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Pipe-bomb suspect sent campus paper a suicidal manifesto
May 7, 2002 5:15 PM   Subscribe

Pipe-bomb suspect sent campus paper a suicidal manifesto The Badger Herald received a letter from pipe bomb suspect Luke John Helder postmarked Omaha, Nebraska, Friday, May 3, 2002. In the letter, signed by Helder, he said he is willing to die for his cause and threatened the lives of others. "I will die/change in the end for this, but that's ok, hahaha paradise awaits!" the letter said. "I'm dismissing a few individuals from reality, to change all of you for the better, surely you can understand my logic."
posted by sacre_bleu (27 comments total)

 
"Paradise awaits"? Where have we heard that before?

This is your brain. This is your brain on god. Ptooey.
posted by donkeyschlong at 5:18 PM on May 7, 2002


First FPP, if it's weak I'm sorry, please delete.

I thought this deserved front play instead of being buried at the end of the previous thread because it looks like serious evidence against Mr Helder, a quantum leap from the "remember the Atlanta security guard / what makes them think this is the guy" discussion.

That said, I think the comparison at this point has to go to Ted Kaczynski. I hope they catch him before the kid hurts anyone else.
posted by sacre_bleu at 5:19 PM on May 7, 2002


From Romenesko's MediaNews, I should have added.
posted by sacre_bleu at 5:22 PM on May 7, 2002


According to ABC news, Helder was round in Nevada. He's in a car with a gun to his head, surrounded by law enforcement officials.
posted by gutenberg at 5:22 PM on May 7, 2002


note: that's supposed to "found in Nevada."
posted by gutenberg at 5:23 PM on May 7, 2002


That said, I think the comparison at this point has to go to Ted Kaczynski.

Yes, but he's also a musician. Could he be the "indiebomber" that guys at Motorbooty wrote about a few years ago??
posted by jonmc at 5:25 PM on May 7, 2002


The thing I want to know is why he decided to send the letter to a student newspaper at UW-Madison.
posted by mrbula at 5:27 PM on May 7, 2002


Because he's a UW student. The Badger Herald is the student paper for the whole UW system, and Helder is enrolled at UW-Stout.
posted by dchase at 5:32 PM on May 7, 2002


heh, anyone else notice the picture of the kid playing guitar. It was credited as "apathy website" :P

I wonder if they found out via mefi :)
posted by delmoi at 5:33 PM on May 7, 2002


dchase, the Badger Herald is a student paper at UW-Madison. There is no system-wide UW-System student paper. (I've worked as an editor at two UW-System newspapers, so I know this first-hand.)

I think there must be some kind of connection with Madison we don't know about.
posted by mrbula at 5:36 PM on May 7, 2002


This is your brain. This is your brain on god. Ptooey.

I dunno, he sounds more like an existentialist to me, but feel free to spout your athiestic dogma with no fear of reprisal, only theistic dogma gets knocked down, it seems.
posted by insomnyuk at 6:24 PM on May 7, 2002


If there's no such thing as death, as he claims in his letter, why was he pointing a gun at his head?
posted by geneablogy at 6:25 PM on May 7, 2002


"He was a quiet, mellow guy who kept to himself"

That's always the way of things, isn't it?
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:31 PM on May 7, 2002


I'm just wondering how long it will be before a fellow MeFi member is on the national news.

Stop looking at me like that.
posted by jragon at 6:51 PM on May 7, 2002


no, no, I'm looking at Settle behind you. He's wearing a gorilla suit and screaming something about Joseph Beuys at the top of his lungs.
posted by machaus at 6:53 PM on May 7, 2002


Some of us have been on the national news already. I was on in the 7th grade because my English class wrote protest letters to Wendy's for using "ain't" in their advertising slogan. It sucks that my fifteen minutes was squandered on something so trivial.
posted by kindall at 7:02 PM on May 7, 2002


mrbula: I'm obviously confused. When I worked on a project in Wausau a few years ago I could of sworn I saw copies of the Badger at UW-Marathon. From that I just assumed that it was a university wide publication.
posted by dchase at 7:49 PM on May 7, 2002


Making the national news is easy these days. Just be outspoken and do something weird or something that goes against society's norms.
posted by camworld at 8:37 PM on May 7, 2002


Sure, this kid can build pipe bombs, but he can't name bands for nickels. "Apathy"? C'mon.
posted by noisemartyr at 8:44 PM on May 7, 2002


Maybe he didn't care.

<ducks>

Probably not that relevant, but the Badger Herald is the "independent", which is in this case to say, the conservative paper for UW-Mad. The official newspaper is the Daily Cardinal. I can't find evidence that it's widely distributed today on other campuses, but I know both papers were easily available in the library where I went (2-year campus) and were a source of information on things like tuition hikes.

It may be relevant that the newspaper on his campus, the Stoutonia, only publishes weekly.
posted by dhartung at 8:59 PM on May 7, 2002


Argh. Here's the real link: Daily Cardinal. Relevant in that it's just shut down for the summer.
posted by dhartung at 9:02 PM on May 7, 2002


It sucks that my fifteen minutes was squandered on something so trivial.

Same here kindall. I was interviewed by the local news about the drug Paxil and ADD and unfortunatly the footage shown on the news was me speaking about said drug while looking away at a cute messenger on his bike...*sigh*

My mom was SO proud.
(goes back to lurking)
posted by gummi at 9:06 PM on May 7, 2002


The guy used to be in a band called Apathy.

They have a website up and in their guestbook discuss his past.
posted by ssheth at 9:50 PM on May 7, 2002


I hope he gets the treatment he so badly needs.
posted by darukaru at 10:22 PM on May 7, 2002


mrbula: I'm obviously confused. When I worked on a project in Wausau a few years ago I could of sworn I saw copies of the Badger at UW-Marathon. From that I just assumed that it was a university wide publication.

I think that might be because UW-Marathon is a 2 year(?) school... At the UW-Milwaukee (the second largest public school in the state) there are two papers, one being a weekly and the other bi-weekly
posted by drezdn at 12:02 AM on May 8, 2002


Note to lurking grassroots activists and/or conflicted anti-government rockstars: When composing a manifesto that will represent your views and pigeonhole you into whatever radical position you decide to take, do not mention (nor close with, for that matter) your views on the legalization of marijuana. Whether you believe marijuana should be legal or not, nobody will take anything you say seriously once you start down that road. I mean, hey, what you want to believe is all cool and stuff, but this argument will surely kill the rest of your case instantly. You want to close with a powerful rant about that no one can deny. Granted, this may be difficult depending on how far your views deviate, but seriously... any professional anti-life-as-we-know-it activist surely knows this. Take the rest of the 6-page manifesto to express your off-the-wall beliefs and thoughts (remember to refrain from mentioning of marijuana), then close with something that ties everything together and something everyone can relate to.

Example:
Blah blah hate the government blah blah blah daddy didn't love me blah blah (note: no mention of marijuana) blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Having said all this, it is my hope that we as people can rise above these issues. Like the country's resolve after 'the events of 9/11™,' we should all stand together to prevent the widespread disillusion and secrecy of those in power. We must question them and change our own mentalities in order to make this a better place for all of our children and happy little pancake bunnies.

See, my friends. You could have written 12 pages on how you think the Easter Bunny is real and resides in the underground bunker of the Pentagon. What sticks in the mind of people is the closing, and you really have to pull that off. Moreover, these final lines will be your legacy. Do not waste them on being pigeonholed as a teeny-bop, pothead, no matter how strong your conviction is for the drug. It's just common sense, people. It would also be my recommendation to create a works cited or bibliography list for all future manifestos, in which I expect to be listed for my assistance in your research. Please contact me personally if you need any proofreading or spelling assistance. VIVA LA REVOLUTION!
posted by Hankins at 7:51 AM on May 8, 2002


RIGHT ON! Comrade Hankins.

This is another example of what comes from mixing art school and punk rock. Participate in one, and you may still pass for a somewhat normal citizen, even if you aren't. The combo, however, can have disastrous results.
posted by groundhog at 8:29 AM on May 8, 2002


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