Pipe Bombs And Pipe Dreams

In a Sunnyslope bedroom, beneath a map of the intended targets, the gruesome crime unfolded. As Michael Bloom plotted, his partner Carl Schall listened.

The plan was to dynamite black people during church services, to kill little children at Jewish day-care centers and to slaughter impoverished Mexicans at social-service agencies throughout Phoenix.

One of the two people in that Sunnyslope bedroom was now ready to talk, ready to explain how the hatred had gotten to the point where people must die.

Before he explained the conspiracy and his role in it, Carl Schall thought back to his first impressions of Michael Bloom, to those pieces of this story that made Michael a leader and Carl a willing follower. "Mike said he once watched a black guy get tied up in barbed wire and thrown into a lake. The guy drowned. It was back East. Mike and the others were breaking up a Communist rally," recalled Carl Schall.

Mike also told his friend that his great uncle served with Hitler's S.S. troops in Poland during WW II.

You can see how Carl would remember those tales. Whether or not the anecdotes are true is another matter. Authorities are investigating but have been unable to confirm or deny the drowning. Mike's mother did tell the police that her father, Mike's grandfather, "was a white supremacist and involved in Nazi activity."

If those details remain clouded, this much is concrete reality: A police raid in January discovered Michael Bloom's bedroom full of materials for pipe bombs: ignition wire, assorted lengths of pipe, powder and drilled end caps as well as a detailed handbook for assembly. Organized-crime detective Al Shearer and FBI agent Kurt A. Krause also found a lengthy list of minority targets.

According to Carl, he and Michael were supposed to detonate the bombs last February with timers set to guarantee an explosion when the largest number of people were present. To ensure that the injuries would be particularly hideous, the bombers planned to wrap the pipe with razor-sharp wire which would become flesh-shredding shrapnel.

"Mike said it would be great," explained Carl, because after the attacks a national neo-Nazi organization "would give us money to travel around the country and hit different targets." While Michael Bloom mapped out his strategy of white-supremacist carnage, his friend Carl Schall was entrusted with the task of purchasing bus tickets that would take them to a safe house in Michigan where they could ride out the heat.

Instead, Schall broke and ran, and by the time he was through running, he had a new identity and Michael Bloom was in custody.

Schall, a young man with classic Nordic good looks, sat in a Phoenix coffee shop last week quietly telling his story. His mother sat on the other side of the table.

When they heard a journalist was looking for them, they called the newspaper office. They refused to leave a phone number where they could be contacted and would not sit for an interview unless they were protected with pseudonyms. They have gone underground out of fear of retaliation from Bloom and his Aryan allies in the Valley.

"Detective Shearer said they were making a case and that maybe we should move because I narked on Mike," said Schall.

When the police raided Bloom's home on January 26, the Schalls had 24 hours to move.

"We hurried up, put our stuff in storage, gave up our home and stayed with relatives," said Mrs. Edward Schall.

The Schalls' lives were turned completely upside-down.
"We had no idea what would happen to us. It involved uprooting our high school and junior high children. We had to get school records transferred without the old schools knowing where the kids were going. We had to vanish in the middle of the night. We couldn't tell our friends what happened. There are an awful lot of people from our church group who had no idea what happened to us," said Mrs. Schall.

After selling their old car lest it be recognized, they moved into a two-bedroom townhouse with relatives until they could purchase a new home. Even after moving into the new house and putting the kids in new schools, the pressure did not let up.

With the sort of devotion you'd expect from a mother who has raised twelve children, Mrs. Schall quit her job teaching and stayed at home to oversee the safety of the kids. Vigilance continues.

"None of the children are allowed to go out alone," said Mrs. Schall. "They don't come home from school alone. I keep track of all of them."

Almost three months after the police raid and shortly after they'd moved into their new house, the Schalls' phone rang.

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Michael Lacey
Contact: Michael Lacey