Feeds

back to article Rogue software consultant's vast stash of DIY explosives

A software consultant in California has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after he embarked on a spree of armed bank robberies and amassed a huge stockpile of homemade explosives at his home, residues from which blew up and injured a local gardener and necessitated the total destruction of the building on grounds of …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Bronze badge

It would be quite attractive to

stick Donald Trump with the bill in this case.

My flock of trained stinging hummingbirds don't seem to be getting the idea, they keep swarming after Boris Johnson - not that that isn't entertaining as well

0
0
WTF?

"you're not the shoe bomber"

When is a terrorist not a terrorist?

When he's 'only' a poor misguided armed bank robber!

Pity the poor judge, bound by minimum sentencing requirements!

This is indicative of a country in denial.

3
10
Thumb Down

Re: "you're not the shoe bomber"

Yeah, what a shame we can't morph every crime into the one called terrorism. No matter how hard we try, one always slips through the sieve.

12
0
Mushroom

You're forgetting that

A terrorist is a terrorist and therefore a bad person when He's not on our side.

A Bank Robber on the otherhand is just an entrepreneur, whose way of making his money is probably more honest than most corporate institutions. Especially the ones he targeted

4
1

Mental state

Motivations and mental state do matter. This guy's hoard was a random hodgepodge of more than just explosives and there wasn't any evidence that he was trying to manufacture devices for any purpose. He was one messed-up dude. Even the bank robberies seem out of character.

1
0

Not every violent criminal is a terrorist

From http://www.merriam-webster.com/

terrorism, n: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion

While you /might/ be able to shoe-horn "lone nut bank robber" into this definition, traditionally, this has left to cover people and groups who target civilian targets who are usually only peripherally associated with the decision makers in question. Or, if you want it in simpler terms:

"Do X or I/we will blow up a random target." = terrorism

"Do X or I/we am going to kill you, right here, right now." = direct assault related to another crime, such as bank robbery.

From what we can tell this man didn't want to change U.S. policy, he was just driven over the edge and went on a rather strange crime spree. I must say, it's one case where minimum sentencing may not be too bad - I wouldn't want him back out on the streets any earlier than 30 years unless a legion of qualified doctors said it was safe to do so. That's not a case of being punitive, however, it's a question of protecting the rest of society. There's already one innocent who will suffer from this for the rest of his life.

-d

1
0
Mushroom

He'll still be charged under terrorism law.

Even pitiful teenager stuff (which theoretically can be upscaled) gets charged as "mass destruction" attempt, have no fear.

And here the unnoticed residue cause more damage than the shoebomber, so there'll be a fiery list of charges.

/Having just re-seen "The Rock", I hope they destroyed the house with a thermite bombardment; F14s or F22s over suburbia is always photogenic.

0
0
Gold badge
Thumb Down

Re: Mental state

Unfortunately, if the house next door goes up (highly unstable, remember?), taking you and yours with it, the mindset of the bloke making the explosives has no effect on the level of Death inflicted......

He's well into the "too dangerous to be walking around unsupervised" category in my book.

2
0
Mushroom

PETN

Lovely stuff. It was the only thing I was told "for fuck's sake be careful with that", unlike NG which I had a very cavalier attitude towards back in the day.

It does make a very satisfying bang.

Anon, because, well...

3
0
Mushroom

I am surprised he went so exotic

There is a wide variety of lovely stuff like RDX which is way easier to make than PETN while being more potent. It makes an even more satisfying bang.

And indeed, we were quite careful with the quantities we used to mix up in high school in my days... The fact that we are still alive is a testament to that (and we did not need a freaking H&S act to make us careful).

Anon, because, well... if UK law is to be obided strictly I should be in jail for the mere contents of my brain... Viva the ThoughtCrime...

3
0
Anonymous Coward

RDX

I must admit, I'm at a loss to figure out why terrorists don't just make RDX by the simple and well known method of mixing a certain type of camping fuel with a certain acid readily available from the net.

Lewis? Know something we don't? Is it detonating RDX something terrorists find really difficult or something?

0
0
Devil

Because you need to do something with the certain acid first

The answer is that you need to do something with the certain acid to make the recipe work. This bit is usually omitted (on purpose) from the descriptions of how to make RDX in non-specialized literature (specialized "unabridged" chemical synthesis literature has it). Otherwise RDX is contaminated which makes it as bad as peroxides if not worse.

This is a sufficient hurdle to make "four lions" class muppets go for peroxides instead.

This is probably as much as I can say before it becomes a thought crime under UK law.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

That would explain it.

Ah, that explains a lot. Yes, if that method of creating RDX is off the table then it explains why they go for one of the other less potent explosive types. I can understand a terrorist not being willing to try and brew up other high explosives like Nitro, given the slight(!) instability of the stuff.

0
0

That

is my Dad!!

0
0
Silver badge

Only one gardener

Must have really fallen on hard times.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Erm where are the...

... Lewis haters, who are eagerly pointing out how this article is once again being derogatory about the Eurofighter, and that he has a love love relationship with the US equipment, also mentioned repeatedly in the article?

Oh and that NUKLEAR IS DANGEROUS!!!!!!!!!! even when it turns out not to be.

2
3
Anonymous Coward

Well,

.. I could do a quality rant just for entertainment value, if it weren't for the fact that I generally like his articles. So I won't. More, please..

0
0
Silver badge

Terrorist

It's simple, terrorists are darker than say - Tan (0xd2b48c)

2
1

The house

I'm not sure what the article means by destroying the house with "low order explosive techniques." Unless they did a very nice job role-playing for our local news services, the FD simply burned the place down.

0
0
Mushroom

Burning the place down is low order

Many explosives will burn quite nicely as long as the combustion products are not confined, so the hope was burning the house down would ignite but not detonate the explosives. Another part of the low order technique was putting up a barricade in case the low order suddenly became high order.

One thing not covered in the article was whether the owner of the house was reimbursed for the loss - Dumanis was originally threatening to collect the demolition fees from her.

FWIW, I used to drive by there daily on I-15 before moving to the coast.

0
0
Silver badge

Call me confused

He robbed 4 banks, presumedly with explosives (unless, perhaps, he was making some supercharged fireworks for the upcoming Independence Day festivties?)....so how exactly is the minimum sentence excessive?

Bah...stupid judges with their kid gloves.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Marvelling at the fact...

... That this guy was actual a bombs disposal man.

Come on, what ever we think of his thinking on nuclear power... respect where it is due!

0
0
Silver badge
Pirate

30 years for bank robbery??

Crazy stuff.

No need to worry about staying clean as Mr. White then. Knock yourself out, Mr. Blonde.

0
0

@30 years for bank robbery

Yes 30 years for bank robbery. Nothing to do with the fact that he was making explosives and some got hurt. Nope just 30 years for bank robbery . The rest El Reg was making up.

Ps he was renting the place that they burned down.

0
0
Gold badge
Joke

Because it's America?

Probably the only reason that the explosives were illegal is that by making them himself, he didn't pay the explosives tax?

1
0
Gold badge
Coat

Low order techniques.

"..a high explosive is made to destroy itself without detonating and releasing its full power.."

<Marvin the Martian>

Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an Earth-shattering Kaboom!

</Marvin the Martian>

1
0
Mushroom

I'm mostly amazed Lewis didn't mention the cost and quality of the explosives.

Because it's clearly more effective and cheaper than the MoD procured kit.

0
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

That was taken as read

You'd need to do more than rob a few banks to cover the MoD procurement budget.

0
0
Gold badge
Joke

mistake?

"Because it's clearly more effective and cheaper than the MoD procured kit."

What do you mean? on one occasion it went off by accident, and the rest of it didn't go off at all. Oh on second thoughts, I'm with you...

0
0

Why no "Controlled Explosion"

Not that there's any such thing.

Explosions are NOT controlled.

Ask anyone who has tried to stop one halfway through.

0
0
Gold badge
Stop

A joke?

"Explosions are NOT controlled.

Ask anyone who has tried to stop one halfway through."

I'll assume that you forgot to select the joke icon. Otherwise:

Lightning cannot be controlled; ask anyone who tried to stop it half way through...

Although buildings with lightning conductors do seem to be struck far less often that would otherwise be the case, and when struck, they seem to come off much better than would otherwise be expected...

Oh and I've never actually tried to stop the explosions that occur in my car engine, but they do always seem to occur at exactly th eright time, and always in the right place and usually the right amount (although sometimes not enough :)

1
0
Coat

Disappointed

>>> Explosives Bootnotes

Surely you meant Boomnotes?

2
0
Mushroom

too much info?

Err why are you educating your readers about these explosives in the bootnotes?

Did you really need to tell us what bad people do with these?

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.