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    Home / College Guide / Pipe Bomb Letter Sent to College Newspaper
     Posted on Monday, May 13 @ 00:07:17 PDT

    the Associated Press. "He surrendered the gun and was taken into custody without incident." At a news conference Tuesday, FBI agent Jim Bogner did not say why Helder is suspected, but did say he is "a person of interest that we would like to question." The FBI announced their search for Helder a day after a pipe bomb and letter were found in a mailbox in Amarillo, Texas. The bomb matched the 17 others found in the Midwest and Colorado since Friday. Anti-government notes were attached to the bombs, which warned "More 'attention getters' are on the way." In the letter to the Herald, signed by Helder, he said he is willing to die for his cause and threatened the lives of others. "I will die/change in the end for this, but that's ok, hahaha paradise awaits!" the letter read. "I'm dismissing a few individuals from reality, to change all of you for the better, surely you can understand my logic." Entitled "Explosions! A Bit of Evidence for You!" the letter detailed Helder's philosophies on life and death. Helder cautions people to avoid governmental control. "If the government controls what you want to do, they control what you can do," he said. Much of the letter revolves around Helder's views on death, which he said he believes does not exist.

    "To 'live' (avoid death) in this society you are forced to conform/slave away," the letter reads. "I'm here to help you realize/understand that you will live no matter what! It is up to you people to open your hearts and minds. There is no such thing as death." Helder contends his happiness depends on his examination of authority. "I'm happy because I know," he said. "I often wonder why anyone would be content with believing when they could know." Cameron Helder, Luke's father, said his son is attempting to make his political beliefs heard. "I think he's just trying to make a statement about the way the government is run," he said. Molly Webb, a UW-Madison junior and former classmate of Helder, said he might have a drug problem, but she believed this was not the source of his anger. "I think he just wanted to get his message out there," she said. "He's not the kind of guy who would hurt anyone." Another high school friend, Ryan Swan, played in several bands with Helder and said he was not surprised to learn Helder's story. "He just seems like the type of person who would get on a tangent and go with it," Swan said. Josh Scott, UW-Eau Claire sophomore, worked with Helder three years ago at Rainbow Foods and said he seemed harmless.

    "He was a quiet, mellow guy who kept to himself," Scott said. "I remember talking to him about old times, and he seemed like a great guy." However, Scott said he heard Helder holds strong anti-government beliefs. "He always believed he had something important to say," Scott said. John Ender, UW-Stout executive director of university relations, said Helder had no disciplinary problems at school. His only offense was a charge for drug paraphernalia last September. The bombs killed no one, but injured six. Rural residents in Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska were asked to leave their mailboxes open to ease the worry of nervous postal workers. Officials described the bombs as three-quarter-inch steel pipes attached to nine-volt batteries, and said they appeared to be triggered by being touched or moved. UW Stout professors said they last saw Helder April 24; his roommates reported seeing him last week. The 21-year-old is majoring in art and industrial design.

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