VanPac News History

Times Publishing Company  

St. Petersburg Times

December 22, 1989, Friday, City Edition


LENGTH: 593 words

HEADLINE: Officials check letters sent to Bomb targets

SOURCE: Baltimore Sun



 BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Investigators are examining letters sent recently    to some of the targets of mailed bombs this week to determine if they    come from the sender of the bombs.
    Allen Whitaker, the FBI agent in charge here, said at a news    conference Thursday that some of the letters received since the    bombings could be interpreted as claims of responsibility.
    Four mailed bombs were received in three states between Saturday    and Tuesday. Two exploded, killing a federal judge in Birmingham and a    lawyer in Savannah, Ga.        "There have been followup letters sent since the receipt of the    Bomb parcels," U.S. Postal Inspector Leo Shatzel confirmed in Atlanta.    "It appears these letters may have been sent by the individual who    mailed the parcels."
    Investigators would not divulge details of the letters, who    received them or what they said. Whitaker said "there are numerous    communications, written and telephonic, that are being evaluated."
    Shatzel described the letters as "threatening."
    The FBI offices in Birmingham, Jacksonville and Atlanta have set up    local telephone lines seeking tips from the public that might help    their investigation. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has also set up    a tip line in Atlanta.
    The establishment of the phone lines suggested that investigators    still are searching for a breakthrough in the inquiry. Whitaker said an    informed tip might provide a shortcut to the task of sifting through    the "enormous amount of information that we have to evaluate, manage    and act upon."
    Investigators are concentrating on finding links between the    apparent targets in the bombings, all of whom had at least some    involvement in civil rights issues.
    The first Bomb exploded Saturday in the home of U.S. 11th Circuit    Judge Robert Vance, killing the 58-year-old jurist and seriously    injuring his wife. Robert Robinson, 42, a Savannah alderman and lawyer    for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was    killed Monday when he opened a package at his office.
    A Bomb mailed to the federal appeals court in Atlanta was detected    and disarmed Monday. Another, addressed to the NAACP legal staff in    Jacksonville, was disarmed Tuesday.
    FBI agents have interviewed lawyers associated with cases that had    been before the federal appeals court. They also have identified four    desegregation cases that went before the court. Vance was part of a    ruling panel in a case involving desegregation issues in Jacksonville.
Robinson was involved in another case, involving desegregation efforts    in Savannah.
    Investigators also are looking at a case in which black plaintiffs    are to be awarded $ 3.75-million for their claims of employment    discrimination at Warner Robins Air Force Base.
    At least one of the Bomb packages bore a return address of Warner    Robins, a small community 10 miles south of Macon, Ga.        The FBI has said that none of the people identified in the return    addresses is involved in the crimes. They also have concluded that at    least three, and perhaps all, of the Bomb parcels were mailed in    central Georgia.
    The proximity of the mailings has suggested the crimes may be the    work of one person, and not an organized group.