Austin suicide bomber featured in music videos

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, February 18, 2010 21:23 EDT
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AUSTIN, TEXAS — Joe Stack, the 53-year-old software engineer who allegedly flew a single engine aircraft into an Austin-based IRS office on Thursday morning, was more than just a criminal or possible domestic terrorist.

He was also a musician who played the bass and accordion in a band that once crooned about how the world just isn’t made for autistic people.

They are the Billy Eli Band, according to CBS News, fronted by Texas singer/songwriter Billy Eli, featuring Joe Stack, Ric Furley and Jim Hemphill.

Stack, playing bass guitar (billyeli.com)

The “Band” section of their Web site does not mention Stack, however a domain search for his name turned up numerous results.

Stack, a longtime IT worker turned alleged suicide bomber, even tried his hand at a little singing of his own, according to the site.

The band’s Web site says that Stack played the accordion on the song “Spook Lights of Marfa”. This is the music video:

Here’s a screen capture of another Billy Eli Band music video called “The World Wasn’t Built for People With Autism.”

This is the video:

It’s a bizarre twist to a story already too strange to make up.

More of the band’s music can be found on YouTube.

On his Twitter page, Billy Eli sounded shaken up by the news that his friend and band-mate was responsible for causing such destruction.

Photo by Stephen C. Webster

“I woke up today & the world made sense,” he wrote on Thursday night. “Then it didn’t. My friend and former bandmate Joe Stack was a gr8, friendly, easygoing, normal guy.”

“We will miss him & we are heartbroken 4 his family & 4 the pain that must have been in him,” Eli wrote in a follow up post.

The singer/songwriter is also on Facebook, though his profile was private at time of this writing.

The band additionally sells merchandise, through Cafe Press.

Stack, who shocked the nation when he allegedly burned down his home and destroyed an IRS office, is survived by a wife and stepdaughter. Federal authorities are treating the matter as criminal and not an act of terrorism.

The district’s congressman, Rep. Lloyd Dogget (D-TX), called the attack an act of “domestic terrorism.”

Click here for more photos from the scene.

This video is from Austin NBC affiliate KXAN.com, broadcast Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010.

Modified from an original version.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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