The recent “explosion” called in by Northeastern University employee Jason Duhaime has the Boston police pressing charges against him, for reporting a false crime. He apparently staged the bomb which supposedly injured him.
A suspicious explosion
The bomb squad was not impressed by the lack of evidence confirming that anything exploded at all. There are ways to produce an explosion without using traditional “explosives.” Dry ice, for instance.
When intentionally mishandled, frozen CO2 can easily result in injury or death. The container involved in the university incident was totally perfect for a dry ice bomb. Duhaime’s story breaks down with the description of his alleged injuries.
Adolescent anarchists running around loose in America are totally familiar with what happens when a few chunks of dry ice are mixed with water, in a tightly capped soda bottle. The water is optional, only serving to speed up the reaction. The general idea is to be far away and sheltered from flying shrapnel once the pressure builds to the explosion point.
Jason Duhaime is being charged in connection to the reported explosion at Northeastern last month. He’s the school’s new technology manager. One day after the incident, his name was removed from his office. @NBC10Boston @necn pic.twitter.com/mo0BxwoPDA
— Abbey Niezgoda NBC10 Boston (@AbbeyNBCBoston) October 4, 2022
There won’t be any flames but the neck flying off the disintegrating bottle can kill you. Anyone who’s seen one can agree, they sure sound like a bomb. The problem here is that the victim’s alleged injuries don’t match up with even a dry ice bomb.
Boston Police responded to Northeastern University on September 13 when employee Jason Duhaime “called 911 last month to report he had been injured by the explosion of a pressurized storage case.” There was a rambling letter inside the box blaming technology.
Reports note that the bomb went off in the Immersive Media Lab. Duhaime allegedly found the “rambling typewritten letter” after he opened the storage box. The letter supposedly “referred to robots walking around college campuses and accused the university of working with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.”
The story unraveled
Federal prosecutors are making a big deal out of the way “Duhaime’s account quickly unraveled.” On Tuesday, October 4, they informed the court that not only were his injuries “superficial” his story didn’t add up either. The accused claims a “letter came from inside the exploding case, but it was found neatly folded and undamaged.” Obviously, there were no traditional explosives.
Dry ice could cause an explosion which would not damage or muss the paper. A couple pounds in a box that size would simply evaporate into the same gas that makes bubbles in soda. Under pressure, just like when you twist off the cap. In this case, more like what happens when you twist the cap after shaking the bottle up first.
The biggest problem, and the part which led to his arrest, is the fact that he knew about the explosion beforehand. “Investigators later found a ‘word-for-word, electronic copy‘ of the letter stored in a backup folder on his computer.”
Jason Duhaime is accused of intentionally lying to the FBI about an explosive device inside his lab at Northeastern University, along with the threatening letter he allegedly wrote directed at the lab threatening more violence. Below is a photo of the pelican case and the letter. pic.twitter.com/vyuRk6Kekn
— FBI Boston (@FBIBoston) October 4, 2022
Even if he had dumped a pound or two of dry ice in the special heavy duty storage box, the only thing coming out when it was opened would have been compressed gas. He made the mistake of claiming objects were propelled out at him, injuring his hand.
It’s clear that opening the latches on a highly over-pressurized container can be quite dangerous, but his reported injuries aren’t consistent with that sort of an explosion.
The 45-year-old employee “initially told police he was injured by sharp objects that flew out of the plastic case when he opened it inside the lab, where he had an office, according to the affidavit.” Nobody could find a single trace of anything. The bruises on his hand could have been caused by slamming it in a door.