MysteriYES

A comedy show in which two friends discuss a weekly mystery.

Collar Bomb Heist

  • Brian Wells

    • Worked as a delivery driver for Mama Mia’s Pizzeria in Erie Pennsylvania

    • August 28, 2003

    • Delivery to 8631 Peach Street

      • About to get off work but takes delivery anyway

  • The next time Brian Wells is seen is in a bank

    • Looks like he might be wearing a medical collar

    • Shirt that said Guess

    • Holding a cane

    • Hands teller note

      • He had a bomb

      • Demanded $250,000

      • Had a cane gun

        • Instructed to use it on anyone trying to run or not cooperating

      • Note also said Wells would be under constant surveillance

      • 15 minutes

    • Bank employees were unable to get into the vault

      • $8,702

    • Police arrived on scene quickly and found Brian Wells still close to the bank

      • Arrested him

      • Discovered bomb

      • Handcuffed him and called bomb squad

      • Wells cooperated

        • “Did you call my boss”

        • Three black men had put the bomb on him

        • This thing’s going to go off

        • Device started beeping

        • Wells started to fidget

        • Bomb exploded and killed Wells instantly

        • Caught on multiple cameras

  • Physical evidence

    • Geo Metro

      • Homemade cane gun

      • Notes addressed to “bomb hostage”

        • Instructed Wells to steal $250,000

        • Series of complex clues to delay the explosion of the bomb

          • "Exit the bank with the money and go to the McDonald's resturaunt [sic]," it read. "Get out of the car and go to the small sign reading drive thru/open 24 hr in the flower bed. By the sign, there is a rock with a note taped to the bottom. It has your next instructions."

          • That’s as far as Wells got

          • Under the rock was a 2 page note that instructed Wells to go to a wooded area several miles away where he’d find a container with orange tape

          • That clue said to go to a small road sign 2 miles south where a clue would be in a jar.

          • Jar was there but the clue was not.

            • Wooded area blue mini van

          • Investigators ultimately concluded that there was no way the tasks could have been completed in time

    • Bomb

      • Relatively simple

        • Two pipe bombs

      • Collar was much more complex

      • Wasn’t as effective as it could have been

      • Still would have required a skilled person to make it

      • Almost completely reconstructed

      • Had a lot of decoys and time wasters

      • Set off with two kitchen times that eventually completed an electrical circuit and set off the bomb

  • Pizza delivery site

    • The place Wells was supposed to deliver the pizza to was 8631 Peach St

      • Isolated radio tower in a wooded area

      • Only accessible by dirt road

      • Found Wells’ tire tracks and signs of a struggle

  • Robert Thomas Pinetti

    • Co-worker of Wells’

    • Authorities noted a change in behavior after Wells was murdered

    • Pinetti became paranoid.

    • Set up interview with Pinetti on Saturday

      • Pinetti asked to push it back because he was too busy at work

    • Robert Pinetti was found dead on Sunday from an apparent overdose

    • Never directly linked, but interesting

  • That’s where My Favorite Murder left it.

 

  • A couple weeks after the death of Brian Wells, a man named Bill Rothstein called the police

    • Told police the body of a man named James Roden was hidden in his freezer

    • Claimed that he had nothing to do with the man’s death

      • He was killed by his ex-girlfriend Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong

      • She had paid him $2,000 to get rid of the murder weapon and body

      • Claimed to call police out of fear

    • Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong

      • Already known to local law enforcement

      • Had been charged for murdering her former husband

        • Acquitted in self defense

      • Another partner had died after she claimed he hit his head on a coffee table

      • Another hung himself

      • Roden was shot twice in the back of the head with a shotgun

      • Everybody said she was both incredibly smart and manipulative

      • Also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder

      • Previously been a musical prodigy who graduated near the top of her class

    • How is this related?

      • Bill Rothstein lived directly at the dirt road entrance to 8631 Peach Street

      • Attempted to take his own life

        • Razor

        • Suicide note

          • Said he had nothing to do with murder of James Roden

          • First thing it said was it had nothing to do with the Wells case

    • Rothstein claimed that Marjorie had killed James Roden in an argument about money

    • Marjorie was arrested and claimed on camera that Rothstein was responsible for the murder of Brian Wells

    • Rothstein worked with police and agreed to testify against Marjorie

      • July of 2004 Rothstein died of lymphoma

    • Marjorie plead guilty but mentally ill to the murder of James Roden and was sentenced to 7-20 years in prison in January of 2005

    • A few months later in April, Marjorie told authorities that she had information about the Wells case and would tell them everything if she could be transferred to a minimum security prison closer to her home.

      • Bill Rothstein was the mastermind behind the plot

      • She was aware but not involved

        • Supplied the egg timers

      • Brian Wells was in on the plan

        • Something authorities already suspected

          • Two witnesses

    • Later that year a man named Kenneth Barnes was turned in by his brother in law

      • In jail already on drug charges

      • Fishing buddy of Marjorie’s

      • Talked too much to brother in law

      • Agreed to testify for reduced sentence

        • Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was mastermind

        • Needed money to pay him to kill her father

          • Thought he was spending her inheretence

        • Provided connection to Brian Wells

    • Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was charged as the mastermind of the plot

      • Also indicted Kenneth Barnes, Bill Rothstein, and Brian Wells

        • Brian Wells’ family

        • Was Wells really involved?

    • Kenneth Barnes plead guilty to conspiring to rob a bank and aiding and abetting.

      • Sentenced to 45 years in prison

    • Diehl-Armstrong plead not guilty

      • Deemed unfit to stand trial multiple times

      • Ultimately deemed capable

      • On November 1, 2010 she was convicted of armed bank robbery, conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, and use of a destructive device in a crime

        • Sentenced to life in prison

        • Appellate court affirmed her conviction and the supreme court denied her petition

      • Died April 4, 2017 of breast cancer

  • Possible that Brian Wells wasn’t involved

    • Jessica Hoopsick