your connection to The Boston Globe

Bomb victim told not to call police

FBI releases note found in car of deliveryman killed after bank heist

ERIE, Pa. -- A nine-page handwritten note found in the car of a pizza deliveryman who robbed a bank, then was killed by a bomb fastened around his neck, warned that he would be "destroyed" if police were notified of the plot.

Portions of the note released yesterday by the FBI contained detailed instructions, including a drawing of the McDonald's arches where the deliveryman was to take the money, and the warning: "Act now, think later or you will die!"

The note -- the first evidence disclosed in the case in four months -- was found with Brian Wells when he died Aug. 28.

Before the bomb exploded, Wells told authorities that he had been forced to rob the bank by someone who locked the collar bomb around his neck. Police surrounded Wells and were waiting for a bomb squad to arrive when the device detonated.

The FBI released photographs of the note, with portions blacked out, in hopes that someone recognizes the author from the penmanship or the penchant for obsessiveness.

FBI Special Agent Bob Rudge said the writer probably conceived the plan over some time -- perhaps years -- and revenge, not money, may have been the primary motive. He refused to say whether Wells may have been the target of revenge, or another person.

"Because of the time and effort he invested in this whole scheme -- constructing the collar bomb and the shotgun and preparing the instruction letter -- it is not likely he sat at home waiting to learn how events unfolded," Rudge said, suggesting the suspect was in a position to watch what happened.

In September, investigators released photographs of a triple-banded collar with four keyholes and a combination lock on its heavy homemade clasp and a unique cane-shaped firearm found in Wells's car that the FBI said appeared to be homemade. FBI agents believe Wells didn't act alone and are leaning toward the theory that Wells was a victim, as he told police. But they haven't entirely ruled out the possibility that he was a willing participant.

Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives