PITTSBURGH — The Lindbergh baby kidnapping in 1932 was the first caper designated by the FBI as a major case, and a bizarre bank heist would join the list on Aug. 28, 2003, when a pipe bomb locked onto the neck of a pizza delivery driver exploded.
The driver, Brian Wells, sitting handcuffed in a parking lot outside the bank he had just robbed of $8,702, died when the bomb went off. Once the FBI determined there would be no easy answers as to how and why that happened, its 203rd major case earned its file name: COLLARBOMB.
FBI special agent Jerry Clark was about 40 feet away when the bomb carved a deadly crater in Wells' chest. He and Erie Times-News reporter Ed Palattella have written a book meant to clarify the events and dispel claims by Wells' family that he was an innocent pawn in a deadly game.
Pizza Bomber: The Untold Story of America's Most Shocking Bank Robbery will be released Tuesday.
Clark, now retired, said going to work in his hometown, Erie, as an FBI agent was the most proud day of my life.