Seven people in the Chicago area died after ingesting Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide. The bomb did detonate and fire, thick black smoke and toxi fumes filled the room. Maybe writing that up 2 years ago when this came along was more healing for me than for him, but I gave it all to him! The miraculous events that followed have changed many people foreverespecially survivor Amy Bagaso Williams. He shot and killed her. I think he went in the Marine Corps because of me and served 25 years and retired. The first chapter is titled A Town of Trust.. Mark Junge: And the explosion went straight up? I've got a couple of questions. She was a total torch! The only two fatalities were David and Doris Young. Cokeville Trying to Rebuild A Normal and Secure Life.. Where you find brackets [ ] I have added words for explanation or to complete an awkward sentence. [5][10][8], When the bomb detonated, the majority of the explosive force was channeled through loose ceiling tiles into the roof, and open windows acting as vents. 154 of us were held hostage for almost 3 hours in a 30x32 room when the bomb actually detonated - all 154 hostages survived. The windows had been knocked outhad been blown out. They're the ones that died from the whole thing. I've got to get back to work now! Because it was sittin' low enough and the kids were low enough that it would have done it. In addition, national reporters began arriving within hours of the explosion. He had just big rings of perspiration. On May 16, 1986, former town marshal David Young and his wife Doris Young took 167 children and adults hostage at Cokeville Elementary School. It was within the first few weeks that the Hartley boy was explaining his witness. So I went to Huntsville, Ala., to Redstone Arsenal. Mark Junge: In fact, didn't you say you burned up your engine? He did it right. The top basket contained a gallon milk jug of gasoline, wired with a blasting cap. Eventually Doris lifted her arm sharply and the bomb went off prematurely, injuring Doris while David was out of the room. At 1:00 pm, they pulled up to the Cokeville Elementary School and unloaded a gasoline bomb, along with four rifles and nine handguns. Rich Haskell: Well, run fordo another term as sheriff and then retire, and my wife and I are going to doshe loves genealogy. Rich Haskell: Yep. I remember seeing the wide eyes on my band teacher as he collapsed with the EMTs afterward. By accepting all cookies, you agree to our use of cookies to deliver and maintain our services and site, improve the quality of Reddit, personalize Reddit content and advertising, and measure the effectiveness of advertising. The kids couldn't have done it. Used with thanks. He was the father of two, but was estranged from his elder daughter. . She was on fire! By rejecting non-essential cookies, Reddit may still use certain cookies to ensure the proper functionality of our platform. Mark Junge: We were worried, Sue and I, that people would take offence, right? I contacted my sheriff, and that was Jim Stark at the time, and he said, "Definitely! Well, with the window being open, with the ceiling tiles being able to lift up and down, I think that absorbed a lot of the explosion of the gasoline bottle. Jessica Clark, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of history and political science at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs, Wyo. Also, how long was it before the kids started talking about seeing angels? Rich Haskell: Yeah, there was some people ready to just shoot him right where he was sitting. Everyone else survived, including the injured John Miller. Rich Haskell: I did not. On May 16, 1986, a man and his wife with a bomb took . Mark Junge: This was a life-changing event. The two died after the bomb. Upon entering the classroom, children saw an arsenal of weapons, a grocery cart and an unfamiliar manDavid Young. It packed the brute force of twenty-five sticks of dynamite. She tied the string around her wrist. They feel that it was a positive experience for them. He listened so well, so patiently. Have there been any lingering psychological effects from going through something so traumatic while so young? Throughout the standoff, David grew increasingly agitated and irritable. Now, 28 years later, Conger and more than a dozen other survivors are reliving . Peterson, Carol. Rich Haskell: Sure. The two brought in a bomb attached to themselves with a lanyard. [4], Prior to the hostage crisis, David had tested a similar bomb in a sealed school bus in Arizona, destroying it.[5]. over there. A compilation project by the Cokeville Miracle Foundation, a 501(c) (3) charity. The man and woman who took an elementary school here hostage Friday, injuring 70 children when their homemade gasoline bomb exploded, had ties to the Posse Comitatus and other white supremacist. You'd had experience? New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. [5], "You could see that the roof tiles had been lifted out of their brackets. Because in the bus, everything was solid in the school bus. I do think the key is talking about it often and early. I didn't touch the body at all. On May 16, 1986, an elementary school in Cokeville, Wyoming, was held hostage by a couple with a bomb. After being fired for misconduct, he moved to Tucson, Arizona, where he married Doris Young. During the Cokeville Elementary School hostage crisis. Flipboard. Nobody come inside this circle." The Cokeville Elementary School hostage crisis occurred on Friday, May 16, 1986 in Cokeville, Wyoming, United States, when former town marshal David Young, 43, and his wife Doris Young, 47,[1] took 136 children and 18 adults hostage at Cokeville Elementary School. Rich Haskell: I'm Rich Haskell. After a two-and-a-half hour standoff, the children were becoming restless, so the teachers preoccupied the kids in the form of movies, games, prayer, and books. Story: Witness who ran toward marathon bomb 'saw bodies flying' "The death of any child shatters us all,'' Barnicle said. You know something about bombs. He knew what the community was all about. David and Doris both returned to Cokeville on May 16, 1986. They were sitting out across the fence with scopes on their rifles just ready to shoot until the sheriff went out and said, "No. As well as I can. Rich Haskell: Yes. She lifted her hand up to rub her forehead and when she did that pulled the pin out and detonated the bomb. David returned to the restroom and killed himself, ending the hostage crisis. In their minds they could start another world. The incident was detailed in the book The Cokeville Miracle: When Angels Intervene[12] by Hartt Wixom and his wife Judene, published by Cedar Fort, Inc., which formed the basis for a CBS made-for-TV movie titled To Save the Children. The gasoline bottle was leaking. Did you see anything? The detonation didn't do it, it was cut. Below the jug in the bottom basket were two tuna fish cans filled with a mixture of aluminum powder and flour meant to aerosolize and deflagrate following detonation, each with its own blasting cap. In 1986, 154 children and teachers survived the bombing of Cokeville Elementary School. Rich Haskell: And fourteen and a half great-grandchildren. Sue Castaneda: Did you look at (unintelligible). Kameron Wixom, son of Hartt and Judene Wixom, writes a childlike faith saved us. In his contribution to the Witness to Miracles book, Kameron writes: I didnt have to see angels, hear them, or even think that their presence might be required that day. Ronald DeFeo Jr., the convicted killer whose 1974 murders spawned the "Amityville Horror" franchise, died last week while serving a 25 years-to-life prison term, officials said Monday . For instance, The Cokeville Miracle Foundations 2005 book Witness to Miracles: Remembering the Cokeville Elementary School Bombing and the Wyoming State Archives oral history project called Survivor is My Name both focused on the reconstructing of this narrative as a miracle instead of a tragedy. He came out of the bathroom, is what we figured. On May 16, 1986, an elementary school in the tiny town of Cokeville, Wyoming, was held hostage by a married couple with a bomb. I believe a presence was entering the room at about that time. I actually created a website knowing that people would wonder what was real and what wasn't. Many children showed signs of distress with sobs, complaining of headaches from the smell of gasoline from the bomb, or simply wanting to go home. Jessica Clark, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of history and political science at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs, Wyo. David and Doris Young took 167 hostages (150 children, 17 adults and one unlucky UPS driver) at the elementary school. Ahntastic Adventures in Silicon Valley This wasn't a simple bomb. While he was writing his philosophy, Zero Equals Infinity, Doris took part-time jobs including housekeeping and waitressing to support their meager lifestyle. Here is a local story from the 20 year anniversary (we are at the 29th year now), What's your side of the story? He had been aware of above-average achievement scores from Cokeville's education system. They lived in a mobile home with Princess, Davids youngest daughter from his first marriage. I said, "What on earth happened there?" She has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals on the history and heritage of Germans from Russia on the Northern Plains. Young met his second wife, Doris Waters, while in Cokeville. It's just something that you just have to stay on top of. But I walked up to the window and looked inside the window and didn't hardly see anything out of the ordinary except it was all black inside. He had tried this deviceand they were designed tothat it would be a delayed explosion. The tuna fish cans, if you can imagine, here's two tuna fish cans sittin' here like this, and a gallon jug of gasoline sittin' above it. Mark Junge: And your great-grandkids? And then he shot himself. Mark Junge: How many actual bombs have you had experience with? Of what you would picture an angel, with the wings and, Mark Junge: Well, if I'm a skeptic, I could say, "Well, that's just the way the flames shot up.". What had happenedI can't explain it. In the West? David Youngs journals and writings reveal that he was a troubled man who spent many years grappling with deep philosophical questionsabout mans existence, the afterlife and spirituality. Although many were burned, some severely, only the perpetrators of this horrible incident died. I never did get to see that untilI think it was two days lateractually what they had taken as far as the paperwork was concerned. And it was a perfect trajectory up into the ceiling where that bullet was. David, Doris and Princess proceeded to the elementary school and entered the building shortly after 1 p.m. that Friday. I was up there as part of his protection team. I did see the lighting had changed in the room, and it was right in the same timeline as everyone else's witness. Mark Junge: What's been your experiences since then? Edit: Also, were you at that early screening? A quarter of a century later, Williams can still vividly recall the chaotic scene following the explosion. May 12, 2011, 2:30am PDT. Survivors began to tell their stories through a spiritual lens. After a stand-off lasting two and a half hours, the gasoline bomb the couple had brought into the school went off prematurely, badly burning Doris Young while David Young was out of the room. Mark Junge: Are you one of the most experienced people in the area? We had people from ATFAlcohol, Tobacco and Firearmsand there was another bomb technician that came up from Evanstonhe was studying to be a bomb technicianand we all looked at that and said, "That wire's been cut." There are some survivors that couldn't believe how accurate much of it was. Rich Haskell: There was also ayou look through the ceiling and there was a bigger hole up there. When I walked inside of the classroomit was a kindergarten classroom which meant that the desks were smaller, everything was smaller because of the smaller children. At that time, about 500 people lived in Cokeville, and there were slightly more than 100 students attending the elementary school. It was cut. This significantly mitigated the explosive power of the bomb. Rich Haskell: Well, I like to think I'm a better person because of it. Several other survivors were there. Anything? This wasn't a pipe bomb. Doris developed a headache from the gasoline fumes, and raised her hand to her forehead. Rich Haskell: I sometimes do, but you can't let yourself think about it. That's why I have a computer. How much interaction did you have with the director/producers of the movie? It just embedded into the walls from the ammunition from the heat. Have you had anything like this, anything close to this happen? I really did not even want to walk inside that building because I was just afraid that I'd see kids all over the place. He was so open to their input, and feelings. It was a great movie, very well directed and acted. In most cases I have deleted redundant ands, ers, uhs, buts, false starts, etc. All the hostages escaped, though 79 were hospitalized with burns and injuries. Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources, Repanshek, Kurt J. But it didn't. TC is one of my heroes. Educated at Chadron State College in Nebraska, he had earned a degree in criminal justice, and was hired as Cokevilles town marshal in the 1970s. Mark Junge: Okay. Cook, the school's secretary and the first person taken hostage, could tell Young's threats were serious. On May 16, 1986, David and Doris Young entered Cokeville Elementary School with a gasoline bomb, a variety of rifles and handguns, David's philosophical writings and demands for $300 million How has that experience shaped your life? I was frightened and felt that we needed to do something to try to calm down or to be careful, because he was so agitated. For more information about our sponsors and the people behind, visit our About Us page: Hostage crisis at the elementary school in Cokeville, Wyo. Mark Junge: This bomb was designed to do what? Mark Junge: Do you think David or Doris would have cut it? Where's he running? So many of 'em thatI don't know. Mark Junge: to go through all this? Chalkboards andwhat do they call those?whiteboards, I think they are, along the walls. Cokeville seems like a pretty small town. The hostage takers took part in the singing. It became a story of a miracle rather than a tragedy. Twenty-five years ago on Monday, a man and his wife pushed a homemade gasoline bomb into Cokeville's sole elementary school and demanded $300 million in ransom. Also, what do you want us to know about it that isn't covered in the film? Sue Castaneda: Which is the son who is also running for sheriff? Because of the tiles and the window? The basket, the shelves. You see the bag ladies pullin' them around behind them when they go to the store and they can put their groceries in or whatever else. I mean, Columbine, it wasn't that way. Interview by Mark Junge. You start messing with the kids, now you're going to have yourself a war. I saw an early screening of the film and absolutely loved it. On May 16, 1986, . It's a little basket that has different layers on it. Students, teachers, visitors, staff who survived the ordeal and bystanders began recounting their memories of this event as it was still unfolding. I don't know ifI just felt an emptyactually I could just see a hundred-sixty people dead! "We could tell that he was becoming very nervous. Now you are a bomb technician. The photo of Rich Haskell is by Wyoming State Archives. Mark Junge: And that's the lesson we learn. It is a touchy topic for us, and could come across the wrong way. Although many were burned, some severely, only the perpetrators of this horrible incident died. Rich Haskell: Yes, there was a briefcase in the hallway, and we were toldbefore I had gotten there they had gotten papers from his daughter. When you say what cut the wire? Used with permission and thanks. Because of the experience and the different classes that I've attended, I know what bombs do to people, to buildings and to all kinds of structures. The Power of Faith: 25 Years After School Bombing, Town Remembers Story of Survival., Mitchell, Ruth Ann. But everything was black, like you had gone in there with a flamethrower and just torched everything inside there. This is actually the first time I have heard of this. COKEVILLE, Wyo. They just didn't let it die out. I can't explain it. Wyoming has a lot of money as far as the state is concerned. Thank you for doing this! TC (the director) also worked incredibly hard to make this a story that can be widely appreciated by members of all faiths. I actually hadn't thought of doing that, yet. That's a true line in the movie. So if the state didn't pay him, he figured the Mormon church would pay him because the Mormon church has money also. Amy Bagaso Williams with her husband and four children. Box 37, Cokeville, Wyoming 83114. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Do you ever think about them? One of the miracles that day was that not a single person was lost. I think it was still in his body. Welcome to /r/latterdaysaints, a sub for members and friends of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (formerly known as Mormons). Mark Junge: Well, I want you to know that we think you're courageous for doing this with us. Because they weren't in a gun, the pressure wasn't chambered enough to where you could direct it. Don't go past this square. I certainly enjoy my grandkids a lot more. I knew fairly quickly that he would be the best chance we had at this. He just said just go do it. I was later told that everybody had been taken to different hospitals, ambulance services from all over, from Utah, from Idaho, from Wyoming was transporting people all over the place and there was only two fatalities. Certified Bomb Technician. David, who dared not risk their reporting him to the authorities, responded by holding them at gunpoint. I absolutely have. They had to come and get my car and get me another one. The kids couldn't have cut it. But we knew what our story was, and that it could help offer hope. One hostage observed a birthday on that day and songs were sung in his honor. In the days and weeks immediately after this event, most accounts focused on the horrors of the day. The circuit was powered by a 9-volt lantern battery.
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