Luke Helder

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Lucas John Helder (born May 5, 1981) is a former University of Wisconsin–Stout college student from Pine Island, Minnesota, who earned notoriety as the Midwest Pipe Bomber in May 2002.

Contents

Bombings

While attending the University of Wisconsin–Stout and living in an apartment complex in Menomonie, WI; Helder planned to plant pipe bombs in mailboxes across the United States to create a smiley face shape on the United States map. The bombs, which were packed with BBs and nails, were rigged to explode as the mailboxes were opened. Completed and rigged bombs were found in Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, Illinois and Iowa. In Iowa, six people, including four mail carriers, were injured when the bombs detonated.[1] Ultimately, Helder planted 18 bombs and covered 3,200 miles.[2] He was eventually captured in rural Nevada before he managed to complete the full smile. At the time of his arrest, police were looking for an unknown suspect driving around in a black Honda Accord and newspapers reported that he was wearing a Kurt Cobain T-Shirt.[3] The bombings were heavily covered by the United States media.

Writings and theories

While Helder was not at the top of his college class, his teachers described him as a reasonably good, quiet and polite student and at first there was confusion as to what the motivation for the bombings could be.[2] Within the year prior to his arrest, Helder had become passionate about astral projection techniques and came to believe that death of the flesh and body is not the end of existence, as evidenced by the manifesto he sent to The Badger Herald of the University of Wisconsin–Madison at the beginning of the bombing spree.[2] The essay also includes sinister statements such as

I'm taking very drastic measure in attempt to provide this information to you... I will die/change in the end for this, but that's ok, hahaha paradise awaits! I'm dismissing a few individuals from reality, to change all of you for the better"[4][5]

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