Faculty Member Co-Authors Book on 'Pizza Bomber' Case

book signingPosted: November 13, 2012

Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 – More than 200 people attended an event at Gannon University tonight for an opportunity to have a signed copy of a new book on the infamous “pizza bomber” case.

Local residents packed Gannon’s Waldron Campus Center as the co-authors, Dr. Jerry Clark, at right in photo, and Ed Palattella signed copies of “Pizza Bomber: The Untold Story of America’s Most Shocking Bank Robbery.” Released Nov. 6, the book already has been a big hit locally.

The case dates to Aug. 28, 2003, when a pizza deliveryman, Brian Wells, robbed a local bank and then died, shockingly, after a bomb that had been locked to his neck detonated.

At the time, Clark was an FBI agent and served as the lead investigator on the case, which was designated as one of the few major cases in the FBI’s history. Clark recently completed work on his doctorate, and is now an assistant professor in Gannon University’s criminal justice program.

Palattella is a reporter with the Erie Times-News and covered extensively the case and the subsequent court proceedings.

The book signing at Gannon University also included a presentation by Clark that focused on the case, the events leading up to it, and the investigation, which proved to be lengthy, trying, and at times bizarre.

His presentation included actual surveillance photos of Wells when he was in the bank and a discussion of the other central figures in the case, including Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, who was convicted on all counts in November, 2010, and William Rothstein, a key person of interest who died of cancer in 2004.

Rothstein’s death certainly did not make the investigation any easier, Clark noted during his remarks. The investigation was inherently complex, with a number of twists and turns. Clark noted that there were times over the years when investigators were unsure whether they would be able to solve the case.

However, Palattella, Clark, and others involved in the investigation never lost sight of the horrific nature of the case and the loss of life. “It was a tragic event in every sense,” Clark said.

“Pizza Bomber: The Untold Story of America’s Most Shocking Bank Robbery,” is priced at $9.99. It was published by the Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.