Pittsburgh Boxing Concert: As questions remain suspicious, details come out of his early life


Almost a week after shooting 11 fellow men in a synagogue, the details of the man accused of assault remain minimal, but they suggest an early life that was somewhat troubled.

Robert Bowers, 46, has been accused of dozens of officials in a federal court and prosecutors have said they are likely to seek the death penalty for crimes that said they "represent the worst of humanity." Bowers admitted he was not guilty during a brief court hearing on Thursday.

But while anti-Semitic online positions from an account named Bowers have received special attention, his offline life leaves impressively little impression on the people who met him prior to the massacre and the details of how he spent his days remained rare.

The background material of the Tree of Life synod at the Tree of Life synagogue on October 27 suggested moments of instability in his early life, including family divorces, motions, and eventually raised by his grandparents.

When Bowers was born, his mother married Randall G. Bowers. The records of the court show that the couple escaped in August 1973, just days before Robert Bowers's first birthday. The authorities did not confirm that this man is Bowers' biological father and the lawyer of the suspect's attacker did not respond to a request for commentary on Friday.

When Bowers was 3 or 4, his mother, Barbara, married Robert Saiter in Florida, Saiter said in an interview on Thursday. The Cutter, who was then at the Air Force, said the couple remained together for less than a year before being separated.

Sitter remembered Bowers as a "normal child and well behaved" while lived as a child in Florida.

"I never had a problem with him – he was a very good kid," said Saiter, who said Bowers liked playing with trucks and cars as a young boy. "That's a shock for me. That's my whole mind."

Bowers' mother then moved back with her parents to Pennsylvania, Saiter said. Her parents placed their grandson, said Saiter, because his mother developed health problems. Bowers' grandfather's neighbors said the suspected attacker spent much of his high school life at Whitehall, Pa.

The cutter said he knew nothing about Boers' father.


This sketch of the court depicts Robert Bowers, who appeared on a wheelchair Monday in Pittsburgh's federal court after being injured in a fight with the police after the alleged killing of 11 people in a synagogue. (Dave Klug / AP)

Six years after the Barbara and Randall Bowers divorce, Randall Bowers was accused of raping in Pittsburgh, according to a criminal complaint filed in 1979. According to a Pittsburgh Press article at the time, Randall Bowers, 27, reportedly followed by a woman from a pizza shop, went into her car and forced her to lead him to Squirous – the same neighborhood that hosts the Tree of Life synagogue.

According to the article, the suspect threatens to kill the 20 year old woman and then attack her sexually.

According to the criminal complaint, in late April 1979, Randall Bowers – referred to as a "worker" – was accused of raping along with an obscene assault, simple assault, and "involuntary sexual intercourse." The news this month states that Bowers was "caught by the residents of Squirrel Hill and transferred to the police."

Randall Bowers, Ann's mother, wrote a warranty and was released pending trial, according to court records. A few months later, Randall Bowers was found dead.

The records of the court show that Randall Bowers died on October 15, 1979, from a shooting injury in his chest. It was considered suicide. A news story, almost two weeks later, said he was "in a picnic area near the Tionesta dam" after shooting a .22-caliber rifle in his chest.

It was about a month after Robert Bowers's seventh birthday. It is unclear what, if any, a relationship with Robert Bowers with Randall Bowers at that time.

The report from the nurse concluded that Randall Bowers was worried about jail and that the motivation for suicide was "depression … and the belief that he would definitely take the time of imprisonment" and injured in jail, according to the current Judge.

A copy of the report was read at Publishing in Pittsburgh from the County Forestry County, Norman J. Wimer, the newspaper said. Wimer confirmed this account at The Washington Post. The guardian's report stated that the body of the elderly Bowers was found under a picnic table with antidepressant drugs not far away. Wimer said Randall Bowers had not seen for about a week when his body was found and officials thought he might be dead for that time.

The criminal complaint and related files were released Friday by Allegheny County District Attorney's Office. Journalists have called for records this week, but the office of their delegation has recently been seized by a judge on Thursday, so authorities can process the identity of the victim and witnesses.

Randall Bowers's relatives could not be approached for a comment this week. A woman who arrived at what was believed to be a relative's house declined to comment and closed when a journalist was identified. One woman who responded to another refused to comment.

Many of the rest of Robert Bowers's life remain a mystery. He attended high school in Baldwin, PA, but did not graduate. He was not known to his neighbors, who said they had a low profile and gave no clues to the racist views they had backed electronically.

Robert Bowers' mother, Barbara Bolt, did not publicly comment on shooting, but she is amused about what happened, said Mark Schollaert, shepherd of the first Monongahela church, where she is a connoisseur. Schollaert said that Bolt had asked him to speak on his behalf.

"She does not endorse what her son has done," said Schollaert this week. "Prays for the families of the victims and their friends".

St. Martin is an independent journalist based in South Bend, Indian St. Martin was reported by Rensselaer, Ind. Berman reported from Washington. Alice Crites, Annie Gowen, Julie Tate and Katie Zezima in Washington, Tim Craig in Pittsburgh and Noah Smith in Sunland, California contributed to this report.