Robert Vance Sr.

December 16, 1989

It began, as so many other stories don't, with a wannabe lawyer and a bomb.

In 1972, a local psychopath had his car reposessed. He hit upon a 'clever' plan to reclaim the car - what if he sent a bomb to the dealer? Unfortunately, the psychopath's then-wife opened the package containing the bomb in their kitchen.

Never one to be deterred by common sense (or sense at all, really), the psychopath insisted that he had nothing to do with the bomb. Nonetheless, he was convicted of posessing the bomb. A reasonable person would be glad to get off that easy. But then, a reasonable person would not fight in court to try to force the woman he bombed to stay married to him.

Having a bomb posession conviction on his record meant that he couldn't become a lawyer. He fought to expunge the conviction, but was ultimately unsuccessful - a trait shared by subsequent schemes, like his plan to drown his employees to collect on life insurance policies.

His next scheme? Create an anti-black terrorist movement and blow up the judges who had dared rule that he didn't meet the character requirements to practice law.

The beginning of the end came in another kitchen. Judge Vance opened a package that turned out to contain a bomb. The explosion killed him and injured his wife.

Two days later, civil rights attorney Robert E. Robertson would become the killer's second and last victim.

The killer would spend twenty-eight years in prison before being released by lethal injection.