A desperate federal fugitive who killed himself last week after a Broward County police chase left behind in a suburban Boca Raton home a deadly memento of his troubled life.
Friends mourning George Simonson, a 69-year-old man accused of trying to blow up his Pennsylvania home with timed explosives and gasoline, went Monday to the house he rented and found among his things a pipe bomb.
The friends, whose names were not made public, did not spot the bomb tucked away in Simonson’s belongings, which they planned to send to his family, until they had unwittingly carted it back to their home west of Boca Raton.
After realizing they were handling an explosive, they picked up the phone and, rather than dial 911, called an FBI agent they knew, the sources said.
The agent inspected the pipe bomb and then called local authorities. Palm Beach County firetrucks and the sheriff’s office bomb squad roared onto Black Olive Lane, in the gated Boca Isles West neighborhood near Yamato Road and U.S. 441, about 1:30 p.m.
Neighbors said they watched from a safe distance as a sheriff’s robot hoisted the bomb into an explosion-proof container.
The pipe bomb served as a last frightening reminder of Simonson, who was in the midst of an arson trial in Pike County, Pa., when he disappeared in November, leaving angry written screeds taped to the door of his attorney’s office…
On Wednesday, a Wilton Manors police officer ran the plates on a Mazda Miata on North Federal Highway and realized the driver was Simonson, who pulled over briefly before speeding off, according to a Broward County sheriff’s statement.
Police chased Simonson through six cities before he made a U-turn in Deerfield Beach and shot himself dead.
Five days later, his friends west of Boca Raton went to gather what he had left behind.