Case 81

Brian Wells

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Case 81

Brian Wells

On August 28th, 2003, the Great Lakes city of Erie, Pennsylvania was in the height of summer.

46-year old Brian Wells did what he had done most mornings for the previous ten years – he went to his lunchtime shift as a pizza delivery man at Mama Mia’s Pizza.

The pizza joint was a small, unassuming place in a single story red brick shopping plaza on one of Erie’s main shopping strips; Peach Street.

Hugging the edge of the carpark there is a law firm, a hair and nail salon, a dentist and a laundromat—typical local stores, the kind you drive past without knowing they’re really there.

Cars pull in and out of the carpark every minute. The car that pulled out just after 1:30 pm that day was Brian’s, off to deliver his last pizzas for the shift.

He pulled out in his old green Geo Metro hatchback and headed south down busy Peach Street.

Three and a half miles down the road, Brian turned left down a dirt access road, arriving at a quiet wooded area by the transmission tower for the local tv station.

He slowly pulled to the side of the road and turned off his ignition, stepping out of the car to deliver two small pizzas.

What occurred next, changed everything.

Suddenly, Brian was in a race against time.

________

Our episodes deal with serious and often distressing incidents. If you feel at anytime you need support, please contact your local crisis centre. Some suggestions for confidential support for men women and children:

 

AUSTRALIA:

Lifeline Crisis Support: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: Depression and anxiety support: 1300 22 46 36

Rape & Domestic Violence Services: 1800 737 732

Men's Line: 1300 78 99 78

Headspace: Youth Mental Health Foundation: see headspace.org.au for your local centre

 

USA:

Distress &  Lifeline: 1800 273 8255

Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741 741

Domestic Violence Helpline: 1800 799 7233

Victim Connect: support for victims of crime: 855 484 2846

 

UK:

Mind: mental health support: 0300 123 3393

SANE: mental health support: 0300 304 7000

Samaritans support network: 116 123

National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 0300

 

CANADA:

For a list of Canadian crisis centres: https://thelifelinecanada.ca/help/call/

 

NEW ZEALAND:

Lifeline: 0800 543354

Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (Text 4202)

 

______

If you are hearing impaired or know someone who is and would like to get a transcript of the episode, please email us at contact@casefilepodcast.com

CREDITS

 

NARRATION:

Episode narrated by the Anonymous Host

 

EPISODE:

Episode researched and written by Gemma Harris

 

MUSIC:

‘Flatline intro’ and ‘Come play with me’ intro and outro www.dl-sounds.com

All other music and audio clean up performed by Mike Migas and Andrew Joslyn 

 

OTHER:

Logo design by Paulina Szymanska

 

RESOURCES

 

BOOKS:

Mania and Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong – by Clark, J & Palattella, E. (2017) Rowan & Littlefield

Pizza Bomber: The Untold Story of America’s Most Shocking Bank Robbery – by Clark, J. & Palattella, E. (2012) Berkley Books: New York

Engendered Death: Pennsylvania Women Who Kill – by Laythe, J. (2011) Lehigh University Press: United Kingdom

 

ARTICLES:

Erie bombing ‘victim’ was in on bank robbery – Cleveland.com

Erie bomb victim was the dupe in a greedy plan – Cleveland.com

Double-crossed – Cleveland.com

Jury convicts woman in collar bomb robbery – CBS News

Collar bomb bank robber gets 45 years – CBS News

Pizza delivery man who robbed bank had neck measured for bomb collar – Fox News

New details revealed in ‘pizza collar bomb’ heist – CNN

Collar bomb probe gets weirder – CBS News

Was pizza deliverer a robber or a victim? – USA Today

Hostage to misfortune – The Guardian

Erie”s Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong subject of new book – Erie Times-News

Pizza collar bomb case solved, official says – NBC News

Indictment: bomb victim in on bank plot – USA Today

Erie’s Diehl-Armstrong meets lonely end in Texas – Erie Times-News

Court petition seeks Diehl-Armstrong’s remains – Erie Times-News

Why does the weird find its way to Erie – Erie Times-News

Admitted bank robber has sentence cut for his testimony – Reuters

Pizza man bombing remains odd mystery – Fox News

The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist – Wired

Suspect pleads guilty in collar bomb case – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

12th anniversary of Erie pizza bomber case – Your Erie

Truth about US collar bomb robbery remains elusive – BBC

Strange death belies pizza man’s quiet life – The Philadelphia Enquirer

Woman, 68, jailed for bizarre plot to rob bank by attaching bomb to neck of ‘pizza delivery boy’ and blowing him up dies in prison – Daily Mail

Garage searched in bank robbery blast case – Gettysburg Times, p.3. (6 September 2003)

Tool owner denies knowing Erie robber – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p.33. (7 Sep 2003)

Officials say chaos delayed call to bomb squad after robbery – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p.10. (8 Sep 2003)

Robbery still unsolved – The Sentinel, p.10. (22 Aug 2004)

One year later, ‘pizza bomber’ is still a puzzle – The Philadelphia Enquirer, p.B06. (23 August 2004)

Feds say they have figured out pizza bomber case – Indiana Gazette, p.3. (17 February 2007)

Attorney: indictment to come soon in bomb case – Indiana Gazette, p.3. (10 July 2007)

Feds says collar bomb victim was part of plot – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p.1. (11 July 2007)

Elaborate plot is linked to death of pizza man – The Philadelphia Enquirer, p.B06. (12 July 2007)

 

DOCUMENTARIES/TV SHOWS:

The deliveryman, Brian Wells

 

TRANSCRIPTS:

Special Report – The Pizza Bomber – CNN (12 October 2013)

 

OTHER:

Have they ever talked about Brian Douglas Wells/the collar bomb pizza guy? – Reddit

Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, Petitioner v. United States

Death of Brian Douglas Wells – Wikipedia

Erie

Brian Wells – website

Affidavit for search warrant

Documenting Reality Forum

Population Demographics for Erie, Pennsylvania in 2017, 2018

Census and Demographics for Erie

Erie, Pennsylvania

Erie, PA. Demographic Data

U.S. v. DIEHL-ARMSTRONG

Erie County Top 50

GE Transportation Cutting 1,100 Jobs

List of Shrinking Cities in the United States – Wikipedia

Erie Crime

Hidden Erie: Watering trough reminder of another time

 

THIS EPISODE’S SPONSORS

 

Harry’s – Get started shaving with Harry’s today by claiming your Trial Set for £3.95

Squarespace – Free trial and 10% off your first order

SimpliSafe – Protect your home and your family today

 

On August 28th, 2003, the Great Lakes city of Erie, Pennsylvania was in the height of summer.

46-year old Brian Wells did what he had done most mornings for the previous ten years – he went to his lunchtime shift as a pizza delivery man at Mama Mia’s Pizza.

The pizza joint was a small, unassuming place in a single story red brick shopping plaza on one of Erie’s main shopping strips; Peach Street.

Hugging the edge of the carpark there is a law firm, a hair and nail salon, a dentist and a laundromat—typical local stores, the kind you drive past without knowing they’re really there.

Cars pull in and out of the carpark every minute. The car that pulled out just after 1:30 pm that day was Brian’s, off to deliver his last pizzas for the shift.

He pulled out in his old green Geo Metro hatchback and headed south down busy Peach Street.

Three and a half miles down the road, Brian turned left down a dirt access road, arriving at a quiet wooded area by the transmission tower for the local tv station.

He slowly pulled to the side of the road and turned off his ignition, stepping out of the car to deliver two small pizzas.

What occurred next, changed everything.

Suddenly, Brian was in a race against time.

______

Our episodes deal with serious and often distressing incidents. If you feel at anytime you need support, please contact your local crisis centre. Some suggestions for confidential support for men women and children:

 

AUSTRALIA:

Lifeline Crisis Support: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: Depression and anxiety support: 1300 22 46 36

Rape & Domestic Violence Services: 1800 737 732

Men's Line:  1300 78 99 78

Headspace: Youth Mental Health Foundation: see headspace.org.au for your local centre

 

USA:

Distress &  Lifeline: 1800 273 8255

Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741 741

Domestic Violence Helpline: 1800 799 7233

Victim Connect: support for victims of crime: 855 484 2846

 

UK:

Mind: mental health support: 0300 123 3393

SANE: mental health support: 0300 304 7000

Samaritans support network: 116 123

National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 0300

 

CANADA:

For a list of Canadian crisis centres: https://thelifelinecanada.ca/help/call

 

NEW ZEALAND:

Lifeline: 0800 543354

Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (Text 4202)

 

______

If you are hearing impaired or know someone who is and would like to get a transcript of the episode, please email us at contact@casefilepodcast.com

CREDITS

 

NARRATION:

Episode narrated by the Anonymous Host

 

EPISODE:

Episode researched and written by Gemma Harris

 

MUSIC:

‘Flatline intro’ and ‘Come play with me’ intro and outro www.dl-sounds.com

All other music and audio clean up performed by Mike Migas and Andrew Joslyn 

 

OTHER:

Logo design by Paulina Szymanska

 

RESOURCES

 

BOOKS:

Mania and Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong – by Clark, J & Palattella, E. (2017) Rowan & Littlefield

Pizza Bomber: The Untold Story of America’s Most Shocking Bank Robbery – by Clark, J. & Palattella, E. (2012) Berkley Books: New York

Engendered Death: Pennsylvania Women Who Kill – by Laythe, J. (2011) Lehigh University Press: United Kingdom

 

ARTICLES:

Erie bombing ‘victim’ was in on bank robbery – Cleveland.com

Erie bomb victim was the dupe in a greedy plan – Cleveland.com

Double-crossed – Cleveland.com

Jury convicts woman in collar bomb robbery – CBS News

Collar bomb bank robber gets 45 years – CBS News

Pizza delivery man who robbed bank had neck measured for bomb collar – Fox News

New details revealed in ‘pizza collar bomb’ heist – CNN

Collar bomb probe gets weirder – CBS News

Was pizza deliverer a robber or a victim? – USA Today

Hostage to misfortune – The Guardian

Erie”s Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong subject of new book – Erie Times-News

Pizza collar bomb case solved, official says – NBC News

Indictment: bomb victim in on bank plot – USA Today

Erie’s Diehl-Armstrong meets lonely end in Texas – Erie Times-News

Court petition seeks Diehl-Armstrong’s remains – Erie Times-News

Why does the weird find its way to Erie – Erie Times-News

Admitted bank robber has sentence cut for his testimony – Reuters

Pizza man bombing remains odd mystery – Fox News

The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist – Wired

Suspect pleads guilty in collar bomb case – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

12th anniversary of Erie pizza bomber case – Your Erie

Truth about US collar bomb robbery remains elusive – BBC

Strange death belies pizza man’s quiet life – The Philadelphia Enquirer

Woman, 68, jailed for bizarre plot to rob bank by attaching bomb to neck of ‘pizza delivery boy’ and blowing him up dies in prison – Daily Mail

Garage searched in bank robbery blast case – Gettysburg Times, p.3. (6 September 2003)

Tool owner denies knowing Erie robber – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p.33. (7 Sep 2003)

Officials say chaos delayed call to bomb squad after robbery – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p.10. (8 Sep 2003)

Robbery still unsolved – The Sentinel, p.10. (22 Aug 2004)

One year later, ‘pizza bomber’ is still a puzzle – The Philadelphia Enquirer, p.B06. (23 August 2004)

Feds say they have figured out pizza bomber case – Indiana Gazette, p.3. (17 February 2007)

Attorney: indictment to come soon in bomb case – Indiana Gazette, p.3. (10 July 2007)

Feds says collar bomb victim was part of plot – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p.1. (11 July 2007)

Elaborate plot is linked to death of pizza man – The Philadelphia Enquirer, p.B06. (12 July 2007)

 

DOCUMENTARIES/TV SHOWS:

The deliveryman, Brian Wells

 

TRANSCRIPTS:

Special Report – The Pizza Bomber – CNN (12 October 2013)

 

OTHER:

Have they ever talked about Brian Douglas Wells/the collar bomb pizza guy? – Reddit

Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, Petitioner v. United States

Death of Brian Douglas Wells – Wikipedia

Erie

Brian Wells – website

Affidavit for search warrant

Documenting Reality Forum

Population Demographics for Erie, Pennsylvania in 2017, 2018

Census and Demographics for Erie

Erie, Pennsylvania

Erie, PA. Demographic Data

U.S. v. DIEHL-ARMSTRONG

Erie County Top 50

GE Transportation Cutting 1,100 Jobs

List of Shrinking Cities in the United States – Wikipedia

Erie Crime

Hidden Erie: Watering trough reminder of another time

 

THIS EPISODE’S SPONSORS

 

Harry’s – Get started shaving with Harry’s today by claiming your Trial Set for £3.95

Squarespace – Free trial and 10% off your first order

SimpliSafe – Protect your home and your family today

 

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