Hey! There's an ATF Agent in My Den!
One year after the Summer of Police Protection, the soon-to-be-hublet and I were finishing up our degrees and working at the local Barnes & Noble bookstore to help with expenses. The big exciting Raleigh news event that summer was the attempted murder-by-mail-bomb of a female BTI employee, which served to remind everyone about the Oklahoma City bombing, and brought the usual complaints about our store stocking The Anarchist's Cookbook. Incidentally, we had moved that volume behind the register after Oklahoma City, in response to those same complaints.
I was coming home from work one day about a week after the BTI bombing, and as I got ready to turn into my apartment complex I noticed an abandoned car at the bottom of the driveway. Something about the vehicle made me think "unmarked police car," but I didn't pay any more attention than that. So I pulled into my parking space, hopped out of the car, checked my mail, and opened my door, expecting my fiance' to be there.
He was there all right, along with two ATF agents complete with guns and those blue nylon "Hey! We're ATF agents!" jackets they wear. I took in the scene, said "hi," and retired to the bedroom to quiet Gertie, the barking wonder. About thirty minutes later, they left, and I wandered out to politely inquire of my fiance why he was being questioned by federal agents.
Turns out that he had sold the BTI bombing suspect a copy of The Anarchist's Cookbook, and furthermore, he was able to pick the guy out of a set of photographs. Long story short, the bomber had come to the counter, asked hublet for a copy of TAC, and made small talk while he looked it over. He then purchased it from hublet, pretty much guaranteeing he would be remembered. Then, he left the book and the receipt in his basement, which his wife remembered seeing after she got out of the hospital. Did I mention his wife was the victim? Well, she was. Lost two fingers and the thumb on her left hand, but all things considered, she was pretty lucky.
About 6 months later, hublet and I got a free night's stay in Wilmington while he testified at the trial. I talked to some of the other witnesses for the prosecution while we waited, and it turned out that this guy did something memorable or stupid at every store he went to. The lady from Home Depot who sold him the pipe he used for the bomb remembered him because he was talking so much; he had recently upped the wife's insurance policy to $250,000--the list went on. Frankly, all I could think of was, "He was gonna kill his wife for a measly $250,000? Chump. That won't even get you 4 bedrooms in Raleigh!" But I digress.
The next summer was the last in our trifecta of Mayhem--Hurricane Fran hit. After that, I decided that maybe a house would be a good investment. Preferably somewhere a little bit out of the way of tangentally related criminal activity or natural disasters...so we moved. And I'm happy to report that neither the ATF, Raleigh PD, or FEMA have shown up at my door since then.