A Nevada US Forest Service ranger and his family are the target of a bombing attack.

The Forest Service office was bombed

The bomb ripped through the living room

CASE DETAILS

Guy Pence is a U.S. Forest Service ranger in Carson City, Nevada. He goes to work each day knowing his job has made someone angry enough to try to kill him. But Guy has vowed to continue serving the public despite the risk.

On March 31, 1995, Guy arrived at work to find his office had been ripped apart by a bomb the night before. The FBI initially believed the bomber had targeted just the building, but Guy thought there was more to it than that:

“I really always felt that it was aimed as a direct statement to me. Now, it may be aimed as a direct statement to me as a district ranger or as a federal employee, and not so much at me specifically.”

They are against federal control

Why would Guy Pence or the Forest Service be a target? Perhaps because they are on the front line of a war most don’t even know about.  Some call it the Sagebrush Rebellion. It’s a group of ranchers, loggers, and miners who are opposed to federal control of local public lands. For nearly a century, many of them have had permits that give them access to huge tracts of that land. But gradually, federal regulations to protect the land have restricted their use. Rangers, like Guy, have to enforce those new laws, which brings them face to face with angry protesters. And in some cases, rebellious ranchers have the support of their local officials, such as Nye County Commissioner Dick Carver:

“The issue that we have here is these people have a right to graze forage. They have a right to mine minerals. They have a right to harvest timber. And the bureaucrats have exceeded their authority by trying to stop them one way or the other. And we are standing up as county governments to protect their rights.”

Although local leaders support the land use, none of them support the use of violence, like the bombing of Guy’s office. According to Commissioner Carver:

“We were devastated by it. We want to put a stop to it as bad as anybody else.”

Four months after the bombing, any question about whether Guy had been personally attacked was erased. On August 4, 1995, while Guy was out patrolling the backcountry, his home was targeted. His wife and their two oldest daughters were there at the time.  The homemade bomb, which had been placed directly beneath Guy’s van, exploded into the living room. Fortunately, no one was hurt. According to Guy:

“It’s a very hard thought to accept that someone would try to kill your family. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that, whoever did this, knew my family was at home. The windows were open, the lights were on, the TV was on. My own daughter heard their footsteps. And the fact that they left a killing device and then ran into the darkness, I have a hard time comprehending how any human could do that.”

Like the first bombing, there are few solid clues and no suspects. William Jonkey is a special agent with the Carson City FBI:

“The FBI laboratory in Washington, D.C. has advised us that these bombs are very similar in construction, and most likely were manufactured by the same individual. We’re not looking for a sophisticated bomber in this particular case. We’re looking for someone who knows the basics and the basic use and application of explosives to make this bomb. But this was not a mastermind by any stretch of the imagination.”

Guy and his family have moved to another location. He could have quit his job, but Guy chose to keep working for the Forest Service because he thinks the stakes are high:

“Those stakes are our natural resources. Those stakes belong to all of us 300 million Americans and those unborn today. Those resources belong to them.”


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season nine with Robert Stack and in season seven with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    The Police Needs To Arrest ,a the Culprit s Responsible For That Out rages Crime! Thank God Nobody Was At Home At That Time!

    Reply