No Bail For US Mailbox Bomber

Posted May 11, 2002 by Digital Journal Staff
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (voa) - A U.S. federal judge has denied bail for admitted mailbox bomber Luke Helder in the midwestern state of Iowa, pending a hearing later this month.
Shackled and dressed in a white prison jumpsuit, the 21-year-old former art student did not speak during a brief court appearance late Friday (in Cedar Rapids, Iowa). Mr. Helder will be allowed to enter a plea later at a hearing scheduled for May 22.
The charges against Mr. Helder could send him to prison for life. He has admitted placing 18 pipe bombs in mailboxes in five states. The bombs, which were accompanied with anti-government letters, wounded six people.
Officials say four postal workers and two residents suffered non-life threatening injuries to their faces, hands, arms and hearing. The young man was arrested after a high-speed car chase near Reno, Nevada.
Authorities say Mr. Helder's father contacted them after receiving a suspicious letter from his son containing anti-government statements and references to exploding mailboxes.
Mr. Helder told sheriff's deputies he intended that a map plotting the location of his mailbox bombs would reveal a "smiley face" image. A sheriff in Nevada says, "Nobody really knows what he meant by that."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is calling the pipe bombings a case of domestic terrorism.