You give a story long enough, the truth eventually finds it’s way out. The Oklahoman is reporting on a Norman bomb expert who believes Joel Hinrichs didn not intend to commit suicide when he was killed in an explosion on Oct. 1 less than 200 yards from a football stadium packed with more than 80,000 people (hat tip: Mark).
“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.
When asked if he believed Hinrichs meant to enter the stadium with the explosives, Mauldin replied, “I don’t believe he intended for an explosion to occur at that spot (on the park bench).”
So what “spot” was he intending to detonate? That’s the million dollar question. He had 2 to 3 pounds of TATP, “the most unstable explosive known and the explosive of choice in the Middle East”. Even a miniscule amount can cause an big explosion. He had 2 to 3 pounds. That’s quite a bit of “mother of satan” for a lonely kid to use when he decides to “just quit living”.
Officers also removed “a lot” of military rounds, many of them live, and pieces of metal from the student’s apartment, Mauldin said.
Metal fragments often are added to explosives to make them more deadly, he said.
The explosives Hinrichs had outside the stadium were pure, with no fragmentation added, Mauldin said.
However, he said, the student kept careful notes of experimentation with explosives in the weeks leading up to the Oct. 1 blast.
Notes indicated Hinrichs experimented with adding fragmentation to explosives as if “he were trying to make a damaging product,” Mauldin said.
Most of Hinrichs’ experiments occurred at Red Rock Canyon, according to the notes.
Let’s not forget he also inquired about purchasing a “large quantity of ammonium nitrate” a few weeks before the bombing, as well. That’s a lot of preparation for a simple suicide, isn’t it? And if he didn’t intend on harming others, why was he practicing making a shrapnel-laden bomb?
If this was an “accidental” suicide, then we’re left to wonder if it was a dry run, or a failed attempt at the real thing. I guess we’ll just have to wait for more of the truth to surface.