February 13, 2012: One bomb threat closes the Chevron Building after a note found scrawled on the wall says a bomb will go off at 8:29 p.m.

March 14, 2012: One threat against the Cathedral of Learning via a note found in the building.

March 19, 2012: One threat against the Cathedral of Learning via a note found in the men’s restroom.

March 22, 2012: One threat against the Cathedral of Learning again written on the wall of the men’s restroom. “Person of interest” identified.

March 28, 2012: Two bomb threats, one closing the Chevron again and another closing the Cathedral of Learning.

April 2, 2012: Two bomb threats. One closing the David Lawrence Hall and the Cathedral of Learning.

April 3, 2012: Three/Four bomb threats. Two against Litchfield, one against Chevron, and one against the Cathedral.  Threats are sent via email to reporters. Copycat threats are apparently popping up as WTAE indicates they will not be reporting on them.

April 4, 2012: Seven threats. Thackeray Hall, Cathedral of Learning, Posvar Hall, and Litchfield Tower C. Then Victoria Hall, Frick Fine Arts and the Music Building.

By my count, that’s NINETEEN.

And now that I’ve done math, here are my questions:

1. What kind of person does this? Some sick loser who just loves to pull strings and watch puppets dance? A slacker kid who just really doesn’t want to go to class and he won’t have to if class can’t meet because of a bomb threat? Scrawl a note on the bathroom wall and … DANCE, PUPPETS! Someone who feels powerless and has found a very easy way to change that? Bored stoner? Disgruntled employee? Someone who has decided that chaos is a better contribution to society than anything Roberto Clemente stood for?

2. How has no one turned this dude in yet (and yes, I’m assuming it’s a dude because of the notes found in the men’s restroom. Just call me Special Agent Detective Lieutenant CSI Ginny). The reward is up to $50,000! If that’s your friend doing these things, it is time for you to say, “Money is never more important than friendship, except when your friend is a monumental doofus and the money would more than cover tuition. Then it’s perfectly okay to put money before friendship.” Turn the loser in! Cha-ching!

3. In this day and age of NCIS and CSI, how has the crime not been solved yet? It looked promising when they said they had a person of interest, but I guess that person isn’t as interesting as they originally thought. If this was NCIS: LA, Eric would have accessed cameras that no one knew existed, tracked the email IP address through encrypted ghost servers (no clue if that’s a real thing), accessed the camera on the dude’s laptop to find copies of the damning emails, downloaded the blueprints to his apartment complex and guided a team of badasses to rip the dude right out of his bed where he slept.

If this was CSI: Miami, Horatio would already be standing over the perp’s prone body after a ball-busting arrest all, “Luckily for you, I hear prison can be [sunglasses] a real blast.”


I might watch too many…

…crime shows.


  1. PK
    April 5, 2012 10:32 am

    Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd…at 10 a.m. today (Thursday): “A general bomb threat has been received for the Cathedral of Learning, Chevron Building, Frick Fine Arts, and Posvar Hall.”

    Where is our real-life Abby and McGee?

  2. Courtney
    April 5, 2012 11:03 am

    The first two threats at Chevron were found in the ladies room. This leads me to believe that there may be more than one person involved since it would be suspicious for a guy to walk into the girl’s bathroom.

    • Transplanted in Pitt
      April 5, 2012 11:45 am

      In Chevron only there are not bathrooms for each sex on every floor. It is feasible (and I know it happens) that people walk into/use the wrong bathroom.

      • Courtney
        April 5, 2012 12:49 pm

        I work in Chevron; the floor where the notes were found has men’s and women’s bathrooms on it.

  3. nicole
    April 5, 2012 11:13 am

    My husband teaches at Pitt and his class is held in the Cathedral .Am I nervous- yes. It it disruptive to the students and the professors who teach there- yes. Many of his students are seniors- they are ready to graduate and several have plans after their graduation- jobs, grad school and such. Now these students and professors have to make up classes some time in May….unfortunately the more the media reports (it is their job) about this and the more attention that is drawn to it- it reinforces this abhorrent behavior……I just would like to have a bomb threat free morning ..

  4. Holly
    April 5, 2012 11:23 am

    My husband is a student there too and I am worried every time he is there….I keep thinking, Is this the day where it is no longer a threat? I am even more worried now that they are coming in groups of 3 and 4 buildings at a time and with graduation coming up in a few weeks I can’t help but wonder if this is a build up for something bigger.

  5. AngryMongo
    April 5, 2012 12:16 pm

    Who is this person of interest, Jim Caviezel? Still managing to elude authorities and send out threats. Here’s an idea. Remove the person of interest, quietly, and see if there are any more threats.

    • Dr Kevlar
      April 6, 2012 6:36 am

      Remove? As in how? I know we want to resolve this, but the authorities are still constrained by all of those ridiculous guidelines our Founders put in the Constitution. You just can’t go around gathering all of the “suspicious” folks together and holding them for unspecified periods of time without charges, without warrants, etc.

      As a country we say we value the freedoms and guarantees that makes this country what it is, but it does not seem that as a country we are too terribly interested in following the rules that provide the freedoms and guarantees that we say we value…

  6. Emilie
    April 5, 2012 12:24 pm

    this made me laugh out loud due to the CSI references…loved it!!!

  7. Z
    April 5, 2012 12:26 pm

    With the proliferation of threats, the chance exists that the ‘boy who cried wolf’ syndrome will make everyone involved less vigilant. That could cause a real catastrophe, if the wacko decides to make good on a one of the threats. Let’s pray the get him or her or them before they decide to do real damage.

    • Erin
      April 5, 2012 1:29 pm

      This is how I feel, too, and why I’m happy they continue to treat each bomb threat seriously. And I work at Pitt and I know how annoying it is.

      • Erin
        April 5, 2012 1:30 pm

        One of my fears is that these fake threats are being perpetrated by the person who will one day do the real thing…and that these are all just orchestrated to make people less vigilant.

        I’m normally not paranoid at all – it’s just, after the WPIC shooting, who knows. I feel there is something behind these.

    • Janelle
      April 5, 2012 8:37 pm

      This is what me and my cousin and her boyfriend, who are two of my roommates, were saying last night.

  8. empirechick
    April 5, 2012 12:26 pm

    Let me begin by saying: I do not mean to sound insensitive to those who have family in the buildings – that would be very scary and I sympathize with you. And of course I hope these are all just pranks and the jagoff(s) are caught very soon. However:

    I don’t understand the theory behind bomb threats. If it’s just a prank to get out of class, that’s awful risky by the perpetrator – police don’t take kindly to inciting panic, especially so many times now. And if you’re crazy enough to actually blow up the place, why would you warn everyone ahead of time? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose (and give them more evidence to track you down)?

    Again, I sincerely hope these are just pranks – I just don’t get it.

  9. Niki
    April 5, 2012 12:31 pm

    Newest update:

    The bomb threat at the Chevron Building has been cleared. Access has been restricted. Everyone must enter thru the Unversity Drive side entrance and Pitt identification is required.

    If this is what it takes to catch this person/people….then I hope they hire extra security and do it for all the buildings so they can get this over with.

  10. Baba Wawa
    April 5, 2012 1:07 pm

    10 bucks this is a guy with no friends and when they catch him, everyone is going to say what a sociopath he was anyways

  11. Katy
    April 5, 2012 1:59 pm

    I teach in the Cathedral and my office is on the 6th floor. I don’t fear for my safety, as I have no doubts these are the empty threats of someone on a power trip, but as a 35-week pregnant person I am fed up! It’s freaking challenging for me to tromp up and down 6 flights of stairs, to relocate to a place where I can sit for the hours it takes to clear the building. It’s a mess! A hot mess. And learning is barely able to happen for these students.

  12. Kevin
    April 5, 2012 2:35 pm

    Loser does about say it all Ginny. You can’t fix stupid.

  13. bluzdude
    April 5, 2012 3:28 pm

    Three words: Disgruntled Flyers Fan.

  14. Butcher's Dog
    April 5, 2012 5:28 pm

    Threateners rarely bomb and bombers rarely threaten. Having said that, and having worked in public school for 37 years, the officials have to take each one seriously. Anyone caught doing this should be strung up by the balls and basically disqualified from having a life from now on. Like, we’re sending the note along with every job application you ever fill out that you did this, just in case you forget to do that yourself once or twice. It’s more than annoying, as the posters here have related, and it’s antisocial behavior on steroids. I agree it’s time for someone to narc on the friend and pick up the loose change.

  15. Calamity Jane
    April 5, 2012 6:59 pm

    I’m hearing that the vermin of the occupy movement are behind this mess……Unfortunately, I’m also hearing that this is the “pre-game warmup” for this yet to come this Summer.

    • unsatisfied
      April 6, 2012 12:23 pm

      if occupiers really are behind this bullshit, they would have issued a press release beforehand….like their “surprise” flash mob.

  16. Janelle
    April 5, 2012 8:41 pm

    At this point, it doesn’t seem like it’s just some idiot kid messing around, especially if it’s taking this long to figure out who it is. My cousin, her boyfriend, and myself live together and had a bunch of theories last night, some stemming from rumors circulating around Pitt.

    It’s summed up best by our realization last night: “Oh, my God. Oakland has become Gotham.”

  17. Luke Steelerstahl
    April 5, 2012 9:49 pm

    Pitt is the safest place in the world right now

  18. bucdaddy
    April 5, 2012 9:57 pm

    Granted that bomb threats are 1) stupid and 2) dangerous, but if we want to talk REALLY stupid and REALLY dangerous, I’m still trying to fathom why people would set 36 fires in my town, just because it’s St. Patrick’s Day. Or why Lexington would copycat us because UK won a basketball championship.

  19. Hutch
    April 5, 2012 10:11 pm

    Occupy Pittsburgh

  20. Niki
    April 5, 2012 10:16 pm

    Just heard there was a bomb threat issued for Litchfield Towers A, B, & C.

  21. Pensgirl
    April 6, 2012 9:59 am

    As soon as I heard about this I was taken back to a disgruntled student who did something kind of similar back when I was in college. During my sophomore year of college, some kid had a problem with his tuition or student loan or something, and he was unhappy with our school about whatever was going on, and he decided to take it out on my dorm hall by setting fires in the dorm randomly in middle of the night through the entire first semester. He’d basically light a paper or match or something and throw it in a trash can in a few different places. My dorm was actually one of two connected buildings, so BOTH of them would have to be evacuated. They figured out at some point that this kid was behind it but it took them awhile to finally get enough evidence to do anything about it. One time in the cold of December he decided to hit a recycling bin instead of a trash can, and because of the plastic bottles in it, we had to stay away all night due to toxic fumes. As soon as this incident at Pitt became a repeat thing, it struck me that there might be some similar issue.

    • Dr Kevlar
      April 6, 2012 10:27 am

      Heck, I once worked for Ted McWilliams Motor City (late 70’s). There was a rather disgruntled customer who had not received the service/treatment he felt he should have. He used to picket regularly outside the dealership, even in the dead of winter.

      The dealership regularly received bomb threats, although to my knowledge it was never proven that it was this individual. Most people in Pittsburgh were blissfully unaware of the situation. My point? Back then we didn’t have 24/7 news cycles where the David Highfield’s of this world breathlessly report every “shocking” news story. Add to that the social media and the ease at spreading info via cell phone, video, text messages etc and these things take on alife of their own.

      IMHO, this sort of thing takes on a life of their own and you end up with not only the initial threats, but 8 zillion copycat threats. Maybe if the local news people did not treat the stories as if this were some sort of terrorist attack each and every time, the perpetrators would go back to playing World of Warcraft or Magic…

    • bucdaddy
      April 6, 2012 10:54 am

      I think I roomed with that guy for a semester at Point Park.

      I’d tell you a story, but I’m not sure the statute of limitations has expired.

  22. Strutt
    April 6, 2012 2:26 pm

    I named my dog after a character on CSI: Las Vegas. Welcome to the club of watching too many crime shows, Ginny.

    P.S. There’s a blog someone started analyzing all the Pitt threats. So if you are curious… http://www.stopthepittbombthreats.blogspot.com

    Very interesting.

  23. oldgraymare
    April 12, 2012 12:12 pm

    I have two children who go to Pitt. these threats have been going on daily since spring break. Earlier this week they targeted the University club. The top floors of this building is where the parents of the kids at children’s hospital stay. Today my son tells me that Cal U and the school for the Blind also received threats. How sick do these people have to be to endanger sick and blind children?
    I am glad the semester is almost over. My oldest graduates and my youngest will be safely home for the summer.
    Just got a text from my daughter saying that all her finals are now take home tests done online and she can come home as early as next Saturday. Don’t know if there will be a graduation ceremony for my son yet.
    Sure hope they find out who is behind this and put them away for a very long time!