Thursday, March 23, 2006


This sleepy little town in the northern California foothills has been rocked by the news that one of its former residents, who still has family in the area, has been arrested in Bolivia for killing two people after setting off bombs in two hotels. From the Sacramento Bee:

LA PAZ, Bolivia - Bolivian police were puzzling Thursday over the possible motives of a former Placerville resident accused of killing two people and wounding at least seven by setting off bombs in Bolivian hotels. He described himself as a Saudi Arabian lawyer, a pagan reverend, even a vampire, having adopted the name of the main character in Anne Rice’s dark novels.

Triston Jay Amero, 24, ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the El Dorado Union High School District Board in 2002. Amero, who listed his occupation with the El Dorado County Elections office as a "Clergyman/process server," lost during the June 2002 election, having only garnered 5.56 percent of the vote, according to Bee archives.

The death toll and damage:

The bombings killed a Bolivian man and woman and severely damaged two low budget hotels frequented by foreign tourists in La Paz’s historic city center. A U.S. citizen, identified as Jessica Wilson, was treated and released from a hospital, and the other injured people are Bolivian, police said.

Bolivia's President comments:

President Evo Morales vented his anger shortly after the bombings, denouncing the crimes as an attack on Bolivia’s democracy.
"This American was putting bombs in hotels," Morales said. "The U.S. government fights terrorism, and they send us terrorists."

The State Dept contacts mother in Placerville:

The State Department called his mother, Dawna Scheda, in Placerville, on Wednesday night to inform her about the arrest. Scheda said she has not spoken with her son and does not know where he is being held, and declined to say more before hiring a lawyer.

The Lodi terror group, and subsequent trial, wasn't that big a deal for Sacramento. After all, we had Patty Hearst and the SLA blow through town years ago and rob a bank and kill a guard. But a bomber from Placerville is odd--unsettling. It's making people think about their safety, even in Placerville. I live 20 minutes from downtown Placerville. I'm thinking about it.

I don't know the answer, but here's the rest of the Sac Bee article. (reg req)

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