Victim in 2010 Houston 'candy box' package bomb attack speaks

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Vinnie Wolf says the news of the Austin explosions brought back a flood of memories from the day she was injured in a package bomb attack in 2010. (KTRK)

Vinnie Wolf says it isn't easy hearing about the victims in Monday's package bomb explosions in Austin.

"Opened a lot of emotions for me," Vinnie said. "It happened at 7 o'clock in the evening on a Friday night."

Friday, July 9, 2010, to be exact, a day that Vinnie said she can never forget.

"The package was actually on my kitchen counter for over a week. The package sat in my home for three weeks. Then I decided to open it," Wolf said. "My husband rattled the package and said it's not the weight of a box of candy and it may cause some damage, so I took it outside."

The gift bag had been left on Vinnie's porch. Inside, disguised in a box of Whitman's chocolate, was a pipe bomb.

When Vinnie opened the box, it immediately exploded.

"As it came up, it lifted the lid off," Vinnie said, "and burnt me and sent shrapnel all over my body. What saved my life was I opened it on a patio table that was wire mesh, and it had holes in it, so the bomb disbursed above the table and below the table."

The bomb was so powerful, it sounded throughout the neighborhood.

"It let out a noise that people for five blocks from here heard it," Vinnie said.

Vinnie's home turned into a crime scene, as detectives tried to figure out who made this almost deadly delivery.

The investigation pointed to her own brother, Claire Wolf, who police say was upset over a family inheritance.

"He was not charged for the pipe bomb because - what he had done was to hire someone to kill my husband, my sister and I - was worse than a pipe bomb, so if you can imagine that, that was worse than the pipe bomb to know that he wanted all three of us killed," Vinnie said.

Wolf is serving a life sentence for solicitation of capital murder. Though he was never charged for the pipe bomb incident, investigators say he was behind the bomb.

It took Vinnie more than a year to recover physically. Recovering emotionally was harder.

"I will always deal with it, but I've learned it's not gonna change my life, he's not going to win," Vinnie said. "We avoided the news media when it happen to us because it was very raw."

So why now? Vinnie says she talked with me today because she wants to encourage the victims in Austin that no matter how bad it seems right now, they can survive, just like she did eight years ago.

"There was a reason why I survived it and I'm not through on earth, and unfortunately when you come from a dysfunctional family and somebody wants you dead that bad, you just don't want them to win, you want to go forward, and whoever did this to this poor people in Austin should be caught and pay the price, because it's not fair to the victims," Vinnie said.


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