- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 16, 2011

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The masked man who locked a fake bomb to the neck of an Australian millionaire’s teenage daughter did not look like your ordinary violent criminal. The gray-haired attacker wielded a baseball bat but wore beige trousers and a light-colored dress shirt rolled up at the elbows.

Along with demands for money, he left behind an email address that appears to refer to a 45-year-old novel about a ruthless businessman in 19th-century Asia.

That address helped lead police all the way from the wealthy Sydney suburb where the attack occurred to a well-heeled Louisville suburb where they arrested an investment banker, Paul Douglas Peters, at his ex-wife’s home on Monday.

Mr. Peters once worked for a company with ties to the victim’s family, according to federal court documents released Tuesday. The documents also reveal more details about the bizarre ordeal 18-year-old Madeleine Pulver endured earlier this month.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin on Tuesday ordered Mr. Peters jailed pending an extradition hearing Oct. 14 in Louisville. He faces charges in Australia that include kidnapping and breaking and entering.

An arrest complaint said Ms. Pulver was studying for her high school exams Aug. 3 in her bedroom when she saw the intruder walk in carrying a black aluminum baseball bat and wearing a multicolored striped balaclava. “Sit down and no one needs to get hurt,” he told her.

She sat on her bed, and the intruder placed the bat and a backpack next to her. She noticed he was holding a black box. He forced the box against her throat and looped a device similar to a bike chain around her neck.

Before leaving, the man locked the box around her neck and also placed a lanyard and a plastic document sleeve around her neck. It contained a handwritten note with demands, the email address and a USB digital storage device.

After a few minutes, Ms. Pulver texted her mother, and soon after that she called her father. After telling both of them to call police, she saw that the attacker’s note warned not to do that.

The young woman was “crying and hysterical” when bomb technicians, negotiators and detectives rushed to the scene, the complaint said.

Neighboring homes were evacuated, streets were closed, and medical and fire crews waited nearby. Ms. Pulver spent 10 hours chained to the device, which was removed after bomb technicians determined it did not contain explosives.

The email address the attacker left referred to Dirk Struan, the main character in James Clavell’s 1966 novel “Tai-Pan,” about a bitter rivalry between powerful traders in Hong Kong after the end of the First Opium War.

Australian authorities determined that the email account was established May 30 from an address linked to a Chicago airport. Travel documents obtained from immigration authorities showed that Mr. Peters had been at the airport that day.

On Thursday, a Louisville FBI agent spotted Mr. Peters in the backyard of his ex-wife’s house, the complaint said.

The FBI arrested Mr. Peters without incident Monday in the normally tranquil subdivision of Heather Green near La Grange, about 30 miles northeast of Louisville. Neighbors said they were taken aback at the sight of armed SWAT members descending on their neighborhood.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide