Thursday, March 02, 2006

OK Sooner student “suicide” doubted

Back in October an Oklahoma college student made fairly big news by dying in a bomb blast on a park bench just outside of the university stadium while a packed-house game was in play. I wrote at the time that the immediate explanation - a suicide - left a lot to be desired as a conclusion to the investigation. Simply put, there was a tremendous amount of circumstantial evidence that pointed, instead, to a failed suicide bombing where the explosive went off prematurely. While many folks were asking the same questions I was and some of those people were continuing the investigation as best they could, there has been no major updates to the case since.

Until now. Via Michelle Malkin I was directed to this story which quotes a police bomb expert as saying he believes that Joel Hinrichs didn’t intend to light that bomb off where he did.

A Norman police bomb expert said Tuesday he does not believe University of Oklahoma student Joel Henry Hinrichs III committed suicide by blowing himself up outside a packed football stadium.

"I believe he accidentally blew himself up," Sgt. George Mauldin said.

Mauldin said Hinrichs, 21, an engineering student, had two to three pounds of triacetone triperoxide, commonly known as TATP, in a backpack in his lap when it exploded Oct. 1.


"Someone saw him fiddling with it (the backpack) shortly before the explosion occurred. I think he got cocky, and it went off," Mauldin said. [Link]

The FBI remains adamant that this was a lone suicide with no ties to terrorism and says they’re going to release the investigation’s conclusions in a few weeks. When they do, I’ll talk about it here.