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Walter Leroy Moody, Jr.
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    (March 24, 1935-April 19, 2018)
    Born in Rex, Georgia
    Sent mail bombs that killed federal judge Robert S. Vance, Sr. (December 16, 1989), and civil rights attorney Robert E. Robertson (December 18, 1989)
    Officials intercepted bombs sent to the 11th Circuit Court offices in Atlanta and a NAACP office in Florida
    Executed by lethal injection
    Became the oldest person executed in the US since the restoration of the death penalty in 1976
    He was a life-long conman who allegedly ran a mail-order Ponzi scheme from death row.
    He fathered children out of wedlock with four women.
    He first planned to send a mail bomb to an auto dealer who had repossessed his car.
    The package containing that bomb was found in their kitchen by his wife, who set off the bomb when she opened the package and required six operations for her injuries (May 7, 1972)
    After the 11th Circuit Court rejected his petition to overturn his conviction, he issued a ‘declaration of war’ against the court.
    He sent death threats to seventeen federal judges.
    He apparently targeted Robinson and the NAACP in an attempt to disguise his motives by making the bombings appear racially motivated.
    He became a suspect when a lab technician at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms noticed the similarity between the 1989 mail bombs and the one he had built in 1972.
    He simultaneously demanded that the court seal the trial records to protect his privacy and announced plans to sell t-shirts and a movie script based on his notoriety as the mail bombing suspect.
    His ex-girlfriend said he talked about committing the ‘perfect crime’: ‘You build a bomb, then when everything exploded there’d be nothing left to investigate.’
    In an unsuccessful clemency bid, his lawyers argued that Judge Vance was ‘by all accounts, an opponent of capital punishment.’
    During childhood reading lessons, his mother would slap him if he faltered on a word.
    He claimed to have been raped in prison while serving time for the 1972 pipe bomb incident.
    Demonstrating creativity (if not necessarily credibility) in his defense, he claimed chemicals and other materials found at his house by police were being used by him in cold-fusion experiments similar to those of Pons and Fleischmann.

Credit: C. Fishel

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