Fictional investigator Jessica Fletcher of Cabot Cove usually gets to the truth, but anyone involved in the ongoing mystery of a chemical bomb in Portland, Maine, cannot, it seems.
In honor of Angela Lansbury’s 85th birthday which took place on October 16, allow me to present a mystery, one that her character Jessica Fletcher of the fictional Cabot Cove, Maine, would find hard to solve.
I have already written two articles on an incident that took place on September 21 in Portland, Maine, “Portland, Maine: DA’s Office Not Told of Teenager’s Bomb” and “Lied to by the Portland Maine District Attorney?”
Originally I was only interested in what, if any charges would be filed by the District Attorney’s office.
I had read the following report from WCSH NBC Channel 6, Portland, Maine on their website Wednesday, September 22.
“PORTLAND, ME (NEWS CENTER) -- Police say there were no injuries or damage caused by a chemical bomb that went off in a parking lot near the Islamic Society of Portland.
The bomb went off in the lot between the Islamic Society and Back Bay Grill around 8:00 PM Tuesday night. Portland Police say Islamic elders came forward to tell them that a 13 year old from the Society was experimenting and was responsible for the bomb. Another bomb was also found undetonated. Police say it's unclear if charges will be filed against the teenagers.”
Having read this I contacted the Portland, Maine D.A.’s office Friday morning September 24. I spoke to the head of the Juvenile Justice Division, Prosecution Team Leader, Assistant District Attorney, Christine Thibeault.
What took place during that conversation bothered me almost as much as the bomb itself. She had no idea that there had been a bomb earlier that week. No one in the D.A.’s office was aware of it until my telephone call, or so they said.
My second article was written after I followed up with the Portland D.A.’s office and found myself being lied to along with an ever changing story. None of my calls were returned by Asst. D.A. Thibeault for almost a week. After being stonewalled I left a message with the District Attorney, Stephanie Anderson. Anderson returned my call and informed that she had “instructed” Thibeault not to speak with me. Anderson told me she would be dealing with me from this point forward. D.A. Anderson did tell me during our first conversation that the bomb was made from a particular brand of toilet cleaner. She told me:
“Some kids figured out a few years ago that if you put this toilet cleaner in a plastic bottle and ball up a piece of tinfoil and put it inside the bottle, there’ll be a chemical reaction and it will, you know, blow up the bottle.”
Anderson was adamant that no one knew what had happened to the second bomb, other than it had been “disposed of”. She either really didn’t know or just didn’t want me to.
She insisted that because they had no “evidence” and no proof of what the chemical bomb was made from, they needed to find out what had happened to the second bomb.
When discussing the missing bomb she explained that even the Detective in charge had no idea what had happened to the second bomb and said to me:
“I don’t have hardly anything to go on and I’m trying to get more to go on. I had the detective over here in like, very, very quickly and he’s as frustrated as anyone else”.
After some simple investigating, here is what I found out. When toilet bowl cleaner and tin foil are mixed together inside of a bottle the chemical reaction creates a volatile buildup of gases, consequently detonating the bottle with a great amount of force. Once the detonation occurs, the chemical substance in the bottle is actually boiling liquid.
The amount of force that is generated at the time of the explosion is enough to severe fingers and can cause 2nd and 3rd degree chemical burns to the victim. The chemicals can cause blindness and the toxic fumes are harmful. If placed in a glass bottle as opposed to plastic it creates shards of flying glass.
The active chemical is known as HCI, which is hydrogen chloride or when in liquid form hydrochloric acid. Combining these two substances is illegal. Writing on the bottle clearly states:
"It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling."
It was beginning to be painfully obvious that no charges would be filed against this 13 year old junior jihadi or anyone at the mosque even though, according to WCSH, the “elders” admitted that the teenager was “experimenting with chemicals”.
Just as it seemed this was going nowhere I was contacted by a witness, she has told me her story and even appeared as a guest on my radio show ‘America Akbar’ on Windows to Liberty Radio Network. To protect her identity we will refer to her as “Debbie”.
Debbie’s story is rather interesting, since she was not only there when the bomb went off, but was possibly targeted.
Debbie is an employee at the Back Bay Grill. Debbie’s explanation is rather different from the news accounts and the D.A. to say the least,
“At about 7:45 I decided to go get my phone charger from my car. The Mosque (The Islamic Society of Portland) back door and parking lot is directly behind the Back Bay grill and it was filled with people and cars.”
Building on left-Islamic society of Portland, building on right-Back Bay Grill
Then she explains about the blast,
“I took several more steps and then the chemical bottle bomb exploded directly in front of me. It stopped me in my tracks. It was exceedingly loud. A child that sounded like it came from the van full of children shouted, in a proud- sort of accomplished way, “He did it! He did it!”
Debbie’s first reaction was to yell,
“Who did this, who did this?”
Then the Taqiyya began. Debbie heard the woman in the van respond,
“Not MY Children”.
As Debbie explains further, the Taqiyya continues,
“I then turned to my left and behind me and there was a Musilm man standing there, and I said, ‘Who did this? Who did this?’ And he said to me ‘Did what?’ I said, “Set off that explosion?” He said in complete denial “What explosion?”
Parking lot behind Islamic Society and Back Bay Grill
The Back Bay Grill Manager came out and she told him what happened. The manager went over and picked up what was left of the plastic bottle and looked it over.
The manager, who would later suffer from a burn on his face from the chemicals on his hands, told Debbie that while he was speaking with the men, they took the exploded bottle inside the mosque.
Debbie returned to the restaurant to calm down. She was, “scared, upset and angry.” When the manager returned he phoned the police at Debbie’s suggestion.
The manager then waited outside for the police to arrive.
The 9-11 operator was told that there was just an explosion outside the mosque. One would think that the police, fire department and ambulances would be there in a matter of minutes, right?
I have to enlighten everyone that this is not the safest part of town. It has its share of homeless people sleeping on the street, prostitutes and other characters. The main Portland Post Office is located only half a block away.
According to people I have spoken with, across the street from the Back Bay Grill is the Portland vehicle maintenance depot where all the police cars fill up at the start of their shifts. There are regularly police vehicles in this area at any given time.
15-20 minutes after the explosion the Portland Police finally arrived. That would be just the police, no fire, no EMS, no sirens, no emergency flashing lights, just the police.
When Debbie saw the police arrive she went outside. She explained,
“The police officers shouted “Walk around, walk around, there is another one” and found yet another undetonated chemical bottle bomb underneath a taxicab in the parking lot.”
She points out that one of the policemen even commented,
“How lucky everyone was to have at least one member on the bomb squad on duty this evening, otherwise we probably couldn’t do anything… The bomb squad officer used a BB gun and shot a hole in the device to relieve the pressure so it didn’t detonate.”
In a later conversation Debbie told me that the bomb squad member was actually the head of the Portland bomb squad.
Her conversation with the police and their reaction was strange as well,
“I told the police that the first bomb “had exploded about ten feet in front of me”
“The police stated that clearly this was “kids being kids” and from the start I felt as if the police were belittling the situation.”
At this point Debbie went back inside the restaurant. She told me,
“When the manager came back he said that the police were speaking with the adults from the mosque and that they had given the plastic bottle back to the police.”
One very interesting side note here, over the last year Debbie has seen the back door of the mosque go from one regular back door to three security doors. She explained to me,
“There used to be just one door, they have added on two more doors, so now, where you used to go inside the mosque through one, you now have a security type area that when you enter it leads to another door.”
Remember, the back door leads to the parking area and according to everyone I have spoken with, the back door is the one that is always used.
This is important because according to Debbie the manager told her,
“It was very important to the Muslims that the Police enter through the front door out of respect. The Muslims told the Police that they don’t let anyone use the back door.
He also told me that the Muslims brought a child forward that admitted to making the bombs and showed the police inside the mosque what he used to make the bombs.
He said it was some sort of toilet bowl cleaner. I asked what kind and he said he would go look because the police had thrown everything in the Back Bay Grill dumpster. He pulled out a large plastic bottle of toilet bowl cleaner. I thought it was weird that the police had thrown everything in our dumpster.”
[I must be watching too much CSI, I thought the police would gather all the evidence, not throw it away, silly me.] Debbie told me how she felt,
“My husband and I felt that people needed to know about this. The police had said many times that it was just kids being kids but I was there. I experienced the explosion and it was much more than kids being kids. I felt that the other people and children around knew something was going to happen. There were too many adults around for it to be kids being kids. They watched it happen and then denied it to my face. Only when police pressed the issue did the Muslims admit that an explosion had happened and move forward with admitting to what happened.”
Debbie later suffered physical pain,
“The next morning my teeth, skull, eye sockets and ears hurt. They ached, but different from a headache.”
As Debbie explained to me, it wasn’t until Friday of that week that the detective interviewed her:
“I began to explain to Detective Murphy what happened. He stopped me in mid-sentence and told me “In their eyes, as a woman, you are a speck of dirt.” That bothered me but I tried to brush it off. I proceeded to tell my story to the detective; I signed a statement that Murphy had written. He told me he’d be working with the Juvenile Prosecutor Christine Thibeault to decide what charges the child would face.”
It appeared to me that Debbie and I were getting the same runaround, as she told me,
“I called detective Murphy after two weeks had passed. He told me he was still investigating and to speak with Christine Thibeault. I called Thibeault and she told me that this is how the system works and these things take time. Both the detective and the Juvenile prosecutor told me they would call me when they knew something more. I never received any calls.”
Jessica Fletcher where are you when we need you?
It is interesting that during my research I found that three teenagers, two juveniles and an adult were charged with six counts each of criminal use of explosives, a Class C felony by the same District Attorney less than 5 months earlier for the exact same type of bombs.
As I explained in my second article,
“A bomb is a bomb and the law is the law. Yes, I can understand that they would want to know what the bomb was made of, but if the components were needed in order to charge someone most other cases would go un-charged. I can hear it now on the news. A bomb went off today, police know who did it, but since there is nothing left the perpetrator will not be charged. Yeah, right.”
So, once again political correctness, or as I like to call it “political incorrectness” has run amuck. The D.A. is obviously dragging their feet over the prayer rug that the police swept the evidence under.
Can what happened to Debbie not be classified as a “hate crime”? She was the only non-Muslim there and the one in closest proximity to the bomb. Remember, at one point during an interview Detective Murphy stated to her “In their eyes, as a woman, you are a speck of dirt.”
He understood this aspect of Islam and yet threw away the evidence or allowed it to be thrown away?
Debbie explained to me that she even contacted the local office of the FBI,
“The agent on the telephone refused to give me his name but kept saying “it sounds like a local matter and you should contact the D.A.”
What? I know Jessica Fletcher would disapprove, but can I say WTF?
The FBI doesn’t care about bombs going off? Forget that it occurred outside a mosque, forget that the main Post Office, a Federal building (the Post Office) is less than a block away, and forget that a Muslim admitted to it, it was a bomb!
During my last conversation with D.A. Anderson she told me,
“The 13 year old is changing his story, now he says that he was cleaning inside the mosque the bottle started to bubble and he threw it out the window.”
Hmmm. So where did this second bottle that the police had to disable come from? The one that she said was disposed of that we later found out was thrown away by the Portland Police?
I relayed this conversation to Debbie and she laughed saying,
“That is physically impossible since there are no windows in the mosque that look out in to the parking lot.”
But then the Taqiyya continues as Debbie explains her latest conversation with the D.A.’s office:
“On October 13th I called Detective Murphy again and he said he had wrapped up his investigation. He had delivered his report to Thibeault and had recommended two charges.
I immediately called the DA’s office and asked to speak with Stephanie Anderson. I was told she was unavailable and that Christine Thibeault was handling the case.
Thibeault told me she was still waiting for Murphy’s report. I said I had just spoken with Murphy and he said he had already sent it over. I had a somewhat elevated conversation with her. She told me this was a very hard case to prove because there was no physical evidence. I said ‘that is because the police left it in the Back Bay Grill dumpster. I saw it.’ She said that I couldn’t scientifically prove what was in that bottle therefore there was no physical evidence. She told me she would call me back after she spoke with Stephanie Anderson.”
Now, I have to wonder what Jessica Fletcher of Cabot Cove, Maine would have done had she been at the Back Bay Grill that evening? Would she have called her old friend Sheriff Amos Tupper who undoubtedly would have swooped in, gathered all the evidence as well as the people from the mosque and made an arrest? But alas, this is reality not television and this is Portland, not fictional Cabot cove.
Here are the facts.
- By all accounts a bomb went off between the Back Bay Grill and the Islamic Society in the parking lot.
- The police show up, find another bomb under a car and disable it.
- The ‘elders’ of the Islamic Society come out and admit that the 13 year old boy who is with them was “experimenting with chemicals” and set off the bomb.
- The D.A. tells me it was a toilet cleaner bomb. But they have no evidence.
Jessica Fletcher would ask, how then did you know that it was a toilet cleaner bomb? Did the 13 year old admit it, or perhaps one of the police officers who saw it put it in their report?
I cannot believe with all the witnesses, both civilians and police that the D.A. has not filed charges, especially after doing so back in April for the same thing. Oh, but I forgot, they weren’t Muslims.