Real Name: Unknown
Aliases: No known nicknames
Wanted For: Attempted Murder
Missing Since: April 1990
Details: An unidentified bomber has been sending similar pipe bombs to a number of televangelists. The first bombing occurred on January 30, 1990; the package was sent to the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. The church is run by Pastor John Osteen and his family. On this morning, his daughter Lisa Comes received the package, along with the rest of the mail. When she looked at the package, she did not think it was suspicious. When she cut the tape on the box, it exploded. She received third-degree burns and cuts to her right leg and abdomen.
The second bombing occurred on April 27, 1990; the package was mailed to Pat Robertson's headquarters in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and nearly claimed the life of Scott Scheepers, a security guard for the Christian Broadcasting Network. Robertson receives large quantities of mail each day, mostly from viewers who are giving donations.
Because of Robertson's controversial viewpoints, he has been the target of hate mail and death threats. As a result, any mail deemed suspicious is sent through an x-ray machine. On that day, Scott was called down to the mail room after they received the suspicious package. He looked at the package through the monitor of the machine, but noticed nothing suspicious with the package's contents.
He inspected the package further, finding newspaper strips sticking out of the box. Still suspicious, he stepped away from the box when he opened another part of it. At that point, the box exploded. Scott was rushed to a nearby hospital where surgeons removed the shrapnel from his leg. Fortunately, he survived; he believes that if he had been standing at a different angle when he opened the package, he could have been killed.
The boxes that were used to mail the bombs were used by home sales distributors for the distribution of candles. There was printed material on the outside of the box that had been scratched out. The word "Burgundy" was written on the box. Both bombs were mailed from small towns near Fayetteville, North Carolina. Criminal profilers suggested that the bomber had some sort of stress or turmoil during the time that he sent the bombs. They believe friends and relatives of the bomber would have noticed a change in his behavior at this time.
The man who delivered them is described as a neatly dressed white male that was 5'10" to 6' tall, 160 to 175 pounds, and with brown hair. In 1991, he was believed to be between 28 and 35 years of age. He has never been identified.
Extra Notes: This segment originally ran on the November 13, 1991 episode.
Results: Wanted. At the time of the bombings, investigators speculated that the cases might be linked to the murders of Judge Robert Smith Vance and civil-rights attorney Robert Robinson, who were both killed with similar bombs. Walter Moody was later arrested and convicted for the murders of Vance and Robinson. However, he has never been conclusively linked to the televangelist bombings.
More recently, some have suggested that Olympic Park Bomber Eric Rudolph may have been responsible for the bombings. Interestingly, he matches the description of the bomber and lived in North Carolina around the time that the bombs were sent. The bombs he used in the 1996 attacks were similar in design to the televangelist bombs. Also, he was apparently against materialism and born-again Christians. However, he has never been officially connected to these bombings, either.
- Televangelist Bomber at Unsolved.com
- Pipe Bomb Explodes in Houston Church
- 1 Hurt as Package Bomb Explodes at Robertson's Broadcasting Offices
- CBN reopens building and mail room