April 23rd, 1994
[From Denver Post by Kirk Mitchell] Thomas Lamar Livingston lived with his wife and four children ages 2 to 12 in the Stratmoor Hills subdivision near Fort Carson where many in the modest neighborhood worked. Livingston, 35, had a medical retirement and repaired and sold lawn mowers for a living. He was a licensed minister who was a member of the ministerial board of the St. John Baptist Church. He was studying auto mechanics at Pikes Peak Community College. On a Saturday morning, April 23, 1994, Mrs. Livingston picked up a package at the Ivywild Postal Station after finding a ticket at their home indicating a postal carrier had tried three days earlier to deliver it when no one was home. Someone in Colorado Springs mailed the package at 11 a.m. on April 19. Livingston spoke briefly with his neighbor, Cpl. William Kamer, 24, trying to sell him one of the lawnmowers he fixed. After the brief conversation, Livingston walked over to his car near his wife Judith, 34, and as Kamer was about to enter his house he heard an explosion that caused him to jump. A military grenade was set off when Livingston opened the package. The concussion near the rear of Livingston’s car threw a small motor scooter and Judith Livingston 10 feet. Her arm was broken and she had severe head wounds. She was treated at St. Francis Hospital for critical injuries. Her husband, Thomas Livingston, was killed in the blast that sent shrapnel hurling two blocks through the neighborhood. Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms responded as well as 35 investigators from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. Now retired ATF agent Joe Gordon told reporters at the time that the bomb was not the work of a novice; whoever built it, did so in a way that it could undergo jostling without exploding. Several postal workers likely handled the package before Mrs. Livingston did. It didn’t explode until she handed it to him and he opened it. As investigators put Livingston’s life under a microscope they found that the man who often volunteered to clean homes of others had also had some recent run-ins. He had been arrested a year earlier in Jan. 25, 1993 after he fired two shotgun blasts at Fort Carson soldier Sgt. Kenrick F. Jackman, then 34, missing the soldier but shattering his windshield. The two had apparently argued after the soldier went to Livingston’s home to talk about Livingston’s alleged harassment of the soldier’s girlfriend. Livingston pleaded guilty to felony menacing and was sentenced to two years of supervised probation. Several neighbors reported seeing a bespectacled, long-haired man at two locations connected to the mail bomb: at the post office where the bomb was mailed on April 19, 1994, and loitering near the Livingston home four days later when it exploded. Composite drawings indicated it was the same man. Investigators looked at the possibility that the man Livingston had shot at – Sgt.. Jackman – sought revenge and that the Livingstons were targeted because they were a mixed-race couple. Judith was white. At the time, sheriff’s Sgt. Dean Kelsey said the investigation was not focusing on a racial motive. Parts used to build the bomb are found on all army bases, investigators had said. During the investigation on May 3, 1994, federal authorities arrested Jackman after he used his 1987 Mitsubishi Starion in an attempt to ram a car carrying ATF agent Brian Bennett and Kathreen Sanders, a witness in an investigation, off the road at about 7 p.m. He ran a stop and two red lights in the process. Sanders was polygraphed and interviewed about the Livingston murder over a span of nine hours. Authorities arrested Jackman the next day. Bennett told a reporter at the time that Jackman had said Sanders, his girlfriend, was the only person who could take him down. He had held a .357 handgun while trying to persuade her not to speak with investigators. The Postal Inspection Service offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in Livingston’s case. Postal inspectors identified a man they believe mailed the package. He was described as being 35 to 40 years old, 5-feet, 8-inches tall, 155 to 160 pounds, of slender to medium build, having light brown hair with blond highlights, hazel eyes and wearing glasses. They were also looking for a man about 65 who was seen at the same time in the post office. In June of 1994, an investigator said although Jackman was still then a suspect, he was not a prime suspect. A team of local and federal investigators tracked down 200 leads, but no one was ever arrested in Livingston’s murder. Jackman, who now lives in Lexington, Ky., did not return phone messages for comment.