Chapter VIII. Let The Games Begin

It started out slow, one here, one there. Then over time it started to pick up. The people were outraged. Local bloggers social media activists and others started putting old toilets in their own front yards with signs saying,

"For Sale: Naming Rights To My Toilet.
Proceeds to Steven Tanger Performing Arts Center" 

Apparently random drive-by shootings into homes along Sunset Drive, Pembroke and Cornwallis Boulevard began taking place almost nightly with few ever being caught. Other parts of Greensboro had experienced such things before but this had never before been seen in North Carolina's most exclusive and wealthy neighborhood.

Irving Park residents demanded City Council convert Irving Park to a gated community to keep them safe but the logistics of so many entrances and exits and the fact that all the streets were publicly owned and maintained by the City of Greensboro made doing so physically and legally impossible. After a heated and lengthy city council meeting in which all the city council members were loudly and publicly reminded who buttered their bread, for sale signs began popping up all through Irving Park at a rate never before seen.

Molotov Cocktails became the bomb most often used and the targets were most often garbage dumpsters, empty store fronts and convenience stores.

Bombers came from the poorer east and south sides of town intent on forcing change to bomb downtown. Bombers came from the more prosperous north a west sides of town to bomb downtown intent on framing the east and south to make things look worse than they already were.

Arrests were made but none who were arrested could be connected to the infamous Gate City Bomber as he had been dubbed by the FBI and the media. They were just angry people who had been whipped up into lashing out.

Upper middle class neighborhoods in the northern and western parts of the city formed militias to protect their neighborhoods from the hordes of attackers they believed would soon be coming from the east and south but when the attacks never came the militias became anxious and zealous. Some of the rag tag militias traveled into eastern and southern neighborhoods never to return not fully understanding they couldn't carry enough firepower to take on  overwhelming numbers on their home turf.

 Others mistakenly attacked anyone who drove into their own neighborhoods. In just a matter of months postal workers, UPS drivers and others were refusing to make deliveries in certain northwest Greensboro neighborhoods for fear of being shot by anxious snipers. Just as they had done for the last century they found their firepower ineffective because they didn't know who the enemy really was.

As a matter of fact: no one knew who they were really fighting.

Some, out of fear more than any sense of loyalty or allegiance, posted signs in front of their homes that read:

"Bombs Away!
Just Not Here Please.
Go Gate City Bomber!"

We had all become terrorists.


FBI Special Agent Keith Mularski walked trough the Melvin Municipal Building taking in the construction repairs that were going on around him. A few months ago anyone could have walked freely to anywhere in the building without being questioned but at almost every turn he came upon Greensboro Police Officers standing guard. He held up his badge. "Go right ahead, Sir" a young GPD officer told him.

Special Agent Mularski walked into a meeting room where Mayor Vaughan was meeting with GPD Chief Scott, Assistant Chief Hinson, Detective Mark Steed, City Manager Jim Westmoreland, Donnie Turlington, Director of Communications and Marketing, Zack Matheny of Downtown Greensboro Incorporated, City Council members and several other people of waning wealth and power in the city. As Agent Mularski walked into the room, Mayor Vaughan looked up and said, "Sir, we're in the middle of an important meeting."

"Yes, Madam Mayor," he replied holding up his badge, "but I'm Special Agent Mularsk with the FBI and it's very important that you come with me right now."

"Right now?" Mayor Vaughan asked. "Can't it wait until we're done here?"

"No Ma'am," Agent Mularski answered. "It's very important that you come right away."

"Well I guess if it's that important," Mayor Vaughan said as she raised from her seat to walk to the door.

"Captain Hinson," Agent Mularski asked, "would you please escort the Mayor and I to my car?"

"Yes Sir," James Hinson said as he quickly rose from his seat to follow them out the door.

When they walked outside a team of FBI agents were waiting to escort the two of them to the car.
FBI Special Agent Keith Mularski looked at the agents and ordered, "Read them their rights and bring them back to the office."

Then he walked away.

Please continue reading  Chapter IX. A Waiting Game