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Helder admits to mailbox bombings:
May 8, 2002 2:18 PM   Subscribe

Helder admits to mailbox bombings: "Helder admitted manufacturing eight pipe bombs in his apartment in Wisconsin," according to the affidavit. "Helder further admitted to assembling an additional 16 pipe bombs at a motel in Nebraska." I hope he gets thrown into a federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.
posted by Kevin Sanders (45 comments total)

 
Urm, why did CNN find listing his favourite band ("Nirvana") relevant to the article or the case?
posted by timyang at 2:40 PM on May 8, 2002


Does anyone have a comprehensive list of those arrested for terrorism since Sept 11th?
posted by cell divide at 2:43 PM on May 8, 2002


I hope he gets thrown into a federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

Oh, me too. It's wonderful that rape is practically an official part of the rehabilitation process in our prisons, in addition to being a great joke that never gets old.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:43 PM on May 8, 2002


No clue, I've seen that listed at a bunch of places. I don't know if it's a "bad" band or not, since I don't listen to music.

In other news, close your mailboxes now.
posted by Kevin Sanders at 2:43 PM on May 8, 2002


Oops. That wasn't a command. I forgot to put "you can close your mailboxes now."

It sounds like "close your mailboxes NOW, or the terrorists have won!"
posted by Kevin Sanders at 2:44 PM on May 8, 2002


No no no, he wasn't talking about RAPE. He was just talking about ass-pounding.
posted by luriete at 2:53 PM on May 8, 2002


according to his "manifesto," this guy sounds about as clued out as the idiot calling himself "dr. chaos" who was found storing cyanide in the chicago subway.
posted by patricking at 3:00 PM on May 8, 2002


I hope he gets thrown into a federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

Thanks for sharing your "hope" with us. Personally, I think all fans of prison rape as justice should get a little sample all for their very own, just for authenticity's sake.
posted by rodii at 3:09 PM on May 8, 2002


I hope he gets the chair! I mean, he hurt six people. won't somebody think of the children?

He's as bad as the terrorists who flew planes into the world trade center and killed thousands.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 3:11 PM on May 8, 2002


As thinkdink pointed out when this was discussed yesterday, many of the elements of this crime point to mental illness. The bizarre rambling messages, the sudden change in behavior and personality (friends have described the guy as easygoing and nonviolent), and the suspect's age (late teens to early twenties is prime time for an initial diagnosis of schizophrenia) all indicate that Helder may have just snapped. In which case, medical treatment might be more appropriate than anal rape. I expect an insanity defense (I'm not claiming any medical or legal expertise; it's just a hunch).
posted by mr_roboto at 3:15 PM on May 8, 2002


Since he was an art/industrial design major, perhaps it was all just a big performance art piece and we just don't get it. Kind of like the way I don't get this.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:15 PM on May 8, 2002


From his father:
"I really want you to know that Luke is not a dangerous person,'' Cameron Helder said. "I think he's just trying to make a statement about the way our government is run. I think Luke wants people to listen to his ideas, and not enough people are hearing him, and he thinks this may help.''

Gee, I wonder how this kid developed his completely fucked up views on life and liberty? Hey Cameron, since when have pipe bombs been considered a form of safe, non-violent debate? Not enough people were hearing your son? Well, people are hearing him now buddy! And, having read your son's writings I need to correct you. It wasn't that we weren't listening to him - we were all actively ignoring him because he has nothing to say worth our time...
posted by RevGreg at 3:26 PM on May 8, 2002


I hope he gets the chair! I mean, he hurt six people. won't somebody think of the children?

Prosecutors should treat Helder like his bombs went off as designed and killed those people. I don't think he deserves more lenient treatment because he was an ineffective terrorist.
posted by rcade at 3:32 PM on May 8, 2002


I was talking about this the other day, how advanced we as humans become, and yet how primitive we still are. Always seeking out revenge rather than rehabilitation. A 16 year old kid here, where I live, murdered an 8 year old. He was convicted as a juvenile and probably won't get out of prison until he's 21 years of age. The court itself said that he had emotional problems, yet, rather than get him psychological treatment, we throw him in a prison and forget about him. When he gets out of prison, he won't have an education, he won't be able to get a job, and his life will basically be ruined. He will have nothing, and you think that poor kid will be cured? You think he will show remorse for what was most likely an accident that occured? No, bullshit, he will be bitter, I know I would be. He will hate society, and he will end up in the same place again, I guarantee it. Now, I would think someone that blows people up with pipe bombs is not quite psychologically and emotionally sound, wouldn't you? Get the poor guy some help.
posted by banished at 3:36 PM on May 8, 2002


Since he was an art/industrial design major, perhaps it was all just a big performance art piece and we just don't get it.

yeah; when i first heard he was a suspect, i was really hoping it would be some massively misguided piece.

there's something about dangerous art.


of course, maybe this indicates some sort of lack of compassion for the victims, for which i apologize.

oh, by the by, mr.crash davis -- i don't get it either -- body art is so over

posted by fishfucker at 3:47 PM on May 8, 2002


banished...i hate to take this thread in another direction, but to rehabilitate would require a success ratio that the public could approve. When we incarcerate, we know that he/she will be out of society for a set amount of time and most likely will not excape. For instance, if there was a very high rate of prison escape, we would seek an alternative to prisons, or beef up security. On the same line of thinking, until someone, or some firm, can statistically prove that rehabilitation has a strong likelihood for success, it will not be considered a highly applicable option.

Does anyone know of rehabilitation statistics or a truly good reason rehabilitation should be considered an option?
posted by BlueTrain at 3:49 PM on May 8, 2002


Dear Kevin, debate enthusiast,

Please review the American Forensics Association's credo before you talk about ass-pounding on Metafilter again. It's not on the par of your usually well-constructed posts.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 3:51 PM on May 8, 2002


Gee, I wonder how this kid developed his completely fucked up views on life and liberty? Hey Cameron, since when have pipe bombs been considered a form of safe, non-violent debate? Not enough people were hearing your son? Well, people are hearing him now buddy!

Dude -- the father made that statement with the friendly "assistance" of the FBI while they were still searching for Luke. The obvious point of the message was to calm the bomber with the thought that people are now listening to his special anti-goernment message. (i.e., no more bombs are needed. You're ready for a spot on Oprah.)

What do you expect them to say? "Luke is a crazed lunatic who should be ignored. Absent more destructive bombings, we will not listen to his message. P.S. We will shoot him on sight, so he should not turn himself in."
posted by Mid at 3:58 PM on May 8, 2002


a truly good reason rehabilitation should be considered an option?

Because incarceration with no rehab doesn't work.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 3:59 PM on May 8, 2002


I wonder if he'll get more time or less time than a pot smoker. I'm betting that he gets less.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:03 PM on May 8, 2002


"Kevin! Get that stapler out of your pants and do your monologue!"
posted by quonsar at 4:04 PM on May 8, 2002


In which case, medical treatment might be more appropriate than anal rape.

You have an amusing sense of understatement!

I don't think he deserves more lenient treatment because he was an ineffective terrorist.

You may not, however the law does. Hence "attempted murder."
posted by ljromanoff at 4:12 PM on May 8, 2002


Please review the American Forensics Association's credo before you talk about ass-pounding on Metafilter again. It's not on the par of your usually well-constructed posts.

Sorry, but I do not abide by AFA's "credo." I am not a member of AFA. In fact, I've never even heard of the AFA. I am only a member of the National Forensics League (which I have acheived the excellence award in), the Iowa Forensics League, and the Iowa High School Speech Association.

I am not even in a debate round, congressional session, or a classroom.

I feel that I my actions were not wrong by saying "ass." I don't think I should censor myself because I am a debater. If you think I was wrong by saying that, look around and see this, this, this, this and this, and see how we talk. If that wasn't enough, you might want to check out the "dirty" part of a debate forum.

I bet Bill O'Reilly uses naughty words, too.
posted by Kevin Sanders at 4:30 PM on May 8, 2002


The charges listed in a sidebar on CNN don't include attempted murder.

A 16 year old kid here, where I live, murdered an 8 year old. He was convicted as a juvenile and probably won't get out of prison until he's 21 years of age.

From your use of the word "until," I'm guessing you're not describing a crime committed in the U.S. Here, he'd be tried as an adult and probably wouldn't get out until he was 40, and then only if the judge went easy on him.

Personally, I don't have any "poor guy" sympathy for someone who attempted to kill a dozen people. I agree with the desire to get him help if he's mentally unbalanced, which seems pretty likely, but only to prevent him from future crimes.
posted by rcade at 4:32 PM on May 8, 2002


The charges listed in a sidebar on CNN don't include attempted murder.

Never claimed that they did, only that the law recognizes a successful crime differently than a failed one.
posted by ljromanoff at 4:59 PM on May 8, 2002


kevin,

when O'Reilly is your role model, Geraldo, Springer, and Rush aren't too far behind.

my advice, turn off the tv, pack up your computer, and get the hell out of Iowa.

Calvin Klein did and he's doing ok.
posted by tsarfan at 5:02 PM on May 8, 2002


As for the letter he wrote, I think it may be the dumbest thing I ever read in my life.
posted by punkrockrat at 5:04 PM on May 8, 2002


I cannot live without the O'Reilly Factor. Why would I leave Iowa?
posted by Kevin Sanders at 5:05 PM on May 8, 2002


I was listening to NPR today and they mentioned that Helder was part of the golf club in high school. How could the people around him no see this coming? He was in the golf club, for chrissakes! Obviously golf leads to wanton destruction. Please, can we get the Supreme Court to put warning labels on golf clubs? What about the children????
posted by eyeballkid at 5:15 PM on May 8, 2002


(of course I meant "not see this coming?")
posted by eyeballkid at 5:15 PM on May 8, 2002


I liked when his dad said he was 'not a dangerous person'. Um, if your project is to drive in a big circle randomly planting bombs, you meet the criterion. I guess that's why we have a right to a jury of our peers, not of our parents and friends.

Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if this is schizophrenia. Even if he turns out to be a prime case for the insanity rule, I don't like the kid's chances in court. His people don't seem to have much money to hire a decent lawyer. Juries (IMO) are growing skeptical of the insanity defense. Worst of all, the G will probably want to hang him high as a specimen of domestic terrorism.To his credit, he managed to not actually kill anyone, but still...I would bet he is looking at pleading to some huge amount of years just to avoid the maximal crush.

As to the issue of whether enforced sexual slavery should be a routine condition of his caging, I dunno. Who was it who said you can judge a society by the quality of its prisons?
posted by crunchburger at 6:44 PM on May 8, 2002


BlueTrain, don't focus on whether rehabilitation is effective, you're missing the point. Look at the recidivism rates. Look at what prison life does to people. Prison is not the answer, it's not even humane, solving the problem at the source is the answer. Schools are taking the wrong approach too... teachers used to address the problem right there in the classroom, now they just send the kid to detention or to the principal's office. It's bullshit, you talk to the kid right there in the classroom and tell them what they did wrong. And just because the public agrees with or supports something, doesn't mean it's right.
posted by banished at 7:13 PM on May 8, 2002


I don't think he deserves more lenient treatment because he was an ineffective terrorist.


Well, they would have to prove intent to murder vs. intent to harm. There's quite a difference. From the size of the bombs and the reported injuries they don't look like they could kill a cat, let alone a person. Even if someone had a heart-attack after getting bombed it still looks closer to manslaughter than murder.

Kevin, a lot of people here, including myself, think that man on man rape is about as funny as man on woman rape. The more people think its some trivial problem the longer it will continue happen.
posted by skallas at 7:23 PM on May 8, 2002


The pound-me-in-the-ass prison thing is a joke. It's been a joke in America for decades. I'm not saying it is funny whatsoever. I was simply trying to lighten up the situation. Should I have said "federal male-on-male anal raping prisons" instead?

The pound-me-in-the-ass prison phrase is an expression. An expression for tough prisons, where fellow inmates bully you if you don't show them who's the boss. To once again quote Office Space, "kick someone's ass the first day, or become someone's bitch." Do I beleive this really happens? Of course I do! It exists between students in school systems everywhere, but on a less harsher scale.
posted by Kevin Sanders at 8:18 PM on May 8, 2002


I'm not saying it is funny whatsoever. I was simply trying to lighten up the situation.

with something admittedly not funny? how does that work exactly?
posted by rhyax at 9:32 PM on May 8, 2002


BlueTrain, don't focus on whether rehabilitation is effective, you're missing the point. Look at the recidivism rates. Look at what prison life does to people. Prison is not the answer, it's not even humane, solving the problem at the source is the answer. emphasis mine

Are you serious? The only remotely viable option to prison is rehabilitation, and it isn't working, and you suggest that prison isn't the answer? Good God, either your baiting or completely missing the picture...criminals need to go somewhere. Whether it be rehab, prison, or a space-colony on the effing moon, they must be removed from society because they only seek to destroy it.

What exactly is "solving the problem at the source"?
posted by BlueTrain at 9:51 PM on May 8, 2002


whoops, "The only remotely viable option instead of prison is rehabilitation,"
posted by BlueTrain at 10:01 PM on May 8, 2002


Sorry, I guess I didn't really say what I meant that clearly... Obviously it has to be some sort of rehabilitation. But rehabilitation can be defined as psychological, counseling, or even the prison system itself, it's pretty broad. You seem to think that prison is not intended to be rehabilitation? I was under the impression that that is what it IS. I just mean, since the form of rehabilitation known as prison obviously doesn't work that well, which is evident by recidivism rates, (there has been a statistic on metafilter somewhere that by 2053 or so, if current rates continue, more people will be in prison than outside of prison) than an ALTERNATIVE form of rehabilitation is necessary. Whether or not it is certain forms of rehabilitation are effective or not is unimportant, we need to come up with SOME alternative to the current system. That's all I meant.
posted by banished at 10:47 PM on May 8, 2002


Jebesus, there's a freakin' Seven-Up ad that makes a joke out of implied prison, um, fraternization. Which, after all, is not always rape. One may not think it funny, but you're fighting a very steep uphill battle with American culture.
posted by dhartung at 11:24 PM on May 8, 2002


> One may not think it funny, but you're fighting a very
> steep uphill battle with American culture.

True, and I'm sure Kevin feels bad about expressing what he has been raised to think is a fairly harmless sentiment about prison inmates, but this is how such battles are best fought. If you just say "naughty, naughty," the joke lives on. If you humiliate the joker for just a minute, little harm is done but the joker and all onlookers remember it the next time they think about participating in another "dem niggras sho is funny when they's bein lynched" joke. It's not, after all, simply a matter of careful language and whether a joke is polite and proper; it's a matter of whether you should condone and giggle at real rape really happening right now, and whether you should quietly accept the sort of corrupt prison system that lets it happen so often to some fairly harmless people.
posted by pracowity at 1:11 AM on May 9, 2002


because only nice people go to prison...
posted by dangerman at 6:26 AM on May 9, 2002


Prisons are stuffed with fairly normal (at the beginning, anyway) people put away for stupid drug laws, but they don't have to be especially nice to deserve better treatment than that from the government. And if they aren't treated right, they might be a whole lot meaner (than you, for instance) by the time they get out and move in near you and your family. Better to see that they're treated fairly before it's too late. And they will get out; most prisoners don't spend their entire lives in jail.
posted by pracowity at 9:19 AM on May 9, 2002


Jeff Corwin from The Jeff Corwin Experience was in Louisiana backwaters last night on Animal Planet. He played a double role of a drawling hick who kept saying that he was "purty" and "had a way about him," and I practically expected them to bust out with Dueling Banjoes. Funny or not, I could hardly believe it was being joked about on TV.
posted by adampsyche at 9:27 AM on May 9, 2002


pracowity, the way I see it, it's on a par with getting cut off in traffic and wishing the other driver would roll his truck and end up like Left Eye Lopes. You don't really mean it, but it's satisfying to imagine, just briefly.

And a prison system that would eliminate all corruption, rape, drug-dealing, shivving, and what have you is just not going to happen save in an ideal world. It's a place for people who are already corrupt, rapist, drug-dealing, murderers, after all.
posted by dhartung at 11:32 AM on May 9, 2002


"The [prison] rape system is an assembly line which takes young, non-violent newcomers and efficiently fills them with rage and a desire for revenge and then deposits them on our doorsteps."

It's been impossible for me to laugh about prison rape since I read the story of Stephen Donaldson's prison rape experiences, described in horrific detail in the infamous "Rape" issue of Jim Goad's Answer Me! In 1973, Donaldson was gang-raped around 60 times over a two-day period in a D.C. jail after being arrested during a nonviolent Quaker protest of Kissinger's Cambodia bombing. He later became president of Stop Prisoner Rape, and was a plaintiff in ACLU v. Reno, the case that killed the first Communications Decency Act.

Oh, and about that 7-Up thing...

This early February thread might also be relevant.
posted by mediareport at 7:37 PM on May 11, 2002


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