This photo of toolmaker Paul Morningstar is from his website. Morningstar was found dead in his Bodfish, Calif. home on Saturday.
The Bakersfield Californian newspaper is reporting that bicycle toolmaker Paul Morningstar was found dead Saturday in his Bodfish, Calif. home that had been booby trapped with several bombs. Acting on a concerned neighbor’s tip about Morningstar’s wellbeing–and that his property might be booby trapped–police approached the situation with caution sending bomb squad robots into the home after getting no response on attempts to make contact. Officials have found at least four explosive devices on the property and continue to search for more.
Morningstar, whose tools like the Freehub Buddy–a tool for injecting grease in freehub bodies–and the Rim ‘Rench–a tool for straightening bent rim beads, enjoy a cult-like following of professional and home mechanics alike, and are still widely available in bike shops and online. A well-known tool and die maker in the area, Morningstar is presumed to have built the explosive devices.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Police have not yet released a cause of death in the incident, and Morningstar’s exact age is unknown. According to the morningstartools.com website, he was originally from Chicago and studied electrical systems and tool and die making in college.
A message of sympathy from Morningstar’s webmaster Martin Simard, a contractor from Quebec City, Canada now appears on the company’s homepage.
Bodfish is a town of 1,956 people located 32 miles east-northeast of Bakersfield. It sits in the Lake Isabella basin not far from the mountain bike destination of Kernville at the southern end of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.