The Other McCain

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Speedway Bomber: 40th Anniversary of Brett Kimberlin’s Notorious Crimes

Posted on | September 1, 2018 | Comments Off on Speedway Bomber: 40th Anniversary of Brett Kimberlin’s Notorious Crimes

‘Speedway Bomber’ Brett Kimberlin was sentenced to 50 years in 1981

My podcast colleague John Hoge reminds me that this weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the Indiana crime spree that made Brett Kimberlin notorious. Two videos from WRTV:




The summary of Kimberlin’s crimes:

A six-day bombing spree rocked the town of Speedway, Indiana in September 1978. The bombings began the evening of Sept. 1 and did not end until Sept. 6.
A total of eight bombs exploded. Two people were seriously injured in the final bombing. 
The first explosions rocked three different locations in Speedway on Sept. 1. The bombs hidden inside of trashcans caused damage, but nobody was seriously injured. One witness said the explosion, “…moved me back about a foot and it felt like I guess like you were shelled like a bomb just went off.” 
The bombings continued into the next week.
The tactics of the Speedway Bomber escalated on Sept. 5 when a parked Speedway Police cruiser was targeted. Again, nobody was injured in the bombing, but that would soon change. 
On Sept. 6, 1978, an abandoned gym bag blew up in the parking lot of Speedway High School. Multiple people were injured, including Carl DeLong. DeLong’s injuries were so severe that doctors had to amputate his right leg.  
Authorities soon offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the eight explosions.  
Later that month, a former Broad Ripple ‘Businessman of the Year’ named Brett Kimberlin was arrested on unrelated charges. Police executed a search warrant but did not immediately charge Kimberlin in the Speedway bombings. 
Kimberlin was eventually charged in the bombings and went to trial in 1981. He was convicted by a jury of 12 and sentenced to 50 years in prison. 
Kimberlin was released after serving 15 years. He continues to deny any involvement in the Speedway bombings.  

Never mind that Kimberlin was also a major drug trafficker, and let’s not even mention that little girl, Debbie Barton, who was called “Jessica” in Mark Singer’s 1996 biography of Kimberlin, Citizen K:

From the beginning of his friendship with Sandi [Barton], Kimberlin said, her younger daughter developed an attachment to him. Sandi would come to Eagle Creek, to tend his horses and ride her own; Jessica would tag along, and “she used to hang on me, she didn’t want to let me go.” Jessica was ten years old and Kimberlin was twenty. . . .
For three consecutive summers, 1974 through 1976, they took vacations of a week or longer in Disney World, Mexico, and Hawaii. Sandi couldn’t get time off from work, so on these summer trips it was just the two of them — Brett and Jessica.
Eyebrows levitated. A drug-dealing colleague had memories of conversations with Kimberlin that struck him as odd: “We’d see a girl, who was pubescent or prepubescent, and Brett would get this smile and say, ‘Hey, what do you think? Isn’t she great?’ It made me very uncomfortable.” Another recalled Kimberlin introducing Jessica as “my girlfriend,” and if irony was intended, it was too subtle to register. To a coworker . . . Sandi confided that Kimberlin was “grooming Jessica to be his wife.” . . .

Just coincidentally, the girl’s grandmother was the victim of an unsolved murder, and when police began investigating, the bombings started.

“Sue Me Again, You Evil Liar.”




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