Complaint: Shiloh man in bomb case fantasized about killing child molesters

News-DemocratOctober 7, 2013 

A Shiloh man accused of using his duplex residence as a bomb-making factory intended to inflict mass casualties, fantasized about killing child molesters and was suicidal, according to a complaint filed in federal court.

Justin A. Vangilder, 24, of 10 Twin Oaks Drive, and a senior airman in the U.S. Air Force, appeared for arraignment in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Proud on Monday in East St. Louis. Proud agreed to prosecutors' request that Vangilder be held without bail until his trial.

Vangilder was found Thursday to be in possession of three pipe bombs that were concealed in a briefcase in his residence, according to the complaint. Two of them were made of plastic pipe and a third was made of metal. They were filled with birdshot, screws, razor blades and gunpowder that would injure anyone in the vicinity of the explosions with shrapnel, the complaint said.

Vangilder showed the bombs as well as materials for making more to a visitor who contacted police, the complaint said.

Vangilder told the visitor that he fantasized about killing child molesters and that he had information about sex offenders who lived in the area, the complaint said.

He told the visitor he considered the detonation of the bombs to be a "last resort," the complaint said. He said he was disappointed with his parents for not supporting him during his recent divorce, according to the complaint.

Vangilder consented to a search of his home -- with the exception of his computer -- which led to the bombs and the bomb-making materials being found, the complaint said.

He told authorities he'd made the two plastic bombs when he was 18 years old, about six years ago, and constructed the metal one within the last year, the complaint said.

Vangilder was charged with three counts of possession of destructive devices.

Neighbors on Twin Oak Drive said they didn't know Vangilder and that they didn't believe he'd lived on the street for a very long time. One neighbor said the duplexes at the end of the street where Vangilder lived had a lot of turnover in their residents.

Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at or call 239-2626.

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