Most people don’t know that the comedy film 30 Minutes Or Less is based on a horribly true and disgusting crime that ACTUALLY TOOK PLACE. But instead of cute little Jesse Eisenberg running around mugging to the camera in an army jacket, the bomb strapped to Brian Wells’ chest in 2003 actually went off – literally blowing him up in front of TV cameras, news viewers and police who stood around helpless and/or unwilling to help. Sony Pictures seems to have forgotten to mention this in their press tour.
This still of Brian was taken moments before the bomb went off as he sat handcuffed and helpless.
Brooke Van Poppelen of TruTV turned me on to the story, “I feel that the producers displayed poor taste when they decided to do a farcical romp inspired by this man’s murder. Conversations and awareness should focus on what really happened since details about the case are still emerging even 8 years later. It’s not just a zany Hollywood pitch.” She covers the story in her TruTV blog:
The details are bizarre and quite literally horrifying… Just like in the movie Wells was at work, delivering a pizza when he had been attacked by a group of men who chained a bomb around his neck at gunpoint and forced him to rob the bank.
Brian walked into the Pennsylvania bank and passed the teller a note that read: “Gather employees with access codes to vault and work fast to fill bag with $250,000. You have only 15 minutes.” Then Brian lifted his shirt to show off the bomb hanging around his neck.
Brian didn’t get what the note asked for, but he did walk out with a bag containing $8,702 and a Dum Dum lollipop that he had grabbed form the counter. 15 minutes later, Wells was surrounded by police who threw him to the pavement and cuffed his hands behind his back.
He warned the cops that the bomb was going to go off. He was desperate. He tried to convince them that he wasn’t lying but maybe the story was too insane for the cops to believe because they were too slow to act and 25 minutes later the bomb went off in front of God and everybody.
One of the last things Wells said was,“Did you call my boss?” He didn’t want his boss to think he was slacking off on the job. Then the bomb started beeping and detonated. The bomb squad arrived 3 minutes later.
If you want to learn more about this crime I highly recommend you read this CNN story:
Hilarious right? That’s what writer Michael Diliberti seemed to think when he puked out the script for 30 Minutes Or Less. What a bummer for Brian’s family to have to see trailers for this movie on TV, in theaters, in papers, magazines… everywhere, every day… constantly reminding them of his violent murder, and letting them know that Hollywood doesn’t give a crap about his death. Film makers , actors and others involved with 30 Minutes Or Less aren’t using the film’s release as an opportunity to draw attention to this crime in hopes of solving it or finding new leads. They haven’t mentioned Brian’s name at all. All they care about is the money they can make from the hilarious comedy spoof of this man’s violent murder. I guess it’s too much of a bummer for them. Imagine how Brian’s family feels.
CNN Presents will broadcast a three-part special report, “Twisted Tale,” on Sunday, August 7, at 8 p.m. ET. The report digs deep into what precisely happened during a 2003 bank robbery in Erie, Pennsylvania, and examines one man with prior knowledge of the plot who has never been charged.