June 13, 1976
Phoenix, Arizona
Reporter Don Bolles succumbs to injuries sustained in a car bomb blast 11 days before

Bolles, who had been investigating possible ties between organized crime syndicates and high-ranking Arizona state government officials, was mortally wounded when a remote controlled bomb consisting of 6 sticks of dynamite exploded under the car beneath the driver’s seat. The explosion destroyed his lower body, and during the 11 days doctors fought to save Bolles’ life, both his legs and one of his arms were amputated.

John Harvey Adamson testified against 2 other co-conspirators, accusing one of setting up the hit and the other of pulling the trigger of the bomb. He also confessed he had been the one to purchase the electronics used to make the bomb. Adamson received a reduced sentence and was placed in the federal witness protection program in exchange for his cooperation and testimony. Adamson died in an undisclosed location in 2002 while the others, James Robison and Max Dunlap, died in 2013 and 2009 respectively.

One thought on “Reporter dies of injuries 11 days after car bomb blast

  1. My dad knew Don Bolles. He worked alongside him for a time at the Arizona Republic. At the time he was working in Dayton, Ohio, investigating some of the same corrupt organizations. His death hit us all hard.


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