THE COPYCAT BOMBER

 

(I’m not too sure what anyone else would think of this story.  There was a lot of stories and talk about Ted Kazinski, the Uni-Bomber during the late 1990s, so I decided to write a story inspired by the uni-bomber case).

    Joe Atwell was an average guy.  He had things going for him.  He was a 30 year old college professor who taught computer programming at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.  Everybody who knew him, loved him. 

    Then one day something happened that would change his life forever.  His assistant John Cale gave him a package that was shoe box sized.  The package had no return address.

    They both were looking at it and wandering about it.  “What could it be?”  Asked Joe.  “I don’t know.”  Said John.  “It can’t be a pair of shoes.  Who would send a professor shoes?”

“Well…Maybe it’s a bomb!”  John said Jokingly.  “Get real, John!  Everybody loves me.  Who in this world would send me a bomb?”  Joe said.

“Don’t worry than.  It could just be a surprise package from a secret admirer I guess.” Said John.

    Little did they know was that the package they were looking at was a surprise package.  Joe opened up the box and before he knew it, a big humongous blast blew half the room away.  John went to get help but by the time help arrived it was too late.  Joe Atwell died instantly.  It became the first killing of the copycat bomber.  When the FBI got to the scene they didn’t find much that could be used as evidence except remains of the bomb and a piece of cardboard with 2 letters carved into it: J.A.  Ever since the bombing the University of Arkansas hasn’t been the same.

   
    Ted Kazynski was sitting up on his bed in his jail cell looking at the cover of a newspaper. 

Ted has been imprisoned for about 3 years and is now on Death Row for his bombings.  The headline on the paper read: “U of A Explosion, 1 Dies.”

    Ted read the article and realizes someone is copy-catting him.  He looks up from the paper and says to himself, “Hello.  I’m Ted Kazynski.  What you have just seen was not one of my works.  What you have seen was the work of someone copy-catting me.  The work of a copycat bomber.  Who is it?  I don’t know.  Not anybody I know because I don’t know anyone!”  He then laid down and went to sleep.

    James Alco was sitting in his room.  He turned his voice changer on, pressed record on his micro-cassette recorder and started talking.

    “Date: June 1st, 1999.  The first bombing was successful.  Professor Atwell died instantly.  I am in the process of making my next bomb.  I plan on planting it in a pilot’s seat of an airline.  This bomb is equipped with a wireless remote control that I could set the bomb off with.”

   
I just got passed the security at the airport.  I am going on a trip to Phoenix to visit some family I have there.  I had a book in my hand and I had my bag on my back, and my ticket to Phoenix, Arizona.  I was almost late for the plane so I started running.  On my way to the plane I ran into a pilot of an airline I work for.  His name is Michael Engell Schmitz. 

“Hey, Joe.  What’s your hurry?”  He asked me.  “I don’t wanna miss my plane to Phoenix, sir.  I’m going their to visit some family I haven’t seen in 10 years.  It leaves in 10 minutes.”  I said.

“Will, have fun.”  He said to me.  I got on the plane and took a seat by a window.  I couldn’t wait to get to Phoenix for the first time in 10 years.  I will be staying with my uncle Aaron Lowell.  When I took my seat the stewardess went through the usual routine at the beginning of the flight (I would know, because I’m a steward myself!).

Michael Engell Schmitz got onto his plane and got in the pilot’s seat.  He has always been talking to me about getting a different route.  He was sick of Dallas so his boss changed his route.  This time he’s flying to DC.

While he’s going to DC, I’m going to Phoenix.  Our planes are now both in the sky.  I decided to sleep for an hour.

When I woke up from my rest I wanted to listen to some music so I took out my walkman, and I put a Beatles tape in.  I pressed the play button and started listening to the sweet music. 

Little did I know was that the plane Michael was flying to DC explodes in the middle of the sky.  Half the pilot’s cabin was not there.  The co-pilot took over the controls and safely landed the plane in a small Virginian city.  Luckily it was only Michael who got killed.  The police were suspicious so they called the FBI.

The FBI came in to investigate.  They found the remains of the bomb and a computer chip with the letters “M.E.S” carved into it.  John Dickens looked at it.  “What the hell is M.E.S?”  He said to himself.

The FBI sat down at a rectangular table in their meeting room in DC.  “Guys, we got 2 bombings.  One in a university, one in a plane.  Both the bombs had letters carved in something.  On the bomb at the U of A we found the letters J.A. carved into cardboard.  In the plane bombing we found a computer chip with the letters M.E.S. carved into it.  Any of you guys have any ideas on what it could mean?”  John had asked. 
“What?”  James said looking at John.  “Do you think they’re both connected?  How?”
“Because their were letters found at the scene, dumbshit!”  John said.
“Will, it can be that small town in Montana.”  Said James.  “Not a bad idea said John.

The plane finally reached Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.  I got my bag and my book and started getting off the plane.  My uncle will be picking me up.  I can’t wait to see him. 

He met me at the terminal door.  We started talking.
“So how’s life treating ya’?”  He asked me.  “Will.”  I said.  “How’s the Sqaw Peak Parkway coming?”  I asked him.  “Real slow.”  He said to me.

We kept on talking until we got to his house.  When we got to his house I turned on the TV to watch the news.  A TV anchor came on.

“In National News today, a plane was almost blown to bits in Virginia.  Pilot Michael Engell Schmitz died.”
“Oh my god!”  I said.

The FBI were really investigating this case now.  They brought in veteran bomb expert Joe Schmitzell.  Joe dealt with the Unabomber case for 20 years.  After seeing the last 2 bombings he expects it to be the work of a copycat bomber. 

He was looking at pictures and evidence sitting on the table.  He is talking to the FBI agents sitting around the table.  “Look, folks.  I think we have a copy cat bomber on our hands.”

“Why do you think that?”  Asked Mr. Dickens.  “Because, John, the Unabomber’s first 2 bombs were at a university and an airline.  He always left letters behind.

James was sitting in his room putting the finishing touches on his 3rd bomb.  He was going to place it on the Arizona State University campus somewhere.  He pressed record on his recorder.
“Date: June 10, 1999.  My 2nd bomb was successful.  Michael Schmitz died.”

I was on my way to the ASU campus.  My uncle works today.  My uncle teaches chemistry at ASU.  I turned on my rented car’s stereo and blasted a Will Smith song. 
I had my bag in the passenger’s seat and the top of my car was down.  I finally got to my uncle’s school.  I found a good parking space and parked there.  I got my bag, which has my uncle’s lunch in it, and started walking.

Little did I know, there was a bomb in my uncle’s locker.  I went to my uncle’s room to give him his lunch.  After that I left to go back to his house.

After his next class was over he went to his locker to get something.  He opens up his locker .  He noticed a small package.  He took it out and started looking at it.
He opens it up and it blows up in his face.  That was the last time I heard from my uncle.
The FBI came in to investigate…again.  They found yet another clue: The letters A.L.  carved in a piece of wood.  The FBI was stunned.

“One bomb goes off at the University of Arkansas, another in a plane during flight, and another on the Arizona State University campus.  Letters are left behind.  J.A.M.E.S.A.L.  Who will die next?”  Asked John.

James had just got back from the teacher’s locker area.  He had a typed note in his hand.  “John, I found this where the bomb exploded.  It says, ‘Sir, You were a good man.  J.A.’”  James read.  Joe was hearing all this.  “This guy is definitely obsessed with the unabomber because everything that this guy is doing  is unabomber reenactments: bombings at universities, planes, notes left behind, letters of the alphabet left behind.  There’s only one difference:  They’re not all the same letters.”

“Yeah.  That’s right.  What are all the letters, anyway?”  Asked John.  James pulled out the cardboard chip and cardboard and looked at them.  “Let’s see.”  He said putting them together.  “J.A.M.E.S. and the new one A.L.  Now it’s J.A.M.E.S.A.L…James Al?  Huh?”
“Who’s James Al?”
“Maybe it’s 2 people.”
The FBI was piecing the puzzle together.  What they couldn’t understand is why did the copycat bomber bomb Arkansas, a plane, and then Arizona?  Could that mean he’s traveling?
John was wandering what the letters meant.  “These are the initials of the victims.  Do they actually mean anything?”

James was in his room.  He talked into his recorder.
“Date: June 20, 1999.  My 3rd bomb was successful.  My 4th bomb will probably be my last.  The president of ‘Smith Airlines’ will receive it.”

The president of Smith Airlines lives here in Phoenix.  I decided to go pay him a visit.  I drove to his office which is on Broadway somewhere.  He was not there so I went back to my uncle’s house preparing to go back to Arkansas next week.

The president of Smith Airlines, Chris Oliver, got back to his office.  He got out of his car and noticed a small item next to his car.  It looked like a block with nails in it.  He picked it up to examine it.  It blew up in his face and killed him. 

The FBI was there instantly.  “I am sick of these bombings!”  Said John.  “Same here.”  Said James.  Joe found a piece of paper laying on the ground.  It said, “C.O. and that’s it.” 
“John, read this.”  Joe said handing the note to John.  John read it.  “What’s this supposed to mean?”
“I don’t know”
“Wait a minute, Joe.  Let’s put the pieces together.  J.A.M.E.S.A.L.C.O.  James Alco!!  That’s it!!  That’s our copycat bomber!!”  John said.  James looked at him.  “Who’s James Alco?”
“He used to work for the FBI about a year ago.  We fired him because he made all kinds of threats.  He was working on the Ted Kazynski case.  He changed his name after he got fired though.  Lord knows what it is now.”  John said.  “John, this came for you.”  Said John’s secretary handing him a package.  It was a box.  John opened it up.  It was a bomb, but luckily it was a dud.  They could’ve died!!

It’s real hard to get a person’s new name, and finding out where they live so the copycat bomber is still out there and he will strike again!!  Who do you think he/she is?  It has to be anybody who is still alive.  It could be me, you (the reader), or it could be anybody mentioned in this story who is still alive!!!!

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