Collar Bomber Probably A Victim

Brian Douglas Wells, Pizza Delivery Man, Bomb Collar, Bank Robbery, Cynthia Bowers, Evening News
CBS News Correspondent Cynthia Bowers is digging deeper into the bizarre unsolved crime in which a pizza delivery man robbed a bank and was then killed by a bomb locked around his neck— a bomb he said someone else put there to force him to rob the bank.

Investigators say they are almost certain 46-year-old Brian Wells was not in on the plot that ended with the detonation of the bomb locked around his neck.

But the curious twists continue. Just this weekend police were led to a man's body in a freezer on a property right next to the location where Wells made his last pizza run.

Though they downplayed any connection the discovery of the body might have to Wells' case, state and federal investigators spent hours searching the home and hauling off possible evidence.

"It simply doesn't make any sense except as some weird cruel homicidal game," says Jim Fisher, a criminal justice professor at Edinboro University.

Fisher is a former FBI agent turned educator who solves cold cases in his spare time, but he admits to being baffled just like everyone else in Erie.

"The case doesn't make any sense either as a bombing or as a bank robbery or as a homicide," says Fisher. "And when you mix them all together it makes even less sense."

The most important piece of evidence may still be the unusual collar-like device used to affix the pipe bomb to Wells' neck.

Sources from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms told CBS' Bowers the collar looks similar to a commercially manufactured pipe clamp. Wells told police strangers accosted him on this rural road, locked the device onto him and ordered him to rob a bank.

Since Wells died before he could explain further, some investigators considered the possibility that Wells could be in on the plot.

That theory only poured salt in the wounds of grieving family members.

"It was an awful time, the 'in on it' part had to bother me the most," says Wells' aunt Janneth McDonald.

Sources also told CBS' Bowers whoever plotted the crime perhaps wanted the bomb to go off, allowing the assailants to pick up the money and eliminate a potential witness.

Family and friends hope now that the focus is off Wells, they may be one step closer to finding the truth.