This is strange…mainly because I am writing a story about the future and just dubbed a character ‘The Bishop’, the guy in my story isn’t a letter bomber, but maybe I should make him one…
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — He calls himself “The Bishop.” Exactly why is just one of the many mysteries surrounding the increasingly menacing figure.
The man — and investigators believe they are dealing with a man — is suspected of sending at least a half-dozen threatening letters to financial institutions over the past 18 months and mailing two dud pipe bombs that arrived a day apart in Kansas City and Chicago in January.
The Bishop has demanded that financial companies move the prices of certain stocks to certain levels, often $6.66 — an apparent reference to the Antichrist, said Fred Burton, a corporate counterterrorism specialist.
Burton, whose security firm has been hired to find The Bishop, said the pipe bombs were assembled with crucial components deliberately left out, in what was probably a warning. Next time, Burton said, the bombs could be real.
Catching The Bishop and figuring out what his grudge is could require help from the public, Burton said, noting that it was Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s brother who turned him in and ended the 17-year series of bombings that killed three people and injured 23. David Kaczynski got suspicious after reading the Unabomber’s anti technology manifesto, published in newspapers.
The Bishop is probably mentally ill, highly intelligent, and a loner, said Burton, vice president of counterterrorism for Stratfor, an Austin, Texas, security and intelligence firm.
Postal inspectors are offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information. The investigation also includes the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and local law enforcement agencies.
Spokesmen for the FBI and the Postal Inspection Service would not comment in detail on the investigation.
Burton said some of Stratfor’s financial clients asked his firm to investigate in 2005 after The Bishop began sending threatening letters from various Midwestern states, including Wisconsin and Iowa.
Law enforcement officials have not released the letters , but Burton wrote that The Bishop began one letter mailed in June with the words “TIMES UP!” and threatened to mail up to three packages if one stock price did not “end green” on four specific days.
A recently released sketch by postal authorities depicts him as being in his 30s or early 40s. Burton has pegged him between 25 and 35 but is unable to say what his occupation may be, or whether he has a family.