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Old 03-01-2002, 08:04 PM   #1
Diggs
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Question Saturn + Bomb = Ouch!!

I hope the Subject line isn't too insensitive, but I saw this little tidbit in our local newspaper (Potomac News) yesterday.

Quote:
MARATHON, Fla. -- A bomb blew up a car at an intersection Wednesday morning, critically injuring the woman driver.

The 8:40 a.m. explosion blew a hole in the four-door Saturn's undercarriage, blasted away chunks of pavement and damaged a nearby vehicle, said Becky Herrin, a Monroe County Sheriff's spokesman.
Anyone from down there have any more information? Obviously, the story caught my eye because of the Saturn mention, but when I did a search at a few news sites, I came up blank.

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Old 03-02-2002, 07:50 AM   #2
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It was about a 1998 SL1 with a pipe bomb under the seat. It looked like a pretty good explosion too - blasted windshield out and stuff.



http://www.sunsentinel.com/news/loca...ami%2Darchives
Nurse hurt as bomb explodes in her car
By Madeline Baró Diaz
Miami Bureau

February 28, 2002

A car exploded Wednesday at a busy intersection in the Florida Keys, injuring the driver, who was the apparent target of the attack.

Evon Leach, 51, a registered nurse, was in the southbound turn lane of U.S. 1, about to turn left onto Sombrero Beach Road in Marathon, when her gray Saturn exploded, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. No one other than Leach was injured in the blast, but the road and a truck next to the car were damaged.

Leach was taken to Fisherman's Hospital and later flown to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, where she was listed in critical condition.

At first a second explosive device was thought to be in the car, but the Monroe County Sheriff's Office bomb squad found only one. They requested the help of the FBI's Post Blast Team, which specializes in collecting evidence from the scenes of explosions.

The blast shut down a portion of U.S. 1, but it later reopened with detours through parking lots and a bike trail.

Detectives would not discuss possible motives for the attack but said Leach was targeted and that it was not a terrorist act.

Leach works at Marathon Manor, a 120-bed nursing home in the Keys. Robin Bleier, chief of clinical operations, described Leach as compassionate, friendly and "a great nurse."

Bleier said she did not know who would want to harm Leach and that everyone who knew her had only nice things to say about her.

But others in the Marathon area speculated that someone known to Leach was responsible. Leach, who had a concealed-weapons permit, used mailing addresses at a Mailboxes Etc. and a Marathon business.

Anyone with information can phone anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers at 800-346-8477.

Information from The Associated Press was used to supplement this report. END

If the dude had just waited till the ION came out, she could have at least gotten a nice car after it was all over!

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Old 03-02-2002, 09:41 AM   #3
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Wow. That's truly awful. Any updates on her condition?

Just what we need, fewer nurses.

Concealed weapons permit huh? I certainly hope they catch the slimeball responsible for this.

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Old 03-02-2002, 01:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by piney
If the dude had just waited till the ION came out, she could have at least gotten a nice car after it was all over!
I object

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Old 03-02-2002, 01:59 PM   #5
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Pipe bombs are nasty, nasty explosives. I hate to see what the interior of that car looked like. There has to have been something rotten going on and I wouldn't be surprised if the culprit was someone that was known to the victim.

In any case, I hope they find him and run him over with an L300. Wait, nah, an L300 would be too good for 'em. Run 'em over with a Civic.

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Old 03-03-2002, 05:56 PM   #6
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Any word on how the woman is doing?

What a terrible thing. I DO hope they find the guy and run him over with a Civic. Actually no, a Civic is too good for him still. Somebody run him over with a Sephia.

Ed

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Old 03-04-2002, 02:17 PM   #7
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Here is the updated news as well as a new picture. They apparently pulled the old one, so I copied this to that new picture thing that PG told me about. (Pretty handy!)



Probe focuses on ex-husband
Car-bomb victim in serious condition at Jackson Memorial

By Scott Fusaro sfusaro@keynoter.com

Normally calm, Marathon is a metropolis compared to the tranquil town of Key Colony Beach, a section of which police evacuated fearing a second bomb after an explosion tore through the floorboards of Evon Leach’s car Wednesday morning.

The blast occurred about 8:40 a.m. as she prepared to turn onto Sombrero Beach Road in Marathon from U.S. 1, the result of a pipe bomb planted on the underside of her gray Saturn, police say.

It sent Leach to the pavement, bloodied, then to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where she was in serious condition Friday.

The crime scene blocked the only artery through Marathon for 11 hours as traffic was diverted through adjacent parking lots.

The blast also damaged the asphalt underneath her car and a truck in the next lane, said police. Emergency crews swarmed to the scene, airlifting the 51-year-old nurse and Marathon Manor employee to Jackson and sealing off the area as police bomb experts examined the car.

By 11 a.m., a remote robotic device with a crane arm rolled on the ground in front of the car as a team of police officials huddled in the back of a Monroe County Bomb Squad van, readying to disarm a second explosive believed to be in the car. About an hour later, police officials announced there was no second bomb at the scene, but the evacuation of the Key Colony Beach golf course and residences along 8th Street in the tiny Key Colony had begun.

"We were told to secure the scene around a specific automobile near the golf course until the sheriff’s bomb squad could come and take a look at it. Evidently, they thought it could also have a bomb in it," said Key Colony Police Chief Robert Petrick.

The evacuation began around 10 a.m., he said, while bomb experts were still attempting to disarm the potential second bomb at the scene of the explosion.

The specific automobile Petrick was asked to secure belonged to Mary Spano, who operates the golf course, he said.

Spano is linked to Leach through Leach’s ex-common-law husband, Gene Hodler, to whom Spano said she was engaged until last summer. Investigators are focusing on Hodler, but he was not named a suspect as of Friday.

Police also searched the automobiles of Spano’s son and daughter-in-law at their Marathon home, said her son.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that detectives were asking people who live behind Florida Keys Marathon Airport if they had seen a 1992 white, four-door Lincoln or 1993 green, four-door Mazda Protege in the neighborhood Tuesday or Wednesday.

According to records from the state Department of Motor Vehicles, Hodler owns a 1992 white Lincoln. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Greg Artman said the Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with police in the Central Florida town of Lake Placid, police and that car has been impounded.

"We have a couple of our guys along with an FBI agent in another location other than the Keys looking at and talking to some suspects," said Marathon Police Chief Bob Peryam Friday afternoon, although he would not disclose the location.

The investigation is being handled jointly by the Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the FBI, he said.

Hodler and Leach had lived together for more than 10 years before separating, and he filed a lawsuit against her late in 1999 for wrongfully taking $102,000 by withdrawing the money from a joint account, according to court documents.

In response, she asserted physical and emotional abuse during their relationship, as well as joint ownership of more than $269,000 in stocks, bank accounts and a boat, according to court records. In June last year, the court found a common-law marriage had existed and ordered Leach to receive half of the $102,000.

In December, Leach filed with the court a complaint alleging Hodler had failed to comply with the court’s decision and had absconded with the funds, moving to Lake Placid. On Monday, her attorney had filed a motion with the court for an emergency hearing.

FBI agents arrived at the scene of the blast Wednesday morning as Sheriff’s Office bomb technicians prepared to defuse what they believed to be the second bomb. An FBI post-blast team was called to investigate, and ATF agents also arrived later in the day, sweeping the crime scene for evidence and debris from the explosion and routing traffic through the Kmart and Publix plazas in Marathon into the night.

Leach sustained broken bones in her legs and left arm. The Sheriff’s Office’s newly certified Trauma Star helicopter transported her to Jackson Memorial in its inaugural airlift.

"It was pretty gruesome and believe me, I’m pretty shook up. I don’t like to see people hurt, especially that way," said Tony DiPronio, a former emergency medical technician from Connecticut who was getting coffee at the Texaco next to the bomb site when he heard the blast.

"I heard the explosion and saw the flames come out and then the woman dove out of the car," he said.

He and Joseph R. Jones, who works at the Texaco car wash, ran to the car, where Jones said he put out the fire in the car while DiPronio attended to Leach. She was conscious and talking, DiPronio said.

"It went pow and then it exploded," said Jones. "It blew the floorboards and dash up in her car and blew her legs all up."

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Old 03-04-2002, 02:28 PM   #8
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That really bites. Hope the woman fully recovers.

As far as what car to run the person responsible over with, forget the Kia and Honda. Use a Toyota Echo instead. Tell the authorities you were momentarily distracted by the center-mount instrument panel.

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Old 03-04-2002, 03:48 PM   #9
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Just shoot the guilty party in the kneecaps.

With a black powder gun.

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Old 03-06-2002, 10:44 PM   #10
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Update on the Saturn Bomber:

Suspect arrested in last week's car explosion in the Keys
By Jeff Shields
Sun-Sentinel

March 6, 2002, 7:25 PM EST

Federal agents arrested the ex-boyfriend of a Marathon woman Wednesday on suspicion that he planted the pipe-bomb that blew up her car and severely injured the woman last week.

Gene Hodler, 66, of Lake Placid, is scheduled to appear in federal court in Fort Pierce on Thursday on a complaint charging him with possessing ammunition as a domestic violence offender. Hodler had been convicted in 1994 of beating Evon Leach, his ex-girlfriend.

Leach, 51, broke her left arm and ankle Feb. 27 when her car exploded while making a turn off Route 1 in Marathon.

Federal agents visited Hodler on Feb. 27 and found a briefcase in his car that included a map of the Keys and Leach’s car-make and license plate number written on a pad. A subsequent search of the car found 50 rounds of Winchester .22-caliber ammunition and a pipe.
Copyright © 2002, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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Old 03-07-2002, 09:36 AM   #11
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Glad they snagged the (likely) guilty party. Hope he rots in jail. No, wait, geriatric prison inmates are the most expensive; I hope he has a fatal heart attack before this gets costly.

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Old 01-29-2003, 12:31 AM   #12
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Happy He got convicted!

Here is today's news:

Man convicted of trying to kill ex-girlfriend in Marathon with pipe bomb in car
Associated Press

January 28, 2003, 12:05 PM EST

KEY WEST -- A federal jury has convicted a man of trying to kill his ex-girlfriend by rigging her car with a pipe bomb that exploded while she drove to work.

Gene Hodler, 67, was convicted Monday on four felony counts, including illegally using a weapon of mass destruction. The jury returned its verdict after deliberating for three hours.

Holder's ex-girlfriend, Evon Leach, 52, was critically injured when the bomb exploded as she drove to her nursing home job in Marathon on Feb. 27, 2002. The explosion also shut down U.S. 1 in the Keys for several hours.

Holder, of Lake Placid, faces a 30-year federal prison term. Attorney Jeff Weiner said he plans to appeal.

Leach wept silently as the verdict was read. She had been fighting with Holder in court for two years over hundreds of thousands of dollars they amassed as day traders while living on a boat in the Keys. The couple had dated for 17 years.

Hodler, who was convicted in 1994 of beating Leach in a domestic violence case, disappeared the day before the attack. A briefcase found in his car listed Leach's license plate, home address and her current boyfriend's license tag.

Prosecutors argued that these items, plus batteries, light bulbs and smokeless gunpowder found in Hodler's car and home, closely matched items retrieved from the crime scene.

Weiner argued the evidence was ``irrelevant'' and said it didn't link Hodler to the bombing.
Copyright © 2003, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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Old 01-29-2003, 09:36 AM   #13
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"Illegally using a weapon of mass destruction"

Is that a new law on the books in Florida? That would be pretty neat if they could make that count stick!

I came across another Saturn-in-an-accident story in today's Toronto Star.

Unfortunately one of the passengers died.

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Old 01-29-2003, 10:07 AM   #14
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Piney:

You have quite a memory. Thank you for sticking to the story and following up.

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Old 01-29-2003, 11:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by jolym
Piney:

You have quite a memory. Thank you for sticking to the story and following up.


Thought that some of the regulars would be interested in the outcome of someone attacking a Saturn owner. We gotta stick together...

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Old 01-29-2003, 06:31 PM   #16
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A Sephia is too good for him. Use a Citroen 2CV.

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Old 01-29-2003, 10:25 PM   #17
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Thanks for the update. I just want to know one thing though.

"including illegally using a weapon of mass destruction."

Is there a legal way of using a weapon of mass destruction?

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Old 01-29-2003, 11:30 PM   #18
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Yes; you have to be the winner in the war.

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Old 01-30-2003, 09:32 PM   #19
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Default Re: He got convicted!

Quote:
Originally posted by piney
Here is today's news:

Man convicted of trying to kill ex-girlfriend in Marathon with pipe bomb in car
Associated Press

January 28, 2003, 12:05 PM EST

KEY WEST -- A federal jury has convicted a man of trying to kill his ex-girlfriend by rigging her car with a pipe bomb that exploded while she drove to work.

Gene Hodler, 67, was convicted Monday on four felony counts, including illegally using a weapon of mass destruction. The jury returned its verdict after deliberating for three hours.

Holder's ex-girlfriend, Evon Leach, 52, was critically injured when the bomb exploded as she drove to her nursing home job in Marathon on Feb. 27, 2002. The explosion also shut down U.S. 1 in the Keys for several hours.

Holder, of Lake Placid, faces a 30-year federal prison term. Attorney Jeff Weiner said he plans to appeal.

Leach wept silently as the verdict was read. She had been fighting with Holder in court for two years over hundreds of thousands of dollars they amassed as day traders while living on a boat in the Keys. The couple had dated for 17 years.

Hodler, who was convicted in 1994 of beating Leach in a domestic violence case, disappeared the day before the attack. A briefcase found in his car listed Leach's license plate, home address and her current boyfriend's license tag.

Prosecutors argued that these items, plus batteries, light bulbs and smokeless gunpowder found in Hodler's car and home, closely matched items retrieved from the crime scene.

Weiner argued the evidence was ``irrelevant'' and said it didn't link Hodler to the bombing.
Copyright © 2003, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Thanks for the update, piney.

She wept, but I'm betting those tears were of the 'thank God I'm alive to see this guy get justice' variety. I don't care how the defense lawyer spins it, there is nothing 'irrelevant' about an attempt being made on the victim's life. Mr. Hodler didn't write her license plate number down on a pad and place it in his briefcase for safe keeping.

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