VanPac News History

Copyright 1989 Gannett Company Inc.  

December 19, 1989, Tuesday, FINAL EDITION


LENGTH: 258 words

HEADLINE: Threat wrapped in brown paper;
FBI ties bombs to NAACP attack

BYLINE: Vincent Willmore; Mark Mayfield


DeLoach and Special Agent William Hinshaw said the FBI is warning lawyers, judges and NAACP activists in Georgia and Alabama to beware of strange packages.

Hinshaw said the FBI also warned the NAACP that the attacks appear to be related to the Aug. 22 tear-gas mail Bomb at NAACP's Atlanta offices. Eight people were injured.

FBI agents earlier Monday said they saw ''strong similarities'' to mail bombings that killed U.S. Circuit Judge Robert Vance in Birmingham Saturday and panicked an Atlanta courthouse Monday.

Postal Inspector John Paul confirmed that the Postal Service is investigating the Robinson slaying as well as Vance's because Robinson was killed by a Bomb that was in a package mailed to his office.

In Washington, Justice Department spokesman David Runkel said, ''I think it's premature to draw any conclusions. ... At this time, there is no civil rights investigation.''

In Atlanta Monday, a 10-inch-long parcel wrapped in brown paper and containing a pipe Bomb was discovered during X-ray screening of all mail to the court. Police disarmed it.

Speculation on motives for the mail bombings also has focused on drugs.

In the wake of the bombings, security was heightened:

- In Greenville, S.C., U.S. Circuit Judge William Wilkins told his family not to open any packages mailed to his home ''unless I've had a chance to look at them.''

- At U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, the site of big drug trials, U.S. Marshal Charles Healey said, ''We're definitely beefing up. ... Everything is going to be X-rayed.''

GRAPHIC: PHOTO; color, Tami Chappell, AP (Bombs, William Briley)
CUTLINE: DELICATE DUTY: William Briley, of Atlanta Bomb squad, carries parcel containing pipe Bomb to disposal canister outside federal courthouse Monday. Bomb was safely disarmed.