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.
- 3 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
- 4 Netherlands to withdraw food and shelter from failed asylum-seekers after just 'a few weeks'
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Nazi 'gold train': Fire engulfs suspected location of vehicle in Poland
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Isis releases graphic video showing four Shia 'spies' being burned alive in Anbar, Iraq
A Chinese journalist has appeared on state television 'confessing' to causing the stock market chaos
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms
£18 - 23k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Junior Artworker / Junior Mac Ar...
£16 - 18k: Guru Careers: A Trainee Installation Engineer / Field Service Engin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This ambitious and friendly sof...
£50000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company has been ...