Suicide Bombing (Sort Of) Near My House

Kentwood stalker sets off bomb, police injuredmore coverage at the GR press

This literally happened less than half a mile from my house. A stalker took a cue from the Middle East and hid in his victim’s house with explosives. He set them off when the cops came after him.

Quoting the GR Press report:

KENTWOOD — A man who set off an explosion in the home of his former girlfriend, injuring five police officers before he was killed, had stalked the woman for more than a year.

Jeffrey H. Bothee, 53, of Pentwater, refused to give up on the brief relationship with the woman he met at Steelcase Inc. in Kentwood, where they both worked, according to records on file in Kent County Circuit Court.

Police were not sure whether Bothee died as a result of the explosion or from shots fired by an officer.

The incident was reported about 8:30 a.m. at a home at 5567 Greensboro Drive SE.

The woman, identified as 53-year-old Lauren Bodine, arrived home from work to find a stalker in her home, then she ran to a neighbor’s house to call police. She was not injured.

She previously had complained to police about the man, who was on probation for aggravated stalking in an incident involving the woman.

When police arrived, Bothee set off an explosive device, injuring five Kentwood officers. Kentwood Police Chief Richard Mattice said the officers suffered minor injuries, mostly from shrapnel. At least one of the officers opened fire at the man.

Police fled the house, fearing Bothee had planted a second bomb in the home, Mattice said. They were waiting for bomb squads from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and from the Grand Rapids Police Department.

Just before noon today, police evacuated a nearby shopping center after finding his car in the parking lot. A bomb-sniffing dog pointed out possible explosives in the vehicle, police said.

Bodine obtained three personal protection orders to keep Bothee away, the last time on Oct. 28, but it never stopped him. He was on probation for aggravated stalking.

Bodine described their brief relationship in September 2003, when she filed a request in Kent County Circuit Court for the first personal protection order (PPO). She had known him for 10 years through work at Steelcase, she wrote, and they “became romantic” in November 2002.

He was married at the time and later filed for divorce, according to court records.

About three months into the relationship, “I began to pull away,” she wrote. About the same time, he was “let go” from Steelcase. “He felt he was suffering two losses and threatened suicide,” she wrote. He talked of videotaping his suicide and sending the tape to her.

“Other calls were made that I was evil and was the cause of his pain,” she said in the PPO request.

He stopped bothering her for a short time after Kentwood police called him, but she started talking with him again about two weeks later, at the insistence of his father, she wrote. “Since then, I’ve tried to break it off completely, but when I do he becomes obsessive, calling, threatening…”

He threatened to move into her neighborhood, “also that he might stop by and maybe I’d want to borrow a gun so I could kill him. He’s NUTS and not getting any better.”

She closed her request with this: “IT JUST SEEMS TO BE ESCALATING.”

In her latest PPO request, filed Oct. 28, she claimed he continued to threaten suicide.

“The only way Jeff is going to stay away from me is if he can be incarcerated again,” she wrote. “He refuses to leave me alone. I can’t live like this.”

7 thoughts on “Suicide Bombing (Sort Of) Near My House”

  1. His son literally found out about his father’s death on the news on tv. My son and his son are
    good friends, have been for years. There are people traumatized by this even if they don’t
    live near the house that was bombed.

  2. I imagine! I didn’t mean to belittle the tragedy in any way; I hope it didn’t come across that way.

  3. I lived next door to Jeff for 25 years. His actions were entirely out of character. He was obviously fighting Deamons. I didn’t know him as a drinker and certainly not as a drunkard. Perhaps with a BAC of .1 his Deamon was alcohol.

  4. Thanks, I guess I read that into the story. I’ll change my comment accordingly.

  5. Demons/daemon (to correct my prior transpostion/misspelling) like alcohol when combined with mental illness can be impossible for the person, police, and loved ones to deal with. Jeff battled alcohol, mental illness, loss of job (he was a dedicated professional), breakup of marriage, loss of new “girlfriend”, and only Jeff and the Gods know what else. We can rightiously judge his actions and condem. Only the Gods can judge the person. May we never have to walk a mile in Jeff”s moccasins.

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