Would-be Aspen bomber left list of enemies | VailDaily.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Would-be Aspen bomber left list of enemies

Wyatt Haupt Jr.whaupt@aspentimes.comAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN, Colorado An enemies list left behind by would-be Aspen bomber Jim Blanning featured the names of several prominent people in the community, including Mayor Mick Ireland and former prosecutor Chip McCrory, authorities said Tuesday.The late J.E. DeVilbiss, who was a judge and then a city councilman, was also noted.Its not a conclusive summary of the list, said Sheriff Bob Braudis, who only disclosed some of the names. I have yet to peruse the remainder.Braudis said that at this point the list was not important at all. He said it was tough to figure out what Blanning was thinking at the time he drafted the list of names.Who knows in his addled self, Braudis said.The list was among the items retrieved by law enforcement officials from the green Jeep Cherokee that belonged to Blanning. His body was found outside of the vehicle on New Years Day morning in the parking lot at the entrance of the North Star Nature Preserve, about 3 miles east of Aspen.Blanning died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Braudis said Blanning shot himself with a .357-caliber Magnum, Smith & Wesson revolver.He said an AR-15, semi-automatic rifle with two loaded clips was also among the items found in the vehicle.The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are working to trace the history of the weapons. The agencies are also conducting an investigation in Denver, where Blanning had an apartment.A letter written to Braudis from Blanning (the men had been friends for decades) was also found in the Jeep. The letter offered some insight as to why Blanning, 72, put DeVilbiss, Ireland and McCrory on the list.He credited the trio with ruining his life.Ireland, a former Pitkin County commissioner and a reporter in the 1980s and 1990s, scrutinized Blannings pursuit of obtaining mining claims in the area. McCrory, now a defense attorney, was then a prosecutor who filed fraud charges against Blanning that were related to the sale of mining claims and land scams.DeVilbiss later sentenced Blanning to 16 years in prison as a result of those charges.Blanning, who grew up and lived in Aspen for a number of years, was also convicted of racketeering, organized crime and fraud in 1996.Blanning captured the attention of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies after he walked into two Aspen banks on New Years Eve day and left a package at each location.The packages, disguised as Christmas gifts, each contained 5-gallon plastic bladders of gasoline that were fitted with cellular phone actuators and mousetraps, or anti-tampering devices.Two other packages were found on a black sled in an alley off South Galena Street, authorities said.The banks, Wells Fargo and Vectra, alerted authorities about the packages around 2:30 p.m. Each of the packages also contained a demand note for $60,000 in cash.That set off a massive response by law enforcement, which locked down a 16-block area of downtown, effectively shuttering the area on one of the busiest nights of the year.The Grand Junction bomb squad later dismantled the bombs.whaupt@aspentimes.comAspen Times reporter Carolyn Sackariason contributed to this report.


Support Local Journalism