03/14/2001

Man accused of bombings goes to trial; ex-police technician charged with blasts
[Fremont, CA]

Henry K. Lee
March 12, 2001, Monday, Final Edition
Copyright 2001 The Chronicle Publishing Co.
The San Francisco Chronicle
March 12, 2001, Monday, Final Edition

(FREEMONT, Calif.) -- Three years after a series of bombings rocked the city, a former police evidence technician goes to trial today in what authorities have called a vengeful -- if not misdirected -- campaign against local police and a family with whom he had a grudge. Rodney Joel Blach, 54, an eccentric conspiracy theorist who once wrote that any person who wronged him was a "rightful victim" of his ire, is charged in a three-day wave of explosions that included firebombs left at the homes of Fremont Police Chief Craig Steckler and City Councilman and former Police Chief Robert Wasserman and pipe-bomb blasts that rocked two exclusive homes.

No one was hurt in the bombings, but the blasts sparked the most intense criminal investigation in Fremont's history and shattered the normal tranquility of a city unaccustomed to such high-profile crimes.

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