May 7, 2002
9:38 AM   Subscribe

Fun with Google: The FBI released the name of the suspected midwest pipe bomber today: Luke Helder, Rochester, Minnesota. The Internet tells us Luke has a rock and roll band too. The band's CD is titled, interestingly enough, "Sacks of People."
posted by werty (51 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The IUMA server is already getting busy--I'm not the only one to think of this--so be prepared to wait. Don't miss the comments page when you get in.
posted by werty at 9:40 AM on May 7, 2002

Is this for sure the same Luke Helder?
posted by donkeyschlong at 9:47 AM on May 7, 2002

yikes. too much phaser on the vocals!
posted by n9 at 9:49 AM on May 7, 2002

Luke, don't quit your day job. Actually, on second thought...
posted by eperker at 10:03 AM on May 7, 2002

Christ. Anyone else but me notice the pattern of the bombings? What is he going for here? Looks like some sort of smiley face.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:04 AM on May 7, 2002 [1 favorite]

The band's Angelfire website is already down due to bandwidth issues, but they have an mp3 site.

It does seem like it might be the same person.

Agreed. Too much phaser on the vocal. They also don't seem to have fully assimilated the concept of meter.
posted by mikhail at 10:07 AM on May 7, 2002

Courtesy of the Wayback Machine:
Luke's home page, here's the home page...the pics don't show up, but the links work...sort of.

All that being said, I've not really seen any proof that these kids are connected to the person the FBI "SUSPECTS" of being the mail bomber. Just because the names are the same, doesn't mean they are the same person.

For example, I have an unusual name, both first and last...and yet, there is another girl out there with the exact same name...and people have gotten us confused. I've gotten email from people thinking that I was her, and I'm sure she's gotten communication from people thinking that she was me. (Although, she seems like a very nice little Mormon lady...and I kinda feel sorry for her if people confuse the two of us, as I can be a snarky bitch.)

My point is, everyone may be generating all this hate for the wrong person...and even if he is the right person, it's hardly fair to take it out on the guys in his band...whom I note have not been mentioned as possible suspects.
posted by dejah420 at 10:21 AM on May 7, 2002

My favorite comments from their message board:
"you totally blew my mind ... and my mailbox!!!!!!"
"you guys are da bomb! ...the mailbox bomb that is "
posted by mkelley at 10:22 AM on May 7, 2002

and some say the mp3 format isn't evil...
posted by quonsar at 10:30 AM on May 7, 2002

dejah420, I don't think anyone here has generated any hate yet, but you are correct that it's not definitive that this is the same Luke. The only connections are Minnesota, and the approximate age. If it's not him, he and his band are gonna get a lot of publicity. Actually, they're gonna get a lot of publicity either way.
posted by mikhail at 10:34 AM on May 7, 2002

This guy has issues!
posted by revbrian at 10:48 AM on May 7, 2002

Wha the . . . ? The band's message board has devolved into postings of Wesley Crusher slash. Weird.
posted by dogmatic at 10:48 AM on May 7, 2002

Well. obviously someone thinks Wil Wheaton's da bomb...

:: brave, brave, Sir Robin...bravely running away... ::
posted by metrocake at 11:01 AM on May 7, 2002

I thought Majestic had been cancelled. I'm confused.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:07 AM on May 7, 2002

dogmatic - Wha the . . . ? The band's message board has devolved into postings of Wesley Crusher slash.

In other words, it's been Farked.
posted by NortonDC at 11:20 AM on May 7, 2002

Great. He's from Wisconsin. If this actually turns out to be the FBI's man, my family's home state gets to add another name to our growing list of homicidal maniacs.

You know, there is more to Wisconsin than serial killers. They make good beer and cheese, too.
posted by Fenriss at 11:22 AM on May 7, 2002

In other words, it's been Farked.

aaaaaaaahh . . . I had no idea. I've never wandered over to the dark side.
posted by dogmatic at 11:24 AM on May 7, 2002

You don't have to convince me, Fenriss. I lived in Wisconsin for 5 years and absolutely loved it. I intend to move back there some day.

Oh, and lest you worry, at least 80% of the people who know me would assure you that I'm not a homocidal maniac.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:32 AM on May 7, 2002

More than a bit ironic that he fronts a band named Apathy, yet signed the pipe bomb letters as "Someone Who Cares". Smart fellow this one.
posted by schlyer at 11:42 AM on May 7, 2002

You know, when I read the original story on Yahoo news, all I could think was "The monkey steals a car in Colorado and drives it to Texas”...
posted by Fenriss at 11:43 AM on May 7, 2002

Two words to remember: Richard Jewell.
posted by Holden at 11:47 AM on May 7, 2002

Good point, Holden. Also, KevinSkomsvold may have been right - that damn map does look like he was drawing a smiley face.
posted by yhbc at 11:52 AM on May 7, 2002

All I can say is don't jump to conclusions on this. The reason we have courts and lawyers is to determine guilt.

The news media already put out the wrong license plate number according to the FBI spokesperson, so they are already flubbing up the details on this.
posted by yertledaturtle at 11:58 AM on May 7, 2002

Is this for sure the same Luke Helder?

There is a Lucas Johne Helder, age 20 in Pine Island, MN

Don't know if it's the same guy though.
posted by plaino at 12:10 PM on May 7, 2002 is linking the Apathy band member and the suspected bomber as the same person. Apparently, the FBI has told the UW-Stout admins that he (bomber) attended the University.
posted by Qubit at 12:26 PM on May 7, 2002

The FBI released the name of the suspected midwest pipe bomber today: Luke Helder, Rochester, Minnesota.

Actually, the Fox News site lists Helder's hometown as Pine Island, not Rochester. So it may be the wrong guy. Did the Fox news site change or did I manage to skip that info when reading it the first time?

And the headlines of 'FBI Names Pipe Bomb Suspect' on all the sites is a bit of a misrepresentation of what the FBI has said. He is wanted in connection with the pipe bombings, and though they've said he's armed and dangerous, they haven't said he's a suspect yet. It's an easy leap to the conclusion, but it's not correct.
posted by mikhail at 12:32 PM on May 7, 2002

Could someone take a brief break from swooning over MetaFilter's new favorite band and explain to me how this guy became a suspect? I see nothing in that story to explain it. The comparison to Richard Jewell, even, seems a stretch, just because we knew for a fact that Mr. Jewell was at least in the immediate area of the Centennial Park explosion, and we don't even have that much on our buddy Luke.
posted by Sapphireblue at 12:32 PM on May 7, 2002

Sapphireblue: I heard CBS Radio report that his roommates said he had been acting weird, then suddenly left after telling them to watch the news.
posted by pmurray63 at 12:37 PM on May 7, 2002

From the Angelfire website: "I go to college at Stout in Menomonie Wisconson. My major is Industrial Design."

Geez, I need to stop skimming stuff. That definitely seems to be the kid the FBI is looking for.

I wonder if that pic on the MSNBC site is gonna do any good. Does he have the long hair now or the crew-cut?
posted by mikhail at 12:44 PM on May 7, 2002

I betcha the roommates also recognized something in the text of the letter that made them think about Luke. If I turn out to be right, then yay, me - first post!
posted by yhbc at 12:45 PM on May 7, 2002

I suspect it's more or less the other way around -- that tips came in from fellow students or friends from his hometown, and the FBI contacted Stout to confirm that he was missing. I know when I was in high school, we dicked around with molotov cocktails and so on (in an empty field! it's quite spectacular at night), and people knew about that. In fact, I've told the story before of how my crowd's prank activities were connected to a real arson on the other side of town by a (probably well-intentioned) tipster.
posted by dhartung at 12:48 PM on May 7, 2002

Damned good questions, Sapphireblue. As pmurray63 describes it, that CBS Radio report seems a tad lacking. Lots of college-age guys act weird and go away for a while.

As a journalist of 16 years, I would never choose to identify our guitarist from Minnesota by name until he were arrested. Not after what happened to Richard Jewell. It's just irresponsible, and it violates the Golden Rule.
posted by Holden at 12:48 PM on May 7, 2002

Smiley Face--Fight Club wannabe.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:57 PM on May 7, 2002

The FBI has specifically declined to call him a suspect, but says that he is "wanted for questioning."

I think there's a big difference between this case and Richard Jewell -- Jewell wasn't fleeing, he was available and talking to the FBI, and it was reports leaking out that shouldn't have that were reported. On the other hand, Mr. Helder is nowhere to be found, and law enforcement clearly would like anyone's assistance in locating him.

Having said that, yes, let's not rush to judgment.
posted by pmurray63 at 12:59 PM on May 7, 2002

What rush? I thought about it all afternoon - he's guilty. :)
posted by schlyer at 1:08 PM on May 7, 2002

You know, there is more to Wisconsin than serial killers.

Yeah, there's Grave Robbers, too.
posted by jonmc at 1:10 PM on May 7, 2002

What is it with these guys from the Badger State? Think he knew Dr. Chaos?
posted by Mid at 1:12 PM on May 7, 2002

it was all faked. the shotgun suicide, the apathy mp3's and websites. the lusty guestbook posts from courtney tell the real story: cobain lives.
posted by quonsar at 1:32 PM on May 7, 2002

I'm not interested in "why can't they find Luke," I'm interested in "why are they even looking for Luke." pmurray, thanks for passing along the CBS radio tidbit---that at least provides some clue on where this comes from, allasudden---but if you want to know the truth, I read yr post about three times before I decided that you weren't being funny. If acting weird and suddenly vanishing makes you a bombing suspect, then I'd better get to my collection of ex-boyfriends before the FBI does.
posted by Sapphireblue at 1:34 PM on May 7, 2002

Sapphireblue - on MSNBC, they reported that this grey honda w/ Minnesota plates was seen driving away from one of the locations in Texas that a bomb was found. We can hardly expect the FBI to hold a press conference laying out all the evidence against the guy before they even to track him down.
posted by schlyer at 1:52 PM on May 7, 2002

From Luke's site: I'm a huge Nirvana fan. I really am quite infatuated with this band. I know everything about Kurt....try me, hahaha. Well, the top things I care about are my girlfriend Sarah, and my music/band. I go to college at Stout in Menomonie Wisconson. My major is Industrial Design. I party, play guitar, and talk online to everyone.
[sarcasm] It was Nirvana/the Internet that made him do it... stay tuned for the lawsuit and the documentary, Dream Decievers Part II. [/sarcasm]
posted by jokeefe at 2:27 PM on May 7, 2002

If the evidence they have is pretty conclusive that this guy did it - between the letter, the crime, and his age - he may be able to get off on an insanity plea. Early 20s is usually when paranoid schizophrenia first really shows up.
posted by thinkdink at 2:40 PM on May 7, 2002

schlyer: Who said anything about expecting anything from the FBI? I can expect an article written by a news organization to at least make a perfunctory attempt at connecting the dots. Your post and others make it clear that there is, after all, a little information out there (or at least speculation? I'd accept that if it were clearly reported as such) on why this guy is being named---which is a hell of a lot more than the article linked in the main post here did. Shoddy story, lazy reporting---of course, there are those who'd say that's Fox News' entire M.O., but that's probably a different discussion.
posted by Sapphireblue at 2:46 PM on May 7, 2002

It's pretty early -- at this point, I'd assume they just have "reasonable suspicion" rather than "probable cause". The FBI aren't required to get a warrant to announce to the media that they want to question someone.

The problem with Jewell wasn't that they reported he was under investigation -- it was that they reported that sources were telling them there was good evidence against Jewell, which was not true. By the way, Jewell only sued news organizations -- from the FBI, he only demanded an apology, which he got.
posted by dhartung at 3:33 PM on May 7, 2002

My former employer, the Mpls Star Tribune, reports that Wisconsin authorities have evacuated Helder's apartment building.

Also, here's a statement from his dad, who says "I really want you to know that Luke is not a dangerous person. 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."

Kind of stupid to say your kid's not dangerous when he's already injured half-a-dozen people, but the dad does come across as panicked and honest.
posted by GaelFC at 3:35 PM on May 7, 2002

luke and his ideas deserve a .223 in the back of the head. But having violent thoughts and acting upon them are two different matters right?. geez NPR just called him 'Intelligent'. I hope some guy from Oklahoma smacks him one before the police are called. jesus...'disenfrancised'...'disenchanted'. little fuck stick. fun with black powder and petrol is one thing. putting into praxis is another. Ahh. I see, the tv boobs are playing up the "you have something to say" to smoke him out, get him to home luke....CALL.
posted by clavdivs at 4:37 PM on May 7, 2002

The student was arrested today outside of freakin' Reno, Nev. (Censored) Reno!
posted by raysmj at 6:26 PM on May 7, 2002

The guy's rants remind me of Plato as filtered through a paper by an untreated hyperactive/ADD student...
posted by Zurishaddai at 7:40 PM on May 7, 2002

posted by quonsar at 9:21 PM on May 7, 2002

I would just like to point out, that according to his webpage, He lives in wisconson, so there's no need to worry about backlash focused at Wisconsin
posted by drezdn at 10:30 AM on May 8, 2002

Luke...use the Force, Luke...
posted by camworld at 5:22 PM on May 8, 2002

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