October 9, 2019: The Palo Verde Derailment


Live a westbound Amtrak train careened off the rails in Arizona and dropped a gut wrenching thirty feet into a gully the today is Wednesday October ninth two thousand nineteen on this day in nineteen ninety five day in true crime was written by Aaron Land. I'm Vanessa Richardson eggs littered the surrounding desert. Almost every passenger was seriously hurt some cradling broken bones it was a scene of APP participating locations taxes and delivery fees extra we hours of the morning banged against boulders luggage tumbled from the overhead compartments and flew out the window by the time the train came to a stop levine it happened to quickly for anyone inside the train to react they were helpless as the windows shattered and the passenger cars Grushin is advised this episode features discussion of murder and domestic terrorism extreme caution is advised for listeners under thirteen Los Angeles data arrive in around nine hours the train cruised along at fifty miles an hour the morning sun had yet without warning the train hit a curve in the track then flew off the rails the massive train tipped over careening and selves pinned inside Neil Hawford a shaggy-haired broad-shouldered man in his late twenties sat in the aw hey friend I wanna tell you about the new three dollar little John from Jimmy Johns a skinny Minnie oaken glass and twisted metal as the dust settled the passengers revealed some tried to leave the train cars while others found the now let's go back to the Arizona desert about sixty miles southwest of Phoenix on October ninth nineteen ninety-five in the stoorikhel aspects of the infamous Palo Verde derailment while I'll cover the narrative the Palo Verde derailment still haunts the city of Palo Verde creep over the horizon in the middle of nowhere any passengers still awake could have looked out the window and seeing a blanket of stars Cam Track train thundered through the Arizona desert right on schedule as far as the conductor was concerned it was a routine trip bound for grew hot and Neil made his way out of the car for air while they waited for police as he looked across the desert something called so condemned police corruption specifically mentioning one local police officer benefiting from drug money kickbacks the writer US missing more Murray Crawlspace and empty frames everyone I'm lance and I'm tim thanks for having US Lance and Tim are here to discuss some of the crime history I'm Vanessa Richardson and today I'm joined by our guest hosts Lance Ren- Stern A- and Tim Polari they host the crime podcast welcome to today and true crime apar- cast original every day we flip back the calendar to this date years ago and recount one event from trump the first time this kind of terrorism was used to instill fear in those travelling West that's true due to the graphic nature of today's crimes listener or writers of the letter had signed it sons of the Gestapo Neil kept the letter for police who's version of any original sandwich for only three bucks it's littler than a regular sandwich which is perfect if you're not super hungry or if you WANNA try a couple of different sandwich his I a piece of folded paper lodged under a rock near the crash curious neal grabbed it it's content Arizona in the twenty four years since the crash no act of domestic terror has compared to the vicious attack that's right lance although as we discover it wasn't offset Waco Texas and Ruby Ridge Idaho both of these incidents had resulted in the deaths of religious extremists the letters always turned his face white the note railed against the government and police it lambasted the ATF's involvement in the stand back of one of the few cars left intact which stalled in total darkness on the broken train track without air conditioning. The Train Che's or if you like bragging that your lunch only cost three dollars order a three dollar Littlejohn Jimmy Johns dot com or with Jimmy Johns down a ravine the two engines had separated from the rest of the train which was strewn helter skelter across the track in addition to the bed the of injured passengers amongst the wreckage police found the sole casualty of the disaster forty one year old train operator Mitchell Bay police began to survey the scene anxious to discover what could have caused the train to derail they soon found their answer the hospital along with dozens of passengers seventy eight people were injured a handful of them in critical condition but the situation in the immediate vicinity of the crash site they had clearly been planted by someone who knew where the train would derail responsibility for the crash and police would find two more all four copies of the letter were found weighted down by small rocks wound began descending on the horrific scene eight of the train cars had derailed four had tumbled off the side of a bridge thirty feet disgruntled employees but soon they would find evidence to suggest the murderous attacker or attackers were likely domestic terrorists in a moment police realized the full scope of the Amtrak attack now back to the story twenty nine railroad spikes had been removed from the rails just as the track curved around a ravine furthermore one of the tracks quickly became clear that this was an act of sabotage plain and simple the FBI was called in and quickly only grew darker when Neil handed police the letter he'd found in the subsequent hours Neil would find an identical copy of the letter that took it's at the time of his death he had been a loyal Amtrak employee for Twenty Years Bates was removed from the scene and transported to the local in other words the train operators would have no indication that the track ahead had been tampered with coupled with the politically charged notes. Fatal train accident was an act of sabotage Lanson Tim or here to help discuss the details and historical impact of this in the early morning of October ninth nineteen ninety-five an Amtrak train travelling from Miami to Los Angeles derailed concluded that the person responsible would need to have an excellent knowledge of trains to pull this off so seamlessly they initially wondered if it could have been had been pushed about four inches in word it was enough to derail the train but too slight to interrupt the electrical connection and the tracks revealed surprisingly little but there was one lead the corrupt police officer hinted at in the letters the FBI writers were ill informed and grasping at straws or the police were covering up the crimes of their own the former assumption seemed far more likely the loved mysteries. I'm Vanessa Richardson thanks again to Lance and Tim old near Palo Verde Arizona sixty miles from Phoenix the police and FBI quickly discovered the tracks had been tampered with this were meant to be intentionally misleading the writer may have hoped to lead police on a wild goose chase searching for an extremist group that never existed worked to discover who this police officer might be in the hopes that it could give them a clue as to who may have written a letter but the lead never panned out either is deadly attack thanks so much Vanessa we're happy to be here yeah initially police in the FBI believed that whoever had derailed the Amtrak must have had knowledge of trail in the first place well whatever their intentions their methods worked police have never arrested anyone in connection to the attack and the case remains open to this the similarities didn't stop there lance this nineteen thirty nine Nevada crash had been caused by train track being moved four inches in wjr plunging thirty feet into the ravine in the years since this has become one of Arizona's most infamous on Sol means based on the precision used to sabotage the tracks only someone familiar with trains would know that something as simple as removing a few states jeanine Nevada derailment case was never solved and the motives for the wrecks still remain a mystery it seems as though the nineteen ninety-five saboteurs were working someone had inverted the railway tracks a mere four inches a small but deadly act of sabotage it is now been twenty four years since the Amtrak train derail and spilled over the side of a Brid Day police still hope to solve the case so as long as the terrorists are at large they could strike again they have blood on their hands and deserve to be brought to justice are joining me today thanks so much for having US Vanessa thanks Vanessa and you can find our podcast missing more Murray crawlspace and empty frames on SPA word enough to keep the electric current running through the tracks but still cause a deadly wreck so frustrating because despite months of investigation the nineteen on cutler sound designed by Russell Nash With Production Assistance by Ron Shapiro Paul molitor Maggie admire and Freddie Beckley this episode of Tea Wchs and budging one track

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