America's Most Wanted dedicated a good part of their show to this incident this past saturday. There was a lot more involved than just a pizza delivery guy, a bank robbery and an explosion.
Anyone see that episode?
Cliff notes version, please.
I saw that on AMW Saturday night. Unreal.
I remember it and I never bought anyone's story. So was there any new info?
Yeah, I remember that.
just a note to those who did not see it- dont let anybody clamp a giant handcuff looking thing aroung your neck. Think running man prison scene...
I just caught the last couple of minutes of it.
They did find detailed notes/intructions/maps telling the guy where to go and what to do.
There was also a report of some suspicious looking guy watching from a distance, I think.
That's all I saw.
I read this on Fox's site last month, sounds like his ex is one bad apple:
Pizza Man Bombing Remains Odd Mystery
Saturday, August 20, 2005
By Geraldo Rivera
ERIE, Pa. — Brian Wells’ last words came at 3:18 p.m. on Aug. 28, 2003. “Did you call my boss?” he asked the police surrounding him.
A moment later, Wells ‑- a bank robbery suspect who had his hands cuffed behind his back as he sat in an empty parking lot -- died when the bomb that was wrapped around his neck exploded. The blast left a postcard-sized hole in his chest.
Two years after Wells’ mysterious death, authorities don’t know who killed the 46-year-old pizza deliveryman. But a FOX News investigation reveals that several people could be viewed as suspects, although all but one of them is now dead.
Wells grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in Erie, Pa., a city of 103,000 on the southern shore of Lake Erie. His brother, John Wells, described Brian as a man content in his simple life, and not the sort of person who would rob a bank.
“He was a very talented artist, very talented musician,” John Wells said. “But if he heard me telling you that he'd say, 'No I wasn't. I wasn't that good.’ … He never wanted to be in the spotlight.”
Six months after Brian Wells’ death, the FBI released nine pages of handwritten instructions that Wells said he was forced to follow in order to disarm the bomb. The instructions bore a strange resemblance to instructions for a local newspaper contest called the “Great Key Hunt.”
"The behaviors seen in this crime were choreographed by someone on the sidelines, according to a written script in which the offender directs people who are involved,” said FBI agent Bob Rudge at the news conference called to release the instructions.
The instructions show that Wells had been sent on a kind of scavenger hunt to find notes hidden underneath rocks and keys that should have opened the collar bomb that was around his neck.
Who wrote them? Could they really have saved his life? Or were they simply a cruel, handwritten death sentence?
Though the final moments of Brian Wells' life were recorded on videotape, the 40 minutes leading up to his arrest are still shrouded in mystery.
At approximately 2 p.m., a male voice called Mama Mia's pizzeria and orders two pies. Wells got directions from the caller.
Wells got in his Geo Metro compact car and headed south on Peach Street. The directions led him a deserted dirt road that ends in an array of TV satellite dishes and towers. It is here that Wells later told police that he was jumped, an explosive device attached to his neck and the timer started.
At 2:40 p.m., Wells pull up to a PNC Bank in Summit Town Center.
“He had in his possession a cane that had been fabricated into a single shot shotgun … he presents a note to the teller indicating what his demands were,” said Erie District Attorney Brad Foulk.
Wells left with an undetermined amount of cash in a black plastic garbage bag but not before someone in the bank pressed a silent alarm.
He doesn't get far.
Police caught up with him in the parking lot next door to the bank. Soon, television news cameras arrive and they proceed to broadcast the situation live.
“We really didn't believe that this guy had an actual bomb because you always hear about people holding up banks using bombs and it turns out to be the guy's got some road flares or a cell phone or just a handful of wires,” said Brian Sheridan, who, at the time, was a television reporter assigned to cover the story.
Police had their guns drawn on Wells but when they had some of Wells’ shirt removed, they saw the device around his neck and backed away, Sheridan said. Soon thereafter, the bomb exploded.
More Deaths, More Questions
Three days after the strange death of Brian Wells, Erie was faced with another strange incident.
Robert Pinetti, a friend of Wells’ who worked with him delivering pizzas for Mama Mia’s, was discovered unresponsive by family members. Nearly the same age as Wells, a coroner’s report obtained by FOX News showed that Pinetti died from a lethal combination of drugs and alcohol in his system. The coroner’s report ruled Pinetti’s death accidental.
Despite the extraordinary coincidence of two men working for the same small pizza delivery shop dying mysterious deaths within days of each other, a thorough investigation turned up nothing linking Pinetti's overdose death to the deadly bomb blast that killed Wells.
But Pinetti’s death would not be the last.
Three weeks after Wells’ murder, William Rothstein -- a substitute teacher, handyman and lifelong Erie resident -- contacted the Pennsylvania State Police to report that there was a body in his freezer.
In an exclusive video obtained by FOX News, Rothstein admits to disposing of the corpse, later identified as James Roden.
“There was a person I have known since the late 60s early 70s. She had a body in her house that she wanted removed … I helped her with it,” Rothstein said. “I put it basically in my garage.”
The woman was Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, a former fiancé of Rothstein’s.
“She's had bad luck with significant others. One individual was shot seven or eight times while he was asleep,” said Foulk, the district attorney.
“She had a significant other that hung himself … She had a significant other that apparently stumbled and hit his head on a coffee table and died … and Mr. Roden was shot while he was asleep as well with two blasts from a shotgun,” Foulk said.
Of the four suspicious deaths connected to Diehl-Armstrong, she was convicted in only one. She was found guilty of murder in the third degree for the death of James Roden. She admitted to causing one of the other deaths but she claimed spousal abuse.
Last Woman Standing
Jim Fisher is a former FBI agent turned freelance writer. He's followed the Wells case from day one and he believes the person responsible would have been a handyman of sorts, a “jack of all trades.”
“To make a bomb is a dangerous thing to do,” Fisher said. “If you make a mistake, the mistake could be fatal, so the bomb components -- the electronics, the circuitry -- that goes into this would suggest someone who is comfortable with these skills.”
Fisher said that in his opinion, Rothstein and Diehl-Armstrong should be eyed as suspects.
“I see this as a onesy twosey -- one or two people involved in this. People who sort of have, you know, a relationship … There would be a certain amount of dominance there. Where the subservient partner would be afraid, you know, of the mastermind,” Fisher said.
Sound farfetched? Consider this: After Rothstein called the cops to report the dead body in his freezer, he dashed off a short suicide note although he never carried out his threat to kill himself.
“He apologized for being in the position he was in, to his family and to his friends and he indicated that his suicide had nothing to do with the Wells case,” said Gene Placidi, Rothstein’s attorney.
Placidi said he wasn’t sure that Diehl-Armstrong had a hold on his client.
“I think he was just a very nice guy … a very helpful man,” Placidi said. “They went back a long time and … when he could help her, he tried to help her.”
And what about Diehl-Armstrong? In a rambling statement to reporters following her arrest in connection with Roden’s murder, she fingered Rothstein as Wells’ killer.
“Rothstein should be charged with the murder of Brian Wells and a lot of other charges, that he had a fugitive from justice -- a rapist that I turned into the FBI -- in his house for two years,” Diehl-Armstrong said.
After her outburst against Rothstein, some wondered whether her rant was a jailhouse dodge.
“Think of what you’re dealing with here. The woman was shrew. This woman was manipulative,” Placidi said.
One potential witness to the events of Aug. 28, 2003, told FOX News that he was driving south on I-79 not far from the bank robbery site on that day.
“I saw at a distance, maybe half a mile away, a gold car driving to my right on the berm coming at me at full highway speed,” said Tom Sedwick, a retired faculty member from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. “It was a woman … and she made full eye contact with me because I was blinking the lights and she looked at me and continued on toward Erie, but in the wrong lane, on the wrong side of the road.”
Three weeks later, he found out whom those eyes belonged to when authorities picked up Diehl-Armstrong in the Roden case and Sedwick saw her on television. “They marched the woman through in her orange outfit and I turned to my wife and I said, ‘That's the woman I saw in that gold car.’”
Sedwick spoke with the Erie police by phone but hadn't met personally with any authorities until FOX News informed the FBI about his statement. He was then questioned by federal agents.
Asked about the comments from Sedwick, Diehl-Armstrong’s attorney told FOX News that her possible sighting near the scene of the Wells crime was understandable.
“Well, at that time, Mr. Roden's body was in the freezer at Mr. Rothstein's house,” said Diehl-Armstrong’s attorney, John Moore. “So it would not surprise me that she was up in that area and it wouldn't surprise me that she was driving erratically. Whether that in itself is related to Brian Wells, I don't know.”
In July, Diehl-Armstrong was removed from the penitentiary in Muncie, Penn., and brought back to Erie for questioning in regard to the pizza bombing case.
Moore said his client was not questioned about the Wells’ murder after the crime was committed.
“I wondered what took them so long to put what I thought was a pretty obvious connection together,” Moore said, adding that he is advising his client to talk to investigators only if she gets immunity against prosecution in the case.
“I think she has information relevant to the investigation,” he told FOX News. Asked why she had kept quiet, Moore said Diehl-Armstrong “had a number of other problems to deal with and no one has really raised it or asked about it up until this time.”
And if William Rothstein had anything to do with Brian Well's death, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to determine an answer. He died last year from cancer. Before his death, he was interviewed though by the authorities on three different occasions and given an FBI lie detector test -- a test he is said to have passed.
But despite the speculation, investigators have not identified anyone as a prime suspect in Brian Well's violent death. They haven't ruled anyone out either -- including Wells himself. And, two years later, that wears on his brother John.
“I'm never going to get over the loss of my brother,” John Wells said. “You can't imagine trying to live through this. You don't know what it's like, you know, having to go cry in your shower so your family members don't see you crying. And the best is they keep covering it up. I won't say cover up. They won't let the information come out.”
I saw it. I haven't watched AMW for years but was channel surfing when I saw what the first segment was about.
I am most surprised "they" haven't tried it on someone else. It was an ingenious (or diabolical) and complicated plan. Too bad the delivery guy wasn't very smart and got lost (he was parked, reading the instructions given to him when the patrol officer came upon him if I remember correctly). Perhaps they should have kidnapped a UPS/FedEx driver.
What a way to go. Does anyone have the video footage of the stand off?
Weird. I was just talking about this bizarre case last week at work. There's more weirdness in this case than a David Lynch movie.
Wasn't his girlfriend a prime suspect to the murder?
People are dead like flies around her. She's a Black Widow..
I actually saved a copy of the original footage. It's on my PC at home so I can't post it at the moment. I don't remember the filesize either. If you guys want it that bad, could someone e-mail me about hosting it? It may be a large file. I could FTP it to you sometime tonight.
It totally shows the bomb going off. I may be something you don't really want to see.
That's not how it went down at all! The guy had to stop for the next set of instructions by MacDonalds, he wasn't lost. The orchestrators of this plan didn't account for Law Enforcement stopping the Pizza dude.
I didn't want to retell the entire story before getting this thread going. THIS page has a video link that is a good recap of what happened.
There's a TON of shit that's too unreal to be coincidence. The address next to the delivery site was owned by a local shop teacher who was as cool as a cucumber when they found a dead body in his freezer. The dead body was an ex con and somehow his ex wife was involved. when questioned, she had nothing but nasty things to say about the fbi and conspiracy theories and tips she's given them about all sorts of stuff.
also, another pizza delivery guy had died of a drug overdose that day or something wierd...
the shop teacher died of leukemia.
the shotgun cane used in the robbery was something that a shop teacher would make.
There were no keys found along the way at any of the next destinations suggesting there was no good end to the scavenger hunt.
the last clue had been picked up before police got it
wells had been involved in the yearly scavenger hunt that a local newspaper put out every summer and it was his hobby.
he had a single buckshot in one leg and blood on his knees before he blew up.
the wires in the collar portion running around his neck were fake and served no purpose.
he picked up a dumdum sucker on his way into the bank, put it in his mouth and never said a word to the teller, just handed her a note.
yup. a cop saw him driving past and had to make a u-turn on a highway with a median. he was able to catch up because brian stopped to dig in a flower patch by the mcd's drivethru sign.
they handcuffed him and he sat there for 20-25 minutes telling them he had no time and it was going to go off.
the bomb was designed to explode outwards and did. the concussion sent the backside into his chest, lacerating him and breaking and pushing his ribs into his lungs and heart. He bleed to death internally.
Unfortunately, in the video you can see him lying on his back slowly relaxing his legs from a slightly bent position.
the shop teacher is the perfect suspect. getting caught was no big deal. he already received his death sentence.
I remeber this story when it happen. I still think this thing is crazy !
Send it to me and I'll try to host it.
I always wondered if they solved that case but that update from FOX last month said NO.
Unbelievable for such a complicated plot not to have been solved yet.
A fat cancer-infested dead guy with a body in his freezer for 20 years. a leather-faced chain smoker lady with several dead husbands in her past, and a 40-something guy who delivers pizzas and gets blown up. All very weird.
I bet you this will be made into a movie by next year !