Back in 2003, our parents and grandparents were distraught that our generation didn’t have a Vietnam. So, to rectify this, they consented to a needless and prolonged war, with the intention on dashing out before the waiter came back with the check, to take refuge in their snuggly graves.
A couple of months went by, and I was still pretty angry about this, so I drove to Erie to get a good workout in. The people in my dorm told me that if I was going into Erie, that I ought to avoid Upper Peach, since it was blocked off. I didn’t have any business up there, and it didn’t seem like anything of consequence until I realized that Upper Peach Street being blocked off was the top story on goddamn CNN.
Thus began the strange tale of one of Erie’s biggest celebrities, Brian “Pizza Bomber” Wells.
Earlier in the day, a couple of people ordered some pizzas. When they came, they locked a time bomb around the deliveryman’s neck, and gave him a homebrew cane gun and a list of banks to rob. For every bank he robbed, he would be given extra time. When time ran out, game over.
So he went to the PNC bank, o’er by the K-Mart on Upper Peach, and explained that he had a gun, and wanted $250,000 or his head would asplode. The teller explained that they didn’t have that much money in the drawers, and that they had to get the money from the vault. So, Wells told them to open the vault. The teller told him that she couldn’t open the vault, and that no one could. A timer was part of its locking mechanism, so the vault could open at the beginning and the end of the day.
So Wells left and kinda chilled in the parking lot. Right around this time, the cops decided to make an appearance. Wells told him his side of the story, and after about half an hour, the cops realized he was serious. Then Wells blew up. Shortly thereafter, the bomb squad showed up. The local TV stations actually filmed his death, but never used that footage out of respect for the deceased, which is doublespeak for “the FCC won’t let us.” It was leaked onto the internet within five days. eBaum still has it, because it’s interesting and he didn’t make it.
I remember my mom, shocked and appalled at that news: “I can’t believe it! People would let something like that get out… and actually watch it?”
I too, was shocked and appalled: “I can’t believe it took five days for that to get on the internet. That’s waaaay to long…”
Well, the FBI stepped in, and seven years later, all guilty parties are jailed or dead. It’s a long and convoluted tale of extramarital affairs, bodies in freezers, hitmen, and killing your way into an inheritance. The FBI knew there were three people involved, and the twist in the plot was that the Pizza Bomber himself was in on the plot. I only knew it was a matter of time before the Pizza Bomber fiasco was made into a movie. I just always thought it would be a trailer trash version of Chinatown, and not a buddy comedy.
I’m still going go see it. I just think it would be better as a noir.