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CMF

remember that bank heist from a few years ago?

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it turns out the pizza guy was in on it. he just didnt know the bomb was real.

 

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1184229059289000.xml&coll=2

 

Double-crossed

Erie pizza bomber Brian Wells was both victim and conspirator

Thursday, July 12, 2007

John Caniglia

Plain Dealer Reporter Erie, Pa.

 

He sat on the road with his legs twisted under him and his hands cuffed behind his back. His oversized glasses drooped as he cried for help.

 

Brian Wells, a pizza deliveryman, was caught in a bizarre bank robbery Aug. 28, 2003. He had a bomb strapped to his neck, and no one dashed to help him. No one knew what was going on or seemed to understand how a simpleton got involved in such a vicious plot.

 

Except Wells. He knew he had been double-crossed. His accomplices had told him the bomb was a phony, a prop to fool bank clerks into giving up money. But just as they planned to click it around his neck, they told him the truth: The bomb was real, and it would kill him if he didn't do exactly what he was told.

 

Investigators revealed Wednesday that Wells, 46, was actually in on the plot, both a victim and an offender in the same crime.

 

Fifty-five minutes after his cohorts strapped the bomb on, 40 minutes after he robbed the bank and 20 minutes after police caught him, the device blew a softball-sized hole into Wells' chest and killed him.

 

The slaying stunned this city 90 minutes from Cleveland. For nearly four years, everyone assumed Wells was a tragic and unsuspecting victim. But authorities said he mentally rehearsed the robbery plan for days and even sat for fittings of the device on the belief the bomb was a fake.

 

Federal indictments unsealed Wednesday blame Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong and Kenneth Barnes in Wells' death.

 

The Erie residents are charged with conspiracy, bank robbery and weapons violations and accused of planning the robbery to gain enough money for Diehl-Armstrong to pay for a hit man to kill her father.

 

A third person involved in the planning, convicted rapist Floyd Stockton, was given immunity in a deal with prosecutors. His attorney, Charbel Latouf, refused to comment.

 

The man authorities called the plot's mastermind and bomb-builder, William Rothstein, is dead. He died of cancer July 30, 2004 -- one of a trio of other deaths linked to the case.

 

"Greed was their inspiration; death was just a byproduct," FBI agent Ray Morrow said.

 

Wells' family exploded at Wednesday's news conference that outlined his role. His sister, Barbara White, railed that her brother was a victim, not a criminal.

 

"Liar! Liar," she yelled at U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan.

 

How did simple man

 

get involved in plot?

 

[editors note: how did simple man...get involved in plot?! who the fuck is writing this?]

 

But in truth, Brian Wells was a follower who was in the thick of the plot, according to the indictments and interviews with investigators and defense attorneys. The indictment called him "a co-conspirator."

 

He was known as a man with simple tastes, caring for his three cats, eating Sunday meals with his family and fixing his subcompact cars. He was a high school dropout, and in the last decade worked on and off delivering food at Mama Mia's Pizzaria, a cramped, five-table restaurant that catered to construction workers for lunch and young families for dinner.

 

What people didn't know about was his affection for a prostitute, investigators and defense attorneys said.

 

Wells met approximately twice a month for about five years with Jessica Hoopsick, who fed her cocaine habit through prostitution, her attorney, Daniel Brabender, said. The two regularly used a home in Erie managed by Barnes, a convicted cocaine dealer who rented rooms in exchange for drugs and cash. Hoopsick even testified before a federal grand jury about Wells' link to Barnes, Brabender said.

 

In July 2003, Barnes had offered to do a favor for a fishing friend, Diehl-Armstrong: kill her father, Harold, for an estimated $125,000.

 

Diehl-Armstrong, who has bipolar disorder, is bipolar and -RD%>often flies into screaming rages when she becomes annoyed or doesn't get what she wants. Her father earned his daughter's ire by refusing to turn over more inheritance money from her mother's death in 2000, federal agents said.

 

However, by 2003, the inheritance had largely disappeared. Agnes Diehl's estate was once valued at about $500,000, but it had dwindled. Harold Diehl gave his daughter more than $50,000, according to court records. He said he didn't give her more because the money was running out.

 

"She wouldn't kill me, but she probably would get somebody else to do it," Harold Diehl said in an interview earlier this year. "She tends to be greedy. I just don't trust her."

 

Unable to come up with money to pay Barnes, she approached her good friend, Rothstein, whom she knew for years and almost married. He also was being hassled by a family member over money, and they discussed various schemes, including a bank robbery.

 

The indictment said Diehl-Armstrong provided Rothstein with two egg timers for use in building the bomb.

 

As the robbery plan crystallized, the group pulled Wells in with a lure of cash. Wells helped plan the robbery, authorities said, and his partners told him the bomb would be fake. If arrested, he was told to tell police he was a hostage and that three black men had forced him to do it, Buchanan said.

 

They said police would then let him go and he would later collect some money.

 

Wells betrayed

 

as scheme unfolds

 

On Aug. 28, 2003, Rothstein, Barnes and Diehl-Armstrong went to a nearby gas station and called Mama Mia's Pizzaria and ordered two pizzas. The gas station's surveillance cameras saw them make the call and later speed away.

 

About 2 p.m., Wells drove to a wooded lot near Rothstein's home on Peach Street in Erie. Rothstein, Barnes, Stockton and Diehl-Armstrong confronted Wells there, and Wells, for the first time, learned that the device was real, authorities said.

 

He wrestled with the men and tried to flee, but one of the men fired a gun, causing Wells to stop. They then restrained him and forced the device onto his neck. They gave him an oddly shaped cane, which was actually a gun, and told him to threaten someone with it if he found trouble at the bank.

 

Why the double-cross?

 

Buchanan, the U.S. attorney, said it was simple: It was one less witness.

 

The accomplices gave Wells a nine- page note that put Wells on a scavenger hunt for clues so that he could pry off the bomb after the robbery.

 

"This powerful, booby- trapped bomb can be removed only by following our instructions," the note said. "Using time attempting to escape it will fail and leave you short of time to follow instructions. Do not delay."

 

The bomb had a timer that gave Wells 55 minutes to complete the scavenger hunt. Despite the note, investigators said, Wells could have gotten out of it. The device appeared to be sophisticated, but agents said it was built like a child's toy bracelet that would have snapped open, given the proper pressure and instructions.

 

With the bomb yoked to his neck, Wells drove to the PNC Bank branch in a shopping center on Peach Street, with Diehl-Armstrong and Barnes following and watching with binoculars in one car, and Rothstein trailing in another. About 2:20 p.m., Wells walked inside the bank and appeared oddly calm, twirling a sucker in his mouth, according to pictures taken by the bank's video surveillance cameras.

 

He told the clerk that he had a bomb and showed her a gun that looked like a walking cane. He demanded $250,000; he got $8,702.

 

Rothstein, according to inves tiga tors, stood in the parking lot adjacent to the bank, waiting to grab the money from Wells. But as Wells left the bank, a cus tomer followed him out, thinking that something was odd about Wells' behavior.

 

Rothstein panicked. He fled to his car and sped home empty-handed. Diehl- Armstrong and Barnes were waiting back at his house.

 

Diehl-Armstrong fumed when Rothstein returned without the money. She believed Rothstein had double-crossed her by hiding the money along the route. She jumped in Rothstein's car and drove back toward the bank looking for a place Rothstein may have pitched the money, according to federal agents.

 

At one point, she drove the wrong way on Interstate 79 searching for dropped cash.

 

As Diehl-Armstrong searched, Wells' life ticked away. Using the nine-page letter as a guide, he bolted for clues. After the bank, his first stop was at a nearby McDonald's drive-through, where a note was hiding under a rock, the FBI said.

 

Officers stopped his car shortly after that and arrested him. They backed away, leaving him on the ground, quivering.

 

"Why isn't nobody trying to come get this thing off me?" he said. "It's going to go off. I'm not lying."

 

At 3:18 p.m., the bomb exploded.

 

Investigation begins

 

with bomb victim

 

Authorities began the investiga tion with the pizza de liveryman. His family said in vestigators cut his head from his body to be gin analyzing the bomb.

 

Police also went to his home. The FBI blew the door off its hinges to get into his small apartment during a search in the middle of the night. The bi zarre case began taking sharp turns.

 

Three days after Wells' death, his co-worker, Robert Pinetti, died of an overdose of methadone and antidepressants mixed with cold medication, leaving investigators to guess whether there was any connection. Officials suspect there is a link between the deaths, but they are not sure.

 

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI then turned to Rothstein because as -RD%>he lived so close to where Wells made the pizza delivery. The initial interviews were hardly pleasant. Rothstein taunted officers, telling them that they would never find anything.

 

But they did.

 

Rothstein once had written a suicide note, which began in much the same way as one of the notes Wells carried with him in the final minutes of his life, investigators said.

 

ATF and FBI agents also interviewed Erie store clerks, who said Rothstein and the collaborators had purchased a number of items that were used for the bomb at local stores.

 

At Rothstein's home, officers found Stockton, a fugitive accused of raping a 19-year-old disabled girl. He was shipped back to Washington state, where he was charged and later sentenced to two years in prison.

 

They also found the body of James Roden stuffed in a freezer.

 

Roden, Diehl-Armstrong's boyfriend, was killed Aug. 11, 2003, and put in a chest freezer at Rothstein's garage. Authorities found the body in September, weeks after the slaying. Diehl-Armstrong pleaded guilty to the slaying and cited mental illness as playing a role in the case.

 

She was sentenced to seven to 20 years in prison.

 

The indictment said Diehl-Armstrong killed Roden "to keep him from disclosing the bank robbery plan that was being formulated by the co-conspirators."

 

Once in prison, Diehl-Armstrong began looking for a way to get out. She wanted to parlay her knowledge of Wells' slaying into a shorter sentence, and she began meeting with authorities about it.

 

She also talked with several cellmates and friends in prison, who were happy to squeal on her, investigators said.

 

Stockton met with the FBI and ATF about the bombing and worked out a deal with prosecutors to testify against Barnes and Diehl-Armstrong.

 

Barnes, serving 23 months for a cocaine conviction from 2006, also met with federal investigators. He and Diehl-Armstrong blamed Rothstein for the robbery plan and the bombing and claimed they were being framed. Her attorney, Lawrence D'Ambrosio, said she was an ill woman who couldn't possibly have helped.

 

She and Barnes bemoaned their fates -- never remembering the simple man who liked delivering pizzas, believed in a robbery plan and scurried through the city, looking for clues in a deadly game that ticked away on a busy street.

 

That's where he sat for more than 20 minutes with a bomb around his neck, waiting for help that never came.

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Fucking wow... I remember seeing a whole tv show dedicated to this...

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That is a fucking crazy story. Next time I'm feeling down, I'm just going to remind myself that I'm not a middle aged pizza delivery guy who has fallen in love with a prostitute who only fucks me for money to fuel her coke habit and will happily sell me out to a couple of low-life drug addicts that plan to double cross me and blow me up in a bizarre plot to rob a bank to fund a hit on their parents.

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Oh I see. The cops handcuffed him and wouldn't help him try to get it off or at least search for the rest of the "clues"?

And so he died in their costody when they could have prevented it.

That's why they're all of a sudden saying that he was in on it.

To save them from paying millions in a wrongfull death suit.

Another fine example of how money's worth more than people in this country.

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Or he was in on it.

 

Maybe. But then why aren't the others being charged with murder?

Seems like they're getting some kind of deal to testify against pizza boy and say that he was in on it.

That sure lets the cops off the hook now don't it.

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Yeah, I couldn't really figure out what was going on with who was catching what charges in there. And those cops definitely fucked up by not helping dude get the bomb off of his neck. But it sounds like he was involved to an extent at least.

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Everyone knows all cops are trained at disarming bombs, carry industrial bolt cutters, and know when every bomb is going to explode at any given time.

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its the cops fault? you guys will blaim the police for some shit at the drop of a hat. how about the assholes that put a bomb around homeboys neck?

 

edit: not directed at spitfire

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"Greed was their inspiration; death was just a byproduct," FBI agent Ray Morrow said.

 

is he an out of work action movie character or somthing?

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i seen this on the news last week.....but i still dont think he was in on it....after all...he never made it to the second clue (@ the mickey dees).

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how about the assholes that put a bomb around homeboys neck?

 

 

How about the cops that handcuffed dude and not only refused to help take the bomb off him, but also refused to follow the instructions left behind to help defuse the shit? Or are you just retarded?

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if youre not the brains or the muscle it a plot youre just another black dude in a horror movie, waiting to get fucked.

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"Despite the note, investigators said, Wells could have gotten out of it. The device appeared to be sophisticated, but agents said it was built like a child's toy bracelet that would have snapped open, given the proper pressure and instructions."

 

"His family said in vestigators cut his head from his body to be gin analyzing the bomb."

 

 

 

if it was so easy to open, why'd they have to cut his head off to examine it?

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Because Drunken asshole oner is fucking retard.

 

If some guy had a bomb strapped around his neck pleading me for help i would get the fuck away from him as fast as I could. I dont give a fuck if he says its going to go off in 5 years. How the fuck do I know that?

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hey, dumbass, its their job to do shit like that. "to serve and protect"? theyre paid to be in dangerous situations.

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"Greed was their inspiration; death was just a byproduct," FBI agent Ray Morrow said.

 

is he an out of work action movie character or somthing?

 

csi-sunglasses.jpeg

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Its also their job not go out and get blown up. Cops wont, at the drop of a hat, go "HEY! ILL DEFUSE THE BOMB AROUND YOUR NECK! NO PROBLEM!"

 

Theyre a set of guidelines they have to follow. Once bombs wrapped around some guys neck crying the in the middle of a street things come to a stop and calls need to be made. And somone has to draw up a set of procedures for "Man with bomb around neck in middle of street." Well, as luck would have it, asshole dickhead cops have never had the situation before so things become difficult. Stupid bitch.

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spit your pretty knowledgeable...are you a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gay_pride_nantes_2006_police_01.jpg

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