Did you know that an American pizza delivery man was killed when a bomb fastened around his neck exploded. At the time of his death he had been arrested for robbing a bank. He told police that three people hadlocked the bomb around his neck and would not release it had he refused to commit the robbery
Wells dropped out of high school in 1973. For nearly 30 years, he worked as a pizza delivery man and was considered a valued and trusted employee of the Mama Mia Pizzeria in Erie, Pennsylvania. On the afternoon of August 28, 2003, Wells received a call to deliver two pizzas to an address a few miles from the pizzeria. It was later found that the address was that of WSEE-TV’s transmission tower at the end of a dirt road.
According to law enforcement reports, Wells was allegedly meeting people he thought were his accomplices, including Barnes. Wells allegedly participated in the planning for the robbery; he allegedly had been told the bomb was going to be fake and he was to claim that three black men forced the bomb on him and he was to tell police he was a hostage.
At the television tower, Wells, for the first time, learned that the device was real. He wrestled with the men (presumably Barnes and William A. Rothstein) and tried to flee, but one of them fired a gun, causing Wells to stop. It was at this time that the collar bomb must have been attached. They gave him a sophisticated home-made shotgun, which looked like an oddly shaped cane, and told him to use it if he found trouble at the bank. Wells then entered a bank with the shotgun and demanded $250,000. When police intervened, Wells claimed that three unnamed people had placed a bomb around his neck, provided him with the shotgun, and told him that he had to commit the robbery and several other tasks, otherwise he would be killed.
Triple-banded metal collar that was locked around Wells’ neck.
Cane-like shotgun used by Wells during the bank robbery.
At first, the police made no attempt to disarm the device. The bomb squad was finally called at 3:04 PM, at least 30 minutes after the first 9-1-1 call. At 3:18 PM, the bomb detonated and blasted a fist-sized hole in Wells’ chest, killing him just three minutes before the bomb squad arrived. It is now believed that Wells was killed by Diehl-Armstrong and her conspirators to reduce witnesses against herself and others. The event was also broadcast on television and subsequently the footage found its way to video sharing sites.
A note found on Wells had instructions for him to carry out four tasks—the first of which was the bank robbery—in a set period of time before the bomb went off. Wells would gain extra time with the completion of each task. However, it was later determined that regardless of what had unfolded, Wells would never have had enough time to complete the tasks to get the bomb defused: Police traveled the route on the note and couldn’t complete it in the time the note allocated to Wells.
Wells was allegedly drawn into the plot through Barnes, whom he knew through Diehl-Armstrong. The plot was hatched to get funds to pay Barnes enough money to kill Diehl-Armstrong’s father, so Diehl-Armstrong could get an inheritance, authorities said. However, Wells had stolen only $8,702, far from the $125,000 needed for the killing. Furthermore, the inheritance Diehl-Armstrong coveted was largely spent.