Luke Helder's Bad Trip

A college student on a cross-country pipe-bomb spree terrifies the Midwest--but what was his goal?

Jack Kerouac would have recognized the story line. A bright young kid from Main Street U.S.A. immerses himself in philosophy and art, has a cosmic revelation that leads him to question the system, and heads off down the highway to spread the news and stretch his newfound spiritual wings. Sadly, that's where the resemblance ends between the footloose Beat novelist and 21-year-old Lucas Helder, whose strange idea of raising America's consciousness was to plant explosives in heartland mailboxes.

The confessed pipe bomber's 3,000-mile cross-country crime spree, which injured six and dredged up painful memories of everything from anthrax to the Unabomber,...

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