Max Dunlap, Mastermind of 1976 Don Bolles Car Bombing, Dies in Prison


Max Dunlap, who was convicted in 1993 of masterminding the 1976 fatal carbombing of Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles, died in prison today at the age of 80.

Dunlap, a jury concluded, ordered the attack on Bolles. Dunlap always asserted his innocence, and the Republic story linked above notes that one of two people accused of carrying out the bombing was ultimately acquitted.

Former New Times staff writer Megan Irwin wrote a detailed piece about Dunlap for the Republic in 2006, (just before she came to NT) -- it's worth a read.

We also found this gem from the late New Times columnist Tom Fitzpatrick about a quirky moment in Dunlap's trial when retired sportscaster Bill Denney explains how he "disremembered" what would have been a damning anecdote against Dunlap, if it had been true.

Was Dunlap guilty? Well, as Fitzpatrick wrote, the weakest part of his alibi was when he met one of the accused bombers to hand off $5,000 in cash. It might have just been a favor for a friend -- not that it matters anymore.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.