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Sun, Jan 09, 2005

Elderly Woman Arrested After Bomb Threat

...and she was drunk, disruptive and prone to exposing herself to pax, crew and FBI agent

Shirley Martin Lindstrom, 66, boarded a Southwest Airlines flight from Orlando (FL) to Albuquerque (NM) on Friday. By all accounts, she was probably intoxicated when she boarded. The flight attendant should have figured that out when she immediately demanded pillows, her pain medication... and alcohol. Not exactly a prescription combination. Nevertheless, he still served her a couple of glasses of wine, which she demanded be delivered before anyone else in the cabin was served.

By the time the flight landed, it was in Amarillo (TX), and FBI agents were waiting for her at the door. The official story is that she was arrested, taken to the local US District Court and charged with interference with a flight crew, a charge for which she now faces fines and a possible imprisonment term of twenty years.

That is where the boring part of the story ends. The Amarillo Globe-News took a gander at the affidavit filed by the FBI agent who arrested Ms. Lindstrom, and the story just gets better from that point on.

According to the affidavit, the Amarillo FBI office got a call from the government's Counterterrorism Watch Center, and was told the Southwest 737 was being diverted because a pax had made a bomb threat. Once the aircraft landed, the agent spoke with one of the flight attendants, and was told about Lindstrom's demands upon boarding the plane. He added she was acting strangely, laying down in her seat, blocking the aisle with her legs, exposing her bra to the cabin crew and placing her hand on the crotch of a male passenger who was, until then, sound asleep next to her.

Lindstrom then decided to up the ante and have an interesting conversation with the flight attendant. Her words: "I know there is a bomb on the plane" and "I know we are being hijacked."

After she was arrested by the FBI, Lindstrom allegedly picked up her shirt and exposed herself, then denied knowing why she said there was a bomb on the aircraft. A thorough examination of the 737 revealed no explosives.

She then proceeded to tell an airport officer and a US Customs agent the she was going to kill the FBI agent who had interrogated her. While she was being transported to jail, she asked the officers how much money they made, then allegedly offered them between several hundred to a thousand dollars if they would set her free. The officers asked her if she was trying to bribe them in their position as federal agents.

She answered "yes."

ANN's sources were unable to confirm by press time if Ms. Lindstrom was experiencing alcohol-induced temporary loss of inhibitions, or was just venting after not being able to have her picture taken with Goofy.

FMI: www.amarillo.com

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