Aspen, Colo. (AP) They rang in 2009 a day late in Aspen after a former resident bitter about his hometown’s resort status for the wealthy vowed “mass death” and left four bombs around downtown before killing himself.
Aspen tried to recapture the holiday spirit last night with a rescheduled fireworks display, and revelers even started chanting a new year’s eve-style countdown. But the party numbered in the hundreds, not the thousands.
The celebration came a day after Aspen police say 72-year-old James Chester Blanning walked into two downtown banks Wednesday afternoon and left gift-wrapped bombs made of gasoline and cell phone components. Police say Blanning also left notes demanding cash and saying “Aspen will pay a horrible price in blood” if his demands were not met. The typewritten notes said he was targeting four banks but only two received packages.
Assistant Aspen Police Chief Bill Linn says Blanning abandoned his plan halfway through but it’s unclear why.
Two similar packages were found atop a black sled in a downtown alley.
Police found Blanning dead in his car yesterday morning.