slide or drop the bomb through a slot like this without setting it off, or if it could be set to explode without opening the door.

Doreen, the mail carriers won't use keys to open our mailboxes. I tried that when I was desinging my mailbox. I could re engineer it to have a "slam lock"; I could then leave the door open, and the carrier could "slam" it shut, to lock it. Right now, the carrier would have to use a key to shut and lock it.

UPDATE: I called the FBI about this yesterday to see what they thought. The guy there assured me that my type of mailbox is secure, and mail deliveries will continue to this type of mailbox. Yea!

-- joj (joj@home.org), May 07, 2002.

Accidentally hit the "submit"button before I was quite done blabbing.

I wonder if the perpetrator is a manufacturer of these secure type mailboxes, which typically cost about $200?

(You can buy the materials to make one for way under $100, by the way...) Good place to try out your new welder, Doreen!

-- joj (joj@home.org), May 07, 2002.

This was written at 12:15 p.m.. According to our talk radio new blurb, they now officially have an APB for a 22 year old man driving a grey 4 door Honda Accord in the Amarillo Texas area. Anyone around that area; take care if you see any suspicious vehicles near any post boxes.

-- j.r. guerra in s. tx. (jrguerra@boultinghousesimpson.com), May 07, 2002.

JOJ, the other problem is that the carriers couldn't possibly haul around a hundred keys every day. Actually, maybe it will also spur the USPS to go to the locking multiple boxes (where the carrier has a key to load the one side, and you have a key for the other (which is totally closed (no window) like the newer PO boxes).

The biggest complaint I've heard about them is that they are not designed for anything in the way of parcels much bigger than a box of new checks, so unless you can get them to put in the parcel-size ones for each address, they do not hold a lot of mail.

You bring up a good point about most rural boxes not being visible, or even if visible, you are too far away to see anyone clearly enough to ID them, or get a license plate.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), May 07, 2002.

I heard that, JR. Funny, yesterday's news reported that the FBI were pretty sure that they were looking for an "older white male". I guess 22 is "older" than some other folks, right?

GT, several of my neighbors and I went to a bunch of trouble and time working with the PO on those multiple deals. It was right after someone bashed about two hundred mailboxes in one night.

We talked to several different people in several different departments. Got a different tale from each. AFter many false starts, we finally were told we would have to pay for the boxes ourselves (which we had expected) and that we'd be responsible for any vandalism (which we'd earlier been assured would be the PO's responsibility)

We'd first been told it would be ok to put the multiple box inside the neighborhood market, where it would be safer from theft, vandalism, etc. Then a different person told us that was illegal, since the store was not open 24/7. Even though our local PO is not open 24/7. Duh.

Ok, so we got 16 neighbors together, gathered the money (about 40-5- bucks each, as I recall-it's been a few years).

I took the names to the postmaster, as requested. He said, "Oh, I forgot to tell you! All parties must be adjacent to each other!"

Yeah, like that's going to happen out here!

So I dropped the whole effort, and built my "bullet proof" mailbox. It's worked great! I can't mail anything from it, so I didn't bother with a flag. When we have to mail something, we either drop it at a mailbox when we go to town, or give it to the folks at he market, where our carrier picks it up (probably illegally!)

If a big parcel comes, the mail lady leaves it for us at the same market. Sweet deal for everyone. No one has even attempted to damage this mailbox. I sort of wish they would! (except I might have to repaint it) Certainly no one has tried to steal mail out of it.

Sorry for rambling so much.

-- joj (jump@off.c), May 07, 2002.

Our PO is open 7/24, but at another PO what they did was put in a pushbutton combination lock, so that PO box renters could still get in 7/24 (only they got the combination), but not vandals and people looking for a place to sleep (problem with that too). Worked really well.

I knew that if the multi-boxes were "requested" by the customer, the customer had to pay for them, but depending upon where people live, they may be required to have them (again, this was all to save money-- some older areas still have drop slots in the door for walking routes, others have street boxes at the end of the driveway, the multi-boxes was the next step).

If the USPS really wanted to save money, they could go to the multi- boxes for all or most (say minimum 2 boxes together) and would recoup their investment rather quickly. But it should be at their cost, not ours, and they should also be responsible for fixing any vandalism.

I'm with you on the outgoing mail, but I never put it in an outside dropbox--I've seen it where the clerk/carrier emptying it has to contend with sticky orange soda, or charred mail from cigarettes, etc.- -I always mail inside the PO.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), May 07, 2002.

Well it looks like they have caught the guy. I just don't get what makes someone do this kind of thing. I'm very thankful no one was killed!

-- Doreen (bisquit@here.com), May 07, 2002.

I heard the guy's parents pleading with him to stop what he was doing, just before he was caught. I feel so sorry for them. Imagine finding out your kid had done something like that. Imagine having to visit him in jail for the next thirty years. Sad, really.

And don't lambast me about victims' rights, please. I have feelings for them, too.

-- joj (joj@home.org), May 08, 2002.

Not only that, but I heard a seventy odd year old woman, who had one of the bombs blow up in her face, expressing concern for the kid, and hoping he gets help. Pretty magnanimous on HER part, don't you think?

-- joj (joj@home.org), May 08, 2002.

I don't understand why he is not charged with attempted murder as well- -one of those things could easily have killed someone.

I also couldn't believe the statement that his father made, about him just wanting attention, etc. Talk about being in denial....

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), May 08, 2002.

Well, the guy's going to get all the attention he ever wanted now, and more.

-- joj (jump@off.c), May 08, 2002.

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