'She lost her soulmate:' Son of slain Alabama judge recalls deadly bombing
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —
Bombings in Austin, Texas, believed to be connected, took the lives of two and injured others Monday morning. Police are still searching for the person or people behind it.
Meanwhile in Alabama, the execution of serial bomber, Walter Leroy Moody is just weeks away.
One of Leroy's victims was an Alabama federal judge who died in a 1989 mail bombing.
"When I read about the Austin bombing, that brought back, pretty vividly, some bad memories of some dark days," said Circuit Judge Bob Vance as he recalled the day an explosion rocked his family, changing their lives forever.
"It was a Saturday morning, December 16th 1989," said Judge Vance "...a package came through mail, was delivered to our doorstep."
There was nothing suspicious about the arrival; to Vance's father, it seemed like just another package. The return address was that of another judge.
So, Judge Robert Vance, took it to his kitchen where his wife stood by as he opened it.
"There was a mail bomb inside which blew up as soon as the flap was opened," said Judge Bob Vance.
The inside of the bomb was filled with things, like nails, meant to cause the most damage possible, according to Vance.
"It killed him instantly and it severely injured my mom," said Judge Vance.
But she lived decades after the attack, never fully healed.
"She lost her soulmate... she went about her life and loved her grand kids and did all the things that you would expect. But there was always a sadness to her, and that sort of thing just never heals," said Vance.
For him, closure came when the gavel came down.
"As soon as he was convicted, the important thing for me is to make sure he's not let back out on the streets where he could hurt someone else," said Judge Vance.