Feud over wife and child blamed for bomb murders
Friday 31 December 1993
This was how police yesterday reconstructed what they believe to be the motive of Mr Stevens, a 53-year-old ex-convict, who has been charged with killing five people inside 90 minutes over a wide area of northern New York state on Tuesday night. Also charged with Mr Stevens was his friend, Earl Figley, 56, who is accused of buying the dynamite that was packed into tool-boxes which were rigged to explode on opening. The addresses for the parcel bombs were hundreds of miles apart, but they were all timed to arrive on Tuesday night. The two men have also been charged with the federal crime of transporting explosives to kill or maim - for which they could face the death penalty.
The two men were described by neighbours as losers who dabbled in get-rich-quick schemes. A lawyer familiar with Mr Stevens' case said: 'He wasn't your basic slimeball. He was much smoother than that. He was a conman and he thought he was smarter than anybody else.' Mr Figley was described as an 'ordinary plain-spoken guy' who acted as Mr Stevens's gofer, fetching him beers and collecting his post.
The police said Mr Stevens was the common-law husband of Brenda Lazore, whose mother, Eleanor Fowler, stepfather and sister were killed by the parcel bombs. Her uncle was critically wounded. Two bystanders were also killed. Mr Stevens was paroled from prison in 1989 after serving 18 months for forgery.
The six bombs were sent by private courier and the US mail to four homes, an armoured-car garage where Lazore's stepfather worked, and the St Regis Indian reservation, where her uncle worked. Two other people were injured in the blasts. Two of the six bombs meant for Fowler family members were defused by the police.
The police believe the family feud began after tension between Mr Stevens, who is white, and Ms Lazore's family, who are members of the Mohawk Indian tribe, over the upbringing of the couple's two-year-old child. Apparently the family wanted to keep the child away from Mr Stevens.
The case highlighted weak federal regulations on the distribution of dynamite and other explosives which are sold over the counter by licensed dealers. Although buyers must complete forms listing their names and addresses, no background checks are made. Mr Figley is charged with buying the dynamite under an assumed name.
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...