Chicago man blows his own head off with pipe bomb

You just have to wonder what this nimrod was thinking two seconds before his head was obliterated. I would bet money that he used a particular kind of gun powder that can blow up from friction against itself. Perhaps he should have heeded the waring labels.

A man walking his dog this morning near an Evanston middle school discovered a decapitated body, perhaps the result of a pipe bomb explosion, and some hours later police destroyed what they suspected was an explosive device in the vicinity.

Police pushed the media back from the area after discovering what appeared to be an explosive device near the body, WGN-Ch. 9 reported about 8:40 a.m. Some residents were being evacuated from their homes. The Cook County sheriff’s bomb squad was on the scene.

Police would not discuss the case, but Dale Wyatt, 31, told the Tribune that he came across the body about 5:15 a.m. near Nichols Middle School, 800 Greenleaf St.
He said his dog Buddah led him to the body of a shirtless man whose head was missing and whose legs were folded behind him. A shopping bag and a black plastic jug lay nearby, and there was a strong odor of what he thought was gunpowder.

“I thought my dog was chasing a rabbit, but when I got close it was a body without a head,” he said. “There was a weird smell in the air. I wasn’t expecting what I saw.”

The body was near tennis courts, between a fence and a pine tree, he said.

After encountering another dog walker with a flashlight and showing her what he had found, Wyatt said he returned home, called police and then met another officer back at the scene.

He also said neighbors told him they had heard a loud explosion between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. He said police told him they had come out earlier to investigate the sound of the explosion but were unable to find anything at that time.

Sarah Stanczyk, 34, lives down the block from Nichols and said she heard a loud explosion about 3:50 a.m.

“It woke us up immediately. We thought it was a transformer exploding. Either that, or lightning,” Stanczyk said. “It sounded like a ‘boom’ and the house actually shook.

“We all got up and saw police with flashlights looking around, then they all left. .. It was quiet for a couple of hours. Next thing you know, maybe 6:30 or 7, all chaos started breaking loose. All the police came back in a hurry,” Stanczyk said.

She said, “I did see the (medical examiner) and I did see bomb squad, and a couple of dogs.”

Evanston Ald. Donald Wilson, whose ward encompasses the school, said he talked with Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington before deciding to come to the area. Wilson said on his arrival he saw the body from a distance.

“It was pretty gruesome,” Wilson said. “My impression is as a (civilian), not an investigator, it would seem as if it was some kind of suicide situation. Our police department is very thorough and they’re going to make sure the area is completely safe before they let people back in the area.”

The middle-to-upper class neighborhood consists of mostly single-family homes. Much of the area around the school remained cordoned off by investigators as of 9:50 a.m.

Police said they had been called out to the area, but declined further comment.

Evanston District 65 officials said the school would be closed for the day and confirmed a body had been found outside the school.

Some parents said their children were not told that there would be no classes today until after they had arrived by school bus.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office said it had not been notified of the death.

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