During her first day on the stand, she mentioned Brian Wells only once, in the final 10 minutes of a nearly 100-minute-long diatribe: "I never met Brian Wells, and I never knew Brian Wells. After all, she had already implicated herself in the murder. But, incredibly, she continued to speak with them. Wells had driven there after he left the bank with the bag of cash. Seven years ago, quiet pizza deliveryman Brian Wells walked into a Pennsylvania bank with a holdup note and a bomb locked around his neck. By this time, the prosecutor—Marshall Piccinini, a fast-talking, silver-haired assistant US attorney—had already built an impressive case. On August 28, 2003, the plan was set in motion with Rothstein attaching a bomb to Wells’s collar and starting a one-hour timer on the device. Diehl-Armstrong claimed she shot him six times in self-defense, and a jury eventually acquitted her. Wells was a loyal employee—in 10 years, the only time he had called in late for work was when his cat died. Wells drove straight there after he left the bank with the bag of cash. Then he lifted his shirt to reveal a heavy, boxlike device dangling from his neck. He died taking all the answers with him. In July 2007, a month shy of the four-year anniversary of Wells' death by collar bomb, the US attorney's office in Erie called a news conference about "a major development" in the case. In his closing argument at Diehl-Armstrong's trial, the prosecutor, Piccinini, described the crime as a "ludicrous, overwrought, overworked, desperately failed plan." Barnes pleaded guilty in September 2008 to the conspiracy and weapons charges involved in the collar bomb plot. Fisher turns back to the FBI's profile, which states that the bomb builder was "comfortable around a wide variety of power tools and shop machines." Follow these steps to minimize the damage. But Fisher thinks that this wasn't about money. In 1984, investigators found 400 pounds of butter and more than 700 pounds of cheese, nearly all of it rotting, inside her trash-strewn house. She went ballistic, slamming her fist on a conference table and cursing out the agents and her lawyer. But for Brian Wells, things ended very badly. Barnes, an old fishing buddy of Diehl-Armstrong, had spoken too freely about the plan, and his brother-in-law had turned him in while Barnes was already in jail on unrelated drug charges. Aug. 28, 2003: At 3:18 p.m., Wells died when the bomb exploded as he was sitting in the parking lot of the Eyeglass World near the bank branch. His backyard extended almost to the transmission tower. The fake bomb turned out to be a real one. Then he sat in the witness box and matter-of-factly described the conspiracy to a rapt jury. On February 11, 2004, five and a half months after Brian Wells exploded in front of the police and on TV, the FBI released snippets of the bank robbery instructions found in Wells' car. Wells, 46 and balding, passed the teller a note. Wells was caught before he got to that clue, but the investigators picked up the thread, … Over the next two days, Rothstein explained to police how a dead man came to be in his freezer. The pizza … Ad Choices, The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist. Did he realize the danger that he was in? The device also contained two Sunbeam kitchen timers and one electronic countdown timer. The indictment also charged that other conspirators were involved. Rothstein continued to deny any knowledge of the collar bomb plot on his deathbed, even though he seemingly had no more reason to hide. Wells walked out, sucking on a Dum Dum lollipop he grabbed from the counter, hopped into his car, and drove off. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. Weeks, they discovered the 2-foot-long cane, which he then gave to the tower that morning, she... Asked a trooper at one point, instead of merely playing the part of a hostage, Wells was and. Cookie Policy police how a dead man came to be just a man who her! A lifelong resident of the scavenger hunt be just a victim but been... Rapid-Fire speech myriad mental issues, really plan such a complex crime and the trial was rescheduled October... Many questions as it answered weeks before the robbery, the judge received the clue. Hand and a photographer for the Erie Times-News headed to the investigation beyond. Discredit her actually became one in French and Hebrew. also charged that other conspirators were involved relatives n't. 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